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Silvio Cavalier

Born in 1908, New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame member Silvio Cavalier (great granduncle to JAC member and Finance and Audit Committee Chair Matt Cavalier) was an aviation pioneer who flew everything from open-cockpit biplanes to the quad-jet DC-8. After earning his pilot license out of Teterboro Airport in 1929, he spent the next four years barnstorming in a Curtiss Jenny, providing flight instruction, and operating a sightseeing service during the summers in Ocean City, NJ.

It was at this point that, while employed by Reich Flying Service out of Roosevelt Field, Long Island, Cavalier became acquainted with co-worker Douglas Corrigan, who later became famous for his nonstop “wrong way” flight across the Atlantic. In 1933, Cavalier left Reich Flying Service for Atlantic City where he assumed management of Bader Field which had closed during the early years of the Great Depression. It was here that, after purchasing Douglas Corrigan’s open-cockpit J-5 Stearman from Reich Flying Service, Cavalier developed Cavalier Flying Service and Aerial Advertising; he towed some of the first banners to fly along the Jersey Shore, and banner planes have been a fixture at New Jersey beaches ever since.

After two years under Cavalier’s management, Bader Field was again a profitable operation and, in 1940, Cavalier left to fly as a commercial pilot with the bourgeoning Eastern Airlines. Cavalier quickly reached the position of Captain, and over the next 28 years with Eastern Airlines, he flew many of the classics of the Golden Age of Aviation including the DC-2, DC-3, C-47, Lockheed Constellation, DC-7, and DC-8. After retiring from Eastern Airlines, he retired to a 109-acre farm in Ringos, NJ and continued flying for another 38 years just for the fun of it. Silvio Cavalier was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 1986, and their research library bears his name.

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