By Clarence Demchuk
Flight 4 again sponsored the Southern Saskatchewan annual Rust Remover Recurrency Seminar on Saturday April 25, 2009. Attendance this year was 69, up slightly from last year.
This year`s event was historic on two counts. Firstly, Transport Canada granted recurrency authority to our local CFI, an historic first for Flight 4. Secondly, it was our last event at the Regina Flying Clubhouse which is winding down operations. The clubhouse "Club" bar, short order cooking and banquet catering services ended on May 15. The clubhouse has hosted our Rust Removers for last 10 years.
Flight 4 Captain Wayne Runyan passed the torch to Captain Clarence Demchuk who introduced presenters Chief Flying Instructor Tom Ray and Flying Instructor Mike Meehan from Regina Flying Club. They delivered a two part seminar covering a wide variety of topics germaine to understanding current basic day to day flying.
Their power point presentation added to the clarity, their choice of relevant material added to the quality of the presentations and was appreciated by all with many members commenting, emailing and articulating a sense of positive gain from attending a "Safety Seminar."
Tribute and thanks were expressed to two executive members who are passing the torch past captain Wayne Runyan and past director Arnold Wolf, both serving their terms with dedication and committment.
Earl Kickley our national representative from Saskatchewan stepped up to mic and gave a spirited presentation on issues before COPA and talked of plans hinting of something special for next year.
Captain Clarence Demchuk indicated the executive has their marching orders for next year, namely looking for a new venue and menu thereby closing the seminar by thanking CFI Tom Ray, FI Mike Meehan, exec members for helping out and making this Rust Remover a success with a special thank you and tribute expressed to Grant Watson who was our host and chef over the many years.
Members broke into spontaneous applause followed by a standing ovation for Grant as we all sincerely wished him well in his future endeavours.
All members in attendance were asked to assemble outside for final group... I was there.... photo under the Regina Flying Club sign. Back inside CFI Tom Ray handed out signed and dated certificates for pilots to keep in their log books followed by the legendary menu of two types of soup and generous variety of thick sandwiches which we all enjoyed for the last time.
Local pilots mixed with many out of town aviators who flew in on a beautiful VFR morning lingered into the afternoon to enjoy some good ole' aviator comradary and swapping a few old and new stories in the process.
On balance an editorial comment seems fitting; in today's environment flying clubs and companies face the challenge of keeping flying affordable and still maintain rental operations. We as they understand the reality that many old and new pilots depend upon this in order to realize their dream.