Category Archives: Board

Posts from Board members such as director reports.

President’s Column – June 2017

Summer is finally upon us and the usual flurry of club activities has begun.

The various airshow committees are underway and looking for members to contribute their time and expertise in order that we can maintain a long tradition of producing one of the world’s foremost airshows. Planning is well underway for the AFC campground which is a major fundraiser for the club.

Bob Bryan and his crew are finalizing their menu for this year’s Broken Prop and have issued a call for members to come out and lend a hand. In the last few years we haven’t offered a dinner menu to our campers and it has been requested by AAIS that we reconsider doing so. Your directors- Josh and Skylar, have proposed that the AFC have a beer garden outside the clubhouse as a fundraiser and perhaps we could incorporate a food service as well. In order to do this, we require volunteers to come forward immediately and show your support for the club. Fly-in camping and the general aviation display will also require support from the members as these venues would not exist were it not for the support and guidance of the AFC volunteers. These activities and venues provide the revenue we require to maintain the AFC clubhouse and our flying activities. I strongly urge our members old and new to get involved, have some fun and support the club.

On a more serious note there has been some grumbling about behaviour at our general meetings. I’ve given this a lot of serious consideration and had discussions with other directors and members of the club. It’s now time for my ramble….and here it is. It has been observed that a deterioration in behaviour and respect for protocol and tradition has been a problem for some years now. In my experience this has been a recurring problem since I became a member back in 1985. Some members I’ve spoken to abhor this behaviour while others contend that these sort of highly energised “discussions” are healthy. I’m not sure that personal insults and threats could ever be considered healthy. In fact, the very subject of this discussion could be considered inflammatory and counter productive.

However, I have taken steps and I hope that you, the members, have noticed a marked improvement in behaviour at our meetings and I fervently hope that this trend will continue into the future. I would love to take credit for these improvements, but I can’t, as I don’t believe one person has the ability to alter the behaviour of a large group of type A personalities (LOL). I believe it is a concerted effort by a lot of individuals within our ranks to put the needs of the club before their own personal agenda. I applaud these members and their commitment to the future of the club.

There is also the inevitable change brought about by the evolution of society, that some feel that the old should stand aside and make way for the new and that what “we did” in the past is best forgotten. However, we need to remember our roots and the contributions made and the thousands of hours of personal time donated by our members and their families and give them the respect they justly deserve, even if you don’t agree with their politics. I would also ask that we show our younger members the respect and consideration they, in turn, deserve. I would hope that the new members will see their way to embrace the concept of becoming valued contributors. Your constructive feedback is welcome.

There, that’s my ramble, lets work together for the benefit of all.

Ken Campbell

President’s Column – April 2017

Spring is finally upon us, a time of growth and renewal.  With that in mind we should take a moment to reflect on what has come before as well.

We have recently said our final goodbyes to three people who played significant roles in the growth of the Flying Club that we’ve come to know.  George Ferguson, our former mayor, was a long time friend and patron of the AFC.  It would take far too long to list the many contributions made by George.  His strong support of the AFC, AIAS and aviation in the Fraser Valley has been invaluable.  He will be greatly missed.

We also recently lost two members of the club who can best be described as family.  Shirley Hubbard was the wife of Frank Hubbard and was for many years a sustaining member.  Shirley and Frank were involved in the aviation industry since first meeting during the war in a hospital in the UK and were major, long term contributors to the AFC.  They both worked many hundreds of hours around and for the club.  We will miss Shirley’s tireless work ethic and humour.

Norm Hart was the club’s treasurer for many years and most of our senior members will best remember Norm as the guy who greeted them at the door on meeting night with a smile and a handwritten bill.  As time rolls inexorably on, we must take a moment to remember the contributions made by ALL who came before.

An oft-repeated quote I’ve been hearing around the club lately is “the past is the past and we have to look to the future”.  In response, I would like to quote a famous American philosopher, George Santayama – “If we do not learn from the past, we are condemned to repeat it”.

The AFC has endured and in fact flourished for the last 55 years due to the hard work and decisions, some good and some not so good, made by our members.  But we learned, and to belittle those efforts in any way does both our past and current members a great injustice.

An enduring construct is built upon a strong foundation.  Our founding members built such a foundation but it is only through the continued participation of all our members, old and new, that we can continue to grow.  So please support your club and future growth by getting involved.

Ken Campbell
AFC President

President’s Column – February 2017

It appears that winter is over and we’ve seen a flurry of activity over at the hangars! LOL
Spring and the busy flying season will soon be here and I would anticipate that our pilots are brushing up on their theory and flying skills. Your aircraft safety committee has plans for some “rust removers” in the near future.

Your executive has been working hard to address issues that may affect the long term health of the Club. Some of these include an updated constitution and by-laws, finances, capital funding for replacement of HXT and the future direction of the Abbotsford Flying Club.

The re-formation of a strategic planning committee is to be undertaken, as this committee had already been established under the guidance of past president Randy Kelly. To me, it seems logical to build on this. This committee, with input from the members, would set a path for the AFC in the coming years. Although many of us won’t be around, it would be nice to work towards the 100th year of operation of the Club with a strategic plan to guide us.

Your constitution and by-laws committee, with continuing input from the members, is the first step forward towards achieving this goal, so I would ask for your continued support and input.

On Monday, February 13th, there will be a “drive-out” to the Boeing Assembly Plant at Everett, Washington being organized by Richard Bauch, your fly-out committee chairman. There will be car-pooling from the club early on the 13th and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t been there to take in this marvel of modern technology. There are other fly-out events being planned for the coming flying season and members are encouraged to participate. As always, there are our ongoing Sunday morning fly-outs.

I would like to encourage our members to take full advantage of Club outings, activities and social events. Participation of members, and particularly new members, ensures the positive growth of the Club. New ideas and suggestions are always welcome and I ask everyone to feel free to contact any of your executive or committee members if you have ideas or suggestions. As always, the presentation of new ideas at the monthly meetings is always welcome.

I look forward to hearing some creative and enthusiastic ideas from the membership that could become new traditions or even ideas to re-vamp some existing favourite events. We can only move forward with the input of our membership.

Ken Campbell

President’s Column – December 2016

The Christmas season is upon us and things have been relatively quiet around the Club as far as flying goes. We are experiencing unusually snowy and cold weather and that tends to put a damper on our flying opportunities. However, the traditional Saturday morning breakfasts and the Sunday fly-outs are still attracting members who are willing to brave all types of weather and road conditions to uphold the social traditions.

The unusually snowy weather has given our scheduled Christmas events a bit of a challenge. The Christmas TGIF had to be postponed by one week, to Friday, December 16th. All are encouraged to join in as this is always a popular and well-attended event. The heavy snowfall late last week gave the children’s Christmas party on Saturday (the 10th) a festive feel, perfect for the arrival of that jolly red elf, Santa Claus. He was well received by the over 40 people who attended this event. It was a joint effort pot luck event and all the contributions made meant that nobody went hungry. There was some seriously amazing balloon art produced by a visiting clown and it was big hit with the kids. Our thanks go out to Ruth who, with the assistance of many other members and their families, with special mention going out to Deryn, Murray and, Leanne and all those who came out and shovelled snow to make the Club accessible.

The new year marks Canada’s 150th birthday and we can expect that there will be many celebrations, both nationally and locally. Perhaps our Club could host a fly-out to Ottawa for any who may be so inclined. Members are encouraged to come forward with any ideas and suggestions for events the Club could consider to celebrate Canada’s birthday – all suggestions gratefully received and considered.

As the year draws to a close, we are looking forward to 2017. I anticipate the movement to replace HXT will take off early in the New Year and that project will require our attention. I look forward to getting to know some of our newer members and encouraging their participation in the many aspects of the Club – for example, the Sunday morning fly-out. And I would hope that some of our new members will accept this as an invitation to join one of the committees that will be organized in the coming months.

Please accept my best wishes to all members and their families for a safe and happy holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

President’s Column – November 2016

It’s that time again – time for you the members to break in a new Board.  There are some familiar faces and some new ones, but the common thread is that we are all volunteers who are contributing personal time, skills and efforts to manage the Club’s affairs and hopefully provide a positive experience.  Your Board strives to make the Abbotsford Flying Club an environment that fosters camaraderie and friendship.  Be you a flying member, a non-flying member or an associate member, you are all equally-valued.  All that I ask in return is that each of us treat everyone associated with the AFC with dignity and respect and find some way to contribute. This is the foundation the Club was built on and one of the reasons we have been so successful and in existence for so many years.

In the coming year there will be problems to solve, issues to address, and projects to complete, but as they say “many hands make for light work”.  Ruth Wiebe, our Social Director, is planning a variety of socials in the coming months and most notably, Christmas is around the corner and plans are being made.  Please contact Ruth with your suggestions and offers of assistance and help us create some memorable social experiences in the months to come.

Your Flyout Director, Richard Bauch, is pre-planning the coming year’s fly-outs and I am sure he would appreciate volunteers to help plan destinations and/or act as flight leader on some of the interesting flyouts he has in mind.

Josh Sandford, your newsletter “go-to guy”, will be looking for input, contributions and suggestions for topics of discussion.  The newsletter is an opportunity for members to tell others of their aviation adventures or just to tell us of any milestones (anniversaries, birthdays, accomplishments, etc.) in their lives.

Chris Palmer, your Vice-President, is the Club’s Program Director and is asking for input as to what the members would like to see in the future with regards to programs or seminars.  Dirk Sieber is your Membership Chairman and is there to assist you as a resource person for any questions you may have.  Brian Appaswamy returns as the Club’s maintenance director and is the person to approach regarding anything to do with the aircraft.  Skylar Pridham is the Club’s new Aircraft Safety Chairman.  Skylar brings with him knowledge and experience that will be of benefit to the Club and its flying members.

Several committees have already been established but are still looking for members willing to contribute a little time.  Clark Closkey is chairing the Constitution Review Committee.  Deryn Graham is your Building Committee chairman and has a full slate of projects that need to be addressed this year.  Murray Webb has graciously accepted the Bar Committee portfolio even though he is recuperating from recent surgery.  We are currently seeking an individual or individuals who would be interested in taking on the hangar maintenance responsibilities.  Also in the works is an Aircraft Acquisition Committee to investigate the purchase of a new aircraft in the future.

This year we hope to continue with our First Flights for Kids program, Ed Boon’s Wings and
Wheels, as well as our ongoing commitment to the Abbotsford International Airshow.

In the coming year I look forward to enthusiastic volunteerism, lively and open discussion and creative solutions.  Let’s all work together to make the Abbotsford Flying Club the best it can be.

Ken Campbell

President’s Column – October 2016

steve_stewartThis will be my final Newsletter contribution as President. It has been a busy year for the Board, and it won’t finish until we hand things over at the AGM. There have been a great variety of issues to deal with. We have made good progress on some fronts and less on others. There will be no shortage of things to occupy the new President and Board. Two particular highlights of the past year have been the continued healthy recruitment of new Members, and the really good program of speakers at our monthly General Meetings. I believe these things are connected, and I am sure they will continue.

As well as me, there are three other Board members who are not seeking re-election. They are our Vice-President Duncan Poynton; Treasurer Kevin Mickleby; and Secretary George Aug Thin, and I want to put on record some statement of appreciation for what they have contributed to the Club during their time in office.

Duncan has been on the Board many times previously, in various roles. He is a reliable contributor to decision making and to getting done whatever is needed to keep the Club running the way it should. His most frequent previous role was as Aircraft Maintenance Director, and he has continued to back up Brian as necessary. Another role that he has performed for some time is to be responsible for hangar maintenance. He has done everything from repairing many things himself, to organizing official inspections, showing hangars to new tenants, and to obtaining quotations for major repairs and upgrades. His title for the past year has been Vice President, and that gave him particular responsibility for organizing speakers at our monthly meetings. I have already mentioned how well this has worked out. One of the first things this Board did was to aim to publish a complete program of speakers for the year. This was a joint effort by all the Directors, and we did achieve it. However, it was Duncan that made the program actually work. There were many changes to cope with, including some last minute cancellations. His ability to move things around and find solutions resulted in the program that was delivered, and as an added bonus we have a number of speakers already lined up for the coming year.

Kevin took over as Treasurer from Tom Grozier and has done an excellent job. We have indeed been very fortunate in our Treasurers. Our finances are in excellent shape and our procedures and controls work well. At the AGM Kevin will provide Members with a full financial statement for the past year, as well as some projections for the future. But he has not restricted his contributions entirely to ensuring the Club’s financial wellbeing. He has also taken a leading role in many discussions and initiatives, particularly in organizing the hangar operation. His rigorous approach and realistic attitude has re-focused many discussions and contributed to numerous good decisions. The Treasurer’s job is very demanding. It does not admit delay or anything less than a professional approach. Kevin has filled this role extremely well.

George has been a very effective Secretary. The way that he types up complete minutes actually during the meeting, and then posts them to the website almost immediately after the meeting is amazing. And he does this with almost no errors or omissions – I don’t think there has been any need for corrections even once this past year. He also passes on a constant stream of messages via email – many of which come from or through me. What you probably don’t know is that he doesn’t usually send things out the boring way I write them. He usually improves them, makes them easier to read, and even adds cartoons. An effective Secretary is an extremely valuable asset, but I doubt he is planning a career change any time soon.

I have made no attempt to fully communicate how much we owe to Duncan, Kevin and George. They were all already on the Board when I took up this most recent term as President, and they had done many valuable things in previous years as well. I can only write of what I know myself, and that is more than enough to ask you all to join me in thanking them.

I have also made no attempt to mention our other Board members. To get an individual mention in the Newsletter they will probably have to wait until they decide to stand down. They have all contributed greatly to the work of the Board over the past year, and their support and advice has been essential to my attempt to fill the role of President. I will miss our meetings and discussions. But I am sure the new Board will get along very well without me.


President’s Column – September 2016

Steve_StewartThis month I am writing two things. One of them isn’t shown here. It started as a briefing note for whoever takes over as President at the AGM in October. But it is something that would be useful reading for anyone interested in running for any position on the Board. So I hope it can be posted in the Member’s area on the website for any interested member to read. The other thing is this what you are reading, but I’ll stay with the Board Election theme to start with. The Nominating Committee did its job (thank you Ken et alias) and produced a list of nominations. All of the Members nominated are well qualified to serve on the Board. There are a number of new names. All the names appear in the minutes of the August Board meeting, and I want to thank everyone that agreed to let their name go forward as a candidate. But I also wish to remind everyone that nominations are not closed. Additional nominations can be made at the AGM. So if you wish to stand for election please arrange for someone to nominate you at the meeting. Or, if you plan to nominate someone, it’s a good idea to check with them first so that we don’t waste time at the meeting.

What else? Since our last meeting there have been two Board meetings and an airshow. The meetings went well, and so did the airshow. ‘Thank you’ to everyone that helped with the show, in whatever capacity. Please take that as from me as Chairman of the AIAS as well as President of the AFC. Everything that makes the airshow better is also good for the AFC. We also hosted the AGM of the BCGA Association. And there have been TGIFs every week.

As I write this it is two days to our re-scheduled First Flights for Kids event on September 10th. The weather hasn’t been great for the past week, and I do hope that it is good on Saturday. This event has been very successful every year. It benefits from excellent organization and able volunteers. It is also a fantastic community relations initiative for the club.

And now a new feature – a discussion topic. Does anyone else believe, like I do, that it is time that aviation navigation stopped using Magnetic headings, and simply used True? Back when the decisions were made to use Magnetic for some things the primary navigation instrument was indeed a Magnetic compass. So the world was adjusted to fit with what that compass said. But the Magnetic pole moves and variations change, so every so often things like runways have to be re-numbered – which is just plain silly. It may have been more sensible to adjust the compass to the real world rather than changing the world to fit the compass. If all compasses were fitted with a bezel calibrated in degrees of variation, that bezel could be turned to the right value and the compass would read True bearings. Now that the Magnetic compass is so much less important, and there are so many more accurate and precise and easy to use navigation devices out there, I don’t think there is any case for using Magnetic bearings or headings for anything. We have the situation where all these newer devices have to have adjustments built into them to be able to show Magnetic bearings, just because that is how runways are numbered and heading indicators set. If compasses had a ‘variation bezel’ they would read True and that would be good all round. Half of Canada already uses True because Magnetic is so unreliable. Maybe Canada should lead the world and assert its status as the True north strong and free.

Steve Stewart
President, AFC

President’s Column – July 2016

Steve_StewartSo far this year we have organised a number of events, and most have been affected by the weather in some way. At our July meeting we will present the official plaques to the winners of the Wings and Wheels event from May, which was a great success despite the weather. The kid’s First Flights had to be postponed to September because of rain, and we didn’t do any flying at the Airshow Volunteer’s barbeque either. But we did do a small flypast of the Canada Day Parade in order to help promote the Airshow. And last week, when the Goodyear blimp was here, we helped facilitate the Fountain Tire drive-in movie, and by all reports they were very pleased with everything.

Being President of the Abbotsford Flying Club is both rewarding and a great responsibility. This is an organisation which has repeatedly contributed to the development of aviation in Abbotsford for 55 years. The office of President has been occupied by some notable leaders, from John Spronk right down to quite recently. My present term will end in October. As yet we do not know who will be elected President at this year’s AGM, but now is the time to consider serving. As President, probably more than any other position, one is made aware of all the different activities that our Members are involved in. Some, but not all, of these get reported in the newsletter or in the minutes of meetings. Our Directors, our committees, and those who organise our events and operations show extraordinary diligence and dedication to their chosen tasks. There are many opportunities to be involved, to learn, and to contribute. We can be sure that the Club’s future success will continue to be achieved by bringing together good ideas and good people. We have plenty of both.

As usual, July will be our last meeting before the Airshow. This year’s show will build on last year’s success and the line-up looks good. Like most of you, I will be volunteering my time and efforts to help in whatever ways I can.


President’s Column – June 2016

Steve_StewartThe Newsletter deadline has come particularly early this month. The first thing to mention is that despite us choosing the rainiest day of the year so far, the Wings and Wheels event was great success. There were no fly-in aircraft, but we did have taxi-ins, a number of cars, and Ed’s electric bike. Ed has written up the event properly, and has probably thanked all of the people that helped make it a success, so all I wanted to mention was how well everything went, and that a large number of people attended, even though even before they left home in the morning, they knew that we would have to move inside. ‘Thank you, Ed’.

June is always a busy month. On Saturday June 4th, on behalf of the Club I already attended the annual 861 Squadron Air Cadet ceremonial review, and made our award, which this year went to Natasha Cummings. In September she will be starting at UFV and CPA.

This year the General Meeting comes about as early as it can do on Wednesday 8th. It is quickly followed by the Kid’s Flights event on the 11th , and I believe that Mark and Ron and many other volunteers have everything well organised already. Then the Airshow volunteer barbeque is on the 18th, which many of us will be at.

Next, a heads up about a new event that we expect in the evening of Wednesday July 6th. This is actually being organised by Fountain Tire, and will be a drive-in movie event of the grass adjacent to the club – the same area where we just filled in pot holes in expectation of the Wings and Wheels. This will coincide with a visit by the Goodyear blimp.

And finally, a reminder to contact Ken Funk with your suggestions, nominations, and declarations for Board positions for next year. The Nominating Committee has been meeting and has two months remaining for its work.

– Steve Stewart

President’s Column – May 2016

Steve_StewartAgain I had to be reminded twice to write this column. Last week I was speaking to our Airport General Manager, Parm Sidhu. I can not help reflecting on how fortunate we now are with our airport management and Airport Authority. This has not always been so, and indeed many airports in BC are still thinking about silly things like how to maximise revenue from car parking, and how to make general aviation pay. CYXX put that way of thinking behind them some years ago. And they also let go of fanciful dreams for immediate expansion and huge anchor tenants. At CYXX there is no huge duty-free mall in between parking your car and boarding your flight, and there isn’t that awful advice to arrive two or three hours early.  Such delays kill the entire point of short flights. The business of an airport is to be a gateway to travel, not to be a mandatory delay-destination that collects thousands of customers into huge holding areas for many hours before filtering them through to the aircraft. No-one wants to drive all the way to CYVR and then wait three hours for a flight, while leaving their car in a massively overpriced parking lot. I do sincerely hope that CYXX can continue to show the way to re-establishing the convenience of air travel.

As tenants, in the early years of the City’s ownership we saw how the airport was not renewing leases, claiming buildings under vesting clauses, and collecting every possible penny of rents, while threatening imminent expulsion from established locations. The idea was to keep the land available for that big anchor tenant that was just around the corner. This only served to drive business away, to depress activity, to discourage any investment in existing buildings, and to make that anchor tenant less likely to appear.  I suspect that our Airport Authority has realised that it already has extremely valuable anchor tenants in businesses that have been here for decades, which are leaders in international aerospace, and which attract the world’s aerospace industry right here.  We have seen the change in attitude in our own recently renewed long-term hangar and clubhouse leases.  The airport is showing great leadership in the way it facilitates projects, and this is paying off. Our airport is the best location for aviation and aerospace in Canada, and General Aviation is a natural part of it.

So, back to our own business – the Wings and Wheels event will happen on the 28th. Ed Boon and his capable group of volunteers has everything in hand. The airport will cut the grass. NavCan will direct visiting aircraft appropriately, cars and motorcycles will roll in, the DC3 will play, there will be prizes and speeches, and we will have the best value breakfast west of Chapel en le Frith.

Steve Stewart
President, AFC