Limerick Flying Club History

Towards the end of the sixties, there was an interest in developing a social side to the business operation at Coonagh - this social club was called the Limerick Flying Club.

After Shannon Flying services moved to Oranmore in Co. Galway and eventually became Aer Arran, the group of enthusiasts at Coonagh were without an aircraft or an Instructor. In 1970 they decided to formalise the club and arrange membership. Foncy Hobbins, Brendan Beegan and Bryan Carpenter became the initial committee of Limerick Flying Club with Bryan as President.

At that time, the Munster aero club at Cork Airport, was operating two rallyes and by August of that year an arrangement was entered between both clubs, whereby the Munster Aero Club would supply either rallye EI-AUE or EI-AUJ along with an instructor on Wednesdays and occasionally on Sundays to Coonagh. The Instructors were usually Eric Hutchins, Dan Herlihy and Tom Davy. The first few months were very promising and the commitee considered buying an aircraft. some of the Club members had become familiar with a Cessna 150 which had been in use at Galway with the Galway Flying Club for Instruction by Tony Doyle, this was EI-AOO. The three committee members and their small band of approximately a dozen fellow enthusiasts subscribed to a loan to buy the aircraft.

EI-AOO arrived at Coonagh on the 6th of February 1971 from Iona piloted by Pierce Cahill. By the end of the Summer of 1971 the club had a membership of approximately thirty members and Arthur Brennan had become the Chief Flying Instructor and by the end of the year Colum Johnston had joined as an Instructor. The airfield was now owned by Peter Matson who was also a keen aviator who operated a Cherokee 140, reg. EI-ATN from Coonagh.

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