Author Archives: Mark Thibault

Clubhouse gets some needed TLC from some helpful members.

It was a dark and stormy Saturday morning. The weather was so bad that not even the birds where flying.  So what should a pilot do?  A group of volunteers came out on Saturday morning (December 2, 2017) and had the first of several work parties.  We worked, talked and had some good laughs from 10:00 till around 13:00 with several of the volunteers coming and going throughout this time.  This party included general clean-up around the flight room, bar area, kitchen and the back storage area by the furnace room.  We also removed a faulty switch in the electrical room.  Smoke detectors were installed in the lounge, meeting room, and the kitchen. A couple guys looked at the ice maker and hot water tank and we will have a plumber come and do some adjustments to the hot water tank as well as help us temporarily relocate the ice maker while we fix some plumbing issues in the bar area.  A picture was hung up in the flight room that was donated to us earlier in the year.  A big thank you to the volunteers who came out on Saturday morning.  They consisted of Chris Palmer, Richard Bauch, Clark Closkey, Warren LeGrice, Andy Halichuck, Ken Campbell, Devin Campbell (and his 2 children), Randy Kelly, Duncan Poynton and Bob Bryan.  Also thank you to Warren and Ken for bringing donuts. This won’t be the last of the work parties.  There will be another towards the end of March when the weather improves where we will be focusing on the outside of the building.

History of Okanagan Helicopters shared at the club.

At the November 8th general meeting, the club was treated to an excellent presentation on the history of Okanagan Helicopters by Douglas M. Grant (middle in picture below) in support of his new book titled “Vertical Horizons: The History of Okanagan Helicopters”.  Thanks again, Douglas!

Definitely check out Douglas’ book as it captures the story in great detail and is an interesting read.

Another Interesting 2-Seater

Zenith CH 750 Cruzer

Category: Amateur-built normal.
Builder: Amateur or ready-to-fly built by professionals (licensed shop).
Cost: $80k used, $125k new
Construction: All-metal
Engine: 100hp Rotax 912uls (5gph) or 912is (4gph). Other options avail (e.g. UL 350is).
Cruise speed: 118mph
Takeoff Roll / Landing Roll: 350ft
Climb: 1200ft/m
Useful load: 660lbs (@ 1440lbs gross).
Cockpit width: 50in (with bubble doors, 42in without).
Seats: sliding and adjustable
Flight Controls: Central Y-stick for easy ingress/egress. Dual sticks an option.
Fuel capacity: 30gal

Click here or the picture below for more detail.

Strategic Planning Committee – 2017-10-16

Strategic Planning Committe

Minutes of Meeting October 16th 2017

Attendance: Chris Palmer (Chair and recorder), Millie Watson, Ruth Wiebe, Steve Stewart, Devin

Meeting convened at 7.30pm, and addressed the formulation of a Vision for the future of the Club in 5 , 10 and more years ahead, and focussed on four principal elements: Membership, Clubhouse, Hangars, and Airplanes.

Reference was made to the discussions and conclusions of the three previous meetings, and to the contributions received from the club website discussion group. These minutes shall constitute the final report of this committee, and as such will be forwarded to the Board as per their request.


The majority of opinions favoured a continued steady growth of membership from the present number of about 120 to between 150 to 200, which is considered to be about the maximum number which our existing clubhouse facilities could accommodate. There have been many suggestions as to how the club can ensure a high level of involvement of the members in the multitude of volunteering opportunities, both in the day to day running of the club, and also in the many activities such as Airshow, First Flights for Kids, Wings and Wheels, and social gatherings. Such measures as emphasizing the role of sponsorship, discounts for volunteers, and more open recognition of contributions by members , not only in the more glamorous, but also the mundane aspects of making the club function.


The recent building inspection report has been reassuring about the immediate and short term viability of the clubhouse structure, while identifying 23 items of maintenance and repair which deserve attention. Most are minor and could be fixed by in-house expertise, but the re-tarring of the flat areas of the roof will require a skilled contractor and will be comparatively costly. Thus, in the short term, we envisage being able to occupy and maintain the clubhouse, although it has been suggested that we start a building contingency fund which will provide funds for eventual relocation or major structural modifications. The ideal would be to one day be able to afford a new building with freehold tenure or long term leasehold. This is not an affordable option at present.


The inspired initiative to build airplane hangars for rental income could be repeated, with appropriate approval of the Airport, and could even incorporate a clubhouse facility. Properly managed, such a project could yield an additional income stream, or even capital funds for future development, ( clubhouse, airplanes, etc)


There will be endless debate on the question of affordability of a third airplane, but given the findings of the excellent recent report from the Finance committee in analysing in detail aircraft utilisation patterns this committee believes that the club should immediately resume the search for an affordable to operate, two-seater airplane, which could satisfy the demonstrated demand. Such an airplane would be more modern, newer, and therefore cheaper to maintain and operate. It should be made available to members for limited daily or overnight bookings only. A non-certified aircraft could be an option, but all maintenance and repairs should be supervised by a fully certified A.M.E. In the short-term, another IFR or more complex airplane is not seen as appropriate, although if demand for this increases it could be re-considered in the future. Considerable interest has been expressed in an Amateur Built project by a resurrection the the club’s EAA Chapter, with the possibility of co-operation with the UCFV using their workshop facilities.

There is a diversity of opinions in all areas of discussion, but this committee has formulated this Vision for the short and medium term future of the club, with some aspirations for the longer term, and some suggested strategies for reaching these goals

This report will be presented to the Board of Directors for their consideration and implementation as they deem appropriate.

I would like to thank the many members who have contributed to this exercise, both by attending meetings and by website discussion, and also by personal communication. It has been very gratifying to experience the high degree of commitment and concern for the future of our cherished flying club.

The meeting adjourned at 8.45 pm, and the committee was dissolved.

Chris Palmer, Chairman.

Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter Flies Again

The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s Boeing C-97 flies again. Amazing to see all four P&W R-4360 engines and their collective 112 cylinders moving this magnificent machine through the air.

The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was Boeing’s last piston-powered design and implemented as the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser airliner, it was the end of an era as jets became the wave of the future.