A Yorkshire lass



Sight-seeing over Vancouver.


Thumbs up after a fantastic flight
around Vancouver in Ray’s Navion.

VicAir’s Shelley Michno shows Imogen
progress on Bob Jens’ WW 2
Mosquito restoration.



Uncle Tony and Imogen meet
Canada’s Award winning aviation
artist Virginia Ivanicki at her
exhibition in Vancouver’s
Elliot-Louis Gallery.



Surprising detail of vintage aviation
on an Ivanicki canvas.
Photos courtesy Tony Swain

COPA’s Tony Swain presents his
‘Pilot’s Progress’ slide show to the
Greater Vancouver Aircrew
Association members at the Crescent
Beach Legion. Seated 3rd from left is
Past Chair Jack Meadows, DFC, AFC,
AE, popular contributor to the UK’s
AEROPLANE magazine.



Delta Flight 5’s Henry Ilg with ‘Andy
and Morgan,’ two new COPA Kids.


Paul Dumoret (R) & Barry Mann
in Paul’s Nanchang CJ-6A.

Bill Shepherd's Yak 1
at the Oliver Yak-in.



Bruce Evans of Calgary & his T-28.


The young Ed Zalesky, circa 1953.
Photo courtesy Zaleski Family

Click pictures to view larger images 


Ringa-ding-ding! The strident phone roused me from my favourite Brit program, ALLO! ALLO!  “Hi! It’s Anne. How’d you feel if Imogen came over for a few days?”

Shock and awe! A bouncy 18 year old Yorkshire lass, on a foldaway by our living room window, needed pondering. Big Jerry described our place once as a cardboard box!

“Sure!’’ says I, “But we live by Kits Beach, the ‘coolest’ action in the world, jam-packed with hunky guys!”  Not a concern. “She reads and sleeps a lot… She’ll be fine,” said all my female consultants.

Now I’m an old fashioned guy. When I arrived in 1953, all Dad’s had shotguns. What to do? She was off to ‘Uni’ next month, and the trip would harden her up. But would she like airplanes?

Well, after much fretting at YVR, she arrived, settled in, and, surrounded by her stuff, ate, slept, and read.

The Mary and I had a plan. Apart from places like Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, Whistler, etc, we took the Ferry to see Bob Jens’s Mozzy restoration at Victoria Air Maintenance, getting a proper tour by Vicair’s Shelley Michno.

Then, after lunch at Mary’s Bleue Moon Café, went to look at Victoria’s historic waterfront and all.

Imogen went on walkabout, The Mary napped in the car, and I sat across from the Empress, with the tourists. One Bill Smathers saw my COPA hat and said he was with the Westwind School of Aeronautics, Mesa Arizona, and trained airline pilots. So we sat and talked aviation. Nice.



At Oak Bay, we sought the location of The Mary’s big movie scene some years ago, where, as ‘Lady on Beach’, she stops the star, musician David Foster, from ending things in the ocean because he’s depressed about life.

This was Ho Hum to my Yorkshire niece, till Mary mentioned that they chose her because a kid who called her Aunty Mary and bought fish at her place, a Brian Adams, suggested her for the part.

Suddenly, Imogen began squealing and hyper-ventilating. “Oh my God! Oh my God! Aunty Mary, you know him!!!” Shriek, “I’ve got his album! Oh my God!”

Not having had teenage daughters, we were dumfounded. “Calm down!” Mary said. “He’s just a nice young man.”

The video ’Symphony Sessions’ played immediately after the closing ceremonies of the 1988? Calgary Winter Olympics, for which David Foster wrote the theme song, “That Feeling! …That Feeling!”

In Vancouver we toured Historic Fort Langley, explored Langley’s Museum of Flight, ending with The Bay Flyers barbeque at Delta, where The Mary introduced Tony’s niece to all, and she soon felt at home.

What a lovely experience for a shy young girl from a quiet genteel suburb of my hometown, Hull. It was a perfect prep for University at Lancaster up in northern England.

Imogen clicked immediately with the Peare’s girls, exchanging internet and pop CD info like crazy. This required a Skytrain solo to Metrotown for something called Animé CD’s. Skytrain?  O.M.G! “I’ll be OK Uncle Tony!”

Turns out our pet aviation artist, Ginny Ivanicki, does that stuff at her day-job in Yaletown at ‘Big Bad Boo.’ So we went to see her new exhibition at the Elliot-Louis Gallery to find many flying admirers there already. Her evocative beach scenes were inspired by childhood years on Winnipeg’s Grand Beach.



Next day was Delta’s Pancake Breakfast. The Niece just loved the pancakes and pestered Mary for the recipe, and was crestfallen to be offered a ready-mix box.

Ray Roussey generously offered us all a Navion ride. Imogen was amazed, and astounded by his well appointed hangar, full of intriguing stuff. She sat in the co-pilot seat! Head-set and all. Wow!

What a flight. Ray is a business pilot, totally familiar with local ATC quirks and quacks. His flights with the Fraser Blues have familiarized him with Vancouver Harbour and English Bay procedures, so he gave us the Grand Ride.

White Rock, Simon Fraser, Horseshoe Bay, Cypress Bowl, Stanley Park, twice around downtown, and English Bay. Home via Burnaby Lake, down King George, to Delta. A lovely day. A magnificent flight.

Imogen will never forget it, and has the pics to prove it. So hah! To Majorca, and all that stuf. Thanks so much Ray.

And so she left, loaded up with Canadian stuff and a final, “I’ll be OK Uncle Tony!” Then, blink! She vanished through the security gate. Away home, and her future. Sigh!



Paul Dumaret reports, the September 09 weekend event, though lightly attended due to weather, was a great and safe success.

Thanks to John Northey, there was lots of good FAST training, with 3-4 flying sorties per day and seven exams successfully written. The Peter Herzig Acro clinic was the usual stupendous success, and Sunday's very well received TC seminar by show performer John Mrazek, with detailed info on formation and air show regulations, etc.

Saturday's barbeque in the VMR Aviation Hangar was thanks to Olivier Combret, with prep and appy's courtesy of Okanagan Aerospace, thanks to Randy Ford.

Special thanks to the IP pilots, Bill Findlay; Bill Shepherd; and George McNutt.

Walt Lannon provided maintenance services where needed, and special thanks to my trusty sidekick, Phoebe Newstead, for all the prepping, arranging, and coordination, that made it happen. And grateful thanks to those not mentioned. We look forward to next year.  The following link has great pics by Todd…




Bruce Evans, T-28 Pilot from Calgary had a great weekend, and shares some ELT wisdom arising from discussions on the weekend.

1. 406 MHz ELT’s – Be sure to discuss these with your AME and or avionics guy. Some ACK models are almost a simple swap, no new installation required. Also ensure prices quoted include the ELT programming (aircraft ident, contact info, etc.), to avoid having to pay someone to program it later.

2. PLB’s, SPOT etc. – We use the SPOT messenger for flight following and, God forbid, an emergency. Remember these ‘line of sight’ devices need a clear view of the sky to receive and transmit GPS data. Also they lose “tracking” ability the further north you go. We’ve found them pretty good up to Yellowknife, after which the tracking falls off. When stationary, we’ve sent reliable, single “OK” messages as far north as 71 degrees north.

But as a “belt and suspenders” guy, in addition to the ship’s ELT and the SPOT, in my survival vest I carry an ACR Microfix PLB which has onboard GPS. Also, when looking at PLB’s like the ACR, make sure they can be registered in Canada. Some PLB’s will come pre-flashed for U.S. registration only. You can still register with the U.S. (its free), but personally I’m more comfortable with the Canadian registration. Thanks again for the hospitality in Oliver; we’ll be back next year, Bruce.



Last Wednesday morning was my second attempt to give my digital slide show, ‘A Pilot’s Progress’ to the grand old vets of the ACA, the Aircrew Association, who meet at the Crescent Beach Legion, RCL #240. Fortunately, this time, after a very tasty meat loaf dinner, the digits worked, and the show was on.

In WW 2, when I was a kid, these guys flew over our house in Lancasters and Halifaxes over Hull on route to bomb Nazi Germany. We’d been blitzed to bits in ’41 by Heinkels and Dorniers, so we certainly cheered them on.

Our neighbour was a Lanc Flight Engineer, so we knew what it was all about. Badly damaged planes limped home just over our roof-tops.  So low, that even I recognized ribs and stringers, clearly visible in the tattered wings. Engines smoked, shook about, or were stopped. Tail surfaces shuddered, and occasionally, a rudder would flutter behind.

So who was I, a1950’s Pilot Officer Plonk, who’d never fired a shot, to entertain them with my flying story? These guys are now in their late 80’s. But my secret weapon, The Mary, also 80, just blew them away!

In 1994, near Chicago, she beat all the Americans, to become Dive Bombing Champion of the World. One slide shows her in the cockpit in her bomb-aimers gear, helmet, goggles and all, and next, her trophy on our mantelpiece, bright red practice bomb, suitably engraved! They loved it! Gave The Mary a creaky standing ovation. Fantastic!



In mid September COPA Flight 5 held a ‘COPA for Kids’ Day at Langley Airport, and flew about 35 kids and the occasional parent. Everything went smoothly thanks to longtime experience. It was vacation time; so many families were away, so numbers were less than usual.



Sad to report that 'Old Time' sports and vintage aviation supporter Ed Zalesky passed away late Friday morning, Sept. 4, after several weeks in hospital with serious liver problems. Born in Lamont, Alberta, Ed was 80.

An informal ‘Celebration of Ed’s Life’ was held at the Crescent Beach Royal Canadian Legion, which was attended by many ‘Icons of Aviation’ from the old days.

In 1952, Ed and wife Rose, both pilots, opened Pacific Wings, an airplane sales and restoration business that evolved into a Piper dealership, flight school, and rental service.

Eventually, in what became those ‘good old days', Ed's Airplane Supply Co, was the source of parts for new, homebuilt, and vintage aircraft.

In the 1970’s, to curb the flow of vintage Canadian aircraft being bought out of the country, the Zaleskys created the magnificent Canadian Museum of Flight. Ed leaves his wife Rose, son Mark, and daughter April - airplane folks all.  


So till next month, that’s all for now…, the Old Copaguy, Tony, and The Mary