Calgary Convention makes canyon turn July 17-19

Mountain flying will be a featured stream at the COPA 2009 Fly-in Convention and Centennial Celebration of Flight. 
This will be a spectacular exposure to the Canadian Rockies and the art of safe flight in the back country. The mountain flying workshops will also qualify for recurrency requirements.

Identical workshops will be offered on the afternoon of July 17th and the morning July 18th. Be sure to send in your registration early to secure a spot and mark the workshop you would like to attend. 

Sparky Imeson was to be the keynote speaker for the mountain flying ground schools. Sparky was tragically killed in an accident March 17, 2009, doing what he loved to do – flying in the mountains near Helena, Montana.

We are delighted to have Sparky’s long-time friend and protégé of sorts, Lori MacNichol, to step in and lead the workshops. Lori is an accomplished mountain flyer in her own right. She founded and now operates one of the largest flight training schools in North America dedicated to mountain flying. 

She radiates her enthusiasm for flying and teaching which makes her a regular speaker at seminars and conventions across North America.

MacNichol learned to fly in McCall, Idaho in 1982 because she wanted to get into the most remote fishing spots in the Idaho backcountry. Through her love of fishing, she developed a lasting love of flying and accumulated as much aviation knowledge as possible.

The private pilot license led to commercial and flight instructor ratings and Lori carefully began keeping notes on the essential piloting skills and peculiarities of backcountry flying. While expanding her piloting experiences working as an air taxi pilot, she absorbed invaluable insight into the mountains and canyons from the old-timers in the area.

Along the way she added multiengine and seaplane ratings and is now qualified as an airline transport pilot.

MacNichol also discovered her true calling in aviation, as an instructor and teacher.

MacNichol is founder and owner of McCall Mountain/Canyon Flying Seminars, a flight school located in McCall, ID. This school provides an educational introduction to the special type of airmanship skills and knowledge needed to operate safely in the unique environment of the mountain and canyons of backcountry.

MacNichol conducts aviation safety seminars for general aviation pilots and many advanced specialty groups such as U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, and National Transportation Safety Board.

She is currently involved in the preservation of the Wilderness Airstrips across the nation and has been invited to speak in Washington, D.C. during Congressional Hearings giving, testimony in favour of preserving backcountry airstrips. 

She has had the opportunity to work with Idaho Public Television’s “Outdoor Idaho” filming and has been hosted on segments of “Back Country Pilots” and the History Channel Series “Modern Marvels” titled “Runways.”

Striving to foster the love of aviation and share the beauty of air travel in the mountain wilderness, MacNichol continues to travel and speak at seminars and conventions across the Northwest. She considers herself blessed to be able to spend every day doing what she loves best, teaching mountain/canyon flying.

Those attending the mountain flying ground schools will also have the opportunity to participate in one of the mountain fly-outs planned for early Saturday and Sunday morning. Get your registrations in early to ensure a seat in these limited space seminars.
Also be sure to book your Saturday Banquet tickets. Dedicated to the Centennial of Flight, this event will feature live aviation humour, artifacts from our local museum, special guests from the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and a special audio visual review of the past 100 years of powered flight with nationally acclaimed aviation historian, Stéphane Guevremont. 

Guevremont brings a spirited and entertaining approach to sharing and promoting Canadian history. Working with the Canadian Aviation Historical Society and COPA, he has developed a custom romp through Canada’s storied 100 year history of powered flight.

For the first time, many archive pictures and notable events in Canada aviation history will be brought together and commemorated. Those attending will also receive a specially designed patch to commemorate the centennial.
Details on various aspects of the Convention are included in the May edition of COPA Flight. To avoid disappoint, we encourage early registration. Hotel block bookings, airline discounts and car rental discounts begin expiring May 15th. See the COPA website for details.

Watch the July edition of COPA Flight for tips on getting in and out of CYBW safely. Effective May 7th, the CYBW airspace became Class C. Non-transponder equipped aircraft will need to consider travel outside of tower hours or fly in formation with a transponder equipped aircraft. Exemptions are being investigated, but with the high levels of traffic expected on the event weekend it is likely that safety considerations will prevail.