Category Archives: Operations

New Members!

Here are a few words from our newest members.

Brett Rueff:

“I have been flying for about 20 years and hold a CPL with approximately 500 hours of flight time – all recreational flying.  I also fly a powered paraglider which is registered as a basic ultralight, and occasionally fly a paraglider from Mt Woodside or Bridal Falls.  Besides aviation my hobbies are mostly outdoor related – hiking, biking, camping with the family, travel (mostly to Australia to see family) kayaking and occasionally rock climbing. My wife Michelle, 3 year old girl Charlie, 1 year old son Campbell and I live in Fort Langley. I look forward to meeting the members of the AFC in the coming year.”

Garreth Lavery:

“Gareth Lavery (my friends call me G). A native of Manchester, England, I moved permanently (insert love story here) to Canada in 2013. I follow a Paleo diet and lifestyle (for Paleo, read “caveman”) which seems completely at odds with my passion for everything that can propel itself with an engine. I’m as likely to jump up and film a passing train as I am an interesting aeroplane. Am I the only person who enjoys getting stuck at a rail crossing? Formerly a 3D designer of exhibition booths around the world, I am now a commercial pilot in training. I took my first flight on the 15th of January 2016, soloed in February and passed my PPL flight test in May. I am loving every moment of this adventure!”

Thanks for sharing guys! Welcome to the Abbotsford Flying Club.

Standard Procedures, Primers, Flight Safety.

There has been some discussion in the club about primers lately and I would like to share a few facts for those interested.

As you may or may not know, the primer pumps fuel directly into the manifold upstream of the intake valve and does not go through the carburetor. If you leave the primer unlocked, fuel can get sucked through the primer in addition to the fuel going through the carburetor. That creates an extremely rich mixture. To the point where the engine may run rough or in extreme cases, not at all. Bottom line is that with an unlocked primer, you will run extremely rich to the point of running very rough.

Hope this clarifies the questions people have been asking.

C-GHXT by Clark Closkey

News 2016-01 - HXT

“Tower, this is Charlie, Golf, Hotel, Xray, Tango….” How easily it rolls off the tongue after nearly 30 years of saying it. I first flew C-GHXT way back on February 10, 1989. Although I joined the Club in March 1986, HXT had become a member back in
1981.During those years of the early and mid ‘80s, she was flown nearly every Sunday by Adrian Renkers, Hart Long and Bob Watson, who often had her booked 6 weeks in advance!

On March 2, 1989, legendary instructor John Spronk began my instruction on a night endorsement in HXT. I was a green, 121 hours pilot back then and GHXT was a marvelous, gentle plane to fly and learn on and we all became very attached. On March 1 of the following year, 1990, I was taxiing out with two fellow work members on board when a mini-mustang attacked my left wing with its prop and left that wing one foot shorter!

His insurance paid for the repairs and the Club was only inconvenienced for a short time. But I’ll never forget the noise of the grinding metal as the ‘stang’s prop tore up that precious Cessna wing tip. To my amazement, one of my passengers, Ron, obviously disappointed that his chance for a flight was lost, turned to me and asked why we couldn’t take one of the other Club planes that were just sitting there in the hangar! He obviously didn’t understand my state of shock over the incident that had just taken place. (That encounter, by the way, was memorialized by Gary
Chapple in poem titled, “The Legend of Ciller Closkey” which is framed and hanging in the Club.)

News 2016-01 - HXT - 02

After the repairs, I continued to fly HXT for the next 25 years with my friends, family and fellow Abbotsford Flying Club members, both during the day and at night. I flew my children and grand children for their first-ever flights in HXT and had innumerable enjoyable experiences with them and their friends. I flew the kids who came out for the COPA Flight 83 sponsored Young Eagles flights. My photo folder is filled with photos of smiling faces in front of that airplane. GHXT along with GZHQ and GIUK became OUR airplanes. We didn’t rent them—
we owned them. There was and is a bond there that can’t be easily explained but I think all pilots feel it and know what I’m talking about. The result of this is what past President Randy Kelley called, a ‘Culture of Care and Concern’ for our aircraft, and our pilots.

It is that emotional, intangible connection with airplanes that has allowed our Abbotsford Flying Club to survive and grow for more than 50 years. We couldn’t have lasted this long if we were simply being run as a business, only concerned with the bottom line and economically viable decisions, we would have disappeared years ago. The heart and soul of our Club is the people who feel this connection to airplanes and volunteer their time and energy, free of charge, to allow us to thrive year after year. If we had to pay all the people who work countless hours for the AFC’s various activities, (some worth hundreds of dollars an hour!), we would be broke in a year and our precious planes would all be lost. It is this ‘Pride of Ownership’ that keeps us going, year after year.

When it comes to logic verses emotion where airplanes are concerned, emotion wins out every time. Our decisions as a Club must address and satisfy this emotional attachment we have with our planes. The point is, they are not simply assets but rather ‘highly regarded possessions’. When one of our aircraft’s life is deemed to be coming to an end, there must be closure for the members who have grown attached to that aircraft over the years and decades. Let’s face it, unless something catastrophic happens, we only replace a plane once every 30 years or more. All members must be part of the decision making process to decide the fate of the aircraft to provide that closure necessary to accept and move on. We are not a business. We are a Club that mostly decides with our hearts and have strong feelings about our planes.

– Clark Closkey