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Sid Mason's Airplane - N72025


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Sid Mason's Airplane - N72025


In early 1946, Gerry A. Bilodeau and his associate Roger A. LaBrecque ordered a new Luscombe (two seater) from Roland Maheux at he Maheux's Airport in Minot, Maine. It was a polished Silvaire, registration NC72025*, a Model 8A "all metal" aircraft with a Continental 65 H.P. engine.

The plane was used recreationally and for marketing for Bilodeau's soft-drink bottling business, Sunset Beverage Company. Customers who found a bottle cap with the words "Free Ride" inside could get a ride on the plane with Gerry.

Gerry Bilodeau crashed the airplane during takeoff in 1947. The plane was badly damaged and taken by the insurance company with the exception of the propeller and log book. These two artifacts were handed down to Gerry Bilodeau's grandson, Daniel L. Bilodeau, a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dan became a commercial pilot, started a flying business, and had the propeller on display in his office.

In 1993 Dan realized the the propeller's serial number matched the one in his grandfather's logbook. Since the crash in 1947 everyone assumed the plane was no longer in existence, but a check of the tail number, N72025, with the FAA showed that it was registered and flying since the 1950s in Maynard, Massachusetts by its owner, Sidney H. Mason.

It turned out that after the crash in 1947 the insurance company sold the aircraft to Turner Aviation Company based at Twitchell's airfield in Turner, Maine. It was one of Ron Twitchell's first salvage projects. He successfully repaired and restored the Luscombe to FAA standards, flew it for about a year and then sold it to Don's Flying Service in Marlboro, Massachusetts.

In 1947 Sid, a 28 year old Army veteran, and three friends bought the Luscombe for $1000. Sid bought out his partners soon after. A year later Sid had created an airstrip in his backyard at 165 Summer Street which was part of the much larger Mason family farm whose origins go back to 1875. The Mason farm's intersection with aviation went back further with the farm hosting two runways, and many of the pilots in Maynard and nearby towns keeping their planes there.

Sid flew the Luscombe recreationally, but also created Sid Mason's Aerial Photos which provided aerial photography services to businesses in the area.

After Dan Bilodeau discovered that Sid Mason was flying his grandfather's plane he reached out to Sid and arranged to travel from Maine to Maynard and share his logbook and flying stories with Sid. After their conversation, Sid, who was 74 at the time, told Dan that if he ever decided to sell the Luscombe Sid would give Dan the first option to purchase it.

Three years later in 1996, the Masons contacted Dan about purchasing the airplane. Dan's business partner, Stephen Whitney, arranged for a pre-purchase inspection and an offer was made and accepted with two conditions. One that Sid would deliver the aircraft to Maine, and two that he would return at his leisure to fly it whenever he wanted to. In September 1997 Sid flew the plane to Bethel, Maine and tearfully handed over the keys.

Sid Mason passed in 2005 and the Luscombe, with tail number N72025, is carved on his gravestone.

For many years after his passing, Sid's son, Jack, who inherited his father's love of flying, would use Sid's Airport for his private plane and an ultralight plane he owned. After 68 years the property on 165 Summer Street was sold in August 2016 signaling the end of Sid's Airport in Maynard.

N72025 continued its life with Dan Bilodeau with an airworthiness certificate last issued in 2007.

Eventually the plane's flying days came to an end on February 20, 2013 when its civil registration was cancelled and, as of 2015, N72025 proudly sits outside the Maine Air Museum located at Bangor International Airport in Bangor, Maine.

*Aircraft registered before 1949 had an optional letter in the registration to designate the type of aircraft, with "C" designated for commercial and private usage. By the time Sid acquired the plane, the registration number (and eventual tail number) had changed to the official designation: N72025.


Dave Griffin




Daniel Bilodeau (Our Luscombe Story)
David Mark (My Life Outdoors article on Sid's Airport)
Terry Fletcher (Photo)
John Salmi (photo, FindAGrave)
Aerial Visuals (Airframe Dossier)




Digital, Printouts


See "Our Luscombe Story" obtained from the air98 website in June 1999. (PDF of a printout attached)

Document Item Type Metadata


File folder 2013.63