History of Ferguson
Ferguson Airport is conveniently located just 2.5 miles north of NAS Pensacola, home of the Naval Aviation Museum as well as the United States Navy’s Blue Angels and just minutes from the world’s most beautiful beaches as well as exquisite golfing, fishing and countless other recreational activities.
For over 50 years we have been lucky enough to be located in beautiful Pensacola, Florida providing both the local community and visitors to the region with a friendly and high quality atmosphere.
Since our early beginnings as a crop dusting outpost we have become a full service airport and Fixed Base Operator (FBO) servicing the Western Panhandle aviation community and visitors from around the country.
The field started as a 1200 ft. grass strip, starting at the north edge of the present airport. As soon as the land was cleared, a small office building was built South of the present office facility. This was later enlarged into an open hangar, and later further enlarged into an enclosed maintenance hangar.
Following World War II, LCDR. B. C. Ferguson left active duty and began searching for a suitable site for an airport. He was operating several Stearmans off a grass strip south of Greenville, Mississippi, crop dusting cotton fields.
The first grass strip at Ferguson Airport
He lived in Navy Point and wanted a place to repair and maintain the Stearmans during the winter off-season. When he located the site on which the airport is now located, it belonged to a man who owned a dairy farm a few miles away. It was sandy scrub land, with very few trees, and reachable only by a dirt road.
When Mr. Ferguson wasn’t crop dusting in Mississippi, he was giving flying lessons using a J-3 Cub he had purchased. At about that time, the Navy offered a large number of SNJ’s for sale at bargain prices, and a man from Texas bought 100 of them, flew from Bronson Field to Ferguson’s airport, and stored them around the periphery. The photo above shows these airplanes and the original airport. Soon thereafter, Mr. Ferguson purchased a Beech Staggerwing from the Navy, which he used to fly to New Orleans to join his Naval Reserve squadron for weekend flying duty. He retained the Staggerwing until sometime in the 1980’s.
In the 1950’s he added two rows of T-hangars, and extended the grass runway to its present 1600 ft.
Ferguson Airport from the East
In the early 1960’s Mr. Ferguson became a Cessna dealer and sometime later, he also became a dealer for Mooney.
At about the time Mr. Ferguson became a Cessna dealer, the flying business increased to the point he took in a business partner, Mrs. Evelyn Herlikofer, and formed Ferguson Flying Service, Inc. The grass strip was extended to 2600 ft. and several Cessnas were purchased both for instructional use and for sale.
In 1979, hurricane Frederick did extensive damage to the office building, and leveled one row of hangars. In 1981, an all new facility was built at the north end of the airport to house flight training, maintenance, parts, and pilot testing. At the same time, the runway was paved to 3200 X 40 ft., leaving a 150 ft. grass runway on the west side of the paved one. Additionally, there is a grass taxiway east of the airport, with access to the runway, where several EAA members have hangars built into or alongside their homes.
In 2004, Hurricane IVAN inflicted considerable damage to the airport, which lost all T-hangars and suffered extensive to the the field itself and other buildings. Since that time, 24 new, enclosed T-hangars with electric doors have been constructed.
Ferguson Airport 82J is one of the few surviving privately owned, public use airports remaining in this area.
Mr. Ferguson passed away on 30 December 2002.
(History from Pensapedia Website)
Our very own resident EAA Chapter 485
Local EAA Chapter 485 was formed for aviation enthusiasts in the Florida panhandle area. Our members have various backgrounds and interests in aviation and all share the love of flying.
We hold monthly meetings at Ferguson Airport in Pensacola FL.
Meetings include interesting guest speakers and presentations on important aviation issues affecting flying in the local area.
We invite you to come join us to discuss airplane building projects, look at each others aircraft and to socialize and discuss flying issues and events.
We are active in promoting the future of aviation through the Young Eagle program and sponsorship of EAA's Aviation Youth Academy.
Members skilled in all facets of aircraft construction to assist members in the building of their aircraft
EAA designated Technical Advisors to inspect builders' projects during construction.
FAA A/P and CFI licensed members who frequently assist members with biennial Flight Reviews and aircraft inspection issues.
Young Eagle rallies at various locations to introduce youngsters 8 through 17 years old to aviation.
Supporting our local EAA Young Eagles
Launched in 1992, the Young Eagles program has dedicated more than 25 years to giving youth ages 8–17 their first free ride in an airplane.
It’s the only program of its kind, with the sole mission to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.
Today, more than 2 million young people have enjoyed a free introductory flight through the Young Eagles program. These flights are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.
EAA chapter 485 is located in Pensacola, Florida and meets at Ferguson Airports (at hwy 98 and Blue Angel pkwy). All Young Eagle flights will originate and end at this location. Please post any questions you have and one of our YE pilots will assist you.
Facebook Page: EAA 485 Young Eagles (Pensacola FL)
Supporting The Chappie James Flight Academy
General Daniel “Chappie” James was born in 1920 in Pensacola, Florida, near the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Chappie James' childhood home in downtown Pensacola is now history.
The 900-square-foot home has been renovated and serves as a museum. An additional structure has been added — a 1,500-square-foot building that serves as headquarters and classrooms for the Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Flight Academy.
James was a legendary Air Force combat pilot and the first African-American four-general in the U.S. military, earning his fourth star Sept. 1, 1975, when he assumed command of NORAD in Colorado.
He died Feb. 25, 1978, at the age of 58. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In his teens, he pointed to a plane flying above his home and said that one day he was going to fly.
For 22 years, the flight academy has run free camps for largely underprivileged children to learn about the science and mechanics of flight. But with a permanent facility, the academy will now offer a year-round aeronautical program for boys and girls ages 13 to 18.
Every year the Flight Academy includes a week of classwork and field trips finishing at Ferguson Airport (82J) with a final presentation and aircraft flights provided by EAA Chapter 485 and Wrong Bros Aviator Flight School.
The “Chappie” James Flight Academy is an aviation exposure program designed to introduce young boys and girls to the aviation industry.