Flight 45 News
(Click photos to enlarge)
COPA 45 Members Receive HOPE AIR
Burt and Maria Hodgins received
the 2020 Spirit of Hope Award for Distinguished
Volunteers of the Year at the annual meeting of Hope
Air in late May.
These Goderich COPA Flight 45
members engaged other flying groups and recruited
other pilots to help with fundraising this past
summer in support of HOPE AIR , They participated in
the Give Hope Wings , The sault to Saguenay
Expedition in 2020 and hosted a fly-in barbecue in
their airport hangar. Burt also continues to fly
patients as a Hope Air volunteer pilot.
snapped this photo of the heart shaped cloud while
Burt was flying.
Hope Air is a national charity providing free air
travel and accommodations to Canadians who must
access medical care far from home. Since its
beginning in 1986, Hope Air has arranged for more
than 250,000 travel accommodations for patients
inclusive of age and medical needs. For families
living on a low income in rural and small
communities , distance and cost are significant
barriers to accessing life saving medical care in
Canada where our system is designed to give
universal healthcare to all. Many would simply
cancel their appointments. The pandemic has created
a greater demand on these services with job losses
making travel less affordable. Hoppe Air is
supported by commercial airlines providing seats,
volunteer pilots flying their own aircraft and Hope
Air purchasing needed travel arrangements and
accommodations for their patients from donations
received. Hodgins Hope Air barbecue raised over $7
000 for the charity.
we, under-the-wing campers, are a fairly self –sufficient
lot. Give us a patch of grass, out of the way of prop
blasts and heavy foot traffic, and we can entertain
ourselves indefinitely while at the same time endeavouring
to stay out of everyone’s way. Equipped with camp stoves,
tents and sleeping bags, we manage quite well but the two
things we do appreciate are: a toilet (a porta-potty
works) and a source of water - even an outside tap.
Nice-to-haves are nearby food outlets, walking paths to
explore and sites to see. Goderich has all this in spades.
I’ve always known the Goderich
area as a great place to camp. Growing up, Point Farms and
Benmiller Falls (before the camp ground was established)
were prime summer destinations. Some years later, a family
member had a seasonal trailer in the Maitland Valley
campground by the harbour. During one visit by car I had
spoken to an employee at the airport about camping on the
airfield. He was very enthusiastic and said it was
entirely possible. He even offered to make the terminal
washrooms available to us.
Life got in the way and
several years went by before a plan was finally put
together to make YGD a weekend flight destination. To
ensure we would still be well received, I contacted Fred
and Marilyn Bruinsma, COPA Flight 45 members, to see what
facilities might be available if we were to stay for a
weekend. Well, the response was immediate and welcoming.
They rolled out the red carpet providing helpful tips for
setting up on our arrival and background information on
the airport’s current status. We were especially
appreciative of the beautiful terminal building equipped
with WiFi for flight planning and checking weather.
was the COVID summer of 2020. We arrived on a Friday.
After refueling at the self-serve, we tied down and set up
tents in an area where the Bruinsmas had directed us. With
our creature comforts taken care of, our small group set
out the next morning to explore the surrounding area. The
first full day found us trekking south down Mill Rd.
toward the railway bridge. Enroute we marvelled at the
aged, five foot monuments along the west side of the road
almost certainly marking the boundaries of what we later
found out to be the 19th century ‘castle’ estate of Tiger
Dunlop which today is subdivided into appealingly shaded
residential properties. (Tiger Dunlop, an army surgeon
during the siege of Fort Erie in the War of 1812, made a
considerable mark in Upper Canada.) We marvelled at the
view up and down the Maitland River afforded from the 695’
long, former CPR bridge. During the early 1900s trains
carrying grain, salt and passengers left the CPR station
and the harbour, passing by the rail yard with its engine
house and turntable, before crossing the bridge and
climbing the grade up out of the Maitland River Valley
enroute to Guelph, over 100 miles to the east. Through the
efforts of many, the rail bed is now the bucolically
scenic Menesetung Hiking Trail. My favourite vantage point
is high up on the north side of the river valley looking
down toward the town and the harbour.
Lake water levels
along the Sifto Salt/Coast Guard pier were much higher
than I had remembered. I wondered whether it was within
normal seasonal variations or if it was a result of a more
It was a warm day and sustenance
was in order. Fortunately we were close to the Goderich
Harbour Restaurant – a restaurant unique in my experience
in that the transplanted Aussie proprietor offered an
array of gourmet salts for seasoning his fare –
appropriate given that the world’s largest salt mine
extends out under the lake a hundred yards away. An hour
later, our hunger and thirst satiated by an outdoor meal
of fish and chips and washed down with a cold beer, we
drifted on down to the beach area which offered expansive
views of the lake and outer harbour.
brimming with history. It was here that bodies of the crew
of the doomed freighter Wessex were blown ashore after the
great storm of November 1913. Eight other freighters
suffered a similar fate that day.
On climbing the bluff
to the oldest Canadian lighthouse on Lake Huron, we
stopped to catch our breath and a view of the lake again
before walking downtown and marvelling at the town square.
(In Goderich a circle is referred to as a square.) Its
recovery from the 2011 tornado is truly remarkable. The
hub-and-spoke street configuration has such an appeal that
I’d often wondered why other towns didn’t pattern
themselves after it.
It was time to walk back to YGD
before our energy levels flagged. We purchased take-out at
West Street Willy’s Eatery and carried it back to the club
house, eating it on the porch while watching the final
Papple Aviation sightseeing flights of the day taking off
and landing against the backdrop of a setting sun. An
elderly American pilot happened by for a chat. He was
driving, not flying. It turned out that he and his
Canadian wife were staying in a town down the Lake Huron
coast and as often happens when an airfield is nearby, he
stopped by to take in any activities that might be taking
The next morning found us eating brunch at
Flippin’ Eggs - a great meal … and right off the east end
of the runway. Afterward, our wanderings took us back
along the Menesetung Trail where we learned more about
Tiger Dunlop and the planned town of Gairbraid that he had
laid out along the old CPR rail line just north of
As luck would have it, a low from the
southwest dragged in some low cloud Sunday morning. All
things considered, we didn’t consider it a hardship to
stay one more day at the airfield known during WWII as
EFTS #12. (That would be British Commonwealth Air Training
Plan, Elementary Flying Training School #12.) It was easy
to imagine a fleet of Tiger Moths and Finches along the
flight line not far from where our tents were pitched. I
have a family link to wartime Goderich. My mother’s
cousin, Lorne Sleeth from Gravenhurst enlisted in July of
1942, rising through the ranks from Acey Deucy ultimately
to Flying Officer in RAF Squadron 158, piloting a Halifax
bomber on missions over Germany. His ab initio flight
training took place on this very field.
footnote: P/O Sleeth’s exit from a crippled Lancaster
bomber over Germany one night in September of 1943
resulted in fatal injuries. He died before help could
arrive and is buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
just outside of Kleves (of ‘Anne of Cleves’ fame),
Other alumni have brought well deserved
recognition to Goderich: Sergeant Pilot Instructor Herbert
Davidson who was present for the first days of EFTS #12
from October of 1940 until October, 1942 (and may have
been Lorne’s instructor) went on to captain CANSOs in the
Pacific; and war time student pilot, Andy Carswell, later
a Sergeant Pilot in command of a Lancaster bomber who
bailed out over Germany in 1941. The new Andrew Carswell
Veterans Home in Ottawa bears his name, and his book,
‘Over the Wire’ about his experiences - including over two
years in POW camps - is a must-read.
In early April, 2021 another pilot with Goderich roots,
Bill Pepplar, post-war Sky Harbour flight instructor and
Goderich Airport general manager passed away. Well known
for managing the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
(COPA) for almost four decades, he created the foremost
Canadian aviation ground school textbook, ‘From the Ground
I remember as a teenager marvelling at Lancaster
Bomber 213 in post-war Maritime Patrol livery, mounted on
its jack points just across from the present terminal
building. Then, in November, 1979 ‘213’ made a
life-changing flight from Goderich to the Canadian
Warplane Heritage Museum at Mount Hope Airport - wings
removed and slung under a Chinook helicopter. Now, that
very aircraft is one of only two - of over 7,000 produced
- in flying condition in the world. In fact, ‘Vera’ as
it’s now known, flew the Atlantic to join its sister ship
in a tour of the UK in 2014.
Monday morning was
departure time. Our take-off over the lake was breath
taking and we enjoyed fair skies all the way home to
As is our habit, the weekend involved a great
deal of walking. We would have made use of the bicycles
normally offered by the airport but COVID restrictions
temporarily suspended that option. Friends who had visited
a couple of weeks earlier had taken a reasonably priced
cab into town. They chose a downtown hotel instead of
roughing it on the field.
Goderich has much to explore.
Perhaps next summer we’ll reach the tipping point in
vaccinations, allowing restrictions on our activities to
be relaxed. During our next visit I hope to enjoy a brew
in a sit-down pub and an in-restaurant meal. The jail and
museum will also certainly be part of our next trip to the
‘Prettiest Town in Ontario’.
Hanover Flying Club hosted 2 barbecues on August 30 at
Hanover Airport (CYHS). Possibly 55 aircraft, including
a helicopter, and several cars were on display.
Everyone enjoyed tenderloin steaks or hamburgers on
fresh bakery buns with corn on the cob, salads, and
plenty of homemade deserts. Dedicated volunteers and
sponsors were able to feed the crowd at no charge. But
donations were encouraged to support Hope Air fly
patients in need of access to medical care. Hope Air is
a Canadian charity that provides travel and
accommodations for people in financial need who must get
medical care far from home.
Over $6700 was contributed by the crowd, enough to
provide 27 medical flights.
It was a pleasure to
welcome several Hope Air pilots that volunteer their
time and airplanes to fly the patients to treatment.
Other featured guests were Trillium Aviators,
Ontario Flying Farmers, Copa Flights 172, 45 & 177. As
well many members of the Interprovincial Air Tour,
general aviation friends and our local airport community
This event was made possible with the support of the
airport management, Hope Air, WestJet, COPA 54, and many
Photo credit: Edward Agnew, Walkerton
Trillium Aviators - Gore
July 27, 2020
The Gore Bay fly-out was another great success thanks to
all you Trillium Aviators who attended. Once again the
weather cooperated with very warm temperatures, great
visibilities, smooth flying conditions and light winds.
The ramp was packed full with airplanes so overflow
parking was along the hangar line. Right at noon I
counted 25 airplanes from our group and I know for sure
there were two more arrivals after that so let's call it
27 airplanes made the trip.
A highlight, especially for me personally, was that
a good friend from Vancouver BC Chris Cox and his wife
Joan showed up with another couple from Victoria BC.
Russ and Beth Popel in a pair of RV-7's. They were on a
work/vacation trip to Hornepayne On. (CYHN) to conduct
annual inspections on a pair of Beavers. Since Chris is
on my Trillium Aviators email list he knew about this
outing so they decided to join all of us at the Gore Bay
fly-out and to surprise me. I couldn't believe my eyes
when I saw them, what a surprise...
In setting up
this outing I was in contact with Robbie Colwel, airport
Mgr. Robbie was a great guy to deal with and made sure
that wash room facilities were available, picnic tables
were set up, he pumped gas and generally made us all
feel welcome. Robbie also gave us an overview of the
airport improvement and expansion project which will
include a brand new terminal building plus a lengthening
of RWY 05-23 from 2615ft. to 3500ft.
the drawing of the free oil change donated by Tri-City
Aero was held during lunch and the winner was Sylvia
Murphy C-FMUR. Congratulations!.
There will not
be a fly-out this week so the next one is on Thursday
Aug 6th. There are a couple of options next week, an
email will be sent later with location and other
Here is a link to the picture album
Manitoulin Expositor published an article this morning
about our Fly-Out to the Gore Bay airport last Saturday
here is a link to this article
There is also an article about us
in the August issue of COPA Flight starting on page 24.
The COPA article is from the Goderich outing on June
Alternate IPAT 2020
Arsenault and Marilyn Staig are the organizers of the
IPAT, the Interprovincial Air Tour. This year was
cancelled because of COVID19.
So Marilyn decided
that the were going to have a weekend away, only a
different IPAT. An email to the Farrells and Bruinsmas
telling us that they were flying into Goderich’s Sky
Harbour Airport for the weekend.
agreed to meet them and have lunch at COPA 45’s
After visiting and picture taking Lee
and Marilyn walked the GART (Goderich Auburn Railroad)
Trail into town. They stayed at the new Comfort Inn for
Saturday night. Sunday morning after breakfast they
walked along the trail taking the Sifto Loop to Mill
Road and across to the airport. There Fred and Marilyn
met there as they were ready to depart for Oshawa.
Burt and Maria Hodgins fly in for lunch that day and
also said goodbye to our IPAT leaders.
COPA 45 Captain Don Jones
and Brenda grew up in the Exeter Ontario area. After
graduating from the University of Guelph they moved to
the Niagara region where Don worked for John Deere
Welland Works. The Welland airport is where Don obtained
his pilot license in 1981.
In the early 1990's Don
and Brenda returned o Exeter and later settled in
Kincardine where he was employed by Ontario Power
Generation. We are both retired now and enjoy part time
farming, flying and cottage life.
and Brenda have 2 children. Ashley, a teacher in Guelph
and Fraser, an engineer with Honda Canada. They also
enjoy the company of 3 grandsons, Tait, Jacob and
Don flies a 1967 Cessna 172. The plane has
taken us as far west as Alberta, and east to New
Brunswick. Flying with the Interprovincial Air Tour has
allowed us to visit numerous airports throughout Ontario
and Quebec. Many area flights for the hundred dollar
Hamburg and breakfasts have resulted in many aviation
The " Trillium Aviators"
June 4th. 2020 was an absolutely perfect weather day for
this our first weekly Fly-Out of the season. Due to the
current restrictions we labeled this one a "social
distancing" brown bag lunch picnic outing.
Goderich's Sky Harbour Airport was the perfect choice
with half an acre of grassed area for our picnic style
lunch, social distancing was not a problem. The Goderich
Airport is a desirable destination as they offer self
serve fuel and other airside amenities and walking
distance to Flippin' Eggs Restaurant and the Sky Ranch
Pilots packed folding lawn chairs in their aircraft
for a seat to sit on while eating their lunch. Most
brought their own lunches but some chose to purchase
burgers and fries at the Sky Ranch Drive-In Restaurant
which is located adjacent to the aircraft parking. Of
course Ice cream for dessert was a given.
total of 16 airplanes crammed in the parking area near
the threshold of runway 28. There was an RV-4, RV 9A,
RV-10, a Cirrus, a Cessna 150, 172's, 182's and two
Cessna's on floats. What an impressive view from Highway
all comments from the pilots and passengers, they
thoroughly enjoyed this format of lawn chairs and brown
bag lunches. It certainly is different from the 2019
flying season where this group flew to various airport
where airside restaurants were available for a served
lunch. Last year we had 20 outings from May 16th to Oct.
10 and flew to Lindsay, Peterborough, Goderich, Hanover,
Orillia, Collingwood, Owen Sound, Wiarton and Killarney
for Herbert's famous fish n chips and more.
of the usual flying events in Ontario have been
cancelled this summer due to the Corona virus. This
first weekend in June was to be the Interprovincial Air
tour (IPAT) a 4 day tour of South Western Ontario
between Welland and Centralia with a play at the famous
'Canada Eh' dinner theatre to golf, a fly-out lunch and
a banquet at Grand Bend's Oakwood Inn. This tour was
cancelled but re-scheduled to go again in 2021.
The "Trillium Aviators" is a loosely organized group
of GA aircraft owners whose sole purpose is to fly our
airplanes on a weekly basis. What better way to than to
fly somewhere in central and SW'ern Ontario for a meal
and to meet new and old friends as well as fellow
aviators to share your best flying stories. The goal is
to fly to an airport with an restaurant generally within
100nm of the Kitchener Waterloo & Guelph area once a
week from mid May until the end of October. This is a
VFR weather only Fly-Out.
receiving some requests for a weekend Fly-Out lunch it
was decided to have the next Fly-Out on the weekend of
June 13-14. If successful these fly-outs will alternate
between a weekday and the weekend for the balance of the
summer, Thursday and Saturday will be the "default" days
but will likely move a day here and there due to weather
considerations. The "Trillium Aviators" will continue
these weekly outings to various airports on a weekly
basis with social distancing in mind as long as these
restrictions apply. Let us enjoy every good flying day
that Mother Nature gives us.
Submitted by Marilyn
Bruinsma and Ivan Kristensen.
Mayor Speaks to COPA 45
His Worship John Grace spoke to Goderich's COPA 45 at
their January meeting. He told us that council and staff
are in the process of developing a business profile
along with a strategic plan to develop Sky Harbour
Airport. He told us town council definitely supports the
airport. Presently several corporate jets are using
Goderich's airport because of the 5000 foot runway that
is here. Bruce Power is a important corporate company
that uses the airport often. With the development and
manufacture of the isotopes for cancer treatment at the
site, our airport will only become busier with air
The town has put several dollars into the
airport with cardlock fuel system and building. He asked
us what services we would like to attract here.
Suggestions were a satelite flight school and aircraft
mechanic. Both these services bring more air traffic to
the airport. It is great that our Mayor uses the airport
during the summer months to fly groups to the Old
Trading Post in Pickle Lake
While waiting for our
Mayor to arrive, newly chosen CAO Janice Hallahan
dropped in to wish us the best in2020 and a brief bio of
her personal and professional life. She and her family
have long and varied municipal careers. She will be
asset to our town. Congratulations on your new position
with Goderich from COPA 45. Gift baskets were presented
to both guests.
COPA 45 WELCOMES
May 31, 2019
On Friday May 31 COPA Flight
45 planned a welcome barbecue for the new company Glavin
Coatings and Refinishing who established its’ business
at Goderich’s Sky Harbour Airport in March. The company
experienced a devastating fire at the Hensall location
mid January in which much of the stock and partially
completed projects were lost.
The company began
41 years ago providing many different types of media
blasting and industrial coatings. Glavins moved to our
Parr Line location in 1998 and remained there until this
year when the fire forced relocation to the Goderich
airport. Besides work completed in our paint shop,
Glavins Coating and Refinishing paints bridges and other
large industrial projects. One project was painting a
redy-mix cement truck purchased from another company
into Miller’s (Lavis)colours of gold and brown. The
company has completed a bridge in Little Current, London
and other towns and cities both near and far. For some
projects the manager, Matt Glavin, rents local aircraft
to fly his staff and supplies to the destination.
Mid morning COPA 45 members flew in and parked their
aircraft on the apron in front of the clubhouse. There
was a Champ, Pietenpol, Cavalier, Cessna 140 and170,
Piper 140 and others. Even in the parking lot there was
a brand new 2019 red Chevy Corvette given to a member by
his wife for his birthday. Passerbys were stopping to
admire the aircraft and car.
Captain Mike Scott
welcomed everyone to the lunch. While the group was
enjoying delicious desserts, he introduced the local
dignitaries that were present. His Worship John Grace,
Mayor of the Town of Goderich thanked COPA 45 for the
opportunity to attend. He welcomed Galvin Coatings and
Refinishing to the airport and offered the town’s
support. Next to welcome this company was Glen McNeil,
Mayor of the municipality of Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh.
He too expressed his gratitude to attend this barbecue
and welcomed the new company to his area. The town owns
Sky Harbour Airport but it is located in ACW’s
jurisdiction. Lastly Chris Watson, pilot and economic
development officer for Huron County offer his
congratulations wishing Glavins a successful operation
and the county support.
After lunch, Glavins was
to complete its’ WHIMIS training. Some COPA 45 members
went a local flight as the weather was just great for
such an activity. What a way to finish a Friday
L-R Glen McNeil - Mayor of Ashfield Colborne and
Wawanosh Municipality Matt Glavin- owner of Glavin
Coatings and Refinishing John Grace - Mayor of Town of
Inspiring Women –
Lauren Bos is a girl that continually
inspires. At 20 she has achieved much in rural Huron County to inspire
other women. Throughout her time at school Lauren has been compassionate
towards other children and is someone who encourages and supports other
students to teach her goals.
When there is a task to accomplish
Lauren is the first to volunteer and organize an event. She commits to
the project until successfully completed.
At St. Anne’s she
enrolled in the high Skills Energy program. Building construction was
one course. She co-oped with Clinton’s Dykstra Construction. She was an
outstanding asset to the company. Lifting 4x8 sheets of drywall and
plywood were a struggle. She then chose electrical for a career. She
enrolled in Georgian College’s program graduating with 89% (only girl).
She has an apprenticeship with Shakespeare’s Hyde Electric.
She skates and coaches at the Clinton club.
She has also coached at Owen Sound when at college. When Mitchell was
desperately searching for a replacement coach, Lauren filled in. She
choreographed a carnival including costumes. She convinced a St. Anne’s
EA/skating coach to form a school figure skating team and helped to
organize the first interschool competition.
You can find Lauren
volunteering at Dungannon Tractor Pull and Fall Fair, Auburn Lion’s
breakfasts, Lucknow Music in the Fields, Goderich COPA 45. and many
activities in her church. For three years she competed in the Huron
County Plowing Match. This year she was one of the runners up. She also
competed in the Lucknow Fall Fair Ambassador competition and took home
She cares for the family farm of cattle and pigs,
helps with the house and younger sisters. Early mornings mean feeding
the cattle before a 1.25 hour drive to the job site. After her father’s
accident she came home from college to manage a barn of 4000 pigs.
On a plaque in her bedroom these words are written inside a cowgirl
boot “Give a girl the right pair of boots and she will conquer the
world” This so true of our Lauren.
Jacob Van Beets Our airport manager became a Canadian citizen on
Friday Feb. 22, 2019 in London ON.
Larry Fred Nelson Waldie,
away peacefully on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Stratford General
Hospital, Stratford in his 60th year. Larry was born in Stratford
Ontario, a son of the late Karl & Mae (Mogk) Waldie.
be missed by his beloved wife Sandy Waldie whom he married on April 10,
1982. Larry will be fondly remembered by his mother in law Flo and Steve
Sired, brothers and sisters-in-law; Glenn (Cheryl) Bristow, Kathy
(Shawn) Bonte, Andy (Brenda) Bristow, Laura Melton, Eric (Sheila) Sired,
Steven (Angie) Sired, Catherine (Scott) Grant and by their extended
families. Predeceased by his father-in-law Ray Bristow.
Larry was a longtime Member of the Ontario Flying
Farmers, the International Flying Farmers and a member of COPA 45 in
Goderich. Larry was a member of Zion United Church, Rostock.
Friends and relatives
are invited to the Mark Jutzi Funeral Home, 7 Spencer
Street, Milverton on Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 11
– 1 p.m. The funeral service will follow in the chapel
of the funeral home at 1:15 p.m. A spring interment to
take place in the Rostock United Cemetery, Rostock.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to Victoria
Hospital or the Stratford General Hospital would be
appreciated by the family.
Online condolences and
donation information available at
Click Photos to Enlarge
COPA 45 Fliers Attend 2018 IPAT
HERE for Photos
COPA 45 fliers attend 2018 IPAT
The 11th annual Interprovincial Air Tour (IPAT) was scheduled to begin in Orillia on Thursday, May 31st. Due to less than ideal weather forecasts with strong winds many of us elected to fly into Orillia on Wednesday afternoon. In fact 16 of the 49 aircraft on the Air Tour chose that option. Some pointed out it was no loss, but value added. That was the kind of attitude that carried our group through a challenging weekend. Our organizers, Lee and Marilyn, shuttled us in their car from the airport to the downtown Champlain Waterfront hotel. A beautiful refurbished hotel located on the water’s edge of the Lake St John. We filled the whole hotel for the IPAT participants. Next door was an excellent Irish sports bar where we could watch Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals begin the Stanley Cup series. Many of us chose to catch up on the happenings with our friends over the past few months. From COPA Flight 45 were Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Jim and Jane Farrell, Larry Waldie and Charles Riley.
Thursday did indeed arrive with a mixed bag of weather of low clouds and some rain. A few airplanes manage to arrive but many chose to drive. The Orillia restaurant, Tailwinds, served a terrific fresh pasta lunch in their soon to opened facilities. Marilyn presented a plaque to the airport manager Steve to denote our Air tour had been hosted by their city. Owner Clayton Smith has many improvements to the Orillia Rama Airport including the runway, mechanical shop, on site flight school, and restaurant. The terminal is outstanding with its decor of all things aviation and the great outdoors. Smith is a pilot of a float plane who hopes to make the area a new gateway to the North.
Friday the weather again was not the best for the trip to Arnprior. However all were able to make the trip arrive in time for lunch and the plaque presentation. Late Friday afternoon we boarded two buses that took us into downtown Ottawa for a dinner cruise on the Ottawa River. This was a wonderful outing with lots of laughs and good food and great friends.
Saturday turned out to be a fantastic weather day with blue skies and light winds. Many took advantage of the great weather and flew out to one of the three planned fly outs in the Eastern Ontario and Quebec area. Everyone returned back to the airport in time for a fabulous hangar party sponsored in part by the local COPA Flight 33. Again great food and good music and even a very talented magician showed up to entertain us. The Flight knocked it out of the park!
As our host, Marilyn, stated, “ the 11th annual IPAT took place May 30 – June 3. Many weather challenges but with a mix of planes, buses and cars we spent 2 days in Orillia and 2 days in Arnprior. It was a wonderful time gathering together with old and new friends.
Click for Photos
Air Tour – a.k.a. the Crosswind Tour
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
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
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
in Brockville – won by Gary Todd; Comp room in Oshawa – won by Larry
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)
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
Tour length 500 miles (+300 miles to get there & back home)
• 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.
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
July 12, 2017
Honouring Three Goderich Aviators -
Sept. 14, 2016
Intro at our monthly meeting:
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 -
Peter Chandler Jodel Dave Warr – Tri Z
Sid Bullen Gary Baxter-
Fred Bruinsma Cavalier Allan Chrysler Wag Aero Cuby
on Taylor Lambert to present a plaque to Isabel Sully.
Keith (Hoppy) Hopkinson
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 !
Armstrong’s EAA-C response at Oshkosh
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Modeller Darryl Carpenter welcomed everyone, acknowledged special guests and
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
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
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
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