The Aeronca L-16 (sixteenth in a series of Liaison aircraft orders) was built by the Aeronca Aircraft Corporation of Middletown, Ohio, for the U. S. Army in 1947 and 1948. It is a militarized version of the famous Aeronca Champ – the perky, potbellied, popular civilian aircraft that flew faster and more comfortably than its celebrated cousin, the Piper Cub.
Aeronca L-16A 47-1042
owned and flown by T. J. Lilliman of the Canadian Bushhawks Liaison Squadron.
Wingman T. J. Lilliman’s Aeronca L-16A, 47-1042, served with the Ohio Army National Guard, 135th Field Artillery, from 1947 to 1952, then was transferred to the Civil Air Patrol, first in Oregon, then in Maine.
The aircraft was taken off the civil aircraft register in the early 1970s and briefly but happily owned by a flying club in Maine.
In 1973, 1042 was imported into Canada through the province of Quebec.
In 1990, T. J. found 1042 sitting unflown and forlorn, and persuaded her owner to sell.
Flight Leader L. J. Lee’s Aeronca L-16A, 47-1272, served with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, 107th Field Artillery Battalion, from 1947 to 1951, then spent a year with Air Training Command in San Marcos Texas before being transferred to the California Civil Air Patrol in June of 1952.
1272 flew search and rescue and training missions in the California mountains for the next 24 years.
In 1976 she was taken off the military register: her next two decades were with civilian owners in the Snake River Plains of Idaho.
L. J. purchased 1272 in 1994 and flew her across the continent to her new Canadian home. She restored 1272, first the wings in 1995, then fuselage in 1996-7, just in time for 1272’s 50th birthday celebrations in December 1997.
L. J. also owns a replica L-16.