By Gord Mahaffy
Paul Flieler arrives in his newly restored PA-12.
The host of this hugely successful fly-in was Norm,
Sometimes spontaneous events turn out better than those that have been planned for months. Such was the case with a fly-in that was attended by many Oshawa COPA Flight-70 members.
On Saturday, November 1, just a few kilometres south of Lake Scugog and a few miles north of the Oshawa airport control zone, 25 airplanes and more than 100 people attended the first Fall Fly-in at Norm’s place. (Norm is a humble and modest man and does not want to use his full name).
Helping Norm organize the fly-in was Jimmy Griffen who flies a homebuilt version of the PA-18 with tundra tires. Jimmy has the particular gift of being able to put together a group of pilots by phoning them a few days before the event takes place. Many attending pilots got less than a week’s notice of the fly-in.
Perfect Fall weather saw a variety of aircraft arrive. There was one Challenger and a Rotax powered Kitfox representing the ultralights. A four place Cessna 206 homebuilt clone on amphibious floats was the largest aircraft. A surprising thing to note, most of the aircraft were tail draggers.
Norms daughter, Lisa, catered the food which included a freshly roasted pig, along with homemade country fresh pies that couldn’t be bought for any price. Lisa opened the new Runway Café in the Terminal building of the Oshawa Airport on Monday, November 3. Judging from the food that was served at this fly-in, it will be worth making a special trip to the Oshawa Airport from now on.
Norm’s strip is grass and is about 2,300 feet long. Just about everyone attending has a long aviation history and this event proves that the demand for pure grass roots flying is very much alive in southern Ontario.
Several prominent people arriving by air were: Charlie Buller, one of Canada’s oldest aircraft owners at 90 years of age. Charlie flew his 65Hp Aeronca Champ in with Jim Martyn doing co-pilot duties.
Peter James who flew one of the first homebuilts in the Oshawa area in 1964 arrived by air. Pete built an Aeronca Champ (CF-PSP) back in 1962-64 when it was legal to convert a certified aircraft to a homebuilt. (In those days homebuilt aircraft were actually called Ultralights).
To-day Peter is rebuilding a Stinson which is presently located at Greenbank Airport. Peter worked closely with former COPA director Herb Cuningham when EAA Chapter 189 was formed during the homebuilding boom of the sixties.
Hopefully this fly-in will become a yearly event and will be advertised in the COPA Flight newspaper.