Like-minded get together to celebrate Christmas season

By Gord Mahaffy


They say there is strength in numbers. So in that spirit COPA Flight 70 is reaching out to other aviation organizations based in Oshawa.

Our first attempt was a combined COPA Flight 70, RAA, 420 Wing, Christmas dinner and dance held on Dec. 8, 2012.

The Oshawa chapter of the RAA has some experienced and active builders, but subtle changes in the homebuilt community have led to declining enrolment for the RAA. The move to kit build a high-performance aircraft has driven the cost up and eliminated many potential homebuilders from participating.

An aging and declining pilot population has been having the same effect on the membership for COPA Flight 70 and the 420 Wing in Oshawa. As a result, earlier in the year, the president of the Oshawa RAA, Jim Morrison, approached Flight 70 suggesting that the two organizations combine forces and sponsor a Christmas dinner and dance at the 420 Wing located on the Oshawa airport.

Several years ago the RAA held an annual Christmas party at the Oshawa Armoires. But due to health problems suffered by the member who organized this, there was no Christmas party in 2011.

So on Dec. 8, 2012 the first of what is hoped to be an annual event got underway.

The president of the 420 Wing, Doug Raine, a Flight 70 and an RAA member provided the hall at a reasonable rate.

Caterers Jennifer and Paul catered the meal while John Levasseur provided DJ services with the help of John Welgon.

A comfortable crowd of 50 people enjoyed the dinner and dancing. COPA Flight 70 and RAA member John Alford was surprised to receive the RAA “Woody Proctor” award presented by Jim Morrison.

The event paid for itself with a small profit going to COPA Flight 70 and the RAA, which guarantees this will become an annual event.

So with the Oshawa airport still at risk, its supporters are forming closer alliances. There is indeed strength in numbers.