This weekend we took part in a joint fly-out with the Elphinstone Areo Club located in Sechelt. There was 9 of us consisting of Ken and Devin Campbell, Roberto Fehr, Laurens Bosman, Colin McDonald, Bob and Val Leroux, Lise Ash and George Aun Thin. We met at the flying club at 8:00am and were wheels up shortly after 9am with the slowest of the 3 planes getting a head start. The first squadron consisted of Ken and Devin’s Kitfox, AFC’s GGMA and Bob Leroux’s Piper Arrow. Even though the Kitfox had a head start it was the last to arrive (But we are used to that).
We arrived in Sechelt at the Elphinstone Clubhouse to be greeted by about 10 of their members with coffee, cookies and apples that appeared to be freshly picked. After the meet and greet we jumped back into our planes and were joined by another 3 planes (2 C172’s and a Fleet Canuck) from the Elphinstone club and headed to Texada Island. A special thank you needs to go out to George for helping fly The Sechelt club’s 172 to Gillies Bay and Back. The Elphinstone club needed our help when their pilot found out his medical expired the day before and asked if we could help out with the flying.
Once at Gillies bay we talked to the airport caretaker and found out some info about the airport. The walk down to the beach for those who are interested is easy to find. once you leave the gate at the terminal walk up the road to the telephone poles and at the end of the road is the trail down to the beach. the town site is a 30 minute walk from the airport (rumor is that it is an easy walk down but a good hike back up). There are also some bikes that can be used, you just need to talk to the caretaker to have them unlocked.
Deciding it was too much of a walk in the time we had, Steve from the Elphinstone club talked to one of the local pilots that he knew at the airport. ‘Doby’ Dobrostanski, one of the local pilots, came and let us into the mini museum that he and a couple of members of the flying community had set-up. He also talked to us about the Aerospace camp they put on at Gillies Bay airport every July.
An hour later we were heading back to Sechelt for a BBQ lunch. Once there, the members who stayed behind mad up a nice spread of hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, chips and cookies. While eating lunch we were joined by Chris Hibert and Murray and Le-ann Webb in Chris’s Balanca (if we had signs the landing would have received 10’s all around). After much chatting and eating, and a big thank you from both clubs, we got back into our planes and returned to Abbotsford. We touched down after a good long day at around 16:00.
Once all was said and done 3 of our members had the opportunity to fly in 2 different airplanes. We had a final turnout of 4 planes and 12 members. The best part is that some of those 12 people had the opportunity to go and see 2 airports that they had wanted to go to but hadn’t had the opportunity. This was a great learning experience for everyone and we all came back with smiles on our faces.
– Laurens Bosman
Below are some pictures. Click here for the full gallery.