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We sweated ketchup at missing Moncton’s big COPA do. How could it happen without our stick in the works? We were fraught! But to our dismay, everything went fine. Sheesh! So planned obsolescence works! We compensated by attending EAA Arlington’s brilliant N.W. Fly-in, right nearby-ish, halfway to Seattle.
Due to our current shortage of fly-in machines, we drove our semi-abandoned ’82 Volvo, ‘Rattle-car Galactica,’ to give it a run. Couldn’t go scruffing our flashy vintage Mazdas, gate crashing the border.
As pilots do, we pre-checked the stuff. Spare oil, air, mystery fluids, anti-freeze, sunscreen, appropriate old charts, and my emergency relief thingy. We love that old car.
However, at the border, half way through a two-hour line-up, trusty old Volvo up-chucked clouds of steam and scalding water fountained all over the place. Sigh! With nothing on the clock but the maker’s name.
THE LAST GREAT GURGLE
Amidst exasperated glares and suspicious security guys, we deftly pulled through three lines of traffic, to the Duty Free parking lot to ponder things. Whilst poking some hoses about, with a last great ‘GURGLE’, all residual water vanished from the header tank.
Just like when Neil McLain’s Mustang dumped its coolant on the tarmac at Tulsa, during the Western Warbirds Expedition to Texas in October ’79. So Hah! We knew what to do! Simply topped up with two gallons of duty free goldfish pond water.
After a brief test-drive back thru Canada, and a longer line-up elsewhere, there were no further problems. It’s them Ruskies!
The Cascade Warbirds Grand HQ Hotel had advised that our ‘stand-by’ motel was ‘Just across the street.’ We had both map and address. Simple. But we had to cruise every ftzblk’g street to find it. Right there by the freeway where we first entered town. Sheesh!
Nevertheless, the Smokey Point Motor Inn proved comfy, with a proper café ‘just across’ the way.
By time we got to the airfield, parking was over the horizon, with smart folks leaving to avoid the rush. No matter. Being stout EAA-ers, we pressed on, and, after haggling over the appropriate colour, bought our wristbands, and hobbled in.
WHAT A GREAT SIGHT…
What a great sight! Rows and rows of airplanes, all shapes, sizes, makes, and era’s. Wow. Headed for the Warbirds, we found a Spitfire among the homebuilts! What gives? Did some guy find it in grandpa’s barn?
No, it was at the Replica Warbirds booth. A full-scale Mark 9 Replica, built by Bob Deford, of Prescott, Arizona. With tubular structure, wooden wings, Allison engine, and no armament stuff, he claims it performs better than the original!
The real Warbirds were winding up to go fly, and what a collection! Skyraider, P-47, T-28, Texans, Tutor, Yak, Beech 18’s, Chipmunks, Auster, and a real Spitfire MKVC from the Vulcan Warbirds collection of Seattle.
What fun to see Harold Bullock’s 1947 MK 6 Auster from Portland. Sigh. When I was 16, my Dad dreamed I could get twenty quid a week as a Squadron Leader in the RAF, so sent me off to the East Yorks Flying Club to learn on Austers, heel brakes and all. It was magic, but I never did get twenty quid a week.
Next day we wandered the booths, and visited Camp Seabee for a laugh with our performer friends and their fix it guys.
Old Warbird friends Bill and Carole Lamberton arrived in their ex Snowbird Tutor. Bill has a two-place D.H. Vampire nearing completion, which I flew in Somerset at RAF Merrifield in 1954 when I was 20. Light as a feather after T-birds. Sigh! Those were the days.
Mary pitched in with the Cascade Warbird Barbeque, and later we joined everyone at a huge noisy hangar dance across the field. …What a great weekend.
SOME DELTA STUFF
Delta’s a pleasant place, and attracts many lovely old airplanes. Arnie Olson’s Waco RNF is a real beauty, ‘pockety – pocketing’ in for tea on it’s venerable seven-cylinder Kinner radial. Beautiful sound.
Ray Roussey preps his immaculate Navion for a flight to the far corners of the continent; Rob Prior brings his Mom’s crisp restored Cessna 150 for an evening barbeque, and Terry Elgood gives guided tours of his new RV-9.
Out back most evenings, quiet Cy Henderson pulls out his vintage Taylorcraft, for a twilight meander around the countryside. He finds it so peaceful and magical when rural lights start a-twinking. Small grass airfields are truly wondrous places. The quintessential Grass Roots.
A FOND FAREWELL TO GOGI
Much of this mystical ambiance at Delta is from the lingering personality of our good friend, Gogi Goguillot, who simply faded away recently after a lengthy decline.
When I found Delta, Gogi was the enthusiastic president of Chapter 85 EAA, which met in Corrie Diston’s old Coffee Port. The place was abuzz with homebuilding activity. Goge had already built a Termite, a Turbi and, with his friend Big Dan, dreamed up the fantastic Replica SE5a biplane. They flew ‘em to Oshkosh, and everybody wanted one! So he had proper plans made, which sold worldwide.
Under Gogi’s guidance, the clubhouse was built, Delta sport pilots were invited to BCAC’s Safety Committee, the Vancouver Aerobatic Club thrived, EAA’s Paul Poberezny visited twice, local chapter members were elected to EAA Canada National, with Goge as president. A national glossy magazine was published, sadly, all be it sporadically. He even found time to rebuild a Fly-Baby.
In 1997, Gogi was the last recipient of the AOPA Silver Tray, for excellence in personal aviation, then COPA’s highest honour, joining the revered ranks of Herb Cunningham, Bill Lishman, Bill Peppler, and those before. That’s our guy from little old Delta!
Goge went on to be Chief Engineer at the Canadian Museum of Flight at Langley, until his semi retirement due to severe heart problems some years ago. We all considered Gogi our best friend. And he really was.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Jean, their family, and friends, near or far. A ‘Time to Remember’ gathering for Gogi will be held in the Canadian Museum of Flight at Langley Airport at 2 pm, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007.
ANNUAL OLIVER ‘FAST’ FORMATION CLINIC
Friday, Aug. 31 thru Sunday Sept. 2, 2007. Calling all Yaks and, Swifts, et al, for your Annual Currency gathering. RV's and others are welcome. Whatever you fly There’ll be FAST training for ‘Carding’ or re-certification, or desirable ‘recreational’ formation training. Don’t try it first at home.
Peter Herzig hosts Acro discussions from the basics to advanced. John Mrazek (and Harvard) will hold a TC Regs & Recurrent Seminar, so bring your friends.
Sunday's barbeque is at the famed Walt's Hangar, when Mickey Spillet gets everyone going with energetic entertainment.
So pass the word, and bring lots of planes. All participants get a 10-cent per litre discount at the pumps, courtesy of the Oliver Airport Authority. Registration fee for Friday arrivals is $60 Cdn/US, Sat. $40 and Sun. $20.
For room reservations call the Southwind Inn at 1-800-661-9922. Any questions? Please call Paul Dumoret at 250-535-0395.
So I guess that’s it. Fly safe!
Tony Swain & The Mary, retired COPA guys.