Fly-in barbecue simply outstanding

By John Woudstra
President, COPA Flight 121, Carleton Place Flying Club


Saturday, September 10, was an outstanding day. Under clear blue skies and light winds COPA Flight 121 held its annual Fly-in Barbecue for the 12th consecutive year.

The weather gods were smiling as one after another they came from near and far.

This event is sponsored by Flight 121 and is intended to bring Ottawa-area pilots and friends together for a few hours of sharing our passion for flight and telling each other how great we are piloting our craft. All in good fun and quite possibly we learned something new.

After the numbers were tallied we had more than 30 aircraft on the field and served some finely grilled burgers and dogs to close to 120 people. My compliments to the ladies also for providing a dessert table second to none.

I was seriously thinking about reversing the order of things and calling this event the Dessert and Barbecue Fly-in. No one left hungry, so I’m told.

Special recognition should go to Adam Hunt for pedaling his way some two and half hours to get to the event and then take pictures and videos, only to have to pedal home again. Adam said he lost three pounds in spite of all the desserts he ate. Thank you Adam for sending along the video and pictures.

Of special note also is Norm Hull doing yeoman’s work as our traffic control point. Norm brought his high-tech radio and antenna and parked himself in a lawn chair at the button of runway 35 to provide guidance for inbound aircraft. Special thanks to Norm also for his contribution. And not to forget all of the other volunteers who contributed to our day, a special thanks.

The Challengers still tallied the highest type density with 18 on wheels, amphibs and even one on wheel skis. A rare singleplace Challenger was also in the lineup and, I’m told, will soon see wind under its wings again.

The contingent from Cambden East was five aircraft strong with three Kitfox, one Challenger and an American Aerolite Falcon XP, not seen too often. My understanding is that they wanted to outdo the Carleton Place numbers that flew to their event a few weeks ago. I think the challenge is on and it’s now over to us to step it up for next year.

Adding to the complement were a Stinson, Luscombe, CH750, and a Baby Lakes. We also had Mike Stockton in his recently acquired Rotorway Exec as well as Bob Hanson in his Robinson R44 hop in for a change of pace.

This presented an opportunity for Flight 121 to recognize Bob for his continued support of our fly-in with the various aircraft from his Classic Wings collection at Smiths Falls. Bob has supported our fly-in for the past four years and has always added some spice with his beautifully restored and flying collection of vintage aircraft.

So far we have seen the Stearman, Ryan, Whirraway, and the L-39. I understand there may be more to come so it always brings an element of excitement for the next time.

The Club presented Bob with a flying jacket appropriately embroidered with the COPA wings and Flight details as well as his name and Classic Wings insignia as a small token of our appreciation for his ongoing support.

Now that another successful event is behind us we will set our sights on a COPA For Kids event scheduled for September 24. Final details are in the works to provide this event for 15-20 youngsters from Lanark County.

We are all looking forward to the opportunity to host these kids and spread the goodness. Our intent is to host a barbecue after the flying is done and give the kids a chance to debrief and ask questions.

So for now I will put my pen down and start thinking about desserts for next year.