Another Convention is over and it was great! Although formal activities were limited this year, there was plenty of good food, lots of interesting planes, and lots and lots of happy people. We were careful to follow provincial COVID protocols for outdoor meeting areas and most people stayed out in the sunshine getting their Vitamin D.
The grounds and picnic tables were full with people visiting with friends they hadn’t seen in awhile or chatting with new friends. It felt like a family reunion…
While we did not formally invite exhibitors, a few showed up. Dave Hertner from Fisher Flying Products sat under the wing of a Fisher Dakota Hawk for the day. Lionel Neels from G1 America flew in with his G1 demonstrator for all to see.
We cleaned up one hanger for ‘businesses’ and it in you could find Trudy Grier handling UPAC memberships and merchandise and JoAnne Horton printing pictures on mugs, coffee cups. I understand a number of happy people left with special coffee mugs featuring pictures of their favorite flying machines.
The Lost Aviators Coffee Co. from Guelph, Ontario also set up a table in the hangar and had free samples of their coffee. I have to admit theirs was much better than what we served at the Cafe les Aires.
We had one other hangar cleared out for presentations and meetings. Just after 10 am, we started the UL Transition presentation which qualified as recurrency training. At the beginning, of it, Transport Canada’s Uwe Goehl joined us from BC to introduce himself and to update us on TC’s COVID challenges, to share some accident data and to also share some links to various services and information.
Due to technical difficulties, the on-site attendees weren’t able to see Uwe’s powerpoint and could barely hear him. I asked for, and he sent me, a copy of his presentation, but without the audio or speaker’s notes, it was incomplete.
Fortunately, Ted Rankine’s video crew recorded the Zoom screen which showed Uwe and his slides. I now have a copy with both audio and video. We’ve asked Uwe if we could post this somewhere so it could be seen by those who missed it. He’s asked his ‘higher ups’ and we’ll let you know where to find it if we are allowed to post it.
The UL Transition presentation was also recorded but there were screen issues challenging us. We kept working at it and managed to get a video camera on the TV screen with the presenters for the Zoom guys. Ted and I could explain our issues to the guys sitting in the hangar. Thank all of you for your patience and understanding!
To avoid issues with computers, cameras, and connections, Ted and I will do the UL Transition presentation again so it can be recorded properly. It will be an in-person presentation later this fall or early winter. Once it’s arranged, we’ll let you know; you might be able to join us.
Due to COVID, this year’s UPAC convention was scaled back to just one day with COVID protocols in place, but that didn’t dampen spirits in the least. It was just great to be gathering in some fashion again.
As with every year, organizers and attendees watched the weather forecasts closely in the days before this year’s event. And .. as with every year, forecasts changed frequently. Unfortunately, they changed for the worse as convention day Saturday approached and by Friday, things weren’t looking entirely promising with thunderstorms forecast for that afternoon. But UPAC members are a hardy breed and the forecast notwithstanding, a steady flow of people began arriving Saturday morning, although most arrived by car while 32 aircraft flew in.
The schedule of activities began with a Transport Canada recurrency seminar hosted by UPAC’s Kathy Lubitz and Smart Pilot’s Ted Rankine. The seminar was attended in person by a good crowd and despite a few technical glitches, was also streamed online to a virtual audience. The topic of this informative seminar was Transitioning To Ultralights.
Following the seminar there was a break for lunch with chili, hamburgers and hot dogs cooked up by the volunteers at the Cafe Les Aires.
The afternoon schedule continued with the Annual General Meeting. President Kathy Lubitz gave her ‘State of the Organization’ report followed by financial reports and election of directors. Current Directors were acclaimed and we welcomed new Director Darek Magusiak. There was also some lively discussion about social media and growing the membership.
After the AGM, the final seminar of the day, a “Town Hall for Ultralight Instructors” was planned but unfortunately the in-person part of this discussion was canceled to give everyone a chance to bug out or batten down the hatches due to the approach of an intense thunder storm.
Thanks to all the volunteers who once again made the 2021 UPAC Convention a great success. Hopefully next year’s event will be bigger and better than ever!
Thirty seven planes were flown during this year’s UPAC Convention with 25 different makes and models. To colour photos of the planes at the 2021 UPAC Convention go to GUSAIR.com http://gusair.com/htdocs/Aviation/2021/21-Canadian-Formation-Clinic–/21-Canadian-Formation-Clinic-C/21-Canadian-Formation-Clinic–/21-Ultralight-Convention-UPAC-/21-ultralight-convention-upac-.html
The list of unique aircraft includes:
Aeronca Champ and L16
Air Creation Trike
Cessna 140 and 150
Corben Baby Ace
Pietenpol Air Camper
Piper J3, and PA 22
Quad City Challenger II
Rans S-12, S-7, and S-6