Author Archives: Laurens Bosman

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

Safety Corner

No Safety, Know Pain – Know Safety, No Pain

By: Warren Le Grice

HB-HOT, the aircraft involved in the accident.

The “Safety Culture” of any aviation organization, can either make or break that organization. That proved to be the case with JU-Air of Switzerland. The Final Report, No. 2370 compiled by the Swiss Transportation, Safety Investigation Board, STSB, describes the accident of  JU-Air, August 2, 2018 which occurred 1.2 nm SW of Piz Segnas, Flims, Switzerland. This 78-page accident report, with added appendixes, makes for a very interesting reading. The report is one of the most comprehensive reports I have seen in recent years. It provides a very detailed look at all the negative aspects of human behaviour that lead to the loss of 17 tourists, and the three-person crew, which was on a scenic flight through the Swiss Alps. The LOC or loss of control accident was, as are most accidents, completely preventable.

I have found the SHELL model of accident causal factors, very useful over the many years that I have been promoting aviation safety. I will utilize that jigsaw puzzle model, which was introduced by Edwards and Hawkins back in the 1970s, as we examine a number of the factors that when combined together, lead to the fatal accident. Do all the pieces of the puzzle fit together with the L or liveware (pilot) in the center or not?

Software

Examples: written instructions, flight operation manual, SOPs -standard operating procedures, SMS – Safety Management System.

Swiss investigators identified numerous issues with regard to maintenance:

  • In the operating instructions for the BMW 132 A3 engines, the manufacturer had stipulated that they would require a major overhaul every 200 to 300 hours. Following the transition to civilian operators, the air operator requested and received approval from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation to increase the operating time up to 1500 hours.
  • “The available documents concerning the engines fitted in the Junkers 52 aircraft registered as HB-HOT, reveal that the approved operating time of 1,500 hours since the last overhaul has not been reached. Instead, it has been necessary to continuously repair and in particular, replace important components outside the scope of a major overhaul.
  • Quality and documentation of  maintenance issues

 JU-Air’s maintenance program “lacked essential information on topics such as partial and major overhauls of the airframe, surface protection, and supplementary inspection documentation. In general, it was difficult to trace the maintenance work performed as well as the modifications and repairs made, because the maintenance documentation was flawed, incomplete or kept in an unsystematic manner.”

  The empty weight of the aircraft, and the center of gravity values, were incorrect in the operations manual, therefore pilots had been systematically miscalculating these figures, including on the day of the accident flight. The aircraft was loaded, slightly aft of its rearward limit, making it more difficult to control in the event of a stall.

Mountain Flying Techniques

The risks of VFR flight or mountain flying were never assessed, despite the existence of an approved SMS ( Safety Management System). The fact that mountain flying was completely ignored was a major indicator of a  dysfunctional system of risk assessment, as almost all the flying was over mountainous terrain. Investigation of the JU-Air revealed that the routes and altitudes selected by JU-Air left no margin for error. Aircraft were routinely flown down the center of valleys, it was common to cross mountain ridges at more than 45 degrees and at altitudes that did not provide any escape route, should the aircraft encounter wind shear or down flowing air.

The routes and altitudes flown by JU-Air were not only unsafe but also illegal. The JU-52 was required to remain at least 2,000 feet above any terrain within 9.3 km of its route of flight, because the aircraft could not maintain level flight above 8,200 feet, in the event of an engine failure. Pilots flying the route would not be able to follow the 2,000 feet above terrain, as that would involve flight at 12,500 feet. There was another air regulation stating the aircraft could not fly over 12,500 feet, as the airplane was non-pressurized. Basically the JU-52 was not the right aircraft for the mission. The terrain clearance distances were not mentioned in the JU-Air operations manual. One wonders how the Swiss authority would ever approve a document with those major shortcomings.

Risk Assessment

Investigators discovered that there were 150 safety-related incidents that had occurred prior to the accident, and there was no in-depth analysis performed of any of them. Risky behaviour was commonplace at JU-Air and the operation was being managed without any regard to operational risk. Safety regulatory over-sight had been systematically deficient. 

The risks of VFR flight or mountain flying had never been assessed, despite the existence of an approved SMS.

View from the cockpit of accident aircraft (Note: Regulations required a/c to be 2,000 ft above the terrain)

Hardware the aircraft, engines, and instruments 

The Junkers Ju52 a low wing trimotor was designed in 1931 and entered service with Lufthansa, the German civil airline, in 1932. The BMW-powered aircraft could carry up to 18 passengers. Approximately 6,000 units were ordered by the Luftwaffe and saw service in WW2 as bombers and military air transports.

At the time of the accident in 2018, the aircraft was then an antique, having been built in 1939. It was powered by three nine-cylinder radial engines, turning fixed pitch propellers.

The Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board identified the following issues with the aircraft:

  • “The JU52 is considered as comparable to a Cessna 152 or Piper Super Cub” regarding the mass-to-power ratio.  The JU52 was operated at high-density altitudes in a manner that provided no margin of error due to minimal lateral and vertical separation, from the terrain, all the while powered by engines in poor condition.
  • Investigation revealed that the airplane suffered from extensive corrosion of wing and fuselage components, and the left wing spar was found to have advanced fatigue. It would seem anyone doing a reasonable pre-flight inspection, would have noted those items and grounded the airplane. One wonders who was doing the routine maintenance on the aircraft, not to notice corrosion.  

Malfunctions 

“Numerous engine faults on JU-Air aircraft were recorded between 2008 and the accident. The investigation revealed that 17 safety-related engine malfunctions or system faults in relation to an engine took place during flight. On each of these occasions, it was necessary to shut down an engine or run it on reduced power. In 14 out of 17 instances the flight was aborted. On one occasion, an engine failed completely. Several cases of pronounced vibrations caused by loose propeller blades occurred on flights between 2012 and 2018.

The Junkers Company had long since disappeared years before the accident, and as result, no one held a type certificate. JU-Air had been making the required spare parts through subcontractors, and not all were qualified to produce parts. None of the spare parts received approval from the Swiss FAA. 

Environment – geography, weather, runways, airport, winds, turbulence 

  • Ever-present weather-related risks, such as wind shear, high-density altitude, and down-flowing air could be expected during flight in the Swiss Alps.
  • The established route through the alps required flights to cross over a pass at 100 feet above the terrain.

Map showing flight planned route

Liveware – the pilot in command, the person who has to put everything together

  • The pilot in command had 20,714 hours of flying, with 121 hours on type.
  • The PIC had been involved in a mid-air collision between two Swiss Air Force F5s, (several million dollars collectively), both pilots safely bailed out. The pilot was  held responsible for the accident on the basis of a “lack of caution”
  • The pilot and co-pilot had established a “conditioned deviance” from established safe flying practices.
  • The investigators concluded the loss of control accident occurred after the pilots encountered wind shear as a direct consequence of their own risky behaviour, which had become their standard method of operation.
  • The pilots’ intention was to fly over the Segne Pass at 100 AGL, which the same two accident pilots had made on a previous similar flight. The power was reduced on the aircraft in order to provide the passengers with a good view of an unusual hole through the mountain at Martinsloch, which then put the aircraft in a position 410 feet below the altitude of the pass. This error in judgment was the last one the pilots would ever make.

Photo taken by a passenger just as the airplane stalls, and yaws to the left. The red arrow indicates the landmark being pointed out to the passengers.

Liveware  (others) – other individuals who are interacting with the pilot

  • The pilot acting as PM or pilot monitoring, on the fatal flight, had made three JU-Air sightseeing flights, as PIC  in from their home base in Dubendorf in another of the company’s JU52 aircraft. On all three flights, it was found that the aircraft had been flown significantly below 1,000 feet agl in mountainous areas on several occasions, and that “the flight crew had disregarded essential principles for safe mountain flying”.
  • Investigators looking into past history of both pilots revealed additional violations. The PIC routinely violated minimum altitudes during training flights, however, his instructors graded his performance as “standard” to “high standard”. The co-pilot flew similar dangerous maneuvers during training, and was graded “high standard”. The supervisory pilot only served to re-enforce the pilot’s hazardous flying performance. 
  • Investigators found that 5 years prior to the accident flight, the co-pilot flew the exact same route over the Sengas Pass just 100 feet above the terrain and with a flight path for which there had been no escape route. Both pilots were “ potential smoking holes, looking for a grid reference”.
  • Swiss investigators discovered that the rate of violations was much higher among ex-Air Force pilots and those who had flown in civil aviation. The Swiss Air Force operated under a different set of rules, and their tolerance for high risk was elevated. This culture had then seeped over into ex-Air Force pilots who were now flying, trusting, fare-paying passengers. Both accident pilots were ex -force and obviously had the same attitude towards their flying.

The wreckage of HB-HOT lies in a valley in the Swiss Alps after the crash.

The most hazardous item in the cockpit continues to be… the pilot.

Closing thoughts

This accident demonstrates how pilots with any one of the five hazardous attitudes …

  • Anti-Authority
  • Macho 
  • Invulnerability
  • Complacency
  • Resignation    

… can be accidents waiting to happen, and far too often take trusting and unwitting passengers on their final flight. The accident pilots would appear to have demonstrated  4 out of the 5 hazardous attitudes.

Any aviation organization must have effective oversight into how their personnel are performing, or they will discover their weak areas by “accident”.

Government agencies tasked with monitoring aviation safety have to do their job, they need to “trust and verify”

There are no new accidents, just new victims.

The number of flying hours a pilot has logged may well be a good indicator of future performance, but it is the next hour of flying that is really important.

We used to have a saying at Systems Safety, Transport Canada, and it is still valid today,

“ If  you think flight safety is expensive, try having an accident”

As Captain A.G. Lamplugh, a British pilot from the early days of aviation said “Aviation itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity, or neglect.” 

Safe Flying

Cairn erected at crash site

Update on the AFC Centennial Cairn

First, thank you to Kevin for distributing the information on how to contribute rocks to this project. I hope you are all making plans.

Next, Parm Sidhu, our always helpful Airport General Manager, has approved the proposed location. We want the cairn to be visible, in front of the clubhouse. That is the whole point of a monument. It needs to be visible to anyone passing, and also in a place that is safe to stop and take a look. We did the whole ‘Call Before You Dig’ thing and learned a couple of things.  One is that it needs to be at least as far back from the road as is the fire hydrant. Also, it is best not to be directly in front of the building.  So the location will be off to the west side of the building, towards the bus stop, and far enough away from the building that it won’t get in the way of the shower trailer used by campers during the airshow.  It will give bus passengers something of interest to look at while waiting.   And it will provide another place to sit. The picture is only meant to show the location. The cairn will look a lot better than that. The location is not actually on our lease.

Potential location of the AFC centennial cairn

Potential location of the AFC centennial cairn

It will also be moveable – with the right equipment. The structure will form a solid unit, made of stone, concrete and rebar. It will sit at ground level, on a bed of compacted aggregate, and surrounded by pavers. Built-in channels will provide for forklift access from the back by a decent sized loader.  This moveability is key to being able to locate it on airport land. No-one knows where it, or the club-house, will be forty years from now; ie in 2061 when its internal time capsule is set for opening during the club’s centennial.  Remember, the AirShow Cairn has already been moved three times, and will have to move again with the next phase of Terminal expansion. We don’t expect to be moving this monument very often, but when the time comes, it will be ready. 

We hope to do the basic concrete work fairly early in the summer. Then add the collected rocks in August and September. And finish it with plaques, bearing appropriate inscriptions, for unveiling at whatever event is being planned for our 60th anniversary. 

Steve and Lorenzo

The End of the DC3

DC3 in Canadian Armed Forces Livery

An older story but still an interesting read:

It was a rough and noisy plane by today’s standards, but at the time who would know the difference as that was the best they had. They sure stood up well. We members of the over-the-hill lot can still well remember when the gooney-bird was considered to be high tech…

Now the DC3 has been grounded by EU health and safety rules.

‘It groaned, it protested, it rattled, it ran hot, it ran cold, it ran rough, it staggered along on hot days and scared you half to death. Its wings flexed and twisted in a horrifying manner, it sank back to earth with a great sigh of relief. But it flew and it flew and it flew.’

This is the memorable description by Captain Len Morgan, a former pilot with Braniff Airways, of the unique challenge of flying a Douglas DC-3.

It’s carried more passengers than any plane in history, but – Now the DC-3 has been grounded by EU health and safety rules.

The DC-3 served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and was a favourite among pilots!

For more than 70 years, the aircraft known through a variety of nicknames — the Doug, the Dizzy, Old Methuselah, the Gooney Bird, the Grand Old Lady — but which to most of us is simply the Dakota — has been the workhorse of the skies.

With its distinctive nose-up profile when on the ground and extraordinary capabilities in the air, it transformed passenger travel and served in just about every military conflict from World War II onwards.

Now the Douglas DC-3 — the most successful plane ever made, which first took to the skies just over 30 years after the Wright Brothers’ historic first flight — is to carry passengers in Britain for the last time.

Romeo Alpha and Papa Yankee, the last two passenger-carrying Dakotas in the UK, are being forced into retirement because of — yes, you’ve guessed it — health & safety rules.

Their owner, Coventry-based Air Atlantique, has reluctantly decided it would be too expensive to fit the required emergency- escape slides and weather-radar systems required by new European rules for their 65-year-old planes, which served with the RAF during the war.

Mike Collett, the company’s chairman, says: “We’re very saddened.” The end of the passenger-carrying British Dakotas is a sad chapter in the story of the most remarkable aircraft ever built, surpassing all others in the length of service, dependability, and achievement.

It has been a luxury airliner, transport plane, bomber, fighter, and flying hospital, and introduced millions of people to the concept of air travel.

It has flown more miles, broken more records, carried more passengers and cargo, accumulated more flying time, and performed more ‘impossible’ feats than any other plane in history, even in these days of super-jumbos that can circle the world non-stop.

Indeed, at one point, 90 percent of the world’s air traffic was operated by DC-3s. More than 10,500 DC-3s have been built since the prototype was rolled out to astonished onlookers at Douglas’s Santa Monica factory in 1935.

With its eagle beak, large square windows, and sleek metal fuselage, it was luxurious beyond belief, in contrast to the wood-and-canvas bone shakers of the day, where passengers had to huddle under blankets against the cold.

Even in the 1930s, the early Dakotas had many of the comforts we take for granted today, like on-board loos and a galley that could prepare hot food. Early menus included wild-rice pancakes with blueberry syrup, served on bone china with silver service.

For the first time, passengers were able to stand- up and walk- around while the plane was airborne.

But the design had one vital feature, ordered by pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was a director of TWA, which placed the first order for the plane. The DC-3 should always, Lindbergh directed, be able to fly on one- engine.

Pilots have always loved it, not just because of its rugged reliability but because, with no computers on board, it is the epitome of ‘flying by the seat- of- the- pants’. One aviator memorably described the Dakota as a ‘collection of parts flying in loose formation’, and most reckon they can land it pretty well on a postage stamp.

Captain Len Morgan says: ‘The Dakota could lift virtually any load strapped to its back and carry it anywhere and in any weather safely.’

It is the very human scale of the plane that has so endeared it to successive generations. With no pressurization in the cabin, it flies low and slow. And unlike modern jets, it’s still possible to see the world go by from the cabin of a Dakota. (The name, incidentally, is an acronym for Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft.)

As a former Pan Am stewardess puts it: “From the windows, you seldom look upon a flat, hazy, distant surface to the world. “Instead, you see the features of the earth — curves of mountains, colours of lakes, cars moving on roads, ocean waves crashing on shores, and cloud formations as a sea of popcorn and powder puffs.

But it is for heroic feats in military service that the legendary plane is most distinguished. It played a major role in the invasion of Sicily, the D-Day landings, the Berlin Airlift, and the Korean & Vietnam wars, performing astonishing feats along the way.

When General Eisenhower was asked what he believed were the foundation stones for America’s success in World War II, he named the bulldozer, the jeep, the half-ton truck, and the Dakota.

When the Burma Road was captured by the Japanese, and the only way to send supplies into China was over the mountains at 19,000 ft, the Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek said: ‘Give me 50 DC-3s, and the Japs can have the Burma Road ..’

In 1945, a Dakota broke the world record for a flight with an engine out of action, traveling for 1,100 miles from Pearl Harbor to San Diego, with just one propeller working.

Another in RNZAF service lost a wing after colliding mid-air with a Lockheed bomber. Defying all the rules of aerodynamics, and with only a stub remaining, the plane landed, literally, on a wing and a prayer at Whenuapai Airbase.

Once, a Dakota pilot carrying paratroops across the Channel to France heard an enormous bang. He went aft to find that half the plane had been blown away, including part of the rudder. With engines still turning, he managed to skim the wave-tops before finally making it to safety.

Another wartime Dakota was rammed by a Japanese fighter that fell to earth, while the American crew returned home in their severely damaged — but still airborne —plane, and were given the distinction of ‘downing an enemy aircraft’.

Another DC-3 was peppered with 3,000 bullets in the wings and fuselage by Japanese fighters. It made it back to base, was repaired with canvas patches and glue, and then sent back into the air.

During the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, a Dakota crew managed to cram aboard 98 Vietnamese orphans, although the plane was supposed to carry no more than 30 passengers.

In addition to its rugged military service, it was the DC-3 that transformed commercial -passenger flying in the post-war years.

Easily converted to a passenger plane, it introduced the idea of affordable air travel to a world that had previously seen it as exclusively for the rich.

Flights across America could be completed in about 15 hours (with three stops for refueling), compared with the previous reliance on short hops in commuter aircraft during the day and train- travel overnight.

It made the world a smaller place, gave people the opportunity for the first time to see previously inaccessible destinations, and became a romantic symbol of travel.

The DC-3’s record has not always been perfect. After the war, military-surplus Dakotas were cheap, often poorly maintained, and pushed to the limit by their owners. Accidents were frequent. One of the most tragic happened in 1962, when Zulu Bravo, a Channel Airways flight from Jersey, slammed into a hillside on the Isle of Wight in thick fog. All three crew and nine of the 14 passengers died, but the accident changed the course of aviation history.

The local radar, incredibly, had been switched off because it was a Sunday. The national air safety rules were changed to ensure it never happened again.

‘The DC-3 was, and is, unique,’ wrote the novelist and aviation writer Ernest Gann, ‘since no other flying machine has cruised every sky known to mankind, been so admired, cherished, glamorized, known the touch of so many pilots and sparked so many tributes.

“It was without question the most successful aircraft ever built, and even in this jet-age, it seems likely that the surviving DC-3s may fly about their business forever..”

This may be no exaggeration. Next month, Romeo Alpha and Papa Yankee begin a farewell tour of Britain’s airports before carrying their final passengers at the International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 16.

But after their retirement, there will still be Dakotas flying in the farthest corners of the world, kept going with love, dedication, and sheer ingenuity. Nearly three-quarters of a century after they first entered service, it’s still possible to get a Dakota ride somewhere in the world.

I recently took a DC-3 into the heart of the Venezuelan jungle — to the “Lost World” made famous in the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is one of the most remote regions on the planet — where the venerable old planes have long been used because they can be maneuvered like birds in the wild terrain.

It’s a scary experience being strapped into a torn canvas chair, raked back at an alarming angle (walking along the aisle of a stationary Dakota is like climbing a steep hill) as you wait for take-off.

The engines spew smoke and oil as they shudder into life with what DC-3 fans describe as ‘music’, but to me sounded like the hammering of a thousand pneumatic-drills. But soon you are skimming the legendary flat-topped mountains protruding from the jungle below, purring over wild rivers and the Angel Falls , the world’s highest rapids. Suddenly the ancient plane drops like a stone to a tiny landing strip just visible in the trees.

The pilot dodges bits of dismantled DC-3 engines scattered on the ground and avoids a stray dog as he touches down with scarcely a bump. How did he do it without air traffic control and the minimum of navigational aids? ”C’est facile — it’s easy,” he shrugged.

Today, many DC-3s live-on throughout the world as crop-sprayers, surveillance patrols, air freighters in forgotten African states, and even luxury executive transports. One, owned by a Houston lumber company, had mink-covered door- knobs, while another belonging to a Texas rancher had sofas and reclining chairs upholstered with the skins of unborn calves..

In Jaipur, India, a Dakota is licensed for flying wedding ceremonies.

Even when they have ended their aerial lives, old Dakotas have become mobile homes, hamburger stands and hen houses. One even serves as a football team changing room.

Clark Gable’s private DC-3, which once ferried chums such as John and Bobby Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan, is in a theme park in San Marino. But don’t assume it won’t run again. Some of the oldest hulks have been put back in the skies.

The ancient piston-engines are replaced by modern turboprops, and many a pilot of a modern jet has been astonished to find a Dakota alongside him on the climb away from the runway.

So what is the enduring secret of the DC-3? David Egerton, professor of the history of science and technology at Imperial College, London, says we should rid our minds of the idea that the most recent inventions are always the best.

‘The very fact that the DC-3 is still around and performing a useful role in the world is a powerful reminder that the latest and most expensive technology is not always the one that changes history,’ he says.

It’s long been an aviation axiom that ‘the only replacement for the DC-3 is another DC-3’. So it’s fortunate that at least one seems likely to be around for a very long time to come.

In 1946, a DC-3 on a flight from Vienna to Pisa crashed into the top of the Rosenlaui Glacier in the Swiss Alps. The aircraft was not damaged and all the passengers were rescued, but it quickly began to disappear as a blinding snowstorm raged.

Swiss engineers have calculated that it will take 600 years for it to slide- down inside the glacier and emerge at the bottom.

The most asinine ruling ever dreamed up by a nightmare bureaucracy!!!

I especially appreciate the part requiring “escape slides”. On it’s belly, you can step down from the aircraft floor to the ground.

ONE OF THE SAFEST PLANES EVER BUILD, FOR OUR USE,
WITHOUT ALL THE NEW GADGETS,
IS BEING GROUNDED.
IT SURE BROUGHT US WHERE EVER AND WHENEVER WE WANTED
AND TOOK US BACK SAFELY.

Thanks a million ‘Old Bird’, DC3, C47 or ‘DAKOTA’.
You’ll be missed a lot, for carrying us to safety, when we needed you to.

Bought the Farm: An Etymology

‘Bought the Farm’ — pilot killed.

Apparently, this originated from a time when governments would reimburse farmers for destroyed crops as a result of an aviation accident occurring on their land. They would routinely inflate the value of the crops, so the government would have effectively paid off the mortgage, or “bought the farm,” in recompense. Hopefully, none of our readers will have any experience with this!

Thanks, Adrian for submitting this interesting etymology.

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

Why to be a member of the Airshow Society

First, let’s do some background explanation.  Until 2013, the only members of the Abbotsford International Airshow Society were the Directors. It had been that way ever since the society was first formed in 1966. It was formed originally for the specific purpose of putting on Canada’s Centennial Airshow in 1967, and it was expected to be wound up after that event. But instead, it was re-constituted a little and continued under the auspices of the AFC and Chapter 85 of the EAA. Then in 1969 it was re-constituted again after the EAA dropped out. From 1969 to 2017 the Board officially comprised 14 members of the AFC and 14 others. However, after the financial collapse at the end of 1997 there was rarely (if ever) a full set of non-AFC Directors, and there was no real mechanism to appoint them.  So in 2013 we addressed the problem by offering the possibility of membership to anyone interested.  The main target group were the hundreds of volunteers who put countless hours into the event every year, but who never really had a voice in its direction. They, as Members would then elect the non-AFC Directors, and could also stand to become Directors themselves. This served the dual purposes of establishing a mechanism to appoint Directors, while also giving the Members a voice in the Society’s direction. Around 140 new members signed up, and both purposes have been realized in practice. 

We also decided to create a Membership Committee and to provide direct member benefits, beyond the right to stand for election and the right to vote. Pre-2020 there were visits to aviation museums south of the border, a Member Challenge Coin, and various other events. At present, all members can collect a free custom-made airshow mug, and in January we had a great on-line event with Jodi Roeger. On Feb 18th there is another such event with Capt. Dan “Delouse” Deluce, the 2021 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team pilot. 

These direct benefits far outweigh the annual cost of dues. We set the dues at the nominal level of just $10/year, because the desire for members is not about collecting money. The membership program costs more than the total dues collected.  Ideally, we would like to see most volunteers become members, take an interest in how the Society runs, and consider becoming a Director. All Directors are now subject to term limits, so there is a need for a healthy turnover of Directors, who will bring in new ideas and impetus to the whole enterprise. 

The AFC was directly responsible for starting the airshow in 1962. It has always been a driving force in the direction, management, and operation of the airshow. We still directly appoint 3 out of the 11 total number of Directors. At present 4 of the 11 are AFC members. During the show, the AFC is completely responsible for the aircraft static displays and for the campground. In normal years, the AFC receives very significant income in return for this.  Many AFC members also volunteer in other essential roles, particularly the fencing teams. The AFC also runs the Broken Prop restaurant for campers, with all net proceeds being retained by the club. The mutual importance of the airshow to the AFC and vice versa is huge.  

AIAS membership is a natural choice for AFC members. 

The application form is at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a55baBwaVvPBHm4r8CSbhti7cuj0App0/view 

Steve Stewart
Chair AIAS

GHW 2021 Coast to Coast National Fundraiser

Dear 99s and AFC members,

Hope Air and the Expedition Captains have been hard at work planning our GHW 2021 Coast to Coast National Fundraiser and best adventure yet! All this information is on the website but here are the links for easy reference.

It’s going to be fun, but it’s also going to be work and very rewarding to fly any of the legs or even shorter routes within the legs.

Have a look to see how YOU can best help us raise awareness and funding for Hope Air while having a bucket list trip of a lifetime.

The current version of the GHW 2021 website  https://givehopewings.ca/2021-expedition
Brochure for Expedition Supporting Pilots https://givehopewings.ca/images/2021/Expedition_Supporting_Pilot_Opportunity-_GHW-2021-Oct_1_2020-V4.pdf
Brochure for VFC Volunteer Fight Crew  https://givehopewings.ca/images/2021/Volunteer_Flight_Crew_Opportunities-GHW-2021-Oct_1_2020-Final.pdf

Come join us June 2021!

Warmly,
~lise ash~