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Dr. Eric Hickey
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Dr. Eric Campbell Hickey was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec Canada
(1931-  2003). He graduated from McGill University in Dentistry and had his own practice in Montreal throughout his career. He and his wife June had 5 children
and 11 grandchildren.

Eric and his wife bought some land in the Eastern Townships in Quebec where they built a second home on Lake Memphremagog. Eric was an engineer at heart and an avid outdoorsman, as every knows a lake house needs a boat. So instead of buying one, he built one. Years later he built a “Snow Plane” (swamp boat on skis) for the winter months so he could race up and down the frozen lake. As his kids got older, he built a Catamaran sail boat then an “Ice Boat” and many other projects. During this time he started to take flying lessons to become a recreational pilot and joined the local EAA chapter. As an avid fly fisherman, he had a dream of flying into remote lakes and rivers to fish. With that in mind, he decided to build a flying boat or the “Coot” amphibian airplane in his garage in Montreal. After a couple of years building the Coot, he sold it to another builder to make room for his dream plane, the Durand Mark V. He along with his brother Alan “Bud” Hickey started to build this great reverse stagger wing biplane. Of course, Eric wanted to replace the wheels with floats, so he worked with William H. Durand, the designer, to modify the plane to incorporate its new landing gear. Eric and Bud spent many years measuring, cutting and bending aluminum. They lost count on the number of rivets used after building the floats. However after all their hard work, C-FECH was registered with Transport Canada and took its maiden flight in May 1990 from the beach in front of his home on Lake Memphremagog. After many successful test flights a few tweaks were needed to slow the plane down for take-off and landing on the water. Again with the help of Mr. Durand, the design of the flaps were modified to give the plane the proportionate lift to accommodate the floats. Thankfully Eric had a large barn on his property where they brought the plane up to be worked on.

During the modifications, Eric fell ill and after a courageous fight lost his battle with cancer. C-FECH has recently been shipped to its new home in Wisconsin and the Hickey Family is excited to see Jim Swatosh get Eric’s creation flying again.