Category Archives: President’s Column

President’s Column – July 2021

President’s July 2021 News Letter

More good news regarding the easing of government health restrictions.  Masks are now optional.  It is nice to be able to see people’s faces again!  We can now look forward to in person club meetings and to resuming many of our regular club activities. The June board meeting was a dual zoom and in person event. We are hoping to make the July club meeting an in person meeting.  It has been a long time coming but we can now look to the future with optimism.

Another successful work party was held at the club house on Saturday, June 19th.  The two south facing doors off the pool room and the storage room were replaced.  Gutters along the front of the club house were cleaned.  The old rotting truck van was removed along with its contents.  Carpets were shampooed.  The overgrown shrubs taking over much of the rear of the clubhouse were removed.  Remaining to do is dismantling of the shed on the south side of the building.  The bar fridge and ice-maker are going to be replaced shortly.  We are well on the way to restoring the clubhouse to a more attractive facade.  My thanks to Ken Campbell, Ton Du Crocq, Adrian Renkers, Ken Bucholz, Chris Palmer, George Elder, Warren Le Grice, Devin Campbell, Sophia Campbell, Paul Monchamp, and  Bob Bryan for their dedication to the cleaning up of the clubhouse.

The SMS document is now ready to be submitted to the Safety Committee and the Board.  There was a slight delay in the editing of the document but is finally done.  Once reviewed, the document will be presented to the membership for ratification.  I am very pleased with the result and am confident that it will be supported by our membership.

The recent announcement of flying rate increases has stirred active discussion amongst the membership.  I would remind members that criticizing ideas is perfectly legitimate but engaging in personal attacks is unacceptable. Please be mindful of this as we move forward in the coming days.

Until September, happy flying.  Stay safe.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

President’s Column – June 2021

Good news has finally arrived!  The easing of Provincial Health regulations, regarding people meeting, have been relaxed to where we can once again get together in person.  Pilots requiring a check ride to fly club aircraft can now do so with a flight instructor.  We are moving towards in-person meetings as well.  Meetings of 10 people or less are allowed if seated and able to socially distance.  The board is planning on holding their next meeting in person at the clubhouse.  It has been a long time coming but we can now look to the future with optimism.  Our thanks to our members for being patient during the past year.  Let’s enjoy, once again, the many opportunities the club has to offer.

A successful work party was held at the clubhouse on Sunday, May 30th.  Front door bushes trimmed, outside walls and back deck were pressure washed, inside windows and blinds cleaned and the grass was mowed. I would like to publicly thank the following members for their generous contribution to the club:  Ken Campbell, Ton Du Crocq, Adrian and Barbara Renkers, Greg Reeder, Chris Palmer, Clark Closkey, Duncan Poynton, Pat Ulicki, Chris Hibbert, Dan and Virginia Renault and Devin Campbell.

The board appointed Warren Le Grice to the board at their May 26th meeting.  Warren brings a strong background of knowledge and experience to the board and we welcome his appointment. He will assume the position of Vice-chair of the Safety Committee sharing this responsibility with John Palmer.  Warren has also agreed to take over the responsibility of clubhouse maintenance as it has been neglected over the past year.  We are grateful for his willingness to serve the club.

The committee responsible for the creation of an SMS document is ready to submit it to the Safety Committee and the Board by June 11th.  Once reviewed, the document will be presented to the membership for ratification.  I would like to recognize Warren Le Grice, Clark Closkey and Randy Kelly for their dedication and hard work towards completing this ambitious undertaking.  It required many hours of behind the scenes work to accomplish this task. 

Until next month, enjoy the better weather and happy flying.  Stay safe.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

President’s Column – May 2021

President’s May 2021 News Letter

As was mentioned in the February Newsletter, seminars designed to promote flight safety continue to be offered by Warren Le Grice.  Currently, the focus is on mountain flying, and our pilots are encouraged to sign in for these sessions.  The next one will be presented Saturday, May 8th at 10:00 am.  If you have not yet asked to join these Webex based seminars, contact Warren (wlegrice@gmail.com) so he can add you to the list of invitees.  This is in keeping with our theme “safety through continuous learning.”  These sessions are interactive and we know you will find them to be informative in preparing for flights taking place over the rugged BC terrain.

But now, many of us are experiencing COVID fatigue.  It had been our hope that there would be more positive news in moving forward but based on the government’s latest restrictions, nothing could be further from the truth.  We are now being told that travel outside our medical region is prohibited and so you are required to follow this restriction.  As more people are being vaccinated, we can only hope that things will improve in the near future.

At the April meeting of the board, a letter of resignation was accepted from Amar Sundher.  His contribution as Membership Director was recognized and our thanks to Amar and his committee for the introduction of a long list of new members.  New members are the lifeline of the club and we are grateful for the work they have done on our behalf.

It is encouraging to see that many of our pilots are taking advantage of some good spring weather and taking to the skies, even with the tight restrictions in place.  Our thanks for your continuing cooperation in this endeavor.

Until next month, happy flying and stay safe.

 

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

President’s Column – April 2021

A Six Month Update

One issue upon which I ran as President was to unite the club. After six months, I am pleased to announce that this process is on the right track. The Board is united and a united Board is the first step towards achieving this goal. My thanks to the board for their eager and willing participation. Kevin LaCroix has been appointed to the YXX Hanger Board which will provide a liaison between the two organizations and will be a positive move.  In addition to his other duties, Kevin is assuming the position of club Secretary. The safety sub-committee, led by Warren LeGrice, continues to work on both a Safety Management System (SMS) and the updating of our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Taylor Belich was instrumental in changing our aircraft maintenance provider under the mentorship of Duncan Poynton. This change seems to be working very well.  Chris Palmer has been a positive addition, taking over responsibility for the position of Vice President. The clubhouse security system has been replaced (no cost to the club) with one having multi-point access via the internet. Thank you to Bevin Tomm for his very generous donation.

It is now time for the membership to grasp the important issues facing our club. This occurs through members receiving and focusing on the correct facts underlying the issues facing the club. How does this occur? There are several opportunities for you to share in the issues facing our club: Monthly club meetings, monthly Board meetings (whereby members can observe Board discussion), Wednesday Dutch lunch, TGIF, Sunday breakfast “fly outs,” IMC presentations — all can be done from the comfort of your armchair at home.  Zoom meetings provide the membership a venue for the dissemination of shared information upon which current and future decisions will be made. If you are not participating in any of these events, you are missing the opportunity to become informed about Club events and issues. 

We have some very important long-term issues that need to be addressed by the next board. I encourage you to get involved to identify the facts and make the effort to reflect on what you want for our club so when asked, you can give an articulate, constructive, thoughtful opinion. This is how our club will unite — under a common purpose and common goals.

More nice weather is upon us with more opportunities to get out and fly the friendly skies.  Let’s do so safely.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

President’s Column – March 2021

While the Club House remains closed during the pandemic, we are beginning to anticipate
improvements in the fight against the spread of the virus and are looking towards opening,
when permitted by the regulators. To that end, clean up efforts have been taken by volunteers
to clean surfaces of the bar and surrounding areas as well as getting rid of stale beer from the
fridge that was left unrefrigerated. I would like to thank Chris Palmer, Pat Ulicki and Adrian
Renkers for taking the lead in the clean up efforts. Stay tuned for further developments.

Speaking of volunteers, we are blessed to have many working behind the scenes and to each
of you, we are truly indebted. On behalf of the Board and the membership, we say thank you!

Our efforts towards establishing a Safety Management System (SMS) continues. The Safety
Committee, chaired by John Palmer, and a sub-committee, comprised of Warren Le Grice,
Clark Closkey and Randy Kelley, are working on the details to be presented to the Safety
Committee for approval and ultimately to the Board for their consideration.

I have been encouraging our members to follow presentations on the internet regarding
accident reviews. If you are interested in getting a pilot’s perspective on the Kobe Bryant fatal
accident, check out Dan Gryder (musician extraordinaire) “Probable Cause” video. He visits
every accident scene he analyses and presents a credible opinion on them. Two other good
resources are Scott Perdue of “Flywire” and Juan Brown on the Blancolirio channel. All three
are availed on the YouTube platform. Check them out.

Until next time, get out and enjoy some flying and please, do it safely.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

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

President’s Column – January 2021

In keeping with a positive theme, I am pleased to share with you good news regarding the giving spirit of the club and the generosity of our members during the Christmas season. 

Thanks to Taylor Belich for organizing a food drive, which resulted in a large amount of groceries being delivered to the Archway Food Bank.  Secondly, thanks to Adrian and Barbara Renkers for reaching out to establish a fund in which $1350 was raised, again for the Archway Food Bank.  This is a testament to the caring and generosity of our club members and a special thanks to all for the outpouring of support for our community.

COVID protocols continue to remain in effect certainly for the foreseeable future.  However, with the vaccines that are slowly becoming available we could see a return to more normal conditions sometime mid-year.  So we ask for your patience as we work through the day to day difficulties.

In order to promote safety within our club, a battery of seminars are being offered to our pilots via zoom meetings.  Take advantage of this opportunity as we are blessed to have one of our members, Warren Le Grice, leading these courses.  Contact Warren if you would like to be added to the list of invitees.  Further to these seminars, there is a wealth of information available on YouTube which can be tapped into for learning from the experiences of others.

That’s all for this month so here is wishing you all a very Happy New Year and hoping the year ahead will be filled with good health and many hours of flying enjoyment.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

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

President’s Column – October 2020

Dear Members,   Here we are at the end of my second – and last – term as AFC President.  My thanks to all the members for your faith and support in granting me the honour of serving for two terms.  I know that at times it has seemed somewhat fractious but to anyone who would consider serving: I can tell you the strife is small beer in contrast to the rich experience and rewarding lessons of serving on the leadership team for the club.  For me, just knowing that the club is there is sufficient reward.

I’ve met some really cool people, gotten to know some members a lot better and had some really amazing experiences.  In particular, I’ve been really impressed by the women in our club this year.  Ladies, you’ve demonstrated your spirit of adventure in aviation and drive to build skills and done some wonderful volunteering.  We need more like you!

It’s just too hard to pick a single favourite experience I’ve had as your President – so here are some top ones:  The Airshow last year was amazing; I really enjoyed learning how the campground runs.  This year we had a heartwarming moment when we hosted Patricia Spronk for the dedication of the John Spronk Memorial bench.  I was especially honoured to participate in the opening of the time capsule; writing the message to go in the next capsule for 2070 was cause for a great many reflective moments for me.  Many thanks there to Steve Stewart and Millie Watson who did an incredible amount of research and, of course, Lorenzo, who helped Steve with the explorative search for the capsule.

I’d like to extend a special thank-you to the members of my Board.  Kevin, Tom Timm and I won’t be running, but the remainder of the Board members will be volunteering again.  If you have enjoyed being at the club over the last couple of years and would like to continue in the direction of “flying, friendship and fun” I would urge you to vote them in again.

To Dirk Sieber, who served as VP, it was really great getting to know you – your insight, good judgement and friendship have meant a lot to me.  To Kevin Mickelby, who served as Treasurer, we simply couldn’t have done this without you; you have my eternal thanks and that of the club – you skillfully managed to move the AFC out of the red and back into the black.  Augie Rinz, you have been a fantastic Secretary, fast, efficient, competent and you were a great help when I needed someone to bounce ideas off of.  For the Directors – Amarvir, it has been a pleasure to see you mature into the role; your care and diligence on the membership file has reaped rewards evidenced by a cohort of excellent new members – I think that no matter what endeavour you pursue you will prevail!  Luciano Nisi, you’re definitely one of the most dedicated and safety oriented people I know.  I know that we’ve sometimes had our disagreements but through it all I’ve never forgotten your good intentions and all the hard work you’ve done!  Tom Timm – your insight and sober second thought has been invaluable!  I didn’t know you well before but I’m certainly richer for serving with you; you are an extremely competent person in possession of a keen mind and a wicked dry wit!  Tom Grozier, you have always had my admiration and regard – and now it has only grown.  You’ve had a hard road in 2020 – I hope that this coming year is better; you and Kevin Mickelby are the two best Treasurers we’ll ever have.  Lastly, I’d like to thank Brian Appaswamy, although he left the Board he has shown integrity and character by continuing to maintain the club aircraft throughout some of the most hectic flying days of the year!

Safe flights and stay healthy,

George Aung Thin
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

President’s Column September 2020

AFC President SealDear Members, what a roller coaster ride our summer has been! I hope that this edition of the newsletter finds you healthy and safe.

I was just talking to Janet, who manages all the accounting for AFC and –more than anything – provides stability and continuity for our club from administration to administration. She told me that until now, our biggest flying month covered two logbook pages. This past month, we managed to get through four! I’ll be reporting out on our monthly numbers for the past couple months at our next meeting.

Kevin has put forward our financial report, in written form this year due to COVID restrictions. There are quite a few lessons to take out of it, but one of the main ones is that we’ve managed to weather things well because of wise investments and careful management. While many other clubs are doubling dues or simply closing their doors, we’re still able to keep our membership costs low – not to mention hourly flying costs. Kevin is a valuable member of our leadership team and a testimonial to how important it is to have a qualified professional in the role of Treasurer.

Our nomination committee has selected a group of nominees and we’ll be publishing them on the website, as is our newly established tradition. The website was originally set up to ensure that members could go into the AGM with an informed view of who was running . We couldn’t have foreseen the restrictions that a global pandemic have wrought on everything, but we are certainly thankful now that we’ve set it up. What was put in place for information and ease of use has turned out to be a great help in overcoming social distancing restrictions. This year will be no different – each candidate will be able to put up a photo and write a short blurb about who they are, what their vision is for the club and what they bring to the leadership role. You’ll
also be able to make your “from the floor” nominations virtually via the comments section on the website.

The last thing I’d like to share with you is something I find really really cool. It’s an online map showing NOTAMs. You may remember in one of our past Prepair sessions that this was a suggestion put forward to Nav Canada during their feedback session. Well, wait no longer! Just go to http://www.notammap.com/ and you can start looking at geo-located regions that identify each NOTAM. Simply click on each coloured circle to get the NOTAM information. Go check it out!

Safe flights and stay healthy,
George Aung Thin,
President, Abbotsford Flying Club