The 2015 UPAC Convention is history; by all accounts, it was a great success even though attendance was down a little bit from last year.
There were fewer pilots likely due to the changing weather forecasts during the week before the convention. First, it is was forecast to be clear and sunny all week, then rain and thunderstorms were predicted. That changed back to sunny with a chance of isolated showers and then back to periods of rain with possible thunderstorms. This made flight planning a trip to the convention difficult, which meant fewer pilots coming for a few days and camping under their wings.
Fog on Saturday morning did not clear until 10 a.m. which meant there weren’t as many arriving by air for the day. At one point, before the fog cleared, we heard 4 planes overhead; that indicated it was clear elsewhere. Those pilots had to leave and come back later after the fog cleared.
Usually when pilots can’t fly in to the convention, they drive in. This year was no exception with over 40 camping rigs plus tents. The car parking lot was full on Saturday by the time the sun came out mid-morning. It was a very hot weekend with heat warnings in effect on Saturday and Sunday and we had a lot of people on site.
Some numbers: Attendance was down from 700 last year to around 650 this year. Most of the traffic came through the registration booth near the parking lot. Sixty planes flew in with 68 persons aboard. There were 12 exhibitors in booths plus other supporters mingling on the grounds. Over 70 draw prizes were donated by businesses and individuals. Needless to say there were a lot of happy winners!
UPAC does not treat the convention as a money maker; it is a gathering of UPAC members their guests, other pilots and people interested in aviation. We ask for donations from those who come by the registration booth. From the businesses who exhibit, we ask them to donate a prize for the draw for which we sell tickets. As long as attendees have a good time, no one gets hurt, and we don’t lose money, the convention is a success! This year we had all of that, plus a little extra money after the expenses were covered. A big Thank You for all of your donations!
UPAC wants to especially thank the local pilots who vacated their hangars at Lubitz Field for the weekend; that’s where the exhibitors set up. Those same pilots plus other members of the UPAC Ayrborne Aviators/EAA Chapter 115 and others who aren’t members of the club, contributed countless hours during the week before the convention getting everything ready… AND … they helped during the convention and with the clean up afterwards. There were at least 60 volunteers who made the convention happen! A big THANK YOU to everyone of you!
Convention Photos …
If you were at the convention and took some pictures, we would love it if you could send us copies for our records and for possible inclusion in Light Flight.
One photographer, Gustavo Corujo, introduced himself to me late morning on Sunday. He followed up with an email which included a link to his convention photographs. Go directly to http://gusair.com/htdocs/html/ultralight15.html to see his convention pictures.
Highlights from the AGM
The members at the AGM moved, seconded and voted to increase the membership to $50 per year starting in January 2016. Family memberships will be $70 per year. Renew or join now to avoid the increase. One member commented, “That’s only two lattes…’
Kathy Lubitz and Mark Taylor were acclaimed as returning Directors for another two year term. Officers will be elected at the first Board meeting after the AGM which will be in September.
Transport Canada Regulation update
On the regulatory front: three regulatory amendments are working their way through the process. The Aerodrome Consultation package, 406 ELT requirements, and proposed rules for UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). We are keeping track of thses Trasnrpto initiatives and will keep you informed.
Light Aircraft Manufacturing Association of Canada (LAMAC)
The Light Aircraft Manufacturers of Canada (LAMAC) has control and custody of the Design Standards for Advanced Ultra-light Aeroplanes. The organization has become inactive and there was concern for the future of the Design Standards. Dave Gascoine, the last LAMAC director and president resigned and named Kathy Lubitz, in her role as President of UPAC, as President of LAMAC.
The UPAC board has accepted the responsibility and will become the caretaker of the Design Standards for Advanced Ultralight Aeroplanes (DS10141). UPAC Directors will “transition” LAMAC to the new federal Not For Profit Act. At the AGM, the membership approved UPAC taking custody of the Advanced Ultra-light Design Standards and the administration of LAMAC.
The following donated prizes for the draw:
Icom radio; www.icomcanada.com Icom portable transceiver
Skyhunter 406; www.skyhunter406.com $200 Gift certificate for products or services
Fisher Flying Products; www.fisherflying.com Set of plans for a Fisher aircraft
Ikarus Flight Centre; www.IkarusFlightCentre.com Two flights in an Ikarus, and 5 Dynon hats
Gyro Ontario Corp; www.gyroontario.ca Introductory Gyro Flight
Great Lakes Helicopters; www.greatlakeshelicopter.ca One ride for 3 people in a helicopter
Aerotrike Aviation; www.aerotrikeaviation.net Introductory Trike Flight
Sonex Aircraft/Toronto Aerosports; www.torontoaerosport.com Two Sonex demo rides
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty; www.aircraftspruce.ca $100 Gift Certificate
MacPat Rotac; email@example.com Case of Castrol Super 2-stroke oil
John Baker’s Auto Service; www.rotacrepair.ca 8 Rotax hats
CASAIR; www.caisair.info Three $100 gift certificates
NAVStrobe Lighting Ltd. www.navstrobelighting.com Strobe light
Canadian Aviator Magazine; www.canadianaviator.com Five magazine subscriptions
All Star Resorts; www.allstarresort.com Two nights in two bedroom cabin for up to 4 people
Hamilton Aero Club; firstname.lastname@example.org Fleet Finch flight
Tiger Boys Flying Museum; www.tigerboys.com Ride in WWII trainer
Fred Gayford Carbon Composites; email@example.com set carbon fibre wheel chocks weigh less than 1 lb
Lift Off Aviation; http://liftoffaviation.com Introductory Flight
Hammond Aviation; www.hammondaviation.com ASA Tech Flight Bag
Zenair Canada; www.zenair.com Gift Certificate for rudder workshop
Rans/CD Sport Aviation; CD-Sport-Aviation on Facebook Lake Scugog Float Flight
Sport Aircraft Brokers Inc; www.sportaircraftbrokers.com The Claw tie down kit
These individuals donated prizes:
Don Benton; a book – The Snowbird Story
Joseph Cabral; 12 pocket knives and 10 scissors
Erwin Hornmann; Kel Arc Spot Welding Gun
UPAC is also supported in other ways:
Debb Group; www.debgroup.com samples of their skin care products
Schinkel’s Legacy; www.schinkels.ca discounts on bacon, hot dogs, & pepperettes.
ARGO ATV; www.argoatv.com The use of 2 Argo ATVs for the convention weekend
Lauren Lee; www.musicbyfirelight.com Saturday evening entertainment
Keith Murray; firstname.lastname@example.org Live supper music Friday and Saturday
Rob Elford from Nav Canada’s London Flight Information Centre gave a most informative presentation on flight planning and airspace. He also talked about weather reports and how to read them and more important, what they do and don’t tell you. He explained what changes trigger a ‘Special’ METAR and how they are updated.
Bruce McPherson, of Pointer Avionics and Skyhunter 406 gave a presentation on the new proposed regulations for drones and how model aircraft might be affected. His company has been specializing in aviation avionics manufacturing and repair for over 37 years and is now involved in drone sales and pilot training.
There were two Rotax seminars. John Baker of RotacRepair.ca gave a talk on 2 stroke engines and Phil Belanger of CASAIR spoke about the heavy maintenance he does on the 900 series 4 stroke engines. Convention regular Kirk Loshaw was unable to attend this year. All three are regular advertisers in Light Flight. Thank them for their contributions to UPAC and the convention and remember them when you need Rotax information or parts and service.
Greg Evans gave an inspiring talk about the spectacular beauty of Quebec’s Eastern Townships from the air. He shared the photos he’s taken from the cockpit of his Earthstar Odyssey. Greg flies in every year from Dunham, QC.
A Convention First!
A powered paragider pilot arrived a the convention this year. Robin Ten Pas took off from his home about 5 miles away and arrived at the convention in his foot launched PPG. We’ve had PPGs operating at the convention but never before had one arrive that had not taken off from here.
It’s about the planes!
There were two Canadian Ultralight manufacturers on the field for the weekend: Zenair’s Micheal Heinz was here as was and Fisher Flying Products’ Dave Hertner. Dealers for other ultralight manufacturers were present: Sonex, represented by Toronto Aerosports; Ikarus represented by the Ikarus Flight Centre; and Aerolite 103 represented by Sport Plane Brokers, Inc. CD Sport Aviation is the dealer for Rans but didn’t get here because of the fog.
There is normally quite a variety of aircraft at Lubitz field on the UPAC convention weekend and this year was no exception. The Tiger Boys sent several of their planes to the convention: a Pietenpol Air Camper, plus an Aeronca Champ, a Fleet Finch, a Baby Ace, and a Tiger Moth. A total of 71 different makes and models of aircraft were present including gyroplanes, helicopters, a PT6 powered Kodial Quest, powered parachutes and foot launched powered paragliders, and a the usual weight shift trikes and fixed wing ultralight aeroplanes including the twin engined Lazair and Toucan.