Mar 07-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: March: Mar 07-04
Ditched at the Airport    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from RC Wetton

Toivo from Toivola on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:42 am:

Several of our Guest Gallery participants have oldtime photos to share. Today we dug into Robert C. Wetton's, where he has a number of old Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX) related pictures. This one is a Roto Wing plow, which looks to be stuck in the ditch - - you can see the cable that's hooked to it , ready to be dislodged. Must have taken a big piece of equipment to pull out something that heavy!

By Julie Barrie The Netherlands formly Michigan on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:54 am:

my dad used to say they didnt have to close thier
curtains back in the "good ole day" hahaha

By Julie Barrie on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:55 am:

p.s. because of so much snow .. sorry I didnt
put that on the last entry .....

By MBR, La Crosse, WI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:09 am:

I teach in balmy southern Wisconsin. I need some info on the wise ol'sage St. Urho. Anyone have some good info or sites they can tell me about that relate to St. Urho?

By Jim Calumet, MI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:12 am:

Good Morning. Go to Goggle Search type in St Urho, and you will find a wealth of information. Have a great week. Regards, Jim, Calumet

By Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge - Cadillac, MI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:19 am:

Purple is the color to wear on St. Uhro's.
It is still winter in Cadillac this morning!

By Kathi, Ferndale on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:33 am:

MBR: Go to
there are other links from that site also.

By Chris on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:35 am:

Neat picture! I have some neat old snow removal pictures of Laurium Village with horses pulling wagons with snow.

By UP_gal on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:47 am:

Chris: Would love to see those old about starting a guest album here ??
I remember sliding right off the runway at CMX, years ago on a NorthCentral flight. The entire right side of the plane was slammed into the pines. We were simply led to the door and wished a nice stay in the Houghton-Hancock area! We were all shaking our heads and laughing when we took a longer walk than ususal to the terminal.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 11:02 am:

On a day like that in the photo one would like a flame thrower to clear a path.

By RCW on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 11:37 am:

Chris I can recall that incident also, however you didn't end up against Pine trees. It was a snowbank, and actually we had an engine change due the incident. It was caused by strong cross winds and probably a bit of slippery runway copnditions. Back at that time the Airport did not have its own sanding equipment.

By RCW on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 12:07 pm:

I should have addressed the above to the UP Gal. FYI I ve added a clipping RE the incident to my gallery.

By Roy TN on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 12:22 pm:

I remember when NORTHCENTRAL aircraft would have skis on their landing gear. The skis would be mounted on both sides of the tires and help stop the aircraft from sinking in the snow. I don't know if they plowed the runaways in those days. the airport was called Oneco Airport back then.

By maijaMI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 12:50 pm:

Why is Houghton County Memorial Airport called CMX?

By RCW on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 01:28 pm:

Well as you can imagine the guys couldn't push it out, so they were waiting for a bigger plow to pull them out.The guy on the right was just a bystander, an Air Force crew chief assigned to the Radar Base A/C stationed at CMX. As far as to why CMX ,I ve heard several version but none offical. Calumet/Michigan/Crossing , Canadian/Military/Emergency .And a few others I can't recall.

By maijaMI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 01:37 pm:

another ?? Does anyone already know the dates for next year's winter carnival at MTU?

By Dave of Mohawk on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 02:26 pm:

CMX stands for Calumet Municipal Airport. The X simply means airport.

By ed on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 02:31 pm:

The Canadian government provided money to built the airport..($25mil) The CMX does stand for CANADIAN MILITARY EMERGENCY per the last post.

By Jeff in FL on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 02:39 pm:

Sorry, Guys...Close but no cigar! The X after CM merely means that it began life as a weather station, CM, with an airport. When it became necessary to change from 2-letter designators to 3-letters, the weather stations with airports added an X. I doubt that CM stood for "Calument Municipal" way back when. More likely, it was Calumet, Michigan. Check out for an explanation.

By UP_gal on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 02:44 pm:

I so enjoyed the photo of the NorthCentral incident. I guess you are right about the snowbank. I must be remembering how the treetops just zipped by my window. I was very anxious to get off quickly! Flying up here is never dull. Many more stories in my family to be told.

By moi on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 03:42 pm:

A former airport employee says CMX means Calumet-Marquette Exchange. (?)

By Win Tucker - NJ on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 03:50 pm:

The designation for O'Hare chicago is ORD.
This stands for Orchard - Guess it was one
long ago!

By RCW on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 04:11 pm:

Jeff in FL. I think you should smoke the cigar yourself. CMX indeed started just as a weather station and I believe it was 2 years before the actual airport was built. That was for one reason, to determine prevaling winds for locations of the runway direction. IE runways 13-31 and 7-25. Interesting information, after having worked there for 28 years I never heard that explantion.

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 04:33 pm:

Ah yes, the good old days of North Central. When I lived it Detroit I would take N/C to Ironwood. We used to call it the school bus airlines. Because if the weather was bad at Ironwood; they would land in Rhinelander. A school bus was waiting to take you to the Ironwood airport. Met a lot of fun people on those bus rides.

By Nancy Nelson WI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 04:46 pm:

When I was young there was a man who plowed the sidewalks on College Avenue with a team of horses. I was always thrilled when I happened to be walking along there while they were working.

By A, Royal Oak, MI on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 05:21 pm:

CK in Chassell. .... Should be an interesting election year. A

It is the express wishes of the ownership of this site that the Pasty Cam NOT be used as a political soapbox. Several inflamatory political comments from "CK in Chassell" have been removed.

By Maija, Seattle on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 05:28 pm:

Can anyone tell me who won the hockey game last night between the Calumet Copper Kings and the Houghton Gremlins?

By kevin, east lansing on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 06:37 pm:

Down here in the land of the trolls we have to "make do" with what we can. I went to the YMCA, hopped in the cold pool, then went into their luke warm sauna (160), then back into the pool, then back into the sauna (now at 155). I took a shower and walked home, about a mile. I didn't even want to dry off from the shower so's I'd feel a little bit of cold. Felt a little like Calumet, but not quite the same.

By CK - down in Troll Land on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 06:48 pm:

CK.........pulleez take the (negative politcal) discussion somewhere else, or better yet, take a nice walk in the fresh air to clear any negative thougths. Last weeks 'discussions' were enough for the rest of the year. It has been a LONG winter for us northerners that includes us in the lower peninsula. I log onto this site daily to see pictures and personal comments about the area, people and weather in general. If I want some serious discussions on the world situation/politics/religion/environment I can read the local paper (which I do everyday and depresses me) Yeah, I know about freedom of speech and all that good stuff, but really do not care to see negative input here. I try to unnwind on this site, not have my blood pressure rise, whether I agree or not with some of the HEATED topics that have appeared lately. HURRY SPRING!!!!! There are some real cranky people out there.

Signed another CK but down in the flatlands.

By steve, Racine on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 06:50 pm:

can i get a link to the tach web cams, i seemed to have lost them

By k on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 06:59 pm:

Tech cams...

By CC Farmboy on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 07:03 pm:

For what it' worth. Back in the early 40's, There was a lot of surveying going on on the farmland north of the Gay Lake Linden road, around the Kallio and Lindgren farms. There were a lot of stake markers in the fields around there. The word was the Canadian Govt. was looking for a place to put an airfield in the area. Later they decided on the Oneco area, probably because it was closer to the metropolitan ares of Calumet, Hancock & Houghton. Anyone with any input on the subject?

By mark in coulee dam on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 07:07 pm:

Re: Why CMX ?...check out the on-line daily mining gazette archives under feb... for the article on 4 generations of pilots....for the following quote:

"Caesar Lucchesi held his license between 1921 and 1953, when he retired at age 76. In addition to teaching his kids and his wife, Jennie, to fly, he assisted the Canadians in their decision to spend $15 million to open Houghton County Memorial Airport for emergency landings. Hence airport code CMX for Canadian Military International."

This my be "subjective", but sounds fairly credible.....learned to fly at CMX myself back in '70 in N3598L, a somewhat tired Cessna 150 belonging to the "Grey Eagles" of which I believe a Lucchesi was 1/2 owner.

Grrrrrreat country to fly over, especially in the fall.

By Ernie WA on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 07:24 pm:

Take note - that snow plow has a fan on the end of the wing which would blow the snow a lot farther into the field than just the speed of the truck which may have been about 20 to 30 MPH. With the fan running the truck speed may have been about 5 to 8 MPH.

By ed on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:24 pm:

To Mark in Coulee Dam!!!!!

Thanks for vindicating my answer..

By ed on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 02:31 pm:
The Canadian government provided money to built the airport..($25mil) The CMX does stand for CANADIAN MILITARY EMERGENCY per the last post.

By Steve the flying troll on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:37 pm:

We used to skydive in the late 60's out of a 180 that Lucchesi was owner or part owner. I never much cared except that it was an excellent elevator. We had a Catholic priest from Marquette who would drive up to fly for free to build hours. Lived in Watia's Cabins in Chassell one winter so I know how grumpy those folks can get. Nice community though. The local gas station loaned me a blowtorch to warm my frozen pipes and I came within a hairbreadth of burning down those cabins. It was the 60's. I guess if you can remember em, you weren't really there. I own an airplane now and ain't no skydivers gettin into it............

By Michele @ the Suomi : on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:37 pm:

Thank goodness we have more reliable snow removal today. That must have been one heckuva day for that crew working! One thing to say about the "good ol' days" --- I think the work was harder! All were to tired to be bored! :)

By Michele @ the Suomi : on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:51 pm:

RCW--- outstanding guest gallery. I really enjoyed the bat photo. I worked in the old Caladonia Mine in Mass City in 1990-91 and when we opened up the place each spring, there were thousands of bats coming out of hibernation. However this was what could be a once in a lifetime photo-op. The outstretched wings on this little "mosquito mower" is fantastic. Way to have that camera ready!!

By BC Bill, Southern Lower on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 08:57 pm:

Why would the Canadian Government spend money on an airport in the U.S.? When a pilot declares an emergency (even Canadian Military)are'nt they directed to the absolute closest airport that can handle them?

By Deb - Michigan on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:00 pm:

Just heard on the local TV station that during the snowstorm received Friday, one plow driver in Marquette County ended up in the hospital after his plow hit a patch and flipped into the ditch. Luckily he is OK. Not sure on the plow truck. So even with today's modern equipment, Mother Nature still lets us know who is the boss!!!

By Ziggy,G.C. on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:02 pm:

Maija, The Copper Kings lost last night.

By RCW on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:12 pm:

BC Bill. Well back in those days there were lots of Canadian traffic going over here to Possibly Fort Willam and CMX was a clear choice rather than going into Lake Superior. We, on numerous occasions had Canadian A/F planes land here with engine problems. One day we even had restored Spitfire come in. I might even have a photo of that to share.

By DH, Temecula, CA on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:12 pm:

re: CMX

The runway seems a bit short by military standards, as well. This would have to have been pretty big news when it was built and would have had some coverage by the Gazette.

Now it the archives weren't 2500 miles away ...


By Down State Dave on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:27 pm:

Open message to the ownership of this site: Thanks for taking a stand! Some people must not realize that it is a privilege to post comments here and their comments ARE subject to removal if you don't think they meet with YOUR policy and rules. owns this site and solicits money from its' sponsors to pay the bills! I got a hunch that sponsors for this site might start having second thoughts about paying for ad space if it turns into a forum for political views and argumenitive positions.

If someone wants to post their politcal views they should find the appropriate site to do this! I'm sure there are zillions of chat rooms out there where a person can discuss view points with like minded people. As for me -- I enjoy this site for what I think is it's intended purpose -- good pictures and comments about the UP and getting info. about local businesses where I might spend my money when I come to the area.
Oh and I think you are trying to maybe sell a few pasties now and then too.
Now I will get off of MY soap box!:>)

Cheers everyone. Have a pasty and chill out!

By G.W. Bumbletown on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:28 pm:

I used to work for the airline that serves CMX.
On the flight from Detroit,we would stop at the
old airport in Marquette (MQT).I would ride in the
cockpit jumpseat.If we departed MQT for CMX on a
clear night, we could see the lights at the
Houghton/Hancock airport shortly after takeoff.
The flight from MQT to CMX took about twenty

By G.W. Bumbletown on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:40 pm:

P.S. If you do not like CMX,think of Souix
City,Iowa. Their airport identifier is SUX

By Missing Yooperland, IL on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 09:58 pm:

RE:By Win Tucker - NJ on Sunday, March 7, 2004 -
The designation for O'Hare chicago is ORD.
This stands for Orchard - Guess it was one
long ago!

Regarding Ohare airport in Chicago, the designation ORD, which stood for Orchard, was actually the town name where the airport was built, had nothing to do with orchards, which may or may not have been there. If I remember right it was actually called Orchard Place. Of course the town is long gone, gobbled up by another town or two. Now back to Yooper talk.

By Sherry, Gulfport MS on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 10:13 pm:

Dad, loved the picture and the trivia!!

By RCW on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 10:17 pm:

Sherry did you recognize Fred Griffin on the extreme right??

By WALTER P TAMPA on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 11:31 pm:


By Ken and Mimi from da UP on Sunday, March 7, 2004 - 11:48 pm:

RCW, I remember those rotary wing plows. The county didn't keep 'em around very long. Not very efficient I guess. Were you there when the Canadian flying box-car went off the end of the runway into the mud? I remember the pic of it in the Gazette.

By Mary Drew doing the nightly investigation on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 12:03 am:

As I sit here typing this message, I can see the bridge from our motel window....The Big Mac - also known as The Mackinac Bridge. We're so close to being back in the U.P., I can almost reach out and touch it! :-> We're resting our travel weary bodies in Mackinaw City tonight.

We hit wet, snowy, weather between Ann Arbor and Flint. I was actually surprised to see how much snow there is on the ground here just south of the Bridge....kind of a rude awakening after the fun and sun in Florida!!

By ckr-Wa State on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 02:01 am:

Way to go Houghton Hockey Team!!

from the Evergreen state

By JulieBarrie The Netherlands formly Michigan on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 05:23 am:

Downstate Dave... well said... :)agreed I come her to relax and see pics also...and nice chat
wish I had a pasty to enjoy :( ... when I come next time Ill get one tho :)

By RCW on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 06:36 am:

Ken: No that was a bit before my time.I started there in 58 and we did have several C119s (boxcars) come in with one engine out. Luckily CMX was there for them.

By Roudy Mi on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 08:35 am:

I believe C-119's had R-3360 compounds, not one of the more reliable aircraft engines. Good reason to have a spair (pun pun) airport around when you need it.

By G.W. Bumbletown on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 11:59 am:

Eighteen years ago I was involved in a project to
restore a C-124 Globemaster to airworhty
condition. It had four Pratt & Whitney R-4360
radial piston engines. Twenty eight cylinders per
engine. With two spark plugs per cylinder. That
made tune ups costly and time consuming

By Timo, WPB on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 03:56 pm:

remember the commuter airlines that used to come in and out (mostly disappear) at CMX. The trip usually included a taxi ride from MQT because of weather.

By dpl Hancock, MI on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 04:39 pm:

What memories. The truck is a 30's model Oshkosh that the road commission used a bit at the airport. The picture was taken around '55 to '62. After that time, the Airport Authority took over plowing responsibilities at the airport. Unless my eyesight is getting poor, I believe the men are Dan Lorenzetti, Driver; Niilo Moilanen, Swamper; and John Funkey who was the airport manager. The truck was sent to the scrap heap a week or so after the Authority took over. The engine over-heated and it was never replaced. The Roto-Wings were very expensive to operate with gear boxes breaking, impeller drive shaft problems, and the expense of having a huge gas engine on the rear to drive the impeller.

By RCW on Monday, March 8, 2004 - 07:00 pm:

DPL Your right about Niilo standing in the middle, however the guy on the left is Howie Willmes the swamper. The guy on the right was Sgt Griffin from the Radar Base, a crew chief for the base,s aircraft. Did I hear recently Nillo passed away??? Other than that you,ve got the correct info.

By calumet, mi on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - 07:41 am:

the end of the roto wing was caused by the mechanics could not keep the shaft that drives it from coming apart, some thought was to go hydralic drive, but never materialized, the drive shaft used to beat on the back of the cab

By Troll, Lwr MI on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - 12:24 pm:

They bull dozed my grandparent's farm in Oneco to build the airport. All I have left are old pictures and an oil painting of the old homestead.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - 01:48 pm:

Speaking of "Oneco" - I have known the name for ages, but never anything about it's origin. Does anyone know the origin of that name? What is/was it, and other than the airport and some farms, what else was there and when? Pronunciation: Do I recall correctly that it's "On-eco"?

By calumet, mi on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - 05:43 pm:


By John C. Heikkila on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 08:21 am:

More info on ORD, Chicago's O'Hare Int'l Airport
and some of it's military history:

Yes, ORD stands for Orchard. During WWII,
the site was used for the manufacture of
Douglas C-54's. The factory was considered
the longest wooden structure in the world,
where 100's of "Rosie Riveters" worked. It
was being torn down circa 1968 while I was
working on C-119G's (R-3350 engines) for the
928th TAG (AFR). There were also two fighter
interceptor alert hangars south of the AFR
that were deactivated long before 1968.
The last AFR aircraft to be
stationed at O'Hare was C-130A's. The
Illinois ANG also had a piece of the field,
flying KC-97 (Tankers) and later, KC-135's.
The former had both recip (R-4360 "Corncob"
engines) and turbojet engines; the latter,
all turbojet.

By DK, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 13, 2004 - 09:17 pm:

To Steve the Flying Troll and anyone else who might remember. I flew with a friend who was part of the MTU Flying Club, (after chipping in for gas) all over the Keweenaw and Huron Mts (mostly in a Cessna 130)in 1962-63. In the spring of '63 MTU had an Engineering Show on campus and the flying club wanted to display one of their planes, an old (and I mean OLD) Aeronca, which they kept at the Houghton Sands airstrip. My friend, Rod Rickert, took off, circled, and landed the plane on US41, right in front of the Copperama, and taxied into a spot in front of Sperr Hall. Recently I mentioned this to some friends, and they said that that would have been impossible, the police would never have closed the road for something so dumb! Someone else out there must remember it since there were a lot of people watching.

By RCW on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:48 am:

Jeff in Fl Just had a chance to browse the SKYGOD site. Interesting indeed. Thanks for the link. Never heard that explanation for the X before.

By Jim , MD on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 04:29 pm:

In the Cold-war days, KI-SAWYER, Loring AFB, etc. and numerous Canadian bases were all part of the North Warning System to provide detection of incoming Soviet bombers. Little CMX was an emergency landing field as part of North Amercan defense. Believe the post above, CANADIAN MILITARY EMERGENCY to be correct.

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