By John Woudstra
As Captain of COPA Flight 121 I am happy to report another safe and uneventful flying season filled with activity since our last AGM in May 2006. Let me report on the accomplishments of the Club and its members for the record.
As an integral part of the community of Beckwith we constantly strive to keep our neighbours happy by limiting to the extent possible the noise levels surrounding the airport. I am happy to report that there were no written complaints over the past year and that our pilot community is abiding by the Transport Canada rules for the airport.
In order to assist the owners the club agreed to handle the upkeep of the field over the course of the flying season. A schedule of tasks was established and undertaken by the members on their respective days. I must admit it’s hard to keep Roy Lewis off the tractor cutting the grass. We will continue this activity as we did last season to keep the field in top shape.
There were also a number of significant events accomplished over the course of the last year. The Club undertook its first Young Eagles event in June and hosted 15 children from the Lanark County Children’s Aid along with parents, siblings and guardians. The results were exceptional and it was agreed by all those who participated that this should become a regular chapter activity.
It was felt that this action on our part to involve the community and give back to the kids would be a benefit for all and heighten the awareness of the clubs existence within the community. Thanks go to Chris Winter for continuing the discussion with the Beckwith Youth Services team and getting local councilors on board.
We will be hosting our second event on June 3rd and be planning for another event in the fall. The flying activity is rounded off by a hot dog BBQ after all the formality is completed.
There was also some significant flight activity accomplished by a few of our members this past summer. Claude Roy and Gord Ekstrom loaded up their Challengers and departed on a Float flying experience which took them from Ottawa to Thunder Bay and back. A presentation of their adventure was seen at the Winter Rendezvous held at Chateau Montebello this past January. It demonstrates once again that with proper planning and execution anything is possible.
Not to be outdone, Chris Winter and Andre Girard left Carleton Place for a short cross country trip to Whitehorse in the Yukon in Chris’s Cessna 140. The trip was presented to the members at our December meeting on CD. Another great flying adventure which was carried out without incident due to proper planning.
Having recently retired Andre Girard is taking full advantage of his new found time. As the intrepid traveller he embarked on a one man trip from Ottawa to Blanc Sablon in Labrador from July 2nd through 13th. Total flying time was 34.3 hours and he covered a distance of over 1,100 miles each way. I think the club should establish a pool to see where he goes next. Well done Andre.
A significant event for us all is the Annual fly-in BBQ jointly hosted by Challenge Aviation and the club just after the Labour Day weekend. Another great turnout and a great day of weather. There were some 30 airplanes that flew in with the farthest flight originating in London, Ontario by Tom Reavell and his partner flying a new CT light sport aircraft.
A crowd of more than 100 participants were fed and watered during the event.
In summary we look forward to another safe flying season filled with personal adventure and excitement.