Canadian Aviation Expo draws movers, shakers, plane lovers

By Peter Walpole

A perfect forecast for the weekend!

I arrived to a just-opening 14th Canadian Aviation Expo, now firmly based at Oshawa (CYOO). The sky was high overcast, with a light breeze - great flying weather and good light for photography.

On Saturday and Sunday, however, attendees were seeking shade under any wing they could fit under just to take a break from the warm temperatures and blazing sun.

Every year, the Expo evolves, changes, and grows. This year it even boasted an air show, featuring four CF-18s, aerobatics, wing walking and manufacturers showing off their newest aircraft.


I did a quick browse around the display spaces and hangar areas. At least on this first morning, there were few historical aircraft. But there were plenty of modern ones.

I also noticed there were fewer ‘suits’ in evidence than in previous years. Generally the sales and promotional people had a more ‘Friday casual’ look. That’s if you discount the large number of very smartly dressed women (black and white were the colors of the day).

The grassed display spaces were, if anything more crowded than in the past. The hangar spaces looked more sparsely populated. Perhaps people want planes and hardware, not brochures and trinkets. As a matter of fact, during the show a Diamond DA-42 Twinstar and a TBM 850 were bought on site.

I met with quite a number of people at various booths. New aviation GPS units with larger screens, and loads of features (at great price points) were prominent. There appeared to be less stress on ‘places to fly to,’ but a steady interest in places to learn to fly at, and a very strong interest in going flying, right now.


Out on the flight line a few collections of planes caught my attention. The CF Snowbirds gleamed under the overcast, waiting for their show later that evening over Oshawa’s lakefront. I had an interesting chat with one of the Snowbird pilots. He looked the archetypal fighter pilot.

The collection of three Harvards included retired COPA Director Tony Swain’s old Bessy. The yellow birds were busy flying off in formation, thrilling passengers who were fortunate enough to go along for the ride.

Edenvale Flying Club seemed to have cornered the ‘let’s fly now’ business. The colors of the SportStar advanced ultralights blended in so well with the Snowbirds’ red, white and blue.

There were others who opted to fly in a Paris Jet, flown and displayed by a new fractional ownership company named JetSet.


Not insignificantly, my BBQ brisket on a bun made a delicious lunch. The Cadets, who were providing some security and information, worked very professionally. I had to drag myself away from the first public viewing of the soon to be released (think Christmas season) Microsoft Flight Simulator. Flight Ontario has some interesting enhanced scenery for local airports in Southern Ontario.

My trip to Oshawa was, once again, a great way to find out what’s happening in aviation, get to meet the movers and shakers, and mingle with an interesting, chatty ‘audience.’ I had fun.

Peter Walpole, E-mail: welcomes your input and ideas. If you have other aviation software that would interest our readers, let him know.