Category Archives: Member News

President’s Column – December 2018

Hello, fellow flying club members.  I’d like to start off my first newsletter posting by thanking you for electing me as your president.  I hope that I can serve you, our club members and live up to your expectations.

I would like to also thank the members of my board for their help and support in all matters.  I can assure you that they are all working hard to get oriented to their positions and get started.  We have some fun times ahead, and some hard work too.  There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone…if you want to go far, go together”.  I’m taking this to heart and working to bring you along with any changes we may be making.

For example, one thing we have changed is the agenda for our general meetings.  I’m calling it the ‘reverse-mullet’ approach – fun in the front and business in the back.  Our meetings now start off with an interesting guest speaker, some time to socialize over the break and our board reports at the end.  That way, our guests don’t have to sit through our business meeting and anyone who needs to leave early (say, for work) can do so without missing the speaker.

I’d also like to start a “Getting to Know You” column for the newsletter.  Each month, I’m going to chat with one of our members and write up our conversation.  We have a lot of amazing and interesting people at our club.  Our diversity is our strength, and it’s good to know our stories to continue to build the culture of our club.

I will close with thanks!  Thanks to our members, to our volunteers and our board.   I feel hopeful for our future as a club and I hope that in the coming term we can work together and go far!


Yours truly,

Outstanding Member Achievement 2018

AFC President Ken presented Certificates of Appreciation to the following worthy recipients:

Bevan Tomm – Glastar acquisition

Randy Engh – great work with YXX Hangars, Airshow Campground

Jim Hendriks – mowing lawns, trimming hedges

Mark Thibault – First Flights for Kids (10 years)

Ron Becker – First Flights for Kids (10 years)

Ed Boon – Airshow, Flyouts, Wings and Wheels,

Lorenzo Simion – Amazing job on the pig roast

Warren LeGrice – Carpet shampoo-er, IMC / VMC Club, painter

Andy Halychuk – Warren’s right-hand man, safety committee

Zoltan Kondakor and Glen Rostron– always helping out, shampooing carpets

Murray Webb – bar, kitchen, events, all around amazing guy

Well done everyone!

New AFC Life Members

At our last Annual General Meeting, two new life members were announced by President Ken Campbell:  Bob Robertson and Clark Closkey.

Bob Robertson has been a member for 37 years.
He was president of the AFC for 2 terms.
Under the umbrella of COPA Flight 83, he started the COPA kids flights.
He continues to be active as fly out chairman.
He provided leadership in the AFC constitutional review.
As a member of the AIAS board he was in charge of gates for a few years.

Clark Closkey has been a member for 32 years.
He was president of the AFC for 2 terms.
As an employee of the BC assessment authority, he managed to get the AFC into a lower      property tax bracket, saving the club thousands of dollars.
Clark is active in our Wednesday and Friday social activities.
He got his band, DC3 to play many times at the club, waiving remuneration for himself.
He provided leadership in the AFC constitutional review.

Hearty Congratulations to both new Life Members!

AFC Volunteers at the Abbotsford Airshow

Since the first Abbotsford International Airshow in 1961, the AFC has contributed many volunteers over the years in support of airshow.  Once again, this year’s airshow benefited from the participation by AFC members.  Current estimates show over 45+ members participating with an additional 30+ member friends & family helping too.  Awesome!

Some of the areas in which they contributed were: Campground, Flying Camping, General Aviation Display, Fencing, Water transport, Runway Seating, Broken Prop Restaurant, Fireworks, and many others.

Below are a few pictures from the show.  Click here for the entire gallery.


Visit to CFB Comox

On Thursday, April 19 we flew to Canadian Forces Base Comox, home of the Royal Canadian Air Force 19 Wing to see the Snowbirds and the CF-18 Demo aircraft practicing for the 2018 Airshow season. Valerie and I were in the Turbo Arrow GPSE, Steve Stewart and Alistair Beaton were flying the club’s Cessna 172 GGMA and joining us was Cessna 172 FIIU from the Canadian Aviation College in Pitt Meadows flown by two of their students. The visit to CFB Comox was arranged by Alistair Beaton through his connections with the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.
With the forecast weather looking good I filed a flight plan on-line with Nav Canada the night before and contacted Comox Wing Operations by telephone to obtain our PPR number (Prior Permission Required) for our planned arrival at 07:30. Flying to a military airport is a little different than normal operations to all the other destinations that we frequent so following all the correct procedures is very important. The flight was uneventful in good smooth VFR conditions, landing straight-in to their 10,000-foot-long runway 30. After taxiing in and parking at our assigned spot we were met by our escort, Capt. Evan Southern, a Cormorant pilot. A big thank you to Captain Southern who took us around Canadian Forces Base Comox, touring 407 Squadron operations and their CP-140 long range patrol aircraft, seeing the Snowbirds and CF-18 practice their 2018 airshow routines and then touring 442 Squadron and their Cormorant helicopter and Buffalo two-engine turboprop aeroplane, their Search and Rescue aircraft.

It was a full practice day for the Snowbirds and CF-18, and practice for me and Valerie with the cameras. We were using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7, a Nikon D90 a with 18-105mm lens, and a Nikon D7100 with an 18-140mm and a 70-300mm lens. The weather had been very good for flying as the high thin overcast gave a bright hazy day, but that gave challenges for good photography. From where we were positioned on the airport, quite a distance from the runway and show line, we were shooting mostly into the sun and since a major part of photography is about lighting, capturing the images was sometimes challenging. Although we had a smooth flight to Comox, the light surface winds at Comox were blowing from the show line directly toward us so that meant the smoke from the Snowbirds lingered above the airport and affected image quality, especially with the backlighting of the sun. The cameras can take care of the technical details with features like auto-exposure and auto-focus so it became somewhat of a practice session for us getting more familiar with all the camera settings, framing and panning.
I hope you enjoy the photos; they are all available on my Facebook page in the album “CFB Comox – 2018”. One special picture is with Lt. Co. Mike French, the Commanding Officer of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (Snowbirds) in front of Snowbird #1 with our Canada Flag that was carried across the country on our Canada 150 journey last summer. For me, that’s a keeper.

There was a full halo around the sun and that usually indicates that you should expect rain within 24 to 48 hours, and sure enough, the possibility of rain was in the forecast for Friday and rain began to fall that afternoon.

When it was time to leave we were expedited on our departure as the CF-18 had already started engines for their afternoon practice. Valerie and I were able to takeoff and we headed to Courtney for fuel, however Steve and Alister, and the two others, were taxiing a couple of minutes behind us and were not permitted to takeoff until the CF-18 had finished its routine. After re-fuelling at Courtney, with the least expensive fuel in the area, we headed back to Abbotsford where we met up with Steve and Alistair for an after-flight “beverage” at the club. It was a wonderful day for all and we are anticipating an exciting and safe 2018 airshow season. We wish the Snowbird Team and the CF-18 Team all the best for 2018 and look forward to seeing them at the Abbotsford International Airshow in August.

Below are a sample of pictures taken.  Click here for the full gallery.

– Bob Leroux

Clubhouse Maintenance Party

I would like to thank everyone that came out on March 17 for our building party. We did a lot of work in the 5 hours that everyone was there. During the work party we cleaned up the garden in the front as well as trimmed the hedge around the side. I would like to thank the guys who pruned the trees in the front. Ken Mckeen climbed into the trees to get at some of the more difficult branches. We also redirected the gutter at the awning to drain into the downspout. A couple of the people there dug out around the damaged base boards and replaced the rotten wood with new treated wood. I would also like to thank Cory from Concept Plumbing for coming out and fixing the connections to the ice maker at no cost to the club. Warren LeGrice shampooed the carpets in the main lounge and cleaned all the furniture before putting it back. I would like to thank the following members and non members: Bevan Tomm, Richard Bauch and his son Cory with Concept Plumbing, Gerry Crapo, Ken Campbell, George Elder, Duncan Poynton, Ken McKeen, Chris Palmer, Warren LeGrice, Paul Monchaump, Jason White, Frank Gallas, Bob Byran, Colin McDonald, Clark Closkey, Liam Campbell, Sofie Campbell and everyone else who came that I did not mention.

– Devin Campbell, AFC Building Director