Summer Holiday Visit to Raven Field (Quamichan) Airport

John’s Van’s Aircraft RV-4 and Pietenpol Aircamper.

By Mike Davenport, EAA 89102, Langley, British Columbia

August 20 was a beautiful, clear, calm day for a flight from Langley to Vancouver Island with two longtime friends. We had been invited to a small private strip on the east side of Vancouver Island just a few miles south of Duncan, British Columbia. It is on the chart as Raven Field and prior permission to land is required. John Howroyd, the owner, hosts an invitation-only drive-in/fly-in event every year, barring things like COVID.

The strip is challenging to the uninitiated as it is 1,800 feet long, grass, and all landings are uphill with departures back down said hill. Today the wind gods were favouring us with little or none in either direction. Aircraft flying in included three C-170s, several RVs of various models, a Stinson 108, as well as several 172s and 150s — all to join John’s personal fleet of an RV-4, J-3 on floats, Pietenpol, C-150, Volmer Sportsman, and an Aeronca Chief.

The local antique and classic car group joined into the festivities with Mustangs, vintage Dodges and Fords, a Studebaker, a Jaguar XK 150 convertible, a ‘56 MG, and many more. My personal favorite was also the oldest on the field, an unrestored but roadworthy 1916 Franklin 9A four-passenger roadster. This caught my attention because it was built by the same company that much later built the six-cylinder engine in my Stinson. The roadster also had a six-cylinder air-cooled engine.

1916 Franklin Roadster in original unrestored condition.

The car was not in showroom condition because the owner proudly want to keep it as a “driver”. The confirmation of this was the regular license plates displayed instead of the “collector” plate more common to a car of this vintage. The wooden wheels and frame have supported the aluminum body for the past 106 years and show no sign of stopping.

The company built 157,000 cars from 1904 to 1934 and in the process were the only successful American producer of air-cooled automobiles. For more information, take a look at

Lunch was provided. The biggest hot dogs I’ve ever seen followed up with fresh corn-on-the-cob. Desert was a selection of homemade pies and pastries that appeared to have been the “price of entry” but John didn’t tell me that part, so we just ate and enjoyed.

VIP transportation was provided on the grounds, again by John. This consisted of a Ford tractor connected to his float dolly and outfitted with two couches taken from his living room. The man has to be single.

Superior transportation provided by John Howroyd

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