The drizzle and rain on Saturday afternoon at Lubitz Flying Field on the weekend of the convention had a dampening effect on the attendance at this year’s convention but spirits were high in spite of that. The weather forecast the week before the convention was iffy for pilots flying in from any distance. It was also iffy for them trying to get home for Monday morning. As a result, there were only a few camping under the wing of their aircraft.
We had a great Friday evening Kick Off Chili supper and Saturday morning was sunny! Sunday was even better with sun all day.
When the weather doesn’t cooperate, we usually get a lot more people driving in than flying; this year was no exception. There were fewer planes but a lot more drivers. We didn’t match last year’s record attendance but the spirit and enthusiasm couldn’t be beat!
This was Skyward Balloons’ second year at the convention. The weather didn’t cooperate until Sunday morning when it looked like it was going to be good for an early morning launch. However, the visibility was too low. Even so, they unloaded the balloons and laid them out in preparation. However, by the time the visibility improved, the winds had picked up too much. To the disappointment of their passengers, they had to scrub the launch. The ride donated by Skyward Balloons can be used by the winners of them at a later date.
A LS8 glider from the Southern Ontario Soaring Association (SOSA) of Rockton, ON arrived on Saturday morning. Gliders always look so delicate and graceful, but I’m sure they are tough; they have to handle the loads during tight turns and steep climbs and quick descents. SOSA donated a couple of glider rides for the draw. The tow plane arrived in the early afternoon and towed the glider out and back to their home field. I don’t know when the glider was cut loose, but there wasn’t much lift so probably not until they were almost back to the glider strip.
In spite of the weather there were over 50 different makes and models of light aircraft on the field over the weekend. The bright, sunny Sunday morning was especially busy with pilots flying in who hadn’t been able to come in on Saturday.
The list includes wood or tube and fabric planes such as Quicksilvers, Lazairs, a Jodel, D-11, a Pietenpol Air Camper, a Dakota Hawk, and a Stitts Flutterbug and early Pipers, plus a Fleet Finch and a J-2 Cub. All metal offerings included an Tecnam, an Evektor Sportstar, 2 RV 4s and an RV 7, a Thatcher CX4 and a few ‘newer’ Cessnas. There were also composite aircraft like the 3×55 and the Ekolot Pathmaker plus two amateur built helicopters and two foot launched powered paragliders. The complete list is included in this issue.
We had three visitors who made the trip from New Brunswick. One was Dennis Moore, an Ultralight Instructor from way back. He’s retired now but he is an ultralight legend down east.
A couple from Colorado dropped in for a visit and got an unplanned flying experience at the convention. Bill and Sue Barcus were on a meandering trip to New York via Niagara Falls. Sue is a sports photographer and sent us copies of the pictures she took of the flying airplanes. They are great!
Members of the local UPAC Squadron, the Ayrborne Aviators, pitched in getting things straightened out and cleaned up also on the weekend ahead of the convention. I want to thank them for vacating their T-hangars so the Exhibitors could set up their displays under cover.
A big THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who helped before, during, and after the convention; without you, the convention would not happen.
Thanks to our supporters. Their contributions help us cover expenses.
The Annual General Meeting of the Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada was held at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon, August 16, 2014, in the seminar hangar. The members heard our reports and approved the actions of the board for the previous year.
Robert Gissing was elected as a new Director. As well, Mark Usik was returned to the Board for another 2 years. Kathy Lubitz, Mark Taylor and Todd Mitton start the second year of their two year terms.
At the Sept 10, 2014 UPAC Board meeting, the officers positions were filled by the Directors as follows: Kathy Lubitz, President; Mark Taylor, Vice-President; Jeff Barnard, Recording Secretary; and Trudy Grier is again UPAC Administrator with Membership Secretary and Treasurer duties.
Also on the agenda was the Bushhawks Literary Award. This year, the prize was won by Stu Simpson for his article on flying to San Francisco in his Merlin ultralight.
Under new business, the members heard about the requirement to transition to the new federal Not For Profit Act. UPAC is a federally incorporated not for profit corporation registered under the previous Canada Corporation Act. Rather than having to reincorporate to comply with the new act, existing corporations can ‘transition’ to the new act. The process includes examining the by-laws for compliance with the new act, and filing transition papers with Industry Canada. The membership must approve the new by-laws and the articles of transition before they can be filed with Industry Canada. The up dated by-laws and transition paper were tabled for discussion. They were then approved by the members at the meeting. The papers will be sent to Industry Canada shortly. Any member who wants a copy of the new by-laws and or the articles of transition can get a copy by asking for them.
There was further discussion by director Robert Gissing about pursuing records under the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the governing body for air sports, aeronautics and astronautics world records. He said that even if no formal record attempts are made, some of the tasks are great to keep pilots proficient with their aircraft and thus increase safety. Robert has an article in this issue about this.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:15. The next AGM will be at 3:30 on Saturday, August 15th in 2015 during the 2015 convention weekend. Put it on your calendar now!
The Transport Canada’s two hour recurrency seminar on Saturday morning received mixed reviews. Many pilots had already attended recurrency seminars and so didn’t need to attend this one. Others thought the subject matter related more to other areas of aviation than to grass field flying and light and ultralight aircraft. The Transport officer staffing the booth reported that he had a lot of interesting conversations with pilots and other visitors. He mentioned that he was surprised that the people were younger than those he sees at other events.
After the lunch break and the draw for the fabulous prizes, the seminars resumed. John Baker, a Rotax approved RMT, was up first with a presentation on Rotax 2 stroke engines. He was followed by Ed Lubitz who told us Why There is Weather. Air is the fluid in which we operate and even though we can’t always see it, things are happening all the time.
Sunday morning, I gave a seminar on Canadian Aircraft Categories – Which One is Right for You? I discussed the various categories of aircraft and the advantages and disadvantaged of each.
Kirk Loshaw was busy with some engine questions and tweaking. Both Kirk and John are recognized by Rotax as official RMT technician.
Lauren Lee of Music by Firelight provided live entertainment at dinner time both Friday and Saturday nights at the Café Les Aires. She also performed after the movie on Saturday night after dark. Because it was raining she set up in the forum hangar so everyone could get out of the rain as they listened.
By all accounts the food was great again this year. On Friday night, Tony’s chili disappeared quickly and Ralph Gingrich’s homemade maple walnut ice cream was gone in a hurry.
The Café Les Aires was busy all weekend from 6:30 when coffee with bacon, eggs, toast and beans was served. Burgers and hot dogs were on the menu all afternoon and evening. Ben Bartel delivered some peaches from Niagara on Saturday morning again this year. Tim Schinkel of Schinkels’ Legacy in Chatham supplied hot dogs, bacon and pepperettes at a greatly reduced price.
Good food, a variety of planes and great people! The weather couldn’t dampen our spirits!
See you next year, August 14, 15 and 16!