P ORTLAND, O REGON—AOPA President Phil Boyer has helped another of the nation’s original aviation country clubs celebrate its history—this time the former Columbia Aviation Country Club (now Columbia Aviation Association) near Portland, Oregon. Its innovative history includes continuing pilot education, a strong emphasis on safety, and its famed air tours from the Arctic to the tropics. Noting that CACC was inspired by the Philadelphia Aviation Country Club where AOPA was founded in 1939, Boyer presented a special citation to President Jim Matisies at CAA’s 50th Anniversary Banquet September 18. He lauded the group’s “dynamic history of serving the interests of general aviation in Oregon.”
The Columbia Aviation Country Club (CACC) was conceived by L.S. (Doc) White, “Oregon’s foremost evangelist of aviation,” shortly after World War II. White led the first “See Oregon by Air” tour in September 1946, followed by tours of Mexico and the Arctic in 1948 and the 50-plane Portland-to-Portland (Oregon to Maine) tour of 1949.
White and club member Wally Timm got the idea during a visit to Wings Field and the Philadelphia Aviation Country Club, where AOPA was founded in 1939. PACC still operates today and has extended special non-resident memberships to AOPA members in recognition of AOPA’s sixtieth anniversary celebration this October at AOPA Expo ’99.
The Columbia club grew into, and outgrew, several homes during its 50 years. After runway construction took the original clubhouse at Portland Columbia Airport, it acquired the former West Coast Airlines terminal for $1. With a membership of 235 by 1981, facilities were again expanded. But in 1994, CACC was asked to leave by the Port of Portland. A new site was located at Aurora State Airport, and a new facility (opened in 1997) was constructed on donated land. With the 1994 move, the club became the Columbia Aviation Association to reflect its wider mission and interests.
The organization has excelled at helping pilots and family members realize the travel, social, and learning opportunities that flying offers. Best known for more than 75 Oregon Air Tours, its safety programs and “College of Aeronautical Knowledge” have always kept flying safety top-of-mind.
AOPA is proud to celebrate the success of a family-oriented organization, which, since October 8, 1949, brings people together around a common love of aviation.
September 20, 1999