As with every year, organizers and attendees watched the weather forecasts closely in the days before this year’s UPAC Convention. As with every year, the forecasts changed frequently. Unfortunately they changed for the worse and by Friday, things weren’t looking very promising with rain and low cloud expected much of the weekend.
But UPAC members are a hardy breed and the forecast notwithstanding, a steady flow of people began arriving Friday and continued during the weekend, although most arrived by car and RV while the number of aircraft arrivals was reduced. Of course, Mother Nature being a fickle lady, the weather actually turned out to be better than forecast.
In any case, festivities began Friday evening with a chili supper, followed by the movie “Tailspin”.
On Saturday, a jam packed schedule of activities began with a full slate of seminars. Dale Kramer, the legendary ultralight designer was first with a discussion of the 40 year history of the Lazair. He told many entertaining stories including flying a Lazair at the Paris airshow, explaining how he came up with the name and almost running out of Pioneer chainsaw motors during the heyday of production. Dale invited the assembled crowd to offer their stories as well and many people discussed their experiences and admiration for the Lazair as well. Dale also described the development of an electric Lazair and his wife Carmen explained how the Lazair came to be honoured on a stamp by Canada Post.
Conversations continued all weekend at the Lazair display booth which featured snapshots of owners and planes, a collection of company advertising materials, magazine articles featuring different models through the years and a rebuilt Series III. Plus 40th Anniversary T-shirts signed by Dale Kramer were for sale. (There are still some available; contact Glen Dewsbury (email@example.com) if you are interested in getting one.) Lynn Haugo, Dale George and Glen Dewsbury are to be congratulated for pulling this all together for the UPAC convention. And a big Thank You to Dale and Carmen Kramer for being part of it!
Next up was an interesting and informative seminar by John Baker (Rotac Repair) on Rotax 2 and 4 Stroke engine tips. There were lots of questions and everyone came away with a better understanding of how to look after their engine. John has a YouTube channel (RotacRepair.ca) with quite a few of his tips online.
The convention continued with the Schnitzel lunch and raffle prize draw. After lunch, intrepid trike pilot Adrian Van Loenen wowed the crowd with a slide show of his Aerial Journey of Utah and New Mexico, from this past winter. The pictures of the breathtaking scenery were stunning and quite a few people added flying in that area to their bucket list.
Mike Thorp followed with an interesting presentation on airplane building entitled HiMax Final Episode; Let’s Fly. The first episodes included building floats for the plane, adding a wing fold mechanism, building a trailer to transport the plane. After all of this it really is time to enjoy flying the HiMax.
The final presentation also celebrated a milestone – the 45th Anniversary of Zenair, . Michael Heinz of discussed the history of the Zenith Aircraft Company and Zenair which was started by his father Chris Heinz 45 years ago. Chris is retired now and with headquartered in Canada and with a plant in Mexico, Missouri, the business is thriving with Zenair aircraft flying all over the world.
The afternoon was capped off with the Annual General Meeting. President Kathy Lubitz gave her State of the Organization address, followed by financial reports and election of directors. There was also some lively discussion about growing the membership and a potential link to the Aero Club of Canada.
After the AGM, the good food and good times continued with a curry supper and the movie “Sully” (Miracle on the Hudson).
Weather Sunday morning was again better than forecast. The convention concluded with a standing room only crowd attending the Transport Canada recency seminar presented by Ludovic Mason. His seminar was an interesting refresher on safe flying practices and proper procedures, that included lots of videos and personal anecdotes. Hopefully everyone took the safety message to heart.
Thanks to all the volunteers who once again made the 2019 UPAC Convention a great success. See you all next year!
2019 UPAC National Convention Exhibitors and Contributors:
Icom Canada www.icomcanada.com
John Baker’s Auto Service www.rotacrepair.ca
Aircraft Mfg Floats www.myfloats.com
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty www.aircraftspruce.ca
Aerotrike Aviation www.aerotrikeaviation.net
Fly360 Tactical Flight Computer www.flykobo.ca
Smart Pilot www.smartpilot.ca
O 2 Fly www.o2fly.ca
Powered paragliding https://paragliding.ca
Fisher Flying Products www.fisherflying.com
Ikarus Flight Centre www.ikarus.ca
Sport Aircraft Brokers Ltd. www.sportaircraftbrokers.com
Vortex Labs Inc www.vortexlabs.ca
Transport Canada www.canada.ca/general-aviation-safety
MacPat Rotac firstname.lastname@example.org
Lift Off Aviation http://liftoffaviation.com
Harpreet Walia – Instructor email@example.com.
Flight Design Canada / Skyview Ultralights www.flightdesigncanada.com
Hammond Aviation www.hammondaviation.com
Tiger Boys www.tigerboys.com
Gayford Carbon Fiber Composites Inc www.carbonfiberviolin.com
Music by Firelight www.musicbyfirelight.com
Schinkel’s Legacy www.schinkels.ca
ARGO Canada https://argoxtv.com
Sharen Rieger Photography firstname.lastname@example.org
JR Crawford Electric (519) 699-5600
Thank you one and all!