Buzzwick Airport (formally named Wickenheiser Airport) is a privately owned, public-use airport made available to the aviation community by the Noble Family, who have owned the property since 2011.
Wickenheiser Airport was started by a WWII P51 pilot, named Cletus Wickenheiser, who had deep ties to the local Carleton area. Cletus owned much of the property of the northwest corner of Labo and Grafton where the East-West runway was available starting in the 1950s. Wickenheiser Airport was formally named an FAA Public airport in 1972.
As Cletus aged into his 90s, he grew tired of mowing nearly 28 acres and was moving away from his flight status. In 2011, Mitch Noble purchased the 28 acres (encompassing the North-South runway) after a long search for a location to house his flight service, Buzzard Air. Mitch and Cletus developed a quick friendship over aviation and each other’s interest in WWII history. During many quiet evenings on his back porch, Cletus shared stories of his wartime experiences with the USAAC and the airport.
The Noble’s began developing the northside property at 400 E. Labo with a utility barn and outlined plans for Quonset style offices and hangars. Cletus expressed his interest in watching the airport develop into a business and joked about being the old man loitering around the front porch in the future.
On September 25, 2013, Cletus passed away at his home at 91 years old following the death of his beloved wife, Pauline. Cletus sold airplane rides out of the airport until he was 89 years old. He represented what has been called America’s “Greatest Generation.” He was also a devoutly religious man, a lifetime member of St. Patrick Catholic Church. He was a proud father of 10 children, many who still live in the local area.
Cletus Wickenheiser (far left)
What’s with the name?
Wickenheiser Airport name was active from 1956 until 2010. The new owners decided to change the airport name to represent the ownership change and toyed with possible names – all with the #1 priority in mind, a name to celebrate the history of the airport. From their many conversations, it was learned that Cletus’ wartime aviator call sign was “Wick”. Mitch knew he had to combine Wick somehow with his flight school name, Buzzard Air Service. After lots of debating, Buzzwick was created as a unique name connecting the future and past history. We admit this is an odd combination, however, it quickly began to roll off our tongues and leave a lasting impression on the community.