Fifty fliers celebrate Father’s Day

By Frank Artés



Father’s Day flightline.

R44 owned by Dave and Mike Kouri,
from Tamworth, Ontario.

Deryck Brown and Luke Bowman
take a break from marshalling aircraft.

Well actually there were 54 aircraft that flew in to celebrate Father’s Day at the Prince Edward Flying Club, according to club president Ron Stokes, and he was right.

The ramp on the old BCATP base, formerly known as RAF Station Picton and home to 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, was covered with numerous light aircraft. The first pilot touched down at 8:15 a.m. and was treated to a free breakfast as is the custom at the club.

By mid morning virtually all aircraft had arrived coming from places such as Kingston, Peterborough, Sterling, and Bearbrook near Ottawa.

There were at least five Zenair 200/250s sporting various colour schemes and one of the nicest belonged to Wally and Sandy Norris who keep their aircraft at Lindsay airport. They had made really good flying time to Picton, a comfortable 40 minutes with a firm tailwind.

There was also an assortment of Cessna aircraft, with everything from a very nice C-140 in a plain silver finish with a white cheat line, to a sharp-looking red and white Cardinal. There were several RV-6s, an Aeronca, Ercoupe, V-tail Bonanza, Cherokee 6 and several Piper TriPacers dotted about too.

One particular visitor that drew a lot of attention as it sat on the grass beside the clubhouse was a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter, owned by Dave and Mike Kouri, from Tamworth, Ontario. The Raven II is equipped with a fuel-injected, angle-valve, tuned-induction, IO-540 Lycoming engine. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, it has a maximum operating altitude of 14,000 feet and a maximum range (no reserve) of approximately 400 miles. It cruises at 135 mph (117 kts) and as Dave commented, “is very nice to fly.”

It is a popular helicopter particularly with police departments and TV news services south of the border.

PEFC members Deryck Brown and Luke Bowman were kept busy throughout the morning marshalling the aircraft to a safe parking spot after having been led in from the runway by club member Keith Alder with his Follow Me-signed motorcycle.

To make way for the folks having breakfast in the hangar, many of the members had parked their aircraft on the grass. Kevin Hickling’s striking Pitts S1 was at one end of the line and Dave King’s 3/4 scale Fieseler Storch was at the other. Both beautiful aircraft in their own right and with more in common that you would think.

Dr. Gerhard Fieseler's design flew for the first time in April 1936 and Curtiss Pitts' prototype 'Special' was first flown in 1944, both built for exceptional flying performance.

The weather cooperated nicely for Father’s Day and club members had done a tremendous job in preparing more than 250 breakfasts for the pilots, guests and friends who had flown, walked or driven in for the morning event.

Hosted by the Prince Edward Flying Club, this particular event is an annual get-together for the three flying clubs that make up COPA Flight 53 (Quinte), Oak Hills Flying Club, Belleville Flying Club, and PEFC.