Category Archives: Club News

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)

Wayne Cave receives flight instructor safety award.

Wayne Cave receives flight instructor safety award.

Wayne Cave of Chinook Helicopters, Fixed wing division received the 2018 David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award. Organizers of the award explain Cave, who has been an aviator since the age of 17, quickly found a passion for flight instruction. His 14 year tenure with Coastal Pacific Aviation, explains the award organizers, enabled Cave to develop a variety of post-secondary Curricula for aviation programs.
For more than a decade, Cave has greatly influenced the safety training for a large portion of the pilots who have trained in Abbotsford, BC, where Chinook Helicopters is based. Cave started up the fixed-wing division for Chinook Helicopters. Cave holds an Airline Transport Pilots license and Class 2 instructor rating as well as multi-engine and IFR ratings.

Girls Fly Too postponed until October 5-6

VANCOUVER, BC- February 24, 2019-It is with deep regret that due to unforeseen circumstances outside of our control we must postpone The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! 2019 event until after the BC wildfire season. The good news is that the new date coincides with the week of International Day of the Girl, a Canadian-driven UN observance, on Oct. 5 – 6, 2019.

As many of you know, we outgrew the largest available hangar four years ago. Since then our event has been graciously hosted by BC Wildfire Services at the Air Tanker Base at the Abbotsford International Airport.

Unfortunately, due to a second year of extreme wildfires and flooding in 2018, some of the essential resources we need to run the event are not available to us as they normally would be.  Despite heroic efforts on the part of many, we were unable to secure replacement resources in time to meet the planned dates of March 9 – 10, 2019.

It takes significant time, money and resources contributed by many agency, industry, education and community partners as well as the dedication of hundreds of volunteers to provide a free event of this nature for thousands of participants. We decided it was in the best interests of all concerned to postpone the event until such time as we have sufficient resources available to provide the kind of incredible event that we have become known for.

We realize this may come as a considerable disappointment for many of you, particularly those girls and women who have been looking forward to enjoying their first flight in a helicopter – free! Rest assured that in just a few short months you will still be able enjoy this, and many other amazing opportunities at our free event.  NASA Astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper has confirmed she will be there for both days on Oct. 5 – 6, 2019.

For those of you that have already been successful in booking your flights, we are happy to transfer your flight to the same day and time on the new weekend of Oct. 5 – 6. Over the next few weeks we will be sending out emails to confirm this with you. We will also have more time to run regular social media challenges in advance of the event!

For those of you that have volunteered with us, we will be reaching out to you shortly to confirm your availability for the new dates.

Thank you to everyone for your understanding of this difficult decision that was necessary to make in order to protect the event and offer everyone the best possible experience. See you in October

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! is the world’s largest event of its kind to inspire female future leaders in Aviation, Aerospace, Marine & Defence, as well as other high-tech STEM fields. The life-changing event is organized by the Achieve Anything Foundation traditionally held annually during the Week of International Women’s Day. In 2019 the event will be held during the International Week of the Girl. Weather permitting, hundreds of free flights are provided to female first-time fliers of any age. Events are fun, hands-on, and completely free to ensure there are no barriers to participation. This is thanks to the generous support of industry and community partners such as the Lockheed Martin Corporation, Abbotsford International Airport, Teck Construction, University of the Fraser Valley, Pacific Region Training Center, Government of British Columbia, Verrault Lowbed Service, Seaspan and many others.

Events are open to the public and everyone is welcome– no registration is required to attend.

In 2018 the Canadian and US Military, Cadets, RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard, Vancouver Police and various civilian entities joined forces with well over a billion dollars in aircraft and tactical assets for participants to explore. Over 20,000 people from Canada, the US and beyond participated over the two-days event and 1,955 girls and women were exhilarated by their first flight in a small aircraft. Visit www.girlsfly2.ca  for more information and event updates.

The Achieve Anything Foundation is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire female future leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math), and STEM-based fields such as Aviation, Aerospace, Marine & Defence. With the mantra “From shop floor to top floor” the Foundation employs a unique hands-on approach towards changing perceptions and improving gender diversity in high tech fields.

“Since the number of women in high-tech, STEM-based industries remains low, the result is that girls and women have very few role models in their network to share their experience and passion for these fields. In day to day life, women generally don’t “see” themselves reflected in these areas, and this is continually reinforced in the media and social media”. Says Achieve Anything president and founder Kirsten Brazier. “Therefore, if women are not aware of these opportunities, it is unreasonable to expect them to be interested in pursuing them. We’ve implemented Operation: This IS You! to develop this network of experience by providing year-round hands-on experience events for girls and women in the applicable agency or industry partner’s native environments.”

Brazier is a professional pilot from the Lower Mainland, BC and she holds Canadian and US pilot licenses with Airline Transport Ratings for both aeroplanes and helicopters. With over 25 years of flying and aviation management experience, Brazier has enjoyed a diverse career flying across Canada, US and the Caribbean on wheels, floats, skis and skids as well as two-crew operations in both aeroplanes and helicopters.

Geotechnical Testing around GA Hangar

Some members will have noticed disturbed ground around the hangar buildings. This is the result of part of our geotechnical site testing for the taxiway re-paving project.  On Thursday Jan 24th six holes were dug to depths of three to five feet, to examine the underlying ground, and to perform percolation testing. As expected, the ground looks good, and percolates well.

Soil sampling around the hangars

Soil percolation testing

On Friday Jan 25th Benkelman Beam testing of the taxiway bearing strength was performed. This test measured the surface deflection of the taxiways under loading from a short wheelbase single-axle truck loaded with concrete blocks for a total gross of nearly 30,000 pounds.

Benkel Beam Testing