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Moving on

 

By time you get this we’ll be well into fall. This summer’s been the best of times and the worst of times; hugely successful COPA AGM Fly-in at Langley, Abbotsford Air Show, and the Museum of Flight’s Open House at Langley, sadly knocked off kilter by COPA B.C. Terry’s passing, the Toronto Aviation Museum eviction, and the huge tragedy at Reno. Sigh.

Aviation is a tough business that forces us to ponder life, learn some hard lessons, and shake things off. Flying folks love their hobby, support their peers, and are the most safety conscious people in the world. So we continue the great flight track in the sky! And keep moving right along!

TERRY’S FAREWELL

In early September an informal farewell was held at Delta’s Old Coffee Shop to remember Terry Wilshire, Delta Heritage Air Park Chair and COPA’s Western Vice President. He heroically worked on these jobs on our behalf almost to the end. Over 80 guests arrived to give comfort to Terry’s wife Gillian and family.

Metro Vancouver Parks Manager Mitch Sokalski praised Terry’s magnificent efforts to bring Delta Heritage Airpark into the Regional Parks system, and leading his loyal committee, DAPCOM, through 16 years of administrative challenge. And on behalf of Denise Coutts, Mitch praised Terry’s efforts for lesser known programs such as the Pacific Parks Foundation, and the Youth for Parks Initiative.

Also present were MVRP events Co-ordinator Suzanne Stewart-Paterson, and Delta Councillor Scott Hamilton, both of whom had worked closely with Terry.

COPA President Kevin Psutka spoke of Terry’s great contribution to COPA, particularly re the new governance policy. He also pointed out how under Terry’s leadership, the successful co-operation between Delta Heritage Air Park and Metro Vancouver Parks has provided a shining example to municipalities and regional parks across the country, how dedicated aviation volunteers and far sighted local governments can work together for mutual benefit.

COPA B.C. & Yukon current Director Tim Cole’s voice was a little weak, but offered a quiet thanks for Terry’s past work, and acknowledged his was a hard act to follow, but would do his best.

Terry’s wife Gillian, son Scott, and daughter Jenny in their turn thanked everybody for coming, and how this warm gathering at Terry’s favourite place will remain as a fond memory that underlined the tremendous good he used of his life. Gillian also thanked the Delta ladies for the refreshments.

COPA WRAP-UP BBQ

That evening, the COPA AGM Langley fly-in volunteers headed over to the Aero Club of B.C. for the wrap-up COPACON 2011 Barbecue at Pitt Meadows. This proved a very pleasant evening in the Aero Club’s comfortable lounge and balcony, watching the planes come and go, as a spectacular sun set slowly in the west.

It was great to finally relax and visit with the various B.C. COPA Flight volunteers who worked so hard to run the successful National fly-in. Some of us even got ‘sort of’ good at cooking our own hamburgers and smokies, instead of letting the barbecue guy do it.

There were speeches, and everyone thanked everyone for a job well done, and Kevin Psutka presented the Flights bonus cheques. B.C. Director Tim Cole particularly thanked Trevor Sandwell for stepping in when Tim was unwell. A satisfying finish for a job well done.

ABBOTSFORD AIR SHOW

Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s last month’s stuff. But we Pacificites have to put up with those crazy Eric Dumigan pics splashed around the COPA paper of airplanes in unusual positions so we had to do something! Hah!

Now The Mary and I are no longer up to wandering about huge hot ramps peering at airplanes. We’re sort of in the ‘watch from the car’ phase and please bring that Porta-Potty over. So my friend Mike Wilson visiting from Yorkshire at the time, sent me some pics and appropriate comments, thus… “Attached are a few of

my pix from the air show. It was terrific. We managed only the last afternoon but it was well worthwhile. Lovely to meet you again and wish for another occasion to call.”

These, combined with Abbotsford Airshow Society’s Ron Price’s brief report, will blow that Eric guy out of the airpark! So, Ron’s Brief Report…

“This year’s air show went very well with good weather for all three days. The show’s first objective is for performers and crews to complete their programs and arrive home safely. The excellent flying program ran from 10:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. Sadly, the F-22 demo cancelled, but the A10 made up for it.

The Abbotsford community takes great pride in hosting the air show crews and strives to make them comfortable. Attendance was good, close to our average of 100,000 for three days. Walking the crowds talking to people Ron was satisfied they’d produced a good show and people enjoyed themselves. Which is the idea, to entertain and educate, and it seems they did that! Next year they celebrate their 50th anniversary, and look forward to another outstanding Abbotsford Airshow.

COPA FOR KIDS

Henry Ilg says everyone deserves a big pat on the back for a successful COPA for Kids day on September 17, despite some early weather challenges and cross wind concerns later. However the weather improved as forecast, and a great time was had by all. Lots of smiles on kids, parents and volunteer faces!

Ten pilots flew six rounds of flights. The first round was delayed as a few pilots sat at Langley due to weather, which required different routing.

Eighty two COPA kids were flown and received certificates. Some kids even received an extra flight and some lucky parents joined their kids on flights.

Thanks to all who participated and kudos to all for a job well done. The pictures tell the story!

After the kids got their certificates, and the last families were away home to show off to their friends and at school’s ‘Show and Tell’ the rest of us wandered over to the Boundary Bay Flying Club patio area for a scrumptious Corn Roast. Ah! A fitting end to a wonderful day.

LANGLEY’S MUSEUM OF FLIGHT

The last week in September, Langley’s Canadian Museum of Flight held its annual open house and Great Crab Feed! This is always a wondrous event, not only for the chance to poke around a fascinating flying museum, with exotic stuff like the Hampden Bomber, see-thru Lysander, Vampire, T-33 and Starfighter, there were even rides available in the Harvard, Fleet Finch, and the beautiful 1936 Waco AQC-6 Cabin sesquiplane! … (Shorter lower wings for new enthusiasts).

The Mary and I put a lot of time into that old Waco, before giving up and buying our lovely old Harvard Bessy. I visited the International Waco Club at South Dayton, Ohio, and flew their UPF-7 and got a ride in a similar cabin machine. What a weekend that was… I even have movies! Old regular 8, remember? Sadly my old projector seized up years ago.

Back at Langley, I limped around the hangar for a while, chatting with old friends, eyeballing the Replica SE-5, huge model Mosquito, and the fascinating array of cut-away old radial engines. Eventually, I joined The Mary at the Langley Aero Club by the old DC-3, for their famous scrumptious Potluck dinner.

Zowie! It was a ‘Western’ theme, with adults sporting Stetson Hats, and kids running around dressed as Cowboys and Girls. Lots a fun!

Best dressed was Gil Fanslau, who’d just won the Museum of Flight’s Gogi Goguillot award for Volunteer of the Year! He and wife Myrtle were just beaming. Gil also got the ‘Above and Beyond’ award for 16 years of flying with the Museum with no incidents. Congratulations Gil.

OTHER STUFF

Meanwhile, back at the Delta airpark, regular flying folk were bustling about building, restoring, and annualling their fav - ourite airplanes. Good Ole Charlie Longstaff with his single seat one-design, John DeVisser and AME John Stewart fixing DeVisser’s C-170A. Kevin Maher test flew Dan McGowan’s rebuilt

vintage Champ, and Bruce Prior ponders a replica of his wondrous long ago tri-gear special…

Love Dr. Al & Primrose’s response to last month’s ‘A Walk In The Park.’ “You know, I think anyone who missed the era of propellers, missed the greatest romantic period of flight. All jets look and sound the same to me. And then there is the smell of hot engine oil ...mmm. Can’t get that with a jet!”

And so the world turns ever on… And I Guess that’s all folks… Fly safe now!

— Tony Swain & The Mary
Email: copaguy@vcn.bc.ca