10th annual Carleton Place fly-in

By John Woudstra



This photo of an L-39 albatross
making a dirty pass was taken
by five year old
Mackenzie Weedmark.

Thanks to this youngster in the
pedal plane, the incoming

looks massive in size.
Michel Hell photo

This cake was so good, the first
one was eaten by two dogs.
Michel Hell photo

Dave and Johnathan Sanky were
smokin’ at cooking duties.
Michel Hell photo

Another hungry Challenger owner
about to touch down.
Michel Hell photo

Overhead the field, inbound to land.
Michel Hell photo

About 130 guests and 38 aircraft
attended the fly-in.
Michel Hell photo

Piper Cub taxis in for a $100 burger.
Michel Hell photo

Claude Roy sporting new club shirt
featuring COPA Wings.
Patrick Gilligan photo

This year marks a significant time in Canadian Aviation History with the celebration of 100 years of powered flight, when the Silver Dart took to the air for an 800 metre hop in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

As a chapter we discussed many ways in which to celebrate and recognize in our own way this outstanding achievement that would carve our future. Our focus was widespread and ranged from various flight activities to sprucing up the airport as well as presenting a professional image to the community (There will be more information about Claude Roy’s excursion from Ottawa to Baddeck with a group of five Ultralights either in the current or future COPA Flight).

When you think about it a Challenger and the Silver Dart are not much different, and just look at what we can do today with these basic machines from the events of Feb. 23, 1909. Here is a snapshot of what we have done for the record.

Until recently there was little or no airport identifier visible other than a spray painted radio frequency on a hangar wall that had absolutely no artistic flare to it at all. With a suggestion from Wayne Griese we undertook to paint the end of a hangar peak white and create a sign which depicted not only the airport identifier (CNR6) but also the radio frequency and the proud sporting of the COPA Wings identifying this as the home of Flight 121.

Many thanks to Wayne for not only the suggestion, but also looking after the manufacturing of the sign.

Chris Winter our Club President suggested we look into getting some shirts to wear at the field and more specifically at the annual fly-in to identify club members and present a professional look and feel to the organization. After a canvas of the members we contracted out for shirts sporting the COPA Wings and identifying COPA flight 121 and the Carleton Place Flying Club.

We were all pleased with the outcome and have received positive feedback on the initiative.

Randy Shipclark came to rescue of the old and tired feet with the refurbishing of a donated golf cart to assist in getting around the field specifically for our fly-in and aircraft parking. This cart now runs better than new and sports a new paintjob as well as two rotating beacons to help with the task of parking aircraft safely during the fly-in.

And now to the Annual Carleton Place fly-in. This event is the 10th occurrence held on the weekend after Labour Day each year. The day is co-hosted by Challenge Aviation (Claude Roy) and Flight 121 with an objective of bringing together local flyers and an opportunity to show the community what we do and how we conduct ourselves. This year was no different with a wide array of UL, GA and Experimental aircraft to view and ask about.

Saturday September 12th was a great day filled with numerous aircraft flying in under ideal conditions. Blue skies and mild temperatures along with record participation made the day enjoyable for all. The range of participating aircraft from Pedal Plane, Ultralight, Experimental and GA varieties reached yet another plateau with a down and dirty fly by of Bob Hanson’s beautifully painted L-39 Albatross, one of two identical aircraft resident at Bob’s Classic Wings hangar in Smith’s Falls.

The picture of the L-39 overhead was taken by Mackenzie Weedmark, Gord Ekstrom’s five year old granddaughter after her arrival on her first ever flight in Grandpa’s Challenger. Apparently she snapped pictures from the moment they took off and had a delightful time.

Each year Bob can be counted on to support our event with his beautiful range of aircraft and for that we are thankful. So far in the past he has shown us his Stearman, Ryan PT-22, Whirraway (Australian version of a clipped wing Harvard), Pitts S-2, Citabria to name a few. So what will we see next year… only Bob knows.

In total we recorded about 130 guests and 38 aircraft on the field. Thanks go to Dave and Johnathan Sanky for their management of the BBQ and cooking duties. It would appear we needed a quick run to the grocery store for more supplies to feed the hungry crowd. In preparation for the fly in, Suzanne Hough volunteered to bake a cake which she did very nicely, complete with COPA wings and scripted flight detail.

I’m told that the evening before in a moment of inattention she left the kitchen only to find that the dogs devoured more than half the cake after she left the room. Someone wasn’t too happy.

A quick trip to the store for more baking supplies and a second cake made it all turn out as planned. Guests of note were the Mayor of Carleton Place, Paul Dulmage and his Deputy Ed Sonnedburg, Maurice Baril, (General Ret’d) and Lt General Angus Watt, Chief of the Air Staff.

It’s always a pleasure for us to see these high ranking officials participate in our grass roots events and enjoy the personal flying activities we do.

In the final analysis this event topped all other years in both participation by people and aircraft of different shapes and sizes. All the feedback from those who took part as well as those in the community was positive. Armed with that in mind we will look forward to next year.