Category Archives: President’s Column

President’s Column – October 2021

This will be my final news article for the current year. I would like to thank the membership for their support over the past year.

Your Board achieved several significant accomplishments in a difficult year. Covid and a change in Board membership created a very challenging environment. Regardless, your Board adopted an SMS system including revised SOP’s, demonstrating our commitment to safety. Major renovations to our Clubhouse and a new security system provide a robust and safe environment for the social aspect for our membership. You read details of these accomplishments in the President’s September report. Difficult decisions regarding a fee increase and expulsion of a member are never easy but imperative for the financial and social health of the Club going forward.

Seven of the ten Board members you elected in October 2020 resigned from the Board. Two did not renew their membership, one moved as a result of a work transfer, one resigned for personal reasons and three disagreed with Board decisions. What does this tell the membership? It demonstrates to the membership the AFC has the resources to withstand traumatic events. With these losses, your Board succeeded in accomplishing the aforementioned results and achievements. I want to thank Kevin and Duncan for their steadfast commitment to their Board nomination and election. I want to thank Chris Palmer, Warren LeGrice, Bevan Tomm, Ken McKeen, Randy Kelley and Clark Closkey for stepping up when called upon to assist in difficult decisions made for the benefit of the membership and the sustainability of the Club in the future.

Your current Board ends its term by leaving the club with financial sustainability moving forward and a standard for ethical behaviour, demonstrating an intolerance for inimical behaviour. While constructive discussion is always encouraged and productive, rogue actions and divisiveness can not be tolerated.

I want to thank the Board for having the courage of their convictions. It is a pleasure working with those who understand the definition of good governance and act as effective Board
members.

Just a reminder that the upcoming election is even more critical than last year’s. Please carefully consider your choices and elect those who you believe would best be suited to manage the affairs of the club. The club’s future depends on it.

Finally, a special thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the heavy lifting throughout the year and without whose help we could not have been successful.

Ken Funk

President’s Column – September 2021

With the rapid winding down of the current year, it is appropriate to look back at the accomplishments that have been achieved by the AFC.

Starting with the Airshow, we can say that the camp ground facilities provided by the club were successful.  Everyone that wanted a spot was provided one.  I am not aware of any complaints from our campers, which is a good sign.  Thanks again to all the volunteers who contributed to the success of the camp ground.

A new security system was installed which made accessing the system possible via the internet thus making it much easier to control.  The system was donated, at no cost to the club, by Bevan Tomm and we are grateful for his generous contribution.

Improvements were made around the rear of the clubhouse by the removal of the old truck van and the shed contiguous to it.  Still more needs to be done to address the many years of neglect by painting and replacing some of the fascia boards.  The roof over that area is in need of replacement.

The two south facing doors were replaced by a journeyman carpenter to improve both the security and appearance of the area.

Inside the clubhouse many improvements were made.  The old beer cooler has been replaced with a new, more efficient unit as was the ice making machine.  The old cabinet behind the bar was replaced with a new one as well as a new counter top.

The flight room was cleaned up with the removal of the old safe, which was never used, and two of the filing cabinets that were no longer required.

An updated SOP document was created as a beginning of a Safety Management System which is a very positive step for the club.  Transport Canada encouraged us to take this action and we are happy to report that we are moving in the right direction.

Recent club fly outs have seen 7 planes and 20 members in attendance.  One flight to Victoria and one to Powell River. The most in many years.

Government sanctioned COVID restrictions were implemented which resulted in an environment that was clean and safe for use by our members.

None of the above could have been accomplished without the tremendous support of our club volunteers and to them I extend my personal thanks for a job well done.

Until next time, happy and safe flying.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

President’s Column – August 2021

We are putting the finishing touches on the Airshow plans as the Club is responsible for the campground to be situated around the clubhouse.  We are hoping for good weather but the forecast is for rain on Friday and Saturday.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for airshow weather.  We are still looking for volunteers so if you haven’t already done so, please contact me with times you are able to help out.  My contact information is 604-308-6002.

Work around the clubhouse has been mostly completed. A new cooler and ice maker along with a new cabinet in the bar area have made a vast improvement over the old inefficient appliances

The SOP document is now posted on the website.  Take the time to become familiar with it.  I am very pleased with the document and am confident that it will be supported by our membership.

The new flying rates are now in effect.   Annual membership dues were to be paid by August 1st.  If they were not received by our office within the prescribed deadline, members are not in good standing.

Only two months remain in the current club year and it is time to think about getting involved on next year’s board.  Contact George Aung-Thin, Nominating Committee Chair, informing him of your willingness to serve on the board.

Until September, happy flying.  Stay safe.

Ken Funk
President
Abbotsford Flying Club

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