Category Archives: Club News

Celebrating $250,000 raised and 1000 medical flights for Hope Air¹s Give Hope Wings 3 week NW Expedition

Thank you family and friends, YOU helped get this DONE!

Asking people to give towards a cause they may not be familiar with, and who already give so much, to open up their pocketbooks, and give again for something that is on our radar, is pushing my comfort limit.

BUT……YOU……all said yes to helping this Canadian NGO, Hope Air, help Canadians fly to their medical appointments & treatments who are from rural areas.

I am so thankful to have met a few of these courageous individuals on this trip who have used Hope Air in their times of need. Many of them would not have gone through with their treatments had they not been able to fly to and from their faraway homes.

I’ve been blessed to have expanded my wings….literally…on this Adventure, and want to thank all those cheering leaders who said yes, you can do this Lise. It was really a “personal best” for me!

Photo credits to Bob Leroux, fellow aviator and friend from the Abbotsford Flying Club.

Bob & his wife Val, came out to capture Hope Air’s GHW in Pitt Meadows both on June 2nd and upon our memorable return July 5th. Thank you Bob.

Airport Day June 2nd

  • Dave McElroy: Chief Pilot Wings 1 RV6 & Coordinator of 2019 NW Expedition
  • Rani Tolton: GHW Volunteer Flight Crew, Leg One
  • Steven Drinkwater: Wings 3, Chief Pilot C140
  • Lise Ash: Title Sponsor & PIC Wings 1 RV6
  • Ian Porter: Wings 2, Chief Pilot Pipistrel Virus

My total gear for 3 weeks away. No high heels in this packing job.

Title Sponsor Langley Sportsplex

 My rudder extensions, a full 5 1/2”

My family, cheering leaders, send off and welcoming committee.

Quilt on the arrival back.

1st picture taken by Bob as Dave slid back the canopy and we officially completed the mission safe & sound at 3:10 pm July 5th.

Cheering Leaders!

Thank YOU again.

I am working on a short Power Point presentation highlighting some key moments, so watch for it coming soon.

Preparing the Fly In Camping Area

On Saturday July 13 Ed Boon, Tom Grozier, Ruth Wiebe and Adrian gathered in the AFC lounge for coffee and muffins, supplied by Ruth.

After that we met Steve Stewart and got onto the airfield east of Sequoia Helicopters. This is the area for the new home of aircraft parking this year.

Ed, Steve and I marked the low spots on the field with cones and Tom with his John Deere dug into the pile of crush dust, supplied by Gerry Crapo, to dump and spread it onto the low spots. A full day of hard labour was accomplished in two hours.

Notes from our Past – 1969

Notes from our Past – 1969

1969 was an important year for aerospace, aviation, the AFC and the Airshow.

By Steve Stewart

For AFC and AIAS, the year started in January with the AFC buying-out the EAA Chapter 85 half-interest in the Airshow, which left the AFC as sole sponsor. From then on, the AFC had full responsibility for producing the show every year for almost three decades. The relationship with EAA Ch85 had started in 1964, and had worked well, but by 1968 there was serious conflict, and a parting of ways was the mutually agreed solution.

The maiden flight of the Boeing 747 was in February. This was an aircraft destined to utterly transform the business of air travel, by making it more accessible than could possibly have been imagined at that time. A 747 in Pan Am livery came to the Airshow in August that year and performed a series of low passes along runway 18-36; which would have also involved climb outs and approaches directly over Clearbrook.

A much briefer flash of achievement was the Tupolev 144, the Russian SST. It actually first flew late in 1968, but it had a series of technical problems, and a crash at the Paris Airshow in 1973; and its time in service was short. However, early in 1969 the Airshow society sent a message of congratulation to Moscow, along with an invitation to attend the show. (In fact, the Russians were invited every year from 1965 onward.) The Tu144 did not come to the show, but Mr. Vassili Myshkov, Head of the Soviet Trade Representation in Ottawa did attend, and at the Airshow Banquet on August 7 th , he presented a model of the Tu144 to the AFC and AIAS. That model is still on display over the bar in the AFC lounge.

The1969 airshow was opened on Friday August 8 th by Prime Minister P.E. Trudeau. He was scheduled to speak at 12:50, followed by a fly-past CF5 demonstration at 13:00. They came thundering in at precisely 13:00 – dead on time. Pierre was still talking and had been unaware of their near-silent approach from the west at over 400 mph. When the noise died down, he was heard to mutter “I guess I might as well shut up and sit down”.

The next display was the Boeing 747 in Pan Am livery, and it was followed by a display by two Mini- Mustangs, one red, flown by John Spronk and one black, flown by Scott Nelskog of Edmunds Wa. It resulted in the only fatality in the history of the airshow. After passing each other midfield at high speed and 50 feet altitude, both aircraft climbed out and started snap rolls to the right. Scotty was travelling south, and two thirds into the roll his nose dropped. Only instantaneous correction could have saved him. He hit the runway in a vertical dive and was killed. There were suggestions that lingering wake turbulence from the 747 had been to blame, but this possibility was dismissed by the technical investigation on the basis of compelling evidence. Scotty had a total 618 hours of flying time, including 62 hours on type, but he was relatively inexperienced with aerobatics, having only 12 hours total aerobatic time, including just three hours on type. It appeared that this was his first attempt at low-level aerobatics. The investigation concluded that “.. the pilot in all probability became momentarily confused while inverted and reversed the required control column movement
while attempting to bring the nose up during the roll.” The coroner’s report did not attach blame to any person. The DoT had asked the accident investigator if there were any problems that might be eliminated in future, and he responded with a recommendation that there was scope for more positive control of safety by requiring that pilots performing low level aerobatic manouevres at airshows should be required to demonstrate competence before a Civil Aviation Inspector.

News in brief

Zoltan is the first club member to successfully finish his check ride in our Glastar. Congratulations.

He said he loves the plane!

Ken McKeen in action this morning pruning the tree in front of our clubhouse

With CGGMA out of commission, we flew a three ship formation over the Canada Day Parade parade this morning, as was requested by the Abbotsford Airshow. Rene flew lead in his Pacer, Bevan was on the right wing in his RV7A and Dave Wall was on the left wing in his Q2

Wings and Wheels 2019

Dear Wings and Wheels Volunteers,

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you – this year our Wings and Wheels event went off quite well!  Despite the rain and the fact that the “Fly-In” was more of a “Taxi-In” your high spirits, welcoming hearts and “can-do” attitudes turned it into a fun, cozy and smooth-running event!  We provided a safe and secure place for the wings and the wheels, a hearty breakfast for fifty three guests and some enchanting entertainment.

There are just too many people to mention – and I’m terrible at remembering, so please forgive any of my memory lapses.  Firstly, I’d like to express a special thank you to Ed Boon.  Despite wanting to hand off the Wings and Wheels event two years ago, he’s put in a great effort and made things work.  We had lots of great help from Ruth, Steve, Mark and Lorenzo on the preparation and setup in the weeks leading up to the event.  Holes were filled, fences erected, stages set up, critical equipment secured – not to mention the planning, marketing and other thinking that went into the endeavor.  On the day before Wings and Wheels there was a huge set up effort.  During the event itself, one of my secret activities (while the eggs are cooking away) is to step back and observe the hum of activity that goes on while we’re hosting an event.  It’s spectacular!  I saw Murray, Jan, Barb and Val buzzing away in the kitchen and the dining area.  Clark was handing out sausages with Val helping.  Murray presided over the settings, making sure that condiments, juices and syrup kept flowing.  Meanwhile, in the kitchens, Bob ran the cooking operation with an eagle eye and a ready laugh to keep people encouraged.  Bob Leroux and Adrian were everywhere, snapping photos and documenting the action!  The hardcore troopers, Aug and Kevin were out on the field directing the vehicles and aircraft into position – it was cold and wet work on this rainy May day!  Inside, Dirk and his wife Susan took money, sold tickets and kept a tally on incoming customers.  I heard many positive comments from the Mayor and his graceful wife, Velma about the caliber of our club – in particular it’s members; they said we represent the spirit of welcome and adventure that embodies the Abbotsford Community.

Pictures of the event can bee seen on the AFC Facebook page here.

 

Overall it was a great day – and it was thanks to the skill, dedication and hard work put on by our volunteers.  Thanks to you all!

Hangar Repaving Project

This past month you will have seen that we have new hangar paving done on the taxiways leading to the AFC hangars as well as the X Friesen hangars. This was a huge project that was led by the YXX Hangar Rental folks, led by Steve Stewart and Kevin Mickleby which was assisted by Janet Martens. This is the result of alot of hard work by these three and the results speak for themselves. This project could not have been done without the grant from the British Columbia Air Access Program, which we are grateful for.

Once the tenders went out and the supplier identified and contracted to do the work. Firstly engineering took place to establish the current state and then the real work began by doing some work to improve the drainage and then ripping up the old pavement and levelling out the foundation layer first in the soil and then a bed of gravel being accurately laid down. It was discovered that some of the pavement was only a few inches thick in some spots, especially in the older paved areas and then improving slightly for the newer sections. Needless to say that the new paving is not only supported properly by high quality gravel but also with proper thickness asphalt paving.

Many thanks to those who submitted photos! More photos can be seen on the AFC Facebook photo gallery under “Photos”

Temporary parking for aircraft while the project is on

Pulling up the old paving

Reworking the foundation bed

Drainage improvements

Drainage with gravel and piping

Laying down the gravel bed

Lineup of trucks

Paving work

Laying down the asphalt

Fresh Asphalt. No lines yet

Paving complete with new centre line painting

Paul Monchamp repositioning aircraft

All done

 

Millie Watson Recognised by the Airshow Society

At the Members’ event on Saturday May 4th, Millie Watson was presented with a personalized Abbotsford International Airshow jacket.

Millie Watson wearing her new jacket and standing in front of B25 ‘Grumpy’ of the Historic Flight Foundation

After the 1963 show, ‘In keeping with its Constitution, the AFC gave a donation to the Mission City Cadet Squadron to assist in the building of a glider. The club also provided a scholarship to enable a member of the Abbotsford Air Rangers to take a Private Pilot’s Course. This scholarship was awarded to Miss Millie Watson of Mission City.’ ‘No one is more delighted than Mrs.H.Tarasenko captain of the Abbotsford Air Rangers. “It is a wonderful thing the Abbotsford Flying Club is doing” she told The News. “Not only is the club granting this flying scholarship but also instructing three other Abbotsford girls in the ground course. This should enable them to get their Leading Air Ranger badges”.’  Girls taking part in the ground school were Pat Warwick, Myrna Kvist and Valerie Carter.  Millie joined the Rangers in September 1963, and there were 10 girls in the group

When this picture was taken, Millie had logged five hours flying. She had started training on February 1st 1964

Millie completed the requirements for her licence in just 35 hours (which was the minimum required at that time), plus 20 hours of ground school.

Mildred Watson (second from right) took her Air Ranger friends Diane Cherry, Donna Taylor and Susan Small for a ride when she made her first passenger flight. Looking on is Tony Cosgrove, her instructor.

She then joined the AFC and has been a Member ever since, being made a Life Member in 2001?  As well as being an airshow volunteer, Millie also became the airshow’s very first employee. She had arranged to spend the summer of 1964 working at Eatons, but then the air show committee asked for her help and offered to match the pay she had expected from Eatons. Her main work was to book hotel rooms by phone, from one end of the valley to the other, and so far away as Victoria. She continues to volunteer with the airshow, and is currently the official Archivist for both the AFC and AIAS

Lighting upgrade on the Patio and gas line upgrade

Keith Barnett upgraded and fixed the outdoor gas BBQ line on the patio. Now we can connect two Barbecues to it. Keith will also convert the orifice if needed.  First class!

Old line for single BBQ

New double BBQ line connection

Ton DuCrocq upgraded the box above the patio entrance and installed a light fixture. He also upgraded all the wall outlets on the patio. Ken also worked hard on this too.

Thanks Ton and Ken!

Ton installing the light fixture mount

Job done

Ken installing fixture on the patio

Pool tournament winners

Robbie and Kevin Lacroix defeated team Chris Palmer and Murray Webb in the third and final game. It ended up in a nail biter when Murray sank the eight ball and the cue ball in the same shot.

The trophy was handed out by last year’s winners, Bevan Tomm and Richard Bauch.

Your winners! Robbie and Kevin!

Airshow History Project

Airshow History Project
Some Members will be aware of the stone cairn outside the airport manager’s office at the terminal building. On it is a plaque which designates Abbotsford as Canada’s National Air Show. It was placed there in 1970 by Prime Minister P.E.Trudeau, and beneath the cairn there is a time capsule.
The time capsule is set to be opened after fifty years – which is next year, 2020. As yet we don’t know what sort of events will surround this, we don’t know what is in the time capsule, and we don’t know who will open it. Maybe it will be Justin Trudeau.
Thinking of this fiftieth anniversary of being Canada’s National Air Show made us realise the need for a concise history of the airshow since it began. And what better time than now to start the task. Our immediate plan is for a relatively compact book which lays out the timelines, developments and course of the main events, and which also highlights a selection of significant and memorable aspects of what the airshow has meant to those involved, whether as organisers, participants or spectators.
We have already started on the period 1962 to 1969, but our material is sparse. We need documentary material in particular – minutes and notes from meetings, organisational charts, memos, lists of performers and displays, timetables of events.  Some of this we already have, from the AIAS archives, but there are large gaps. There is very, very little material for the shows up to 1966 because the airshow society was only formed in order to make the 1967 show a Centennial event. So we need all the help we can get. Anything might help. We realise that some material is of value
as personal memorabilia – this can be copied and returned.
Any personal reminiscences will also be of interest.
At the moment our focus is on the 1960s. We will be asking for more recent material as we progress.
Please contact Millie Watson (Archivist for AFC and AIAS) or Steve Stewart (Chair of AIAS)