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Carleton Place held 9th annual fly-in

By John Woudstra

 

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For the Carleton Place fly-in younger
fry,twins Liam and Zachary Scoles are
seen firing up the pedal powered

Christian Eagle.
Photo courtesy John Woudstra

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Australian version of a clipped-wing
Harvard, the Wirraway.

Photo courtesy John Woudstra
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A pristine 450HP Super Stearman.
Photo courtesy John Woudstra

 

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Ryan PT-22.
Photo courtesy John Woudstra

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As usual, several Challengers flew in.
Photo courtesy John Woudstra

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John Woudstra’s Challenger.
Photo courtesy John Woudstra

 

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G John Van Woezik stands near his recent purchase, an advanced
ultralight Festival, made in Romania by the Aerostar Company.
It is equipped with a Rotax 912 80 HP engine. Its
cruising speed is 85 to 90 mph and it lands at 45 mph.
Photo courtesy Joe Scoles

 

COPA Flight 121 held its 9th annual fly-in at the Carleton Place Airport on Sunday September 7.

As always, these events are so weather dependent and with the remnants of Hurricane Gustav dribbling its way through the region on Saturday, we kept our fingers crossed that the weather gods would bless us with a reasonable flying day on Sunday, our rain date.

Happily, I can sit here on the evening of the day and reflect on a near perfect event with all of the things that we treasure in our freedom to fly having been packed into the day.

The morning broke early with low overcast and the odd speck of blue sky poking through. We had already decided that come rain or shine we would fire up the barbeques at 11 a.m. and feed whoever dared to come out.

Careful organization of the food and drinks were again handled with great precision by Joan Armstrong and Claude Roy with club members joining in to assist. By 9 a.m., the sun was starting to peek through and we could hear the familiar sound of a Challenger overhead, truly a good sign.

First in the gate was Bill Dawes from Challenger Ottawa in his Challenger C-ITOT (Time on Target!) on a short flight from Carp. Truly, this was a good beginning. Shortly thereafter, we had two visitors from Cobden in another Challenger and a Romanian built Aerostar Festival, powered by a Rotax 912, which we understand is the only one registered in Canada.

Later in the morning, Bob McDonald and his wife Kim also joined in the activity in his Zenith 601HD, freshly out of the shop with Bob’s specifications incorporated. Bob’s Challenger regretfully had to stay home for this one.

Throughout the morning, numerous flyers from the Ottawa Valley found their way to the field for refreshments and good social interaction with the crowd. General (Ret.) Maurice Baril flew in from Embrun, Ont. in his Tecnam Echo, Patrick Vinet, owner of PuddleJumper Floats Co. from St-Jovite, QC, and Kevin Psutka in the COPA Cessna Skylane from Gatineau, QC, were just a few of the arrivals.

Numerous children enjoyed trying their hand at the Christen Eagle PedalPlane I had built for my kids more than 20 years ago.

I’m saving it for the grandkids, but for now, it is still a highlight with the seven and under crowd.

The highlights of the morning were the arrivals of Bobby Hanson in his recently acquired Australian version of a clipped-wing Harvard, called the Wirraway, Norm Hull flying Bob’s Ryan PT-22, and Andrew Boyd piloting a pristine 450HP Super Stearman.

This truly was a grass roots experience and a delight for all those who were in attendance. I enjoy my Challenger through all the seasons, but I still get an extra thrill when hearing the rumble and feeling the power of a 450 HP radial. We’re just not sure what Bobby will come up with next and we are thrilled to have his association with the club. I see another museum collection in the making, but time will tell.

One of our other freedoms is the ability to create flying machines. In the quiet of one of our hangars at the field, Peter Laing has been working on a powered version of an Easy Rider, which he has named the Buttercup.

The pieces and parts have come together and it generated some interesting double-takes and sparked a lot of conversation during the fly-in. Peter actually fired up the three-cylinder Koenig radial engine and it sounded quite sweet.

Peter will enlist the help of others through the inspection process and test flight activities. We are all standing by for this event.

Elsewhere on the field, Randy Shipclark has resurrected his early version of an ultralight bi-plane and has designed a cockpit enclosure for it. Also, in his shop at home, he is rebuilding a Rotax 447 as its power plant. Randy is a master at all things mechanical and has built among other things a motorcycle from scratch which would put any custom chopper shop to shame.

Randy’s regular assistance with engines has been a tremendous benefit to our field and he provides us an extra set of experienced eyes in the maintenance of our machines.

So, in a nutshell, we covered it all in one brief day before the rain came again in mid afternoon. We flew our various flying machines, experienced some vintage aircraft in flight, viewed static displays of a homebuilder’s creation, and enjoyed the camaraderie of our fellow pilots and friends.

Numerous members of the surrounding community also let curiosity bring them to the field and this allows us to spread the word about our flying passion.

All in all, it would appear the event is growing with some 30 aircraft on the field and an estimated 150 people in attendance. As always, we look forward to a repeat of the event next September, on the weekend immediately after Labour Day (September 8-9 2009).