By Barry Martin
To make a short story long, this past summer, a west coast pilot, Gene, was visiting the Maritimes doing some research on his family background.
Records show that his ancestors had landed in Nova Scotia, so he and his cousin flew from British Columbia to Montreal to pick up another cousin and continue the trip to the east coast. Unfortunately, because of all the travelling around Nova Scotia that was required, they had to fly commercial, which meant no sightseeing flying trips, or so he thought. As their vacation was coming to an end, Gene decided that a visit to PEI was a must since he had never been on the island before, well not the east coast island with the red soil.
After checking into the motel in Charlottetown, he found that his sink was plugged so the manager came down to fix it. Being a pilot, the conversation between he and the manager naturally got around to flying, at which point the manager informed Gene that his uncle (me) was a pilot in Charlottetown. Ooh, the plot thickens – could an east coast pilot be talked into taking a west coast pilot for an aerial tour around the green fields and sandy shores of PEI. Any pilot reading this article knows the answer so no point in printing it.
During the afternoon Gene and his cousins had taken a road tour of the Cavendish National Park area, dipping their feet in the east coast ocean water, then across country to the Confederation Bridge and back to Charlottetown.
That evening, Gene and I took the same route, only this time from the air, enjoying the beauty of the island from 1,200 feet. After landing, two very happy pilots tied down the Piper, before one headed to his island home and the other got ready to head to his B.C. home and his own Piper.
In other Charlottetown aviation news, last summer the island had some great flying weather which meant two of the three summer fly-in barbecues were held, one at Greenfield and the other at Cable Head Airpark. There were lots of good food, nice airplanes and lots of conversation. This past December, we had our annual Christmas Party at the Georgetown Playhouse, a short drive east of Charlottetown.
An excellent meal was had, followed by a video presentation by Brent Taylor and a PowerPoint presentation done by me depicting some of the activities that happened to our members over the past year or so. Some are still talking to us.
A donation was then presented to Bob and Carolyn Bateman, past owners of Prince Edward Air, for the Stars for Life Foundation for Autism.
This was followed by informative and interesting talks by Brian Chappell, COPA Eastern Vice-Chair, on COPA activities; Captain Bob Curran, RCAF (Retired), on Search and Rescue; and John Lovelace on next summer’s Century of Flight trip across Canada to PEI.