I remember when I was sixteen my parents took us on a vacation to Cuba.
When we got there it was wonderful – sunshine, beaches, ocean, seafood, coconut-water and other delicious tropical fruits. My parents told me the rum was really good, but didn’t let me have any. Anyway, I remember saying to Dad, “wouldn’t it be great if we owned a place here?”. He looked at me and for a moment then asked, “What would that change?”. At times like this, when he was asking me to think beyond my reckless teenage drives, he would take on the aspect of a wise Buddhist monk. “Well, Dad, it would mean that we could come here every year.”, I replied. “But surely, son, that is only a matter of committing to come back again”. He went on to point out that being in this wonderful place had nothing to do with owning it. He asked me if I was enjoying myself, and I had to admit that I was. At the time I gave it little thought, but when I look back I realize that he was teaching me about the importance of being present and enjoying the moment.
Reflecting on the flight I took with Kevin and some friends to Texada Island just the other day, Dad’s point really hits home for me. We had a spectacular flight, rode bikes on lonely roads, enjoyed a wonderful meal with good friends and adventured our way back home. To get there by car would have meant hours of driving, three ferries and the costs of accommodation. We truly have a wonderful proposition at our flying club. Seeing it through the eyes of our non-flying guests really drove it home.
We all talked about owning aircraft – and it is a viable option for some – but when I think about it, flying the club aircraft is perfect for me at my time of life. Our talented Treasurer has recently done some financial analysis regarding the cost of ownership. Aircraft ownership, before literally getting off the ground – is in the range of fifteen thousand dollars per year. That doesn’t include the cost of purchasing the aircraft or the ongoing costs of hourly flight. The Club proposition is even more attractive when you consider the fact that we have a diligent team of people looking after the maintenance, financing and care of the aircraft. I have often fantasized about owning or home-building, but the fact is, with two tween-aged kids and a busy career I’m lucky to get the lawn mowed and our oil changed in the family vehicle. Because of the excellent assets of the club, members are able to fly to exciting destinations with only the requirements of currency to be met.
Whether you choose to own an aircraft, fly the club planes or even a bit of both, the most important thing to remember is to get out there and fly for fun!
I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you – this year our Wings and Wheels event went off quite well! Despite the rain and the fact that the “Fly-In” was more of a “Taxi-In” your high spirits, welcoming hearts and “can-do” attitudes turned it into a fun, cozy and smooth-running event! We provided a safe and secure place for the wings and the wheels, a hearty breakfast for fifty three guests and some enchanting entertainment.
There are just too many people to mention – and I’m terrible at remembering, so please forgive any of my memory lapses. Firstly, I’d like to express a special thank you to Ed Boon. Despite wanting to hand off the Wings and Wheels event two years ago, he’s put in a great effort and made things work. We had lots of great help from Ruth, Steve, Mark and Lorenzo on the preparation and setup in the weeks leading up to the event. Holes were filled, fences erected, stages set up, critical equipment secured – not to mention the planning, marketing and other thinking that went into the endeavor. On the day before Wings and Wheels there was a huge set up effort. During the event itself, one of my secret activities (while the eggs are cooking away) is to step back and observe the hum of activity that goes on while we’re hosting an event. It’s spectacular! I saw Murray, Jan, Barb and Val buzzing away in the kitchen and the dining area. Clark was handing out sausages with Val helping. Murray presided over the settings, making sure that condiments, juices and syrup kept flowing. Meanwhile, in the kitchens, Bob ran the cooking operation with an eagle eye and a ready laugh to keep people encouraged. Bob Leroux and Adrian were everywhere, snapping photos and documenting the action! The hardcore troopers, Aug and Kevin were out on the field directing the vehicles and aircraft into position – it was cold and wet work on this rainy May day! Inside, Dirk and his wife Susan took money, sold tickets and kept a tally on incoming customers. I heard many positive comments from the Mayor and his graceful wife, Velma about the caliber of our club – in particular it’s members; they said we represent the spirit of welcome and adventure that embodies the Abbotsford Community.
Congratulations to RAA Chapter 85 at Delta on the first flight of their new Zenith CH 750 Cruzer. Below is a report and video:
The RAA Chapter 85 Zenith 750 Cruzer completed a successful test flight this afternoon out of the Delta Heritage Air Park. Once insurance for the aircraft was confirmed as being in place, Sebastien was able to confirm that he felt today was suitable for an attempt at a flight. Sebastien was at the field a little bit after 10 am this morning and a number of the members who had been involved as volunteer builders also arrived to assist.
Sebastien updated the software for the Dynon Skyview and then several hours were spent examining the aircraft and also correcting some small problems. This included Cyril and Peter Lenger making a quick flight to Pitt Meadows Airport to pick up some needed items.
By mid afternoon, Sebastien was satisfied that a flight could be attempt. After an aborted first attempt to investigate a radio issue, Sebastien lined up and was in the air just after 3 pm. Some photos will be included below and a link to a YouTube video of the the in cockpit portion of the flight can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/KGmXHuN8pSs
The flight turned up a few items which will need to be addressed before the next flight. As can be seen on the video, Boundary Bay tower was having difficulty picking up the Cruzer’s transponder and engine temps were high which will require checking and improving engine baffling and air flow. Sebastien reported that the aircraft flew well and no things like oil leaks were in evidence post flight.
Overall, it was a very successful first flight. The members who were the volunteer builders and who put in hundreds of hours of work over the last three and a half years are to be congratulated. Thanks also to Sebastien Sekora for managing all the issues leading up to the test program and then performing the first flight. Thanks also to Michael Heintz and Zenair Canada for the attention which they have given to the Chapter and project.