Category Archives: Member News

President’s Column – February 2021

There were two board resignations in the month of January.  Mark Thibault resigned for personal reasons and Augie Rinz due to a job promotion requiring him to relocate to Ottawa.  I extend, on behalf of the board and the membership, a vote of thanks to them for their contribution to the club.  We are a club of volunteers and could not function without the work done by these two board members.  We wish them both all the best and point out that they will both continue on in the club as regular members.

Chris Palmer has been appointed by the board as Vice President and we welcome him to this position.  Chris will be a positive addition to the board of directors.  Secretarial duties will now be assumed by Kevin Lacroix who will act as both the secretary and treasurer. 

Nothing new to add to the COVID protocols which remain in effect for the foreseeable future.  Your continuing patience is appreciated as we work through the day-to-day challenges presented by it.

We will continue to promote flight safety in the coming months.  As it is clear that most aircraft accidents do not occur from stick and rudder issues, we believe that focusing on pilot decision making is where the emphasis should be placed.  The motto which best describes our goals is “safety through continuous learning”.  It was mentioned in my last newsletter that a series of seminars will be offered to our members and who are encouraged to participate in them.  Contact Warren Le Grice if you wish to be invited to attend the Webex based seminars (wlegrice@gmail.com).  An SMS (Safety Management System) program is being developed as well by the safety committee and this will help to further promote flight safety within our membership.

Good weather seems to be upon us and so we encourage our pilots to take advantage of the situation and do some flying.  Be safe and have fun.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

Why to be a member of the Airshow Society

First, let’s do some background explanation.  Until 2013, the only members of the Abbotsford International Airshow Society were the Directors. It had been that way ever since the society was first formed in 1966. It was formed originally for the specific purpose of putting on Canada’s Centennial Airshow in 1967, and it was expected to be wound up after that event. But instead, it was re-constituted a little and continued under the auspices of the AFC and Chapter 85 of the EAA. Then in 1969 it was re-constituted again after the EAA dropped out. From 1969 to 2017 the Board officially comprised 14 members of the AFC and 14 others. However, after the financial collapse at the end of 1997 there was rarely (if ever) a full set of non-AFC Directors, and there was no real mechanism to appoint them.  So in 2013 we addressed the problem by offering the possibility of membership to anyone interested.  The main target group were the hundreds of volunteers who put countless hours into the event every year, but who never really had a voice in its direction. They, as Members would then elect the non-AFC Directors, and could also stand to become Directors themselves. This served the dual purposes of establishing a mechanism to appoint Directors, while also giving the Members a voice in the Society’s direction. Around 140 new members signed up, and both purposes have been realized in practice. 

We also decided to create a Membership Committee and to provide direct member benefits, beyond the right to stand for election and the right to vote. Pre-2020 there were visits to aviation museums south of the border, a Member Challenge Coin, and various other events. At present, all members can collect a free custom-made airshow mug, and in January we had a great on-line event with Jodi Roeger. On Feb 18th there is another such event with Capt. Dan “Delouse” Deluce, the 2021 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team pilot. 

These direct benefits far outweigh the annual cost of dues. We set the dues at the nominal level of just $10/year, because the desire for members is not about collecting money. The membership program costs more than the total dues collected.  Ideally, we would like to see most volunteers become members, take an interest in how the Society runs, and consider becoming a Director. All Directors are now subject to term limits, so there is a need for a healthy turnover of Directors, who will bring in new ideas and impetus to the whole enterprise. 

The AFC was directly responsible for starting the airshow in 1962. It has always been a driving force in the direction, management, and operation of the airshow. We still directly appoint 3 out of the 11 total number of Directors. At present 4 of the 11 are AFC members. During the show, the AFC is completely responsible for the aircraft static displays and for the campground. In normal years, the AFC receives very significant income in return for this.  Many AFC members also volunteer in other essential roles, particularly the fencing teams. The AFC also runs the Broken Prop restaurant for campers, with all net proceeds being retained by the club. The mutual importance of the airshow to the AFC and vice versa is huge.  

AIAS membership is a natural choice for AFC members. 

The application form is at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a55baBwaVvPBHm4r8CSbhti7cuj0App0/view 

Steve Stewart
Chair AIAS

GHW 2021 Coast to Coast National Fundraiser

Dear 99s and AFC members,

Hope Air and the Expedition Captains have been hard at work planning our GHW 2021 Coast to Coast National Fundraiser and best adventure yet! All this information is on the website but here are the links for easy reference.

It’s going to be fun, but it’s also going to be work and very rewarding to fly any of the legs or even shorter routes within the legs.

Have a look to see how YOU can best help us raise awareness and funding for Hope Air while having a bucket list trip of a lifetime.

The current version of the GHW 2021 website  https://givehopewings.ca/2021-expedition
Brochure for Expedition Supporting Pilots https://givehopewings.ca/images/2021/Expedition_Supporting_Pilot_Opportunity-_GHW-2021-Oct_1_2020-V4.pdf
Brochure for VFC Volunteer Fight Crew  https://givehopewings.ca/images/2021/Volunteer_Flight_Crew_Opportunities-GHW-2021-Oct_1_2020-Final.pdf

Come join us June 2021!

Warmly,
~lise ash~

President’s Column – December 2020

There is enough bad news going around these days and I think we are entitled to some positive information as we navigate our way through the hurdles placed before us.

To our pilots who are finding ways to safely get in some flying time, congratulations.  Of course, right now it is limited to flying with family members only.  However, I am optimistic that there will be better times ahead.  

There are several ways to keep in touch with our aviation community through the various “zoom” meetings being hosted by club supporters.  Wednesday Dutch Lunch and TGIF, hosted by Devin Campbell, are available to all interested parties.  IMC meetings are also a good way to stay involved and to talk about the myriad of issues relating to flight safety.  Warren Le Grice hosts these meetings and would be happy to add you to his list of regular visitors. Contact Devin if you wish to be added to the list of invitees for either of these options (messenger@webex.com).

Someone once said they manage by “walking around”.  It’s amazing what you learn by doing so.  I discovered that there is an active community in our hangars which I wish I had known when I still had my Mooney.  The amateur-built aircraft guys have a lot to share and you would learn a lot by visiting them as they engage in plying their craft.  They are there most evenings but certainly on weekends.  See what they have to offer.

I am pleased to announce that the vacant SBS hangar slip has been walled off and leased out by YXX Hangars on a 90-day notice to vacate.  We are now receiving revenue from this lease that produced nothing in the past.

That’s all for now.  In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and keep positive when it seems such a challenge these days.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

Lise Ash is Giving Hope Wings

Give Hope Wings

The idea of circumnavigating the state of Alaska, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories in a single-engine aircraft is the last thing I imagined doing when I started working on my pilot’s licence five years ago.

The Give Hope Wings Northwest Expedition I joined was made up of eight pilots in three aircraft. We took off from Pitt Meadows on June 15th, 2019.  Over the next three-weeks we visited thirty-six remote towns and villages and raised $250,000 which funded one thousand flights for Canadian families in need.

Some of my highlights were:

  • – Virginia Falls: where we discovered waterfalls twice the height of Niagara’s.
  • – In Inuvialuktun, N.W.T.: the mayor Natasha presented each of us with an honorary Arctic Circle Certificate of Passage.
  • – Denali National Park: where we witnessed an avalanche for the first time.
  • – The day we flew out into the Bering Sea. We went as close to the Russian boarder as we

could—without causing an international incident. The snow-capped Siberian mountains were visible in the distance. Below us were two small islands, Little Diomede—in Alaska and Big Diomede—in Russia. Only 2.5 miles apart they straddle the dateline, creating a twenty-four-hour time difference.

While the expedition was an adventure it was the warm-hearted people I remember the most. In one remote outpost a radio operator shared her deep sadness over the sudden loss of her young nephew. She asked me for a hug. Deeply touched, I obliged.

Along the way we received countless words of thanks and appreciation from people who have used Hope Air’s services before. On our last night in the little town of Sandspit, on Moresby Island, a waitress wouldn’t take our money when she found out who we were and what we were doing. Her family and several friends had used Hope Air a number of times.

            All Canadians enjoy universal health care. However, many people living in remote communities cannot afford access to that care. Hope Air bridges the gap between home and hospital.

Give Hope Wings Coast to Coast 2021

Next June a fleet of fifty planes will fly across Canada—twice—and raise $1 Million as a part of the Give Hope Wings Coast to Coast Expedition. The money we raise will fund four thousand flights for families in need. This expedition will be broken up into three separate tours; Southern, Eastern, and Northern. You can fly one, or all of them, the choice is yours.

Hope Air’s services are always needed but have become especially necessary during the COVID-19 crisis. Mark your calendar and join the team now.

For more information feel free to contact me, or Hope Air directly –

https://give.hopeair.ca/campaign/give-hope-wings-canada-coast-to-coast-expedition-2021/c268173

Tailwinds,

Lise Ash

Lise Ash joining Give Hope Wings again!

Our very own Lise Ash is once again joining Give Hope Wings for another adventure.

In June 2021 there will be a coast to coast expedition. Please click this link for more details

https://givehopewings.ca/2021-expedition

Give Hope Wings Coast to Coast 2021

Give Hope Wings Coast to Coast 2021

CTV Toronto has uploaded the story about Lee & Marilyn and Hope Air/Give Hope Wings:

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/canadian-charity-provides-the-gift-of-flight-for-those-in-need-1.5124425

(TORONTO – August 6, 2020) A group of pilots is organizing a fundraiser to help Hope Air – a charity that provides free flights and accommodations to patients in financial need – by flying across Northern Ontario and Quebec this fall to raise thousands of dollars.

The Give Hope Wings expedition runs from September 30 to October 4 and aims to raise $100,000 to provide 400 flights to help people in need who must travel hours away for surgeries and appointments. Their expedition will also raise awareness for people in Northern Ontario and Quebec in need of help. Flights are especially important for patients who live in Northern Ontario and Quebec who would have to drive or take a bus for several hours each way to reach specialists. Last year, Hope Air provided more than 13,000 travel arrangements to help Canadians. To date, previous expeditions have raised a total of $770,000 to fund more than 3,000 flights.

For this third annual expedition, the pilots will take off in Burlington, fly to Sault Ste. Marie and then stop in Timmins and Sudbury. They will then fly east to Quebec City and across the Saguenay River. Hope Air will hold media events in Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Sudbury with social-distancing measures in place and local patients will be available for media to interview.

Lee Arsenault loves to fly over the skies of Ontario and volunteers with Hope Air to fly patients. He’s leading the pilots on this expedition to help others. “I remember flying a child in Sudbury that was five months old but only weighed 10 lbs. due to birth complications. I will never forget how appreciative this young mother was for a free flight. It is moments like this that make our missions flying patients so rewarding.”

“Thousands of families are helped every year through our work, and we want to continue and help even more people. This expedition is an opportunity for us to do so,” said Mark Rubinstein, the CEO of Hope Air.
Hope Air is also recruiting for additional pilots who are interested in joining the expedition. More information is available at givehopewings.ca. Those who are interested in donating can visit here.

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About Hope Air
Hope Air is Canada’s only national charity providing free travel and accommodations for Canadians in financial need who must access medical care far from home. Since its inception in 1986, Hope Air has provided more than 150,000 travel arrangements for patients regardless of age or medical need.

For people living on a low income in small and rural communities, distance and cost are very real barriers to them accessing vital medical care. Hope Air is a unique and essential part of our Canadian healthcare system. Without the access Hope Air provides, our national system of universal healthcare coverage would fall short of its promise. Hope Air has been chosen as one of Canada’s best 100 charities by Maclean’s magazine, MoneySense magazine and Charity Intelligence based on efficiency, transparency and need.

For more information, visit hopeair.ca.

About Give Hope Wings
Give Hope Wings is the largest volunteer-led fundraiser in Hope Air history. A squadron of pilots circumnavigates different parts of the world to raise money for Hope Air and support Canadian patients who have to travel for medical care. There have been two expeditions to date: the South American Tour in 2019 and North-West Expedition in 2019. Give Hope Wings has raised a total of $770,000, providing more than 3,000 Hope Air medical access flights to patients in financial need with free travel to medical care far from home.

COVID 19 Closure of AFC Clubhouse and facilities update

As we all know, COVID-19 is quite stubborn and persistent and the board has been evaluating re-opening the clubhouse and facilites on an ongoing monthly basis.

As of the last board meeting., the board of directors discussed the issue again and felt that due to the persistence of COVID and the inability of the AFC to ensure proper sanitisation during any kind of ongoing operations to reduce the transmission risk, the board is compelled to keep the clubhouse in the current status of only having the option of the washrooms and flight room being open and able to be used for club members.

There is only one exception to this, and that is for CASARA to use the entrance doors to the meeting room for their exercises. We have extensively discussed this with CASARA and Paul Monchamp and they EXTENSIVELY sanitise what they use and touch with demonstrated dilligence and only a select few of their members will be allowed in the clubhouse at any time.

There are also some resources to view for more information: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/Another good link is https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html