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2017 Interprovincial Air Tour – a.k.a. the Crosswind Tour
June 2017

40 aircraft were registered for this year’s IPAT and so when Thursday June 1 dawned with sunny skies, all pilots headed to Elmhirst Resort CPS2 for the 10th annual air tour. Some landed at Peterborough (10 miles north) – to clear customs, to have lunch, or to get fuel. As the afternoon wore on, the wind increased to such an extent that 4 aircraft opted to tie down overnite at Peterborough rather than face the strong crosswind at Elmhirst. There are some interesting pictures of the aircraft landing on the beautifully manicured grass strip at Elmhirst. The staff and owners of Elmhirst were really welcoming and excited to see the aircraft arrive. After registration and getting settled into cottages, a scrumptious bbq buffet dinner was consumed and the registrants enjoyed an evening of sharing flying stories and getting caught up on events over the past winter months. During dinner, Carol Cooke reminisced over how the Interprovincial Air Tour came to be – 5 aircraft from North Bay and Timmins went on the Michigan Air Tour in 2006 and started thinking – we could do this in Ontario / Quebec – and as they say “the rest is history”.

Carol spent some time reviewing the registrations from previous years and was amazed to discover that 22 pilots had been on 8 or more of the 10 tours. These pilots were recognized with gift certificates from Aircraft Spruce (10 year) and Home Depot (8 and 9 year), as Carol and Ron thought the IPAT bank balance should continue to be kept at a minimal level and those who had contributed most should get some return of the unused contingency fund

10 year attendance: John Beimers; Fred/Marilyn Bruinsma; Marc Charron; Ron/Carol Cooke; Ron/ Sherry Dube
2 couples from Michigan registered for all 10 Tours – Dick/Nicki Acker; Nancy/Ron Walters –but fractured arm, parent having a stroke; flooded basement kept them home a couple years; Mike Woodley attended 8 tours
9 year attendance: John/Anne Donkers; Jim/Jane Farrell; Dave Frayne; Gary Grainger; Don Jones; Henri/Ginette Monnin; Lesley/Jeff Page; Adrian/Hortense Verburg.
8 year attendance: Steve Greenwell, Chris/Anne McCullough; Kevin Psutka; Larry Waldie

This year Aircraft Spruce donated 2 - $50 gift cards – won by Mike Ash and Bill Smith
Comp room in Brockville – won by Gary Todd; Comp room in Oshawa – won by Larry Waldie
To add to the excitement, poker hands were added this year. 2 cards drawn at Elmhirst, 1 at Brockville, and 2 at Oshawa. Steve McDowell big winner with 3 of a kind ($100); Jamie McCague second best hand with 2 pr ($75), and Bob Burns 3rd took home $50

Carol also announced that this would be her last year of organizing – after 10 years its time to get some other folks involved with their fresh ideas. Before dinner Jeff Page provided a detailed safety briefing, and because of the wet conditions at Morrisburg, it was decided aircraft would park totally on the pavement, and that we could probably only park 25 safely. The next morning dawned sunny and still windy and 24 aircraft flew into Morrisburg and walked over to Upper Canada Village. If you haven’t been – it’s well worth the visit. Heritage houses depict life as it was in 1860’s complete with working sawmill and grist mill. Then it was off to Brockville where the volunteers from the local COPA Flight, lead by Mike Bowen and Kent Wharton from Brock Air welcomed us and directed us to fuel and parking. Those that skipped Morrisburg had a leisurely departure from Elmhirst and enjoyed coffee and donuts in the Brockville Flying Club building while waiting for the rest to arrive. After the plaque presentation to Mayor Henderson, it was on the bus to the Comfort Inn and then down to the waterfront for dinner cruise of 1000 Island’s. Because of the recent flooding, our reserved boat was still in dry dock, but the smaller SeaFox 11 accommodated all 85 of us. Scenic boat cruises are always popular with the group, and this was no exception. It could have been warmer – but there were no bugs, and it wasn’t raining!!. Delicious catered dinner was enjoyed by all.

The next morning dawned sunny (3 days in a row – almost a record this spring!) so it was off to Oshawa for the last stop of this years IPAT. Airport Manager Steve Wilcox was on hand to personally welcome each pilot as they pulled into the parking spots reserved for the group. By 12:15 all were on buses heading to Parkdale Estate – the heritage museum where Sam McLaughlin (founder of McLaughlin Buick) lived. McLaughlin basically founded the City of Oshawa with the GM plant and the McLaughlin name is everywhere in the City. A scrumptious catered lunch – provided by the Oshawa Airport was enjoyed by all and we leisurely strolled through the gardens after lunch. The rest of the afternoon was on your own to visit the Automotive Museum, Art Gallery, or enjoy a brew in local pub. At 4:00 the first bus arrived at the hotel to take the group back to the airport – but to the other side where the 420 Wing is located. Tours of the tank museum and Tower tours which are both adjacent to the Wing had also been arranged. Thanks to Jeff and Lesley Page for making all these arrangements, as well as co-ordinating with the airport all the parking arrangements. A delicious pork roast dinner was cooked and served up by the Wing volunteers. Did I mention the desserts?? Homemade pumpkin pie, coconut cream pie, butter tarts – need I say more - - -

Meanwhile – Mother Nature decided our string of nice weather was over, and some looked at the Sunday forecast decided to head home Saturday. A few left Sat afternoon, a few more Sat evening after dinner. Sunday morning brought rain throughout much of the Province. The ceiling was reasonably high for some routes, so most departed (some IFR). A few rented cars to go home, and 5 participants spent Sunday night in Oshawa. Now the locals sprung into action –Lee Arsenault drove some to rental car facility, and the rest back to hotel; Jeff and Les Page had dinner with them on Sunday night; Paul Clark picked them up Monday and had lunch with them and delivered them to the airport where they departed for home – just a day late.

Now for some further stats that we used during the plaque presentations:
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF 10 INTERPROVINCIAL AIR TOURS (2008-2017)
• 40 cities visited in Ontario and Quebec – having lunch at airports; numerous boat excursions; scenic train rides, gold mine tours; ziplining, and much more
• 900 participants;
• 500 aircraft
• Average Tour length 500 miles (+300 miles to get there & back home)
TOTALS
• 500 hotel rooms ($110 x 10 years x 3 nights /tour) $165,000
• meals, buses, tours ($15,000 x 10 years) $150,000
• Fuel: 800 miles = 8 hrs @ 8 gal/hr =64 gal per a/c x 50 a/c
per yr x 10 yrs=32,000 gal =128,000 litres x $1.70 $217,600
Very conservative estimate $532,600

Caroline Elmhirst posted this article on their web site. It contains some nice photos.

http://www.elmhirst.ca/10th-annual-interprovincial-airtour-at-elmhirsts-resort/

I posted this link on the Facebook page.
Reminder, if you'd like to join the FB group, search for "Interprovincial Air Tour" in Facebook and ask to join


Honouring Three Goderich Aviators - Sept. 14, 2016

Intro at our monthly meeting:

Early last spring we were notified by Jack Dueck, from High River Alberta. He is the Chair of EAA-Canada. EAA wanted to honour posthumously Keith Hopkinson and Gus Chisholm for their efforts in establishing the homebuilt movement here in Goderich. Goderich, in the early fifties, was the centre of homebuilding activity outside of the United States. Marilyn and I went to Oshkosh this year to accept these 2 awards on behalf of their families.

Tonight we are here to honour 3 Goderich area aviation pioneers. Then as often the case is also now, the cost of a factory built aircraft did not fit into the family budget. So obtaining a set of plans, they used their own labour and skills. Hour by hour, week by week the projects ended up in several years of work. Ribs assembled onto the spars forming a wing. The fuselage welded together, controls installed, then hopefully a favorable inspection by Transport Canada. Or were they even inspected back then? Fabric stitched on, painting and registration marks attached, and the plane is ready to fly.

A few years ago at Oshkosh, at the EAA dinner, Paul Poberezny, who started the homebuilt movement in the U.S. and founder of EAA, was asked to speak on building his Baby Ace. He said and I quote “you take some 4130 tubing, weld it together, put some fabric on it and throw some paint at it. Finished”
To honour Keith and Gus with the completion of the first and second registered homebuilts in Canada, Paul, then President of EAA flew to Goderich to acknowledge this outstanding achievement in this sector of the aviation world.
Now we are here tonight to remember these 3 aviators that gave Goderich its’ rich history in aviation. They inspired others around here to begin this same journey. Some of those builders are here tonight.

Peter Verbeek Jodel Don Ross - Jodel
Peter Chandler Jodel Dave Warr – Tri Z
Sid Bullen Gary Baxter- KR2
Fred Bruinsma Cavalier Allan Chrysler Wag Aero Cuby

Now call on Taylor Lambert to present a plaque to Isabel Sully.

Keith (Hoppy) Hopkinson

60 some years ago is when it all began. In 1955 Keith (Hoppy) Hopkinson started a lifelong dream of building and flying his own aircraft. Since the Second World War no private aircraft had been manufactured in Canada; a result of the governments concern of military actions.

Keith was fascinated by a series of articles on building your own aircraft, published in Mechanics Illustrated, written by Paul Poberezny. Paul and a group of friends had begun an aviation club they called the Experimental Aircraft Association. As a result Keith used a set of plans designed by Ray Stitts of Flabob California called the Stitts SA-3A Playboy, and over the next eleven months Keith built C-FRAD (which he called "Little Hokey)", Keith modified the original design by using the nose cowl from a Piper J-3, the propeller spinner from a Cessna 170, wing struts from a Tiger Moth, landing gear from a Cessna 140 and wheel parts from a Stinson 108. It first flew in October 1955.

EAA's founding President Paul Poberezny and Keith spent countless hours persuading the Canadian Department of Transport to allow amateur (home built) aircraft to fly in Canada. Through their efforts they facilitated that registration process. Li'll Hokey is credited as being the first home built aircraft to fly in Canada since WWII. It currently resides in the Reserve Hangar at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
Keith passed away in a tragic aircraft accident in March 1964.

Where it all began !

Jim Armstrong’s EAA-C response at Oshkosh

About 80 years ago when I was this high, I was standing with my Dad on our farm nears Brussels ON. An engine sound was heard overhead. Dad said there’s someone riding in that machine. I thought ’that’s really neat’. That was the start of it for me. I found out later it was probably heading for Goderich, where the modern day Canadian homebuilding movement began.  In 1953 I obtained my private pilot training in Goderich around the time Keith Hopkinson and Gus Chisholm were building their airplanes. So I was lucky to benefit from their initiative. They inspired me to build my first Pietenpol AirCamper which I could legally fly when completed. I am also lucky my 3 sons and one daughter now all have their own airplanes that I helped them with. It has been a wonderful hobby. The family had had an annual Pietonpol get together for 21 years. We have no doubt helped get a few people interested in building their own airplanes.

I certainly appreciate getting this recognition, and especially at the same time as the 2 Goderich pioneer airmen. To whoever nominated me, Thanks. It gives me great satisfaction at this stage in my life.


Oshkosh 2016

The end of July is AirVenture at Oshkosh Wisconsin, the world’s largest air show. Oshkosh is all things airplanes and aviation. Each year rare, vintage, homebuilt and show planes come here to be judged. An Oshkosh award is very prestigious to have. New designs from companies are also launched here.

Pilots fly into the field to camp under the wing yet others fly in and camp in Camp Scholler or the Oshkosh dorms. Others drive either through Chicago or Sault Ste Marie. John and Marlene Black take the ferry across Lake Michigan with the camper and truck. A shorter more relaxing way to travel. Charlie Murray rode his motorcycle to Oshkosh. Once your campsite is set up either trailer or tent, it is time to see what Oshkosh 2016 has to offer. Programs are available to plan your day’s schedule.

This year the weather was hot. Most chose to shop the Fly Market early where selection is best but bargains best later in week. Mornings were busy with visiting the booths inside and outside the four hangars. Featured aircraft were showcased in the Shell Square. The ‘Women In Aviation’ photo was taken in front of an Alaska Airlines 737 Boering flown by a female crew. Tours through various aircraft took place here. Often you meet people you have not seen since last Oshkosh. It is like a family reunion. Other pavilions like the International Tent and the EAA-C tent are ‘must visits’. There are several lunch booths to have a cold drink, ice cream or brat.

Early afternoon is an opportunity to walk the various fields of aircraft, warbirds, vintage, homebuilts, and ultralights. Then time to relax, put your feet up in your lawn chair and watch the daily air show begin. There are parachute jumpers with the national anthem, spectacular aerobatics and a warbird show complete with bomb drops. On Wednesdays and Saturdays there is an evening air show with coloured lights on the wing tips and fireworks. The finale is the long wall of fire.

Evenings have many choices for dinner and entertainment. The Theatre in the Woods offers speakers and award ceremonies. There are banquets for COPA members, Young Eagles, Homebuilts, International visitors and more. There are many booths on the field from which to choose foreign fare, American food, burgers and more.

Special this year was the EAA-C breakfast in which Goderich area aviators Keith Hopkinson, Gus Chisholm (posthumously) and Jim Armstrong were honoured. Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma accepted Keith and Gus’ award. Jim Armstrong and family were there to see Jim receive his. Jim responded with a speech. OFF members John and Marlene Black took pictures of the plaques. Over coffee some spent time catching up on news since the air tours and other fly ins.

Departing the registration site and driving out onto Poberenzy Drive towards highway 41 leaves you with a saddened moment knowing that it will be at least another year before you see these grounds again loaded with aircraft, tents and trailers and many airplanes in the skies ready to land on the runways of Oshkosh.


COPA 26 Flies into Goderich Airport - July 16, 2016

The weather on Saturday July 16 was sunny with clear skies. A perfect day for COPA 26 to fly to Goderich for their weekly fly out. Every weekend, weather permitting, members of COPA 26 conduct flights to different destinations. Breakfast, lunch, a visit to an aviation museum at an airport away from home or a scenic flight over a picturesque landscape are often good reasons to keep the propellers turning and our piloting skills sharp. We have a fly out schedule where a different destination is assigned for every weekend. This past week’s fly out was to Goderich. This beautiful shore line of Lake Huron never gets old for pilots. The fly out culminated with a tasty breakfast at the Flippin’ Eggs restaurant located at the Goderich municipal Airport. Seven fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter carrying a combined total of sixteen aviation enthusiasts from COPA 26 touched down at CYGD at around 10 am.

Some COPA 45 members greeted the COPA 26 pilots and passengers from Waterloo International Airport (CYKF). Among the group was one of COPA National’s Directors, Phil Englishman, from Saugeen Airport in Hanover. Pilots enjoyed the fly out so much that some wanted to return to Goderich to hike or bike the trail from the airport on COPA 45’s bikes located in the terminal. Some wanted to bring their dogs and go to the beach. Again the bikes would take you down the trail, over the scenic Meneset bridge to the beach. Yes Goderich airport has much to offer including monthly gas draws for breakfast.

COPA 26 had a safe flight home and thanked COPA 45 for the warm hospitality they received here.
Luis Menezes ( on behalf of COPA 26)


Our Very First Garage Sale - July 2, 2016

COPA 45 and the Sky Harbour Modellers held their first ever garage sale on the Canada Day weekend in our new clubhouse. The weather was perfect. Several aircraft flew in not only for the breakfast at Flippin’ Eggs but also to attend our garage sale and BBQ. Members brought lots of excellent donations already priced or priced them with available stickers and labels at the clubhouse. The table were loaded with items both townsfolk and cottagers alike would want to purchase.

Early Saturday morning the tables were carried outside to the east side of the clubhouse which gave more visibility to the air and road traffic. As always there were the early birds looking for the best bargains. It was a steady stream of customers and lookers. Mid morning we fired up the BBQ’s in our pavilion now located beside the clubhouse on a pad of crushed stone. Pilots, their friends and club members enjoyed burgers and hot dogs for lunch. After lunch we brought the tables inside the clubhouse but people were still coming to check out the bargains. More sales were realized before we decided to stop selling. It was a very successful day for both clubs. It will be moeny for both groups to use for further events.


COPA Convention 2016 - June 24-25, 2016

COPA members look forward to attending their annual convention the last weekend of June somewhere in Canada. This year it was in Yarmouth NS. It is one event to attend the convention but another to fly there and home. Pilots left on varying days depending on weather and schedules for the Thursday Kitchen Party or Friday BBQ. Once the aircraft were fueled and parked, rides were provided by the transportation Committee to the hotel. This group even gave rides to various tourist stops that delegates wanted to visit. Sure saved the hassle of taxis and car rentals. Local waterfront restaurants allowed us to taste Maritime foods. Before and during the convention many of us toured the Acadian Shores. Point Forchu Lighthouse, Acadian village and Tusket boat cruise.

Thursday evening we experienced an Acadian Kitchen party with local foods served by Acadian dressed waitresses and music by an area band with step dancers. Friday was a day to tour the area ending with a BBQ at the airport with burgers, mussels, salads and desserts served to the hungry crowd. Tours were given of the control tower.

After Saturday’s breakfast, the annual general meeting (AGM) was held followed by an update of COPA’s activities in the past year. Wind turbines at Collingwood were the hot issue this year. Seminars by Magnes Insurance and CASARA Search and Rescue were also before lunch. At noon the awards luncheon saw Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma receiving an award for promoting aviation and Goderich’s airport. Retiring directors also received plaques. After lunch more seminars on aviation safety were held. A Maritime Feast of lobster and haddock with fresh strawberry crepes concluded the convention.

Sunday morning the local flying club hosted breakfast for departing pilots and passengers. We all enjoyed great Maritime hospitality and outstanding weather. Over 40 aircraft were parked on the tarmac of Yarmouth International Airport for the weekend.


Way Up North, North to Moosonee  - June 9, 2016

The lyrics, ‘Way up North’ from Johnny Horton’s song must have been on the minds of organizers Mike Geoffroy and Lloyd Richards. As Lloyd says, “This tour is a chance to showcase Northern Ontario, its’ towns and cities, and landscapes. It is not wilderness, log cabins and animals.” To us southerners we say, “Flying in this area is mainly trees, rocks and water and more trees, rocks and water”. The Northern Air Tour was created to allow the overflow of aircraft that could not be accommodated on the original Interprovincial Air Tour an opportunity to fly with a group of aircraft to new airports. This year the tour began at Timmins, home to both Lloyd and Mike, then north to Hearst overnight and further north to Moosonee and over to La Sabre, Quebec for a Saturday night rodeo. While in each town buses, tours and meals must be confirmed. Not an easy task with most aircraft dependent on fair weather for flying. It requires dedicated persons like Mike and Lloyd to plan the itinerary.

Bright blue skies on Thursday June 9th awaited 22 pilots to fly ‘way up north’ to Timmins with strong headwinds slowing the flight. North in Timmins we got out of our aircraft in just 4 degree temperatures. A receptionist told us that they had snow the day before but we were not to tell Mike. It was slightly chilly, windy but no black flies. As Lloyd says, “It is either cold, windy and no flies or warm, calm and flies. Take your pick!” When Larry Waldie arrived in shorts and sandals Mike mentioned to him, “This is not northern attire.” Shuttle vans took us to Cedar Meadows, a wilderness hotel. Once checked into our rooms, there was a wagon tour through the nature centre that surrounded the hotel. Moose, elk, deer and a big burly buffalo lumbered up to the wagon for food from us. Back at the hotel the bus was waiting to take us for a city tour and dinner. Again on the bus we toured around the gold mine and returned to the hotel for the night.

The weather on Friday was cool and windy. A weather briefing followed breakfast. The bus took us to the airport to get ready to fly ‘way up north’ to Hearst. Here students, teachers and parents watched us fly in, land, fuel, and tie down our aircraft. Hearst is 92% French. Lunch was in Commercial Aviation’s hangar where we were greeted by the Mayor, Airport Manager, press and radio personnel. Mike and others gave interviews to the news media. A bus took us to the Companion Hotel. Checked in, we toured the town. While walking the streets a young hairdresser came out asking us if we were the ones who came by air to the airport. She was so excited to meet us. We noticed the houses and buildings ‘way up north’ are built simpler, on less land and little landscaping. For dinner we walked to the Sawmill Marketplace. Inside was a loggers’ museum and large dining room. We were served a ‘loggers’ dinner on blue enamel dinnerware. This meal would satisfy loggers returning from the bush after a long day of felling trees and sawing logs. The day ended with our bus taking us to the award winning Loon Distillery inside the owner’s home. What an education on making your own liquors and wines. We tasted various vodkas and were able to purchase some. We all agreed he has a very understanding wife as few of us would want a still in our living rooms.

Saturday arrived with the trip ‘way up north’ to Moosonee a no-go due to low clouds, gusty winds and rain. While eating breakfast our hotel hosts were making plans for us. This is ‘way up north’ hospitality at its finest. Francine, Hearst’s economic development officer, agreed on her day off to open the tourist office for pictures, shopping and a tour of the adjacent green technology centre. Enroute to the Lecours Sawmill tour we stopped for lunch at our favourite fast food restaurants. An off-duty employee showed how logs are stripped, cut into boards and finished as lumber ‘way up north’. Much automation exists in this industry today. The tour guide showed us around the yard where stacks and stacks of lumber were ready for shipment by rail or truck. Lecours is the only independent sawmill in Ontario producing more than 100 million board feet of lumber annually. It employs more than 200 in summer and over 250 in the winter when logging the bush happens. Third generation owner Ben Lecours states, “His enterprise has implemented necessary changes over the years to ensure Lecours Lumber stays competitive”. Another excellent dinner at the hotel. Saturday night ‘way up north’ is Karaoke Night. Our James Bay group certainly did not miss this event. With great singing voices, Mike, Jim and Phil took the mics. We all enjoyed Saturday night ‘way up north’ in Hearst.

Our last morning, Sunday gave us no better news for flying ‘way up north’ to Moosonee and Moose Factory. Because of heavy rain, it was decided to scrap this northern flight. The weather favoured home with 45 to 50 NM tailwinds. We all arrived home in record time. As Stratford’s Larry Waldie said, “He has never seen his Cessna 172 SSJ fly so fast.” But we also decided that we would do a Moosonee tour later in the summer ending in Timmins for their monthly breakfast. COPA 45 members Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Jim and Jane Farrell, Steve Sirad and Larry Waldie experienced another great weekend of flying, food and fun ‘way up north’.


A Great Way to See Canada - May 26, 2016

Pilots know that a mile of highway will take you a mile but a mile of runway will take you anywhere. “It is a wonderful way to see Canada”, says Carole Cook, organizer of the Interprovincial Air Tour (IPAT). She along with husband Ron has organized all nine Air Tours. It is not small feat to plan a four day weekend for 50 some aircraft considering weather, meals, ground transportation and venues to visit while in each city. Jeff Page coordinates airport procedures and weather for each day. Each year the Air Tour alternates between Ontario and Quebec. This year an addition of a flight to Summerside PEI was added. The tour is so popular that it is booked within 24 hours of its’ release.

The purpose of the Air tour is to have pilots experience flying into airports in which they would not normally fly. It also shows the towns and cities that the Air Tour visits the value of their airports. Our group is dedicated to promoting local airports. If one or two aircraft fly into an airport, nobody thinks much of it but when 40 or more aircraft land it is a significant presence. Carol Cook says, “To many they think their airport is just for rich people or is a drain on the tax dollars. If you don’t have an airport, you lose the benefit of a lot of individuals visiting your area. Our aircraft are high octane engines for the local economy.” COPA Flight 45 members that participated were Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Jim and Jane Farrell, Don Jones, Chris McCullough and Ann Rock, Charles Riley and Larry Waldie. Many of us have been on all nine Air Tours.


The 2016 Air Tour began at Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Airport on Thursday, May26. Unfortunately due to weather many of the Huron County pilots and passengers had to leave Wednesday morning as a system of rain were to move in along the lakeshore early Thursday. Some stayed at Smith Falls and Peterborough and some flew to Ottawa. On Thursday the rest of the airplanes arrived, were fuelled and parked behind the museum. After registration our group then toured the Air and Space museum located on the airfield. The tour ended with a catered lunch in the museum’s theatre. Here the participants were officially welcomed by Carole Cook. She then introduced COPA’s new CEO and President, Bernard Gervais. On behalf of the Air Tour, Carole presented the first tour plaque to Bernard. It will hang in the COPA National office. Mid afternoon a bus arrived to take us downtown to the Lord Elgin Hotel where we were on our own to visit our capital’s restaurants and attractions. Several of us walked around the Parliament Buildings, the locks and other points of interest.


Friday began with a huge and delicious breakfast buffet followed by an updated the weather briefing. Two buses arrived at the hotel to transport us to Rockcliffe to depart for La Macaza. With our aircraft tied down we had a 45 minute bus ride to the Holiday Inn at Mont Treblant. Once checked in, lunch was in the restaurant. The afternoon was spent ziplining, mini golfing and riding the gondola. Many got together with their friends for dinner at any restaurant on the resort.


The next day Saturday began with breakfast and weather update. Checked out, we loaded two buses to take us back to La Macaza for the next leg of the Air Tour to Trois Rivieres. After lunch at the airport restaurant, Carole presented the second tour plaque to the airport manager. Back in the airplanes it was a short flight to Drummondville. Many fuelled here ready for departure home or Summerside. During refreshments Carole presented the last tour plaque to the deputy mayor and airport manager. We were told that the town, province and federal governments are putting 6 million dollars into the airport to bring more business and corporate jets along with airline travel. What an impact to their economy. The buses arrived to take us to the hotel. For the 21 aircraft going to Summerside, organizer Lee Arsenault, gave the latest information about weather, etc.


On the last day Sunday the weather looked good westward for those returning home but to the east for those going to Summerside, it was rain and more rain. Only 7 of the 21 aircraft were able to fly east to PEI. Lee like Carole had meticulously arranged live entertainment, a lobster dinner and coverage by CTV news, radio and press. Lee flew his Diamond aircraft home to PEI where he was raised. “It was a really good feeling,” he said.


Some of the aircraft waited until mid afternoon at Drummondville to make a decision whether to fly east or west. With little improvement in the weather to PEI we departed for home. Three of COPA 45 aircraft stayed overnight in Peterborough due to rain over the Lake Huron shoreline (again). Of course Monday morning dawned bright and sunny and all three aircraft arrived home at noon.


Another successful Air Tour in which all the aircraft were able to fly to all the airports listed on the 2016 tour. Again friendships were renewed, great restaurants enjoyed, tours taken and time seeing the sights and sound of the cities in which we were staying. Our name tags certainly let locals know there was a large of visitors from all over Ontario in town.


Goderich’s Sky Harbour Clubhouse Dedicated - May 11,2016

It was a very successful evening on May 11th 2016 when COPA Flight 45 and Sky Harbour Modellers dedicated their new clubhouse. The building was the former weather station at the Goderich airport.We planned to showcase our winter’s work. Local politicians, town staff and COPA Director Cheryl Marek were invited. Over 50 sat down for an evening of presentations and dinner.
Once tenants, we discussed and drew up plans for the clubhouse. A donated kitchen was the basis of the floor plan. Plywood painted gray completed the kitchen. Appliances, dishes, utensils, and cookware were added. The blue carpet stayed. Cleaning was all it needed. One washroom was eliminated to become a storage room. The electrical required much extra work to remove, trace and label wires ready for the panel. Plumbing was less work. It is a place for both groups to enjoy.
Modeller Darryl Carpenter welcomed everyone, acknowledged special guests and
mentioned items donated by local businesses. Politicians and our COPA director were introduced and given an opportunity to speak. COPA 45 member Marilyn Bruinsma introduced Eugene McGee who donated to Flight 45 a wooden propeller from a Sky Harbour Tiger Moth to Fred Bruinsma for the clubhouse. It was in appreciation of COPA 45 assisting him to move his collection of the war time Port Albert Navigation School from his home to the county museum in Goderich. Fred told the audience what the markings carved into the prop meant. Next COPA member Dan Stringer introduced Isabelle Sully who accepted a picture of Business Air Services’ Lear Jet landing at Sky Harbour airport on the 3500’ runway 10-28 with a chute deployed. Business Air Services was owned by her late husband Bruce A. Sully, also his initials. Her first husband, the late Keith Hopkinson (Hoppy) built the original hangar and established Sky Harbour Air Services following World War II. That building burned in October 1964. In the 80’s Bruce built BAS on the same foundation as the original hangar. Isabelle is certainly a large part of Sky Harbour’s aviation history.
Conversations continued over dinner. MAAC representative, Bill Fry, gave the concluding remarks. He commented that other MAAC (Model Aircraft Association of Canada) groups were looking at COPA 45 and Sky Harbour Modellers’ partnership and combined use of our airport facilities. We now have a bright building that can be used for many functions and events.


  Aviation Pioneer Passes- Gus Chisholm - Jan 2016

Known as Gus, Robert Angus Chisholm passed on January 27 at 89. His initials, RAC, was also the tail letters of his beloved Corben Baby Ace which he built and called ‘Bits and Pieces’. The aircraft was literally built from pieces Gus found or scronced. Gus spent 2 years 8 months and 15 days building the Baby Ace in his basement. But first, Gus helped his friend Keith Hopkinson build the Stits Playboy CF –RAD, which now is home in Canada’s Aviation Museum.

On August 3rd 1958, The Baby Ace flew its maiden flight with Hoppy (Keith Hopkinson) at the controls. The single seater, 826 lb Baby aced her performance. For Gus a special moment and dream had come true. As well, Paul and Audrey Poberezny (EAA President) flew to Goderich to see the plane take flight. The Stits Playboy and Baby Ace were the first 2 registered homebuilts in Canada. Best friends, Gus and Keith flew to many airports and the EAA Airshow in 1959 at Rockford, IL. Gus was very instrumental in establishing the homebuilt movement and in its’ continuing success.

After the war Gus came to Goderich and worked for many years at Sky Harbour Services where he earned his Air Engineer’s License. He also earned his private pilot’s license. A license he held for 62 years. Gus won many awards. In 1999 he also earned a COPA National Award of Merit for his contribution to aviation.
COPA Flight 45 hosted a “Come Where It All Began” weekend for the 50th anniversary of the Stits Playboy’s maiden flight in 1955. Pilots and friends came to celebrate Gus’ achievements at the 2005 banquet. In 2010 Brian Harrington flew Bits and Pieces to Oshkosh and in October Brian fondly flew the plane back to its original home, CYGD, where the local COPA Flight held a social afternoon to honour its builder. In his lifetime Gus owned several aircraft.

In later years Gus was often at the airport giving rides to children under the Young Eagles Program. He remembers the thrill of his first plane ride and wanted many to experience that same thrill.
Each year Gus and family would host a fly-in barbecue at his hangar. Son John said,” Many of us do only that, dream; but my Dad turned his dream into reality”.