A Personal History of RHV
Page 9 of 10
Robin Reid, The Last of the Reid family, Leaves for Oregon
After Amelia's passing in 2000, son Robin assumed management of her flying school. Robin had a lot on his plate. His flying career, a growing family, along with running the flight school. After a time he decided to sell off the school portion of the business and retain rights to use the main hangar for a workshop for the restoration of his many antique aircraft and glider projects. In this agreement, the school was allowed to keep the original name, so well known in this area.
Eventually this became more than he wanted to deal with, and he purchased a home on an airport in Oregon. He also purchased a functioning FBO in order to get the hangar space for his projects.
Robin Reid, ever present around RHV and the local aviation scene, departed for Oregon in early 2010. He had 3 full hangars of stuff on the field that needed to be moved. I kept an eye on this drawn out process with a certain nostalgia and sadness. He continued to offer his considerable flying expertise to homebuilders , warbird and restored antique aircraft pilots for such duties as first flights, ferrying antique aircraft around the country, and providing proficiency training in everything from Taylorcrafts to T-28's.
|Robin Reid (center) and friends
Various trucks and even a 54ft semi-trailer were needed to move all his belongings. One by one, his various aircraft were flown away to Oregon.
Finally, there was a flurry of activity involving a particular biplane which I had seen in his hangar and had been aware of for years. It’s a Kreider-Reisner Challenger
powered by a very rare small Wright Corp. radial engine. This engine had been apart for some time. I later learned Robin was forced to have the replacement parts machined from scratch, as originals simply were not available.
Robin's Kreider-Reisner Challenger, the very first aircraft to land at Reid's Hillview airport in 1939
There were ground test runs and test flights to prepare this ancient craft for the long flight. A few days before a trusted friend of Robins would actually fly this craft away for good, Robin told me that this craft was the very first aircraft to land at the new Reid's Hillview airport in 1939! Exactly 70 years ago.
I watched this beautiful old bird depart and knew it was the end of an era.