Continental Motors located near Muskegon Lake in Muskegon, MI was one of the largest producers of aircraft engines during world war II. The engine casting process requires large amounts of fine sugar sand which is found in abundance in West Michigan near the shores of Lake Michigan. Employees from the continental motors banded together and procured company funding to form a flying club at the Muskegon County Airport. The airport was a large and busy one even back in the start of the 19th century. Muskegon’s beautiful sandy beaches and large historic Occidental Hotel drew many vacationers to the area.
Pilot logbook records of early members showed club activity as early as 1955. We have a professional photo of the members dated 1956. The Continental Flying Group of Muskegon, Inc was officially incorporated July 24, 1961 listing two aircraft, 15 members and President Franklin D. Zadonick. Continental motors company moved to Alabama in 1966 and started to phase out operations in Muskegon. In 1973, continental motors stopped financial support to the club. February 19, 1973 the club was renamed the West Michigan Flying Club, Inc by President Anthony Kenney. Shortly after continental motors ceased all operations in Muskegon abandoning their founding town.
In the early 1990’s the Muskegon County Airport was preparing for major renovations. In 1994 the West Michigan Flying Club hanger was unearthed and moved 273 yards closer to the center of the airport. Less taxi time, great! The club built a new pilots lounge. The old pilots lounge still stands unoccupied in 2015, it is no longer part of the airport property.