Category Archives: Member News

President’s column December 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, dear Abbotsford flying club members!  Well, this will be my last column of the decade, ha ha!  There are many things to look forward to this month, you can sign up for a pool tourney in the New Year, there are a myriad of Christmas parties and events, including our very own special Christmas edition of the TGIF and I’m personally looking forward very much to Lise Ash’s presentation on her Give Hope Wings flight.  Her Northern escapade embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration that are at the very core of aviation and kindles the heart of every pilot.AFC President Seal

As I look forward to 2020 I think to myself – it’s got to be a sign!  20/20 means perfect vision and I want this to be something we work on this year.  With Abbotsford airport developing quickly around us, it is important that we know who we are.  What is important to us?  What do we value?  Who do we want to be in the future?  These are things that we consider as a first step to develop our Strategic Plan.  We have set up the Board so that we can focus as a leadership team on working with all members to develop our plan.  Here are the basic, progressive steps for developing a comprehensive Asset Management Plan.

  1. Identify our Club Values
  2. Set up a Club Policy – you may know these as a Vision and a Mission – based on values
  3. Identify Club Assets – what are the things we use to derive value? For example, our aircraft, our building, our limited partnership.
  4. Evaluate each asset for value delivered – what do we get out of it and what does it cost?
  5. Align the value delivered with the policy – Is it delivering what we actually want to have at an acceptable cost?
  6. Set the strategy for each asset using the above
  7. Based on all of the above, a “strategic plan” can be created for all of our present and future assets.

There’s a lot to absorb, here, but we’ll go through what these activities are and what they mean at a future planning session.  At our January meeting I’d like to take some time to work with you to get an idea of our values.  We are setting up an online area for your input – we would like to hear from you.  What makes the club worthwhile for you?  How can we do more to get more of those valuable experiences, relationships or opportunities?

Above all, I hope that you have a good time this month – but also remember to stay safe.  Please remember to have alternate transportation or a designated driver if you are going to drink.  The slip and trip season is officially started so please walk carefully and wear footwear appropriate to the season.  And remember: if the weather is marginal, consider that you have the rest of your life to fly so you needn’t take an unnecessary risk today.

May you all enjoy a joyous and mirthful holiday and I hope to see you all soon!

Yours truly,
George

Laying the foundation for the John Spronk Memorial Bench

On Friday November 29 Chris Palmer brought the rental concrete mixer to the club at 0900 hrs. Under leadership of Lorenzo and the assistance of Murray and Duncan, bag after bag of premix was poured into the mixer and with the added water, poured into the form. Lorenzo estimated they would need 25 bags of premix, when in fact they used 24 bags. In less than 90 minutes the project was completed. After setting for a few hours, Lorenzo put the finishing touch on the surface with a broom. It looks great. It is covered up and they have a little heater going to make sure the concrete cures properly.

Abbotsford Remembrance Day Flypast

Here we are over Victory Square in Abbotsford.

Lead  aircraft is Adrian in the club’s Cessna 172, right wing is Gerry Crapo flying the Glastar and left wing is Bevan Tomm in his RV7A.

Following close behind but not in same formation were former members Rene Robertson in his Piper Pacer and Dave Wall in his Quickie Q2

Thanks to Heather for the photo and big thanks to the participating pilots

RSVP to the AFC Annual General Meeting

We are preparing for the Annual General Meeting that will be taking place next month on Wednesday 9 October. Please note that this is the only meeting where it is members only; no guests please.
Dinner will be starting at 18:30 with the meeting itself beginning after that, somewhere around 19:30.
Bob Bryan once again will be catering our excellent (and I mean excellent) AGM dinner, but we need to know roughly how many people will attend so that we have enough food and not waste too much.
Please RSVP in the comments below so that Bob knows how many will be attending.

Celebrating $250,000 raised and 1000 medical flights for Hope Air¹s Give Hope Wings 3 week NW Expedition

Thank you family and friends, YOU helped get this DONE!

Asking people to give towards a cause they may not be familiar with, and who already give so much, to open up their pocketbooks, and give again for something that is on our radar, is pushing my comfort limit.

BUT……YOU……all said yes to helping this Canadian NGO, Hope Air, help Canadians fly to their medical appointments & treatments who are from rural areas.

I am so thankful to have met a few of these courageous individuals on this trip who have used Hope Air in their times of need. Many of them would not have gone through with their treatments had they not been able to fly to and from their faraway homes.

I’ve been blessed to have expanded my wings….literally…on this Adventure, and want to thank all those cheering leaders who said yes, you can do this Lise. It was really a “personal best” for me!

Photo credits to Bob Leroux, fellow aviator and friend from the Abbotsford Flying Club.

Bob & his wife Val, came out to capture Hope Air’s GHW in Pitt Meadows both on June 2nd and upon our memorable return July 5th. Thank you Bob.

Airport Day June 2nd

  • Dave McElroy: Chief Pilot Wings 1 RV6 & Coordinator of 2019 NW Expedition
  • Rani Tolton: GHW Volunteer Flight Crew, Leg One
  • Steven Drinkwater: Wings 3, Chief Pilot C140
  • Lise Ash: Title Sponsor & PIC Wings 1 RV6
  • Ian Porter: Wings 2, Chief Pilot Pipistrel Virus

My total gear for 3 weeks away. No high heels in this packing job.

Title Sponsor Langley Sportsplex

 My rudder extensions, a full 5 1/2”

My family, cheering leaders, send off and welcoming committee.

Quilt on the arrival back.

1st picture taken by Bob as Dave slid back the canopy and we officially completed the mission safe & sound at 3:10 pm July 5th.

Cheering Leaders!

Thank YOU again.

I am working on a short Power Point presentation highlighting some key moments, so watch for it coming soon.

News in brief

Zoltan is the first club member to successfully finish his check ride in our Glastar. Congratulations.

He said he loves the plane!

Ken McKeen in action this morning pruning the tree in front of our clubhouse

With CGGMA out of commission, we flew a three ship formation over the Canada Day Parade parade this morning, as was requested by the Abbotsford Airshow. Rene flew lead in his Pacer, Bevan was on the right wing in his RV7A and Dave Wall was on the left wing in his Q2

Wings and Wheels 2019

Dear Wings and Wheels Volunteers,

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you – this year our Wings and Wheels event went off quite well!  Despite the rain and the fact that the “Fly-In” was more of a “Taxi-In” your high spirits, welcoming hearts and “can-do” attitudes turned it into a fun, cozy and smooth-running event!  We provided a safe and secure place for the wings and the wheels, a hearty breakfast for fifty three guests and some enchanting entertainment.

There are just too many people to mention – and I’m terrible at remembering, so please forgive any of my memory lapses.  Firstly, I’d like to express a special thank you to Ed Boon.  Despite wanting to hand off the Wings and Wheels event two years ago, he’s put in a great effort and made things work.  We had lots of great help from Ruth, Steve, Mark and Lorenzo on the preparation and setup in the weeks leading up to the event.  Holes were filled, fences erected, stages set up, critical equipment secured – not to mention the planning, marketing and other thinking that went into the endeavor.  On the day before Wings and Wheels there was a huge set up effort.  During the event itself, one of my secret activities (while the eggs are cooking away) is to step back and observe the hum of activity that goes on while we’re hosting an event.  It’s spectacular!  I saw Murray, Jan, Barb and Val buzzing away in the kitchen and the dining area.  Clark was handing out sausages with Val helping.  Murray presided over the settings, making sure that condiments, juices and syrup kept flowing.  Meanwhile, in the kitchens, Bob ran the cooking operation with an eagle eye and a ready laugh to keep people encouraged.  Bob Leroux and Adrian were everywhere, snapping photos and documenting the action!  The hardcore troopers, Aug and Kevin were out on the field directing the vehicles and aircraft into position – it was cold and wet work on this rainy May day!  Inside, Dirk and his wife Susan took money, sold tickets and kept a tally on incoming customers.  I heard many positive comments from the Mayor and his graceful wife, Velma about the caliber of our club – in particular it’s members; they said we represent the spirit of welcome and adventure that embodies the Abbotsford Community.

Pictures of the event can bee seen on the AFC Facebook page here.

 

Overall it was a great day – and it was thanks to the skill, dedication and hard work put on by our volunteers.  Thanks to you all!

Millie Watson Recognised by the Airshow Society

At the Members’ event on Saturday May 4th, Millie Watson was presented with a personalized Abbotsford International Airshow jacket.

Millie Watson wearing her new jacket and standing in front of B25 ‘Grumpy’ of the Historic Flight Foundation

After the 1963 show, ‘In keeping with its Constitution, the AFC gave a donation to the Mission City Cadet Squadron to assist in the building of a glider. The club also provided a scholarship to enable a member of the Abbotsford Air Rangers to take a Private Pilot’s Course. This scholarship was awarded to Miss Millie Watson of Mission City.’ ‘No one is more delighted than Mrs.H.Tarasenko captain of the Abbotsford Air Rangers. “It is a wonderful thing the Abbotsford Flying Club is doing” she told The News. “Not only is the club granting this flying scholarship but also instructing three other Abbotsford girls in the ground course. This should enable them to get their Leading Air Ranger badges”.’  Girls taking part in the ground school were Pat Warwick, Myrna Kvist and Valerie Carter.  Millie joined the Rangers in September 1963, and there were 10 girls in the group

When this picture was taken, Millie had logged five hours flying. She had started training on February 1st 1964

Millie completed the requirements for her licence in just 35 hours (which was the minimum required at that time), plus 20 hours of ground school.

Mildred Watson (second from right) took her Air Ranger friends Diane Cherry, Donna Taylor and Susan Small for a ride when she made her first passenger flight. Looking on is Tony Cosgrove, her instructor.

She then joined the AFC and has been a Member ever since, being made a Life Member in 2001?  As well as being an airshow volunteer, Millie also became the airshow’s very first employee. She had arranged to spend the summer of 1964 working at Eatons, but then the air show committee asked for her help and offered to match the pay she had expected from Eatons. Her main work was to book hotel rooms by phone, from one end of the valley to the other, and so far away as Victoria. She continues to volunteer with the airshow, and is currently the official Archivist for both the AFC and AIAS

Pool tournament winners

Robbie and Kevin Lacroix defeated team Chris Palmer and Murray Webb in the third and final game. It ended up in a nail biter when Murray sank the eight ball and the cue ball in the same shot.

The trophy was handed out by last year’s winners, Bevan Tomm and Richard Bauch.

Your winners! Robbie and Kevin!