Stanley Sport Aviation Association
friend and fellow aviator, Ronald (Ron) Ellwood Cooper
5, 1942 - January 20, 2013
shall miss him
for the 47th Annual General Meeting
for Fly-In Breakfast
of Stanley's Supporters -The County of East hats
or Bust 2012
(a.k.a. Rick and Paul's Excellent Adventure)
Annual General Meeting
Beaverbank Lyons Club
SPORT AVIATION ASSOCIATION
P. O. Box 401
Dartmouth, N. S., B2Y 3Y5
47th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - MINUTES
Location - Beaver Bank Lions Club
Meeting Date - January 26, 2013
Call to Order - 1930
Directors and Executive in Attendance-
Vice-President Brian Chappell
Secretary Norma Chappell
Airport Manager Bob Poirier
Fly-In Chairman Phil Chatterton
Fuel Accounts Rodney MacDougall
Membership Trudy Chatterton
Newsletter Don MacLeod
Safety Officer Sean Whitehead
Social Events Cindy Poirier
Special Events Lynda Layden
were 32 Members in attendance.
of the 46th AGM were distributed and read. Secretary Norma asked for
acceptance of the minutes as presented. Seconded by Phil Chatterton.
Motion approved. There was no business arising from the minutes.
Kevin welcomed all members that were attending and thanked Keith and
Sean, the two Directors whose terms are completed and will not be
REPORT 2012 - Kevin Layden
been an interesting two year term as President. I have been a Director
in various positions for many years but this was my first time as
President. The biggest challenge was when the Tax
Assessor decided to pay Stanley a visit. They haven't been around
for years and got very excited when they discovered all the new construction.
Most of you were not involved in this process so I will give you a
brief explanation of what happened.
The Assessor over valued every building by many times it's value.
SSA received the tax bill for
everything and it was huge. I then had to determine how much of the
bill belonged to SSA and how
much each Hangar owner owed. Jack Neima met with the Assessors in
Truro and got them back to the
Airport to show them the true dollar value of each building. They
then did something they first said they would not do, they did a re-assessment
and issued a bill that was about half the original.
Rick Young is now working with them to get a tax exemption. Thanks
to Larry Wamback and a few other dedicated members we now have a first
class shower in the Hilton. The washrooms were also spruced up a little.
The next project is to tidy up the bunk room. DNR insisted we clean
up the mess Bluenose Soaring Club left. Rodney MacDougall and Bob
Poirier went to work on that project.
DNR is responsible for their Clubhouse and the other remaining buildings
but indicated that nothing will be done anytime soon. There was a
time when we had to beg members to show up for work parties. This
is no longer the case. All of the work parties went very well with
more than enough workers to tackle the projects Bob had lined up.
thanks to a few dedicated and talented members and Directors Stanley
Sport Aviation and Stanley Airport is in fantastic physical and financial
Stanley Airport is no longer a weekend destination. Many of our members
are now there during the week and also during the Winter. With many
Airports dead or dying it is nice to see Stanley growing and getting
better every year.
There are two Aircraft under construction at Stanley Airport. Paul
Tuttle is building an RV8 using modern methods of Aluminium and rivets.
It has a state of the art glass instrument panel. Don Ledger is
building a Super Emeraude the traditional way using wood and fabric.
The instrument panel will
have the standard engine and navigation instruments we are all familiar
TREASURERS REPORT - Keith Landra
"As many already know, this is my final year as Treasurer of
Stanley Sport Aviation. Year two went as smooth as year one, thanks
to a fantastic membership!
For 2012 we were able to bring in more than we spent, building a solid
contingency fund should financial surprises arise. Nevertheless, we
continue to improve our airport, such as the excellent improvements
to the Stanley Hilton. And I want to thank the many generous donors
to our association; those that donate valuable money and/or valuable
The club's finances are healthy, and we head into 2013 with a realistic
budget that supports our Strategic Plan.
Thanks to everyone for your support, and I wish the new Treasurer
a great term serving SSA.
26, 2013 By-Laws update;
Brian I. Chappell, Vice-President, Stanley Sport Association Assoc.
Most of Stanley Sport Aviation Association (SSA) by-laws have never
been updated since created December 22, 1970 by the law firm Stewart,
MacKeen & Covert so it's time to update some outdated items. Original
by-law will be pasted on this page and proposed change below it, these
changes will be voted on at the 47th SSA Annual general Meeting January
have been made to the by-laws since 1970.
1. February 12, 1985 - Change of Name from 'Dartmouth Experimental
2. October 29, 1985 - Special Resolution re membership categories.
14 - The
annual dues are payable at the end of October for the forthcoming
Change to: - The annual dues are payable at the end of December for
the forthcoming year.
19 - The
general meeting of the Society shall be the annual meeting and held
in the month of October at such time and place as may be determined
by the directors.
Change to: - The general meeting of the Society shall be the Annual
General Meeting and held with-in 60 days of the end of December at
such time and place as may be determined by the directors.
21 - Notice
of the time, place and purpose of the meetings shall be given by the
Secretary-Treasurer to all members at least two days prior to each
Change to: - Notice of the time, place and purpose of the meetings
shall be given by the Secretary to all members at least two weeks
prior to each meeting.
37 - The
officers shall be elected at the annual general meeting held in October
of each year and shall hold office from immediately following - the
annual meeting at which they are elected until the end of the annual
meeting in the following year at which the new officers are elected.
Change to: - The officers shall be elected at the annual general meeting
held as scheduled in by-law # 19 of each year and shall hold office
from immediately following the annual meeting at which they are elected
until the end of the annual meeting in two years at which the new
officers are elected.
50 - Should
any casual vacancy occur among the six Directors elected from the
general senior membership, an interim election may be held at a special
meeting to fill the vacancy for the balance of the Society year.
Change to: - Should any casual vacancy occur among the Directors elected
from the voting full member membership, an interim election may be
held if the vacancy occurs during the first year of the two year term
at a special meeting to fill the vacancy for the balance of the Society
year. If the vacancy occurs during the second year of the two year
term the directors may elect to not fill the position or appoint a
full member to complete the term.
61 - The
directors may not make any single expenditure on behalf of the society
in excess of the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) without
previously obtaining the consent of the general membership.
Change to: - The board members (no one director or executive but with
agreement of the majority of the board) may not make any single expenditure
on behalf of the society in excess of the amount of two thousand dollars
($2000.00) without previously obtaining the consent of the general
membership. This will be for an extreme situation for something not
already approved by the general membership in the annual budget.
of Account Section
68 - The
society shall at each annual general meeting in October appoint an
Auditor or auditors to hold office until the next annual general meeting
Change to: - The society shall at each annual general meeting elect
a treasurer to hold office until the next annual general meeting.
At the discretion of the directors an independent audit of the elected
treasure's book keeping may be conducted.
for the updates noted above will be sought by the general membership
at the AGM to be held January 26th, 2013.
These 1970 by-laws still require some updating and fine tuning which
will be done a few at a time at upcoming AGM's
Stanley Sport Aviation Association (SSA)
results at the 47th AGM held January 26, 2013.
In Favour - __32_
Against - ___0_
Abstained - ___0_
Note: - Signed copies sent to NS Registry of Joint Stock Companies,
President SSA by the Societies Act.
SECRETARY - Norma Chappell -
Stock Companies wil be updated with these minutes, financial reports
and list of the executive.
2012 AIRPORT MANAGERS REPORT - Bob Poirier
was very good in terms of projects finished . Participation was excellent
and this type of activity certainly only helps with the work load
We were successful completing several projects that where time consuming
. We had a very good turnout for the cleanup weekend which usually
falls on the weekend before the fly in breakfast .The Hilton got a
new bathroom , which I understand the ladies are very pleased with
, we applied some siding on the painted units primarily #2 hanger
and that project will continue into this coming year .
Several of our members took on the project of demolition of the old
T hangers , as requested by DNR . The debris was removed and disposed
of . DNR where pleased with the speed at which we moved on this ,they
are pleased with the result . I am grateful that some of our members
have the time and equipment to complete these major projects as it
would consume us otherwise . We had a very good turn out for the lumberjack
weekend , all runways where cleaned up and should now be safe at approaches
. There is some very good fire wood laying at the approaches that
we may be able to use this year . Perhaps a chainsaw weekend to cut
and collect some for the clubhouse . Thanks to all who helped in one
way or another .
Our trailer line is full except that we may be able to squeeze one
more in if needed . As of last year we have had to get permission
from DNR to add any trailers to the line.
We are completely full as far as club hangers are concerned , and
I am thankful that a few hanger owners are accepting tenants which
helps a great deal .
We had a few enquiries for new hangers last year , but those that
enquired are waiting for our lease to be signed before committing
In April or May we will get the water on again , usually the clubhouse
first then the trailer line . In May just before the Fly-In breakfast
we will have a work party to get things ready for spring. We do have
a few chores to get completed this year .
The wind T will be replaced, likely with a wind sock as mother nature
has taken the wind T off of its moorings . The clubhouse porch roof
needs some attention as the shingles are completely worn out . We
will continue our siding program on the number two hanger as funds
become available , maybe we can finish it this year . Some of the
plumbing in the clubhouse will get an overhaul this year and get changed
to the plastic system which is not as prone to breaking as the copper.
The clubhouse will get a few additional circuits as the present circuits
can get overloaded during active weekends . The pump house may be
rebuilt this year but I don't think there is any real requirement
just yet . There are a few other projects that may be included this
year but we will see where our budget takes us.
DIRECTORS ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2012
Receivables as of Dec. 31, 2012, $2455.37
Fuel sales in litres for 2012, 5123.52 litres ($9956.56)
on fuel sales, $848.00
on hand as of Dec. 31, 2012 in litres, 3248 litres or ($6249.00)
Cash: 2 x $2.00=$4.00
2 x .25= .50
2 x .10= .20
30 x .01= .30
Balance as of Dec. 31, 2012, $4653.93
charges $158.81 (receive statements electronically)
$24.35 Dispensing renewal fee
$22.31 Deposit books
assets of Fuel Account, $13,358.30
assets do not include value of the fuel system which includes two
fuel pumps, hoses, nozzles, air pump, lighting, electrical, key lock
system, signage, filters, office supplies and programs, stamps, postage
supplies, dyked tank and fuel pump stand etc. Estimated value in the
area of at least $7500.00 perhaps more by today's prices.
S.S.A.A. Fuel Accounts Director
DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Phil Chatterton
aircraft were able to arrive in Stanley on Friday afternoon for our
41st fly-in , however many of the aircraft chose to come in Saturday
and Sunday. We had the pleasure of hosting the Yellow Wings Vintage
tour this year. Although we were hoping for all 4 aircraft (Harvard,
Cornell, Fleet Finch and Tiger Moth) on the Maritime tour, the latter
two aircraft had to leave early due to some unforeseen circumstances.
As has been the recent trend, several people came to Stanley by motor
home, or drove here and pitched tents for the weekend.
As usual we started the weekend with the Friday night corn boil, hosted
this year by Jack and Lianne Neima. Saturday morning saw several aircraft
from PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia descend into Stanley. It was
quite windy with winds in the range of 15-25 knots, which made for
many interesting (but safe) landings. We had many interesting activities
for the visitors also, such as the forums held on Saturday and Sunday,
hayrides, candy drops, the 305 hangar had many crafts, the clubhouse
crew had bingo and cake walks for the ladies and children, and we
had judging of the registered aircraft on the field.
The forums were well attended forums and were presented by:
" members of the Yellow Wings Vintage Tour;
" Kevin Psutka with a COPA update
" Neil Wolthers who gave a lecture on the Air Cadet movement
and the flying scholarship program; and
" Jason Crowell giving a lecture on engine maintenance.
evening was our annual auction, which is always a popular event. This
is an important part of our fly-in as it is an excellent fundraiser
for maintenance and field upkeep. Bob and Kevin have a way of entertaining
the crowd while coaxing the audience to generously support the fly-in.
I would like to thank everyone who supported this event, by contributing,
bidding, or both. After the auction everyone went back to the campfire
for more entertainment. This year we had a large fireworks display
which delighted the crowd.
was a better day-weather wise as the winds had died down and a lot
of flying took place during the day. The Air Cadet Regional Gliding
School bought an L-19 aircraft and a glider to Stanley for the day.
They offered rides to anyone who wanted one - "FREE OF CHARGE"!!
After a day full of activities some of the visitors headed for their
In the evening the awards ceremony took place at the clubhouse with
several people present. The prize winners were:
" Farthest Distance Flown - Fletcher Wade (Comox, BC)
" Best Ultralight - Larry Wamback (Stanley)
" Hodgson Cup (Best Amateur Built Aircraft) - Don Hache C-FTNU
" Best Antique Classic Aircraft - J3 Cub - Jack Neima (Stanley)
" Best Production Aircraft (Certified) PA-40 Ron Cooper (Digby)
" Best Production Aircraft (Owner Maintained) Steve Eastwick
" Stanley Cup (Best Overall) - Fletcher Wade (Comox, BC)
" The "Booby Prize" - This prize is awarded for lighthearted
fun by members of the "Tower" crew who observe humorous
antics about the airfield. It will not be awarded for any dangerous
activity. Our recipients this year were Stanley's stalwart aircrew
of Jack "the Ace" Neima and Kevin "deadeye" Layden.
They flew a carpet bombing attack down the flight line dropping edible
bomblets on the visiting aircraft.
awards presentation several people went to the clubhouse to watch
a video of "Paul the Painter" trip to Oshkosh. After that
all most people went to the campfire site for some more R & R.
the fly-in weekend cadets from Windsor and Milford were invited to
participate in the fly-in by helping park cars and set up a cadet
display. The Windsor cadets did not participate, but the Milford cadets
were there on Sunday. The cadets thoroughly enjoyed themselves and
volunteered to do both days the following year. The Windsor cadets
now have a new commanding officer, so we should give them the opportunity
the participate again next year as they are the closest cadet unit
to our airport.
all know, fly-ins don't just happen. Many thanks have to go out to
all the people who volunteered their time to make the fly-in a success.
Some of the volunteers took vacation time the week before the fly-in
to ensure all the work would be done on time while other volunteers
came from other airports to donate their time. Without their generosity
the workload would increase significantly.
I would like to thank all the businesses that donated items to Stanley
also. Their kind donations help at the auction and also as door prizes.
Also, thanks goes out to the people who donated items to 305 Hangar
and the auction; also to the people who spent many hours working in
the hangars, registration booth or at the clubhouse.
As we do each year, we look forward to our next fly-in where we can
once again extend our hospitality, see old acquaintances, meet new
friends, and tell a few stories.
DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Trudy Chatterton
was another busy year for Stanley Sport Aviation, with 6 new people
joining our organization.
renewal notice was put in the fall newsletter, plus on January 3rd,
2013 we e-mailed 45 notices to help cut down on the expensive mailing
by Canada Postal service. I only had to mail out 2 notices.
a grand total of 106 members including 8 Honorary Lifetime members,
but as of today's date only 35 members have paid their 2013 membership
dues! One of last year's members, Damien O'Keefe has moved on to the
Debert Flight Centre.
one of our Honorary Lifetime members - Donnie MacDermid from Margaree
Valley, Cape Breton passed away on November 12th, 2012. On January
20th, 3013 another longtime member and supporter of Stanley Sport
Aviation, Ron Cooper from Digby, also passed away. Hopefully 2013
will be a better year for us.
NEWSLETTER DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Don MacLeod
ended with 3 newsletters, my thanks to Paul Tuttle and Rick Young
for their stories.
As always, it is the membership newsletter and your participation
is needed to make it work. There are many stories out there and all
you need to do is put it down on paper and I'll make sure it is printed
OFFICER'S REPORT - Sean Whitehead
Party was held on November 24th. Several people arrived on Friday
night and Cindy Poirier was a great help getting the Club House ready.
There were 34 adults and 17 children in attendance. Saturday morning
Bob hooked the trailer up to the Tractor and a few adults and kids
went on a Christmas Tree hunt. The weather was warm, the skies were
overcast with fog and drizzle but it did not stop the kids from finding
the perfect tree.
chowder was served at 12:30. At one PM Gail Ledger did crafts with
the kids. Gail picked up the supplies and did a great job of putting
on this event. Adrian Bent performed his ever popular fantastic magic
show at 2 o'clock. Santa and his Elf arrived at 3 PM with gifts for
Helen Barkhouse arrived with locally knitted mittens for every child.
A potluck supper was served at 5 o'clock and there was a great variety
of delicious food.
the two traditional Christmas movies after supper was cleaned up.
16 people stayed overnight. Sunday morning there were 13 people in
the Club House for breakfast. Stanley members went the extra mile
this year for the Food Bank. Jim and Susan Ward had a large box of
supplies to take with them to the local Stanley area Food Bank.
the weather Trevor Johnson, his wife and daughter brought their trailer
Thibert and his wife drove their motor home to Stanley for the Party.
For various reasons not all members were able to attend this event.
Audrey Binder, Larry Wamback, Janet Bright, and Tom Forsyth dropped
off food but couldn't stay for the festivities.
like to thank everyone who helped in the kitchen with food preparation
SPECIAL EVENTS DIRECTOR - Cindy Poirier
Fly In Breakfast:
we had a very successful Fly In breakfast. We served a total of 235
people over the weekend.
I would like to thank the following sponsors for their donations which
helped to make this event so successful. Sobeys, Superstore, Joan
Mansfield, THI Construction, Danny Awalt, Ernie Mclean.
course all the cooks in the kitchen, made everything go so smooth.
Annual Labor Day Fly In:
night when I arrived to start getting ready in the 305 hanger there
were little elves already there in the hanger with tables organized
and ready to go. You don't know how much I appreciated that. It sure
took a big load off of me.
Thanks to all those who helped in the 305 hanger, and events in the
Club house. No matter how big or small the jobs are without your help
these events would be impossible without you.
went over well. Cake walk and cupcake walk is always a big thing.
(Thanks to all would donated the cakes and cupcakes) we received enough
to have this event for two days and every child and adult who participated
were around when we had the candy drop, I think just seeing how excited
the kids were will speak for itself. Thanks to Jack and his bombardier
Kevin for making this event happen.
a Jelly Bean guess and the winner was Samantha Layden with a guess
of 236 jelly beans
(let's just say we have a lot of people out there with a sweet tooth)
just about everything sold on Saturday. Thanks to all the happy bakers.
to Keith Landra for setting up the flight simulator and for manning
we had some new recruits helping at the fish pond. Thanks to Jett
and Jared Crowell and Kristen and Samantha Layden. I hope to see you
there next year.
two 50/50 draws one on Saturday (Gail Ledger won) and one on Sunday
(Paul Tuttle won)
again to everyone for all the support you given me for these events.
Special Event Director
was some discussion about raising the price of the Fly-In Breakfast
to $8.00 per person. As there was no agreement on this it will be
discussed at the next Director's Meeting.
2 Budget - As there was no discussion on the new Budget, Brian Chappell
made a motion to accept the Budget as presented, seconded by Don Ledger.
had presented the changes to the By-Laws in his report and he made
a motion to accept the changes, seconded by Don McLeod.
by Brian Chappell to accept the actions of the Executive and Directors,
seconded by Rick Young. Approved.
5 Jim Ward has been gathering some Stanley Airport Memorabilia that
he will donate to Stanley.
as Chairman of the Nominations took over the meeting to conduct this
years elections which saw one Executive Position up for election,
which was Treasurer.
Landra was not re-offering there was one nomination for Treasurer
which was Rick Young, Jim asked three times for nominations from the
floor, there being none Rick was acclaimed as Treasurer.
were four Directors that were finishing their terms, Bob Poirier,
Rodney MacDougall, Phil Chatterton and Sean Whitehead. The following
names were put forward for Directors - Bob Poirier, Rodney MacDougall,
Phil Chatterton, and Don Ledger. Jim asked three times for nominations
from the floor, there being one the following were acclaimed as Directors.
The positions to be determined at the next Director's Meeting. Positions
will then be posted and members advised.
was adjourned at 2045.
Executive and Director's positions as per the first Director's
Meeting after the AGM-
Kevin Layden email@example.com (902) 462-5813
Vice President Brian Chappell firstname.lastname@example.org (902) 835-4843
Treasurer Rick Young email@example.com (902) 483-2976
Secretary Norma Chappell firstname.lastname@example.org (902) 835-4843
Manager Bob Poirier Bpoirier@ikmtesting.com (902)889-3040
Fly-in Chairman Phil Chatterton email@example.com (902)
Fuel Accounts Rodney MacDougall firstname.lastname@example.org (902) 864-2321
Membership Trudy Chatterton email@example.com (902) 462-8668
Newsletter Editor Don Mcleod firstname.lastname@example.org (902) 742-9365
Safety Officer Don Ledger email@example.com (902) 832-1962
Social Events Lynda Layden firstname.lastname@example.org (902)462-5813
Special Events Cindy Poirier email@example.com (902) 889-3040
18 & 19
to follow...(see also the Fly-Ins page)
For more information including the Windsock
or the Stanley Fly-In pages please click on the banners on the home
P. O. Box 401
Dartmouth, N. S., B2Y 3Y5
of the Worlds Highest Tides
Sort Aviation Association (SSAA)recently received a grant from the
Municipality of East Hants under the East Hants Municipal Grants Program.
Stanley Sport Aviation Association would like to thank East Hants
for its support and the municipality's recognition of Stanley's value
to the Municipality of East Hants both as a tourist attraction and
as a provider of employment as well as the user of services and materials
and its contribution as a taxpayer.
is frequently visited by pilots from this and other municipalities
in Nova Scotia, the other Maritime provinces as well as Quebec, Ontario
and northeastern United States. Pilots and their airplanes from as
far west as British Columbia and Texas as well as Louisana have flown
into Stanley Airfield to participate in our Labour Day Weekend Annual
Fly-In. The Annual Stanley Fly-In is a recognized aviation event in
Canada known across this country and in the United States.
will see the celebration of the 42nd Annual
Fly-In at Stanley.
or Bust 2012
(a.k.a. Rick and Paul's Excellent Adventure)
5,680.3 NM, 59.9 hours airtime and 28 legs to 26 different airports
over 14 days between July 9 and July 22, 2012.
was a once in a lifetime adventure.
It all started in December 2011 when Air1 Insurance sent me a discount
coupon for John Lovelace's Century Flight Club 2012 Yellowknife Adventure.
Now, in case the name doesn't spark any memories, John was the host
of the "Wings Over Canada" TV series a few years back, and
he organized the 100 plane Cross Canada Adventure in 2009 to mark
the centennial of powered flight in Canada. Well, this Century Flight
Club has kept going and each year they organize the route, activities
and accommodations and about 100 aircraft and crew strike out for
some destination a person wouldn't normally fly to by their lonesome.
The idea intrigued me, but I was a bit leery about being the sole
(relatively low time) pilot on such a journey. An e-mail to my former
flight instructor at Debert, Paul Gamble, had that concern resolved
in no time - no hesitation at all, he was in! (And my wife, Jody,
was relieved that she was off the hook for the trip!)
And so it was that I picked Paul up in Debert after kissing my wife
and dog goodbye at Stanley on the afternoon of July 9.
Paul Gamble and Rick Young
Our first fuel stop that afternoon was Fredericton. Headwinds made
it impractical to proceed to our first planned stop in St. Georges,
PQ. Paul was flying and upon reducing power for our descent, the engine
started running rough. We re-fueled and did a run up/magneto check
with no joy. The folks at Capital Airways had someone coming in that
night, so we tied down and headed to the Amsterdam Inn. Next morning,
we learned that we had a stuck exhaust valve…not the sort of news
you want at the commencement of an epic flight! Despite having to
pull the cylinder and run it into an engine shop in town, Jerry Waugh
and the lads had us back in the air by 4:00 pm that afternoon and
on our way to Quebec City. (My wallet was a bit lighter so even in
high density altitude conditions the plane seemed to climb a bit better.)
Now, we were supposed to meet up with the Eastern tour group in Elliot
Lake, Ontario, that evening. Needless to say, that wasn't going to
happen. So, after a brief stay in La Belle Province (we arrived about
7:00 pm and left at 05:30 the next morning), we were on our way.
The headwinds continued to impede our progress, making ground speeds
of much over 70 knots impossible. However, after 10.5 long, long hours
in the air we managed to catch up with the group in Thunder Bay, going
via Val D'or, PQ and Chapleau, ON. Bed felt good that night, but we
were with the group and back on schedule.
The Adventure Begins
Having never been on a long distance, organized tour before, neither
Paul nor I really knew what to expect. Well, expect great things!
We got to meet about 20 other crews that night at supper, and not
a pretentious SOB in the house! A few folks were better healed than
others, but you'd never know it - just a great collection of average
aviation aficionados who love to fly whatever they can afford to and
enjoy the company of like-minded individuals, and wanted to see the
North! First timers like us were in the minority as most of the participants
were on at least their second or third trip with The Club.
The first stop was to be Brandon, with fuel stops at Dryden and Steinbach
North. Century Flight had fuel discounts arranged at designated stops
along the way. However, Steinbach North gives a whole new meaning
to "Self-Serve". You pump your own avgas (relatively normal),
but you have to follow directions to learn to take the meter readings,
fill out the fuel log, calculate the total, then fill out your own
credit card slip and run it through a manual imprinter, dropping their
copies in a slotted box! However, at $1.71 per litre, taxes in, it's
worth it! The close to +40 C humidex that day made getting that cheap
gas back into the air rather challenging on their short strip, but
with no metal bent we were on our way. The tourist bureau in Brandon
had freebies and transportation arranged for us, so we settled into
another evening of camaraderie.
Smoke 'Em if You've Got 'Em
Now, normally when you plan a trip across most of the continent, weather
is going to be an issue on just about any given day. Not so on this
junket. However, smoke from a number of raging forest fires in the
northern Prairies and Ontario was about to become an issue. By the
time we arrived in Saskatoon, visibility was starting to drop and
crews were frantically trying to figure out how to get around it to
Edmonton. We went south to Red Deer, others went to North Battleford/Yorkton.
After consulting with some of the organizers already in Edmonton,
we decided to give it a try. It was pretty close to minimums, but
we made it to Edmonton City Centre on the evening of July 13, in plenty
of time for the big pig roast on the 14th. Those who went north did
not, which was not a big issue since the Eastern Group were arriving
a day earlier than the Western folks anyway.
The Western folks and the remnants of the Eastern group caught up
on the 14th. The plan was to head out to Yellowknife on the 15th.
That's when the first weather delay hit - it was torrential downpour
all day and didn't clear out until about 7:00 am on the 16th. We were
able to take in the West Edmonton Mall, visit the Aviation Museum
just up the street and get our laundry done during the two days there,
so all in all, time well spent.
North of 60
Bright and early on the 16th, after the daily briefing and breakfast
(do not expect to sleep in on these tours), everyone headed to the
airport to retrieve their planes from the soggy ground (one Maule
from California would have been better situated had it been on floats).
The original intent was to have about half the planes take a westerly
route via Slave Lake, High Level and Hay River to Yellowknife, while
the easterly route would go to Fort McMurray and Fort Smith. Smoke
meant that non-IFR had to follow the eastern route.
It becomes apparent in a hurry that a hundred extra planes in the
area can cause some "challenges" for Air Traffic Control.
Besides getting out of Edmonton, with as many as 20 extra aircraft
in the circuit at any given time, the NavCan folks in McMurray and
Smith had their hands full, as did Yellowknife when everyone converged!
They rose to the challenge, but it certainly gives some credence to
the old saying "Time to spare - go by air!"
Speaking of Fort Smith, I got to meet my first "Ice Pilots"
personality there while re-fueling! Scott Blue is now flying CL215
water bombers out of here, so we had a great yarn and I managed to
capture this shot…and no, I'm not that short! (Just in case there's
any doubt, he's also one hell of a nice guy!)
Rick Young and Scott Blue
smoke be damned, we were on our way to Great Slave Lake and The North!
Here's a shot of Preble Island…now you know what I meant by smoke
and why there haven't been many aerial photos thus far.
Smoke Haze from Forest Fire Greets the pilots as they approach Yellow
at Last - Where the Buffalo (Air) Roam
If you've never been there, north of 60 is an experience and Yellowknife
is the epitome of that experience. It was and still is a gold and
diamond town, and despite only being around 20,000 in population,
it has all the modern conveniences…like Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire!
But for general aviation nuts, it's like coming home. Bush planes
built the north, and they continue to allow it to exist. So while
it looks like most other cities on approach…
it has a few things other places do not!
a few notes on the above:
" Mikey has lost one crap-pile of weight (he's working on a F-18
" Joe was in fine form, stopping fueling of the sched until the
rampie found a replacement ground strap
" Chuck is back at Buffalo…for now anyway
" That's the Electra that had a gear-up (on one side) landing
a few months back…it was fixed within two weeks
" That is me warming Joe's preferred office seat in the DC-3
sched (plus the view from the office window next to it), and Paul
standing by the tail.
Apologies for the use of space if you don't follow the "Ice Pilots"
on TV…but chances are you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't anyway.
Other sites worth seeing:
The Bush Pilot's Monument
Town as seen from the Pilot's Monument
View of the tundra between Yellowknife and Hay River WITHOUT the smoke
(Hay River ended being the only fly-out during the four days there
due to weather in both Fort Smith and Fort Simpson).
you haven't been to the north, you owe it to yourself to put a trip
on your bucket list, especially if you're a pilot. It doesn't get
more GA friendly than this!
With 38 hours already on the "fresh" oil, a change was due
before leaving Yellowknife. Taxiing to Diamond Aviation, where I'd
managed to rent hangar space for a few hours to perform the maintenance,
I found I could only turn in one direction…air lock in the right brake!
With neither Paul nor I having tackled this dilemma before, we figured
professional help was warranted before we broke something. Lesson
1 - good luck finding an AME in Yellowknife! Thankfully, Chris Bullerdick
from Norland Aircraft Services was on the tour with us. One panic-stricken
phone call and about 45 minutes to finish lunch later, he was there
with his flying partner Fred. Ten more minutes and FPEC was ready
to roll (and stop again).
We departed Yellowknife at 06:30 on the morning of July 20. First
stop - Uranium City, where we found no one in attendance, no cell
or internet coverage and no form of communication available! Thankfully,
they are a trusting lot and the avgas pump was operational. We filled
in our own log, left our registration and cell phone number and got
back in the air so that we could close one flight plan and file another…this
time to La Ronge. Next was Swan River, followed by Red Lake, where
we had planned on stopping. One minor issue - no room at the inn (either
of them). It was apparently their festival weekend. So, we saddled
up again and set out to Sioux Lookout.
Next morning, we launched for Marathon - and caught up to another
huge batch of forest fire smoke! If visibility on landing was not
at dead minimums, it was pretty blinking close, as two others from
the tour (including Chris and Fred) also found. I haven't paid that
close attention to flight instruments since hood training! A few hours
on the ground, visibility improved and after a bite of lunch we all
went our separate ways once again.
Elliot Lake was our intended destination until we checked the CFS
and discovered there are no fuel sales there on a Saturday afternoon
this time of year. A minor deviation to Sudbury, followed by a short
run to Pembroke finished us for another day. (Traveler's Tip - if
you fly into Pembroke, which is one of the friendliest little airports
I've ever visited, book a motel in Petawawa! We booked in Pembroke
and it was a 30 minute cab ride from the airport! Petawawa is just
a couple of minutes/miles away.)
Off bright and early Sunday morning, we stopped in St. Georges, PQ
(our original intended first stop on the outbound trip) and then arrived
in Debert, NS about 16:30 that afternoon, where we refueled for the
last time and Paul and I parted company for the first time in two
weeks. FPEC was back in her hangar and I was on the way home by 18:15
The Bottom Line
Many of us, especially relatively low-time pilots like me, are somewhat
timid of distances and controlled airspace. Spread your wings or you'll
be sentencing yourself to the aviation equivalent of "never leaving
the 'hood". If you can convince a more experienced friend to
come along, you'll not only gain the confidence you need to expand
your horizons - you'll probably find someone more than willing to
share the expenses. Prepare, prepare, prepare - and start months in
advance. Don't focus on wardrobe - think survival gear (especially
if the destination is remote or includes lots or water), emergency
repairs/maintenance on your own, charts/avionics, tie downs and covers
- and food, snacks and water! (Protein bars were the food du jour
on a couple of days.) And, most importantly, consider an organized
tour. The structure, planning and camaraderie brought into the equation
by experts such as John Lovelace and the Century Flight Club will
significantly improve your chances of success and enjoyment, on a
long journey you probably would not consider doing alone.
The 2013 trip is to Atlantic Canada - perhaps we'll see you in the