There were two board resignations in the month of January. Mark Thibault resigned for personal reasons and Augie Rinz due to a job promotion requiring him to relocate to Ottawa. I extend, on behalf of the board and the membership, a vote of thanks to them for their contribution to the club. We are a club of volunteers and could not function without the work done by these two board members. We wish them both all the best and point out that they will both continue on in the club as regular members.
Chris Palmer has been appointed by the board as Vice President and we welcome him to this position. Chris will be a positive addition to the board of directors. Secretarial duties will now be assumed by Kevin Lacroix who will act as both the secretary and treasurer.
Nothing new to add to the COVID protocols which remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Your continuing patience is appreciated as we work through the day-to-day challenges presented by it.
We will continue to promote flight safety in the coming months. As it is clear that most aircraft accidents do not occur from stick and rudder issues, we believe that focusing on pilot decision making is where the emphasis should be placed. The motto which best describes our goals is “safety through continuous learning”. It was mentioned in my last newsletter that a series of seminars will be offered to our members and who are encouraged to participate in them. Contact Warren Le Grice if you wish to be invited to attend the Webex based seminars (firstname.lastname@example.org). An SMS (Safety Management System) program is being developed as well by the safety committee and this will help to further promote flight safety within our membership.
Good weather seems to be upon us and so we encourage our pilots to take advantage of the situation and do some flying. Be safe and have fun.
First, let’s do some background explanation. Until 2013, the only members of the Abbotsford International Airshow Society were the Directors. It had been that way ever since the society was first formed in 1966. It was formed originally for the specific purpose of putting on Canada’s Centennial Airshow in 1967, and it was expected to be wound up after that event. But instead, it was re-constituted a little and continued under the auspices of the AFC and Chapter 85 of the EAA. Then in 1969 it was re-constituted again after the EAA dropped out. From 1969 to 2017 the Board officially comprised 14 members of the AFC and 14 others. However, after the financial collapse at the end of 1997 there was rarely (if ever) a full set of non-AFC Directors, and there was no real mechanism to appoint them. So in 2013 we addressed the problem by offering the possibility of membership to anyone interested. The main target group were the hundreds of volunteers who put countless hours into the event every year, but who never really had a voice in its direction. They, as Members would then elect the non-AFC Directors, and could also stand to become Directors themselves. This served the dual purposes of establishing a mechanism to appoint Directors, while also giving the Members a voice in the Society’s direction. Around 140 new members signed up, and both purposes have been realized in practice.
We also decided to create a Membership Committee and to provide direct member benefits, beyond the right to stand for election and the right to vote. Pre-2020 there were visits to aviation museums south of the border, a Member Challenge Coin, and various other events. At present, all members can collect a free custom-made airshow mug, and in January we had a great on-line event with Jodi Roeger. On Feb 18th there is another such event with Capt. Dan “Delouse” Deluce, the 2021 CF-18 Hornet Demo Team pilot.
These direct benefits far outweigh the annual cost of dues. We set the dues at the nominal level of just $10/year, because the desire for members is not about collecting money. The membership program costs more than the total dues collected. Ideally, we would like to see most volunteers become members, take an interest in how the Society runs, and consider becoming a Director. All Directors are now subject to term limits, so there is a need for a healthy turnover of Directors, who will bring in new ideas and impetus to the whole enterprise.
The AFC was directly responsible for starting the airshow in 1962. It has always been a driving force in the direction, management, and operation of the airshow. We still directly appoint 3 out of the 11 total number of Directors. At present 4 of the 11 are AFC members. During the show, the AFC is completely responsible for the aircraft static displays and for the campground. In normal years, the AFC receives very significant income in return for this. Many AFC members also volunteer in other essential roles, particularly the fencing teams. The AFC also runs the Broken Prop restaurant for campers, with all net proceeds being retained by the club. The mutual importance of the airshow to the AFC and vice versa is huge.
AIAS membership is a natural choice for AFC members.