2023 Convention Report
As usual, organizers and attendees again watched the weather forecasts closely in the days before this year’s UPAC Convention. As always, the forecasts changed frequently. Fortunately though, the weather gods ultimately did not disappoint. Although Friday was very breezy, which delayed some arrivals, festivities began during the evening with a chili supper, followed by the movie Fly Boys.
Saturday dawned clear and calm with sunshine and light winds expected to continue for the rest of the weekend. Sure enough, a steady flow of people began arriving Saturday morning by road and air and continued through the day. The number of attendees appeared to match pre-covid levels and it was great to see so many aircraft of all types arriving.
The volunteer ramp crew were kept busy directing planes to their parking spots at the airfield. Saturday’s jam-packed schedule of activities began with a full slate of seminars. John Baker from RotacRepair, kicked them off with an interesting Rotax fuel discussion.
This was followed by a very informative presentation by David Donaldson from Great Lakes Gliding Club entitled “Oh Crap! What to do when it hits the fan”. He described ways to become a safer pilot using videos of real glider accidents to illustrate what not to do. The third seminar of the morning was again conducted by John Baker and involved a hands on demonstration of Rotax Ignition Systems.
The convention continued with the BBQ lunch and raffle prize draw. It was nice to see so many attendees again enjoying good food and socializing in the sunshine as planes flew overhead.
After lunch, Uwe Goehl from Transport Canada, outlined his role at TC Headquarters and summarized issues that the Ultralight Working Group is reviewing.
This was followed by a presentation by Kevin Brown called A.I.M. for Safety.
Later in the day, attendees that were camping overnight enjoyed Thai food and the movie ‘Fly Away Home’.
Activities continued Sunday morning with an impromptu presentation by Dale George, co-founder of Sky Canoe, who described their remotely piloted planes (RPAS) and how they are transporting light cargo to isolated indigenous communities north of Winnipeg, MB..
This was followed by a general discussion called “I won’t do that again.” alternatively called “What Happened. What I did about it. and What I learned”
A group of vintage homebuilt aircraft flew in from local airstrips.
After lunch, the convention was capped off with the Annual General Meeting. President Kathy Lubitz gave her State of the Organization address, followed by financial reports and the election of directors.
Thanks to Kathy and Ed Lubitz and all the volunteers who once again made the 2023 UPAC Convention a great success.
Hope to see you all next year!