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Saturday May 14, 2022

Our season opener to Windsor yesterday, Saturday May 14th., was a big success. 35 airplanes made the trip in excellent weather although many of us with ADSB weather on board got quite a surprise when, while inbound, some yellow and red showed up on the screen about 20 miles south of the Windsor airport airport. Turned out that an isolated and rather large developing TCU turned into a TS. Amazingly it was quite stationery south of the field out over the west end of Lake Erie and didn't affect us arriving or departing all day. The dark clouds looked quite menacing with both thunder and lighting present.

In spite of this threatening TS to the south we had a great day. The volunteers of the Canadian Aviation Museum did a fantastic job marshalling airplanes. cooking burgers and Hot Dogs and giving guided tours of the Museum. Our thanks goes out to Perry Burford and his small army of dedicated volunteers for a job well done. Thanks Guys and Gals.

As usual I managed to take a few pictures at this event. Click on this link to view.

Our next outing will be to Kincardine (CYKM) on Thursday May 26th. so circle your calendars on that date. More information will be coming out in the days ahead.

Ivan Kristensen
Trillium Aviators

Saturday September 18,2021

Burt and Maria Hodgins along with Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma flew to Timmins to attend Lloyd Richards’ Memorial held in Lloyd’s hangar at the Timmins Airport. The weather was 5C at Timmins Airport when we phoned FSS but warmed up considerably for a sunny day when we arrived mid morning. Winds were 30 KT on the nose wo made the trip slightly slower but smooth. Coffee and donuts allowed people to visit as we had not seen some since the IPATS over 2 years earlier.

Lunch as held in the hangar and speeches but different speakers recollected Lloyd’s passions especially for flying and friends.

COPA President and CEO Christine Gervais flew in with her C-172 she purchased from Lloyd so was special for all to see. Trip home was faster with a 10KT tailwind.

1. Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Nancy Richards, Maria and Burt Hodgins in front of Lloyds Bonanza
2. Nancy Richards in front of Lloyd’s beloved Bonanza.
3. Maria Hodgins, Marilyn Bruinsma, Nancy Richards in front of Bonanza

73 Aircraft Arrive at Sky Harbour Airport
by Marilyn Bruinsma
August 2021

Thursday, August 5, was the date set for the Trilllium Aviators to fly into Goderich's Sky Harbour Airport. The sun was shining along with a Lake Huron breeze. A perfect day. Planes started arriving early in the morning for coffee and Culbert's famous donuts. Pilots came from as far away as Elliot Lake. North Bay, Hong Kong (actually Welland) Lindsay, as well as Kincardine, Hanover, Sexsmith, Woodstock, Owen Sound, Sarnia, Chatham, Guelph, Kitchener, Stratford and other places around Ontario.

The Trillium Aviators is a group of pilots who would fly to different airports for lunch at an airside rrestaurant, but when COVID arrived, unfortunately all the airport restaurants were closed. Ivan Kristensen from Guelph came up with the idea of packing a lunch, a lawnchair and flying to a chosen airport. The group started with a few friends around the Kitchener area.and has grown to over 100 pilots, who have flown to Gore Bay, Stratford, Chatham, Stanhope, Hanover, Midland, Lindsay and more. With restrictions being lifted, Goderich beccame the second fly-in held this year.

The invitation went out on Monday and by late Wednesday there were 56 aircraft and 80 people confirmed. But with sunny weather more pilots and families took advantage of a great day to fly and Goderich was their destination. Some pilots commented on the day's schedule and how it spread out the arrivals to the airport. As planes landed, OFF/COPA 45 marshalls directed them where to park and also assisted pilots in fuelling their aircraft.

Before lunch, Taylor Lambert, Chair of the Airport Task Force welcomed the Trillium Aviators to Sky Harbour Airport. Goderich Mayor John Grace gave greetings from the town and commented on this being a very successful event at our airport. Huron County Warden, also Mayor of ACW, Glen McNeil told the audience that it was a fantastic turn out and wanted them to enjoy what our area has to offer. Ivan Kristensen, leader of the Trillium Aviators, responded to the politicians' comments and thanked Goderich, Huron County and COPA Flight 45 for the successful day. There were gift bags of a Goderich pen, maps and a chunk of salt for the visitors. With Sky Ranch ice cream vouchers from Huron County to the visiting pilots, many are sure to return for ice cream, even burgers, fries, and milkshakes

Lunch was served inside the clubhouse and everyone went out for a cob of corn. The corn crew were OFF members Jim Farrell, Burt Hodgins, Don Jones and John Black. Many enjoyed the breeze as they ate outside. COPA 45 displayed a variety of aircraft, a Cessna 140, 170 and some 172's, a Cavalier, a Lancair II, a Pietenpol, a Cub, a Mooney, an ultralight Zenith 701, a Piper Archer and Cherokee. There were professional photographers and reporters on site to mark the day's event.

The grounds looked great as OFF/COPA 45 members Jim and Jane Farrell, Burt Hodgins and grandson Kieren, Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma spent Civic Holiday tidying up the flower beds, edging sidewalks, weedwhipping the apron, powerwashing chairs, and reconstructing the wood fence by the clubhouse. COPA Flight 45, the Town of Goderich and the Municipality of ACW showcased Sky Harbour Airport. As Mayor Grace said, “Planes, planes and more planes.... exciting times” So it is.

Jack Searson
COPA Award of Merit
June 2021

Flying and building are two of Jack's passions along with his COPA membership. He is Co Captain of COPA Flight 172 and member of Flight 45. When it was announced that Hanover was hosting the 2012 COPA Convention, Jack and Ella were founding committee members with COPA director Phil Englishman. Jack was in charge of recruiting and positioning volunteers, doing an outstanding job as the weekend was very well organized. Ella, a RN, was responsible for the First Aid Station inside the terminal. She helped a person having a heart attack to survive as paramedics were just outside the door.

Jack is one of those members who in the background to attend to the tiniest of details to make an event more successful. Every organization needs a person like Jack. COPA 45's Navigator Marilyn Bruinsma says, “With Jack and Ella helping at an event, you know that it will run smoothly.” When COPA 45 got the former weather station for our clubhouse, there were many renovations needed. After donations of a frig, cupboards, tables, chairs, and BBQ's, Jack wanted to buy a stove which he found roadside returning from Port Hope. Ella gave us a microwave cart and many items to complete our kitchen. As COPA 172 Co-Captain, Jack plans a late January banquet for area COPA Flights, a great idea to have an aviation event when little is happening.

COPA for Kids is a program about which Jack is also passionate. He flies area students from Kincardine, Port Elgin and Hanover airports. Nothing pleases Jack more than to see the smiling faces of kids as they return to their parents, certificates in hand. Annual treks to EAA's Oshkosh has continued that aviation passion for another generation. Jack has mentored his grandson, Bradley, first into the local Air Cadets and then into a military career. This winter Bradley flew to the reserves in northern Manitoba to assist with COVID vaccines and now is transporting medical labs to Alberta.

After graduation, Jack saw a newspaper ad for an apprentice at Goderich's Sky Harbour Air Services. With room and board, wages would not allow any savings for a pilot's license. In 1967 he worked for a company installing telephone switching equipment in offices for the new dial phones. Jobs in Manitoba and Quebec meant he flew Air Canada to these destinations. Even after marriage in 1970, Jack kept that dream of a pilot's license alive. Meanwhile friends were offering him rides in their aircraft to keep that bug ever present. In 1977 Ella saw an ad that Bill Cruikshank was offering ground school at night. Ella said, “that if I wanted my pilot's license that I had better register quickly.” Jack remembers that “I couldn't get there fast enough as I did not want to disappoint her”. In October Jack started his flight training in Goderich and 5 months later did his first solo flight which every pilot says, “it's something you will never forget”. Labour Day Weekend he passed his flight test and Bill signed his log book. He often rented Bill's C-150 to give people rides. Something every newly minted pilot does!

Oct '78 Jack saw a '41 Aeronca Chief for sale in Brantford and with no AME check, bought it. It had no radio, no starter and a 65hp Continental. He flew it with homemade skiis but Transport would not approve them so sold it to a Quebec pilot. He purchased a C-140 with a starter and metal wings, heavier but better for outside storage. After attending RAA fly-ins at Orillia, Jack wanted to build his own plane so bought plans for a Christavia Mk 1. To pay for materials he sold the C-140. Again he rented Bill's C-150.

While building the wings Jack moved from Bluevale to Port Hope for a new position at Darlington Nuclear Plant. He completed the build in his garage. Dec 31, 1988 he trailered the plane to Peterborough Airport for final assembly, weight and balance, final inspection and Transport papers. May 9/89 Jack did the flight test successfully with the family watching. It was his first time flying a stick. In 2017, after 792hrs airtime, Jack sold C-GJLW and flew it to a grass strip near Komoka for the new owner. At the time he said he would likely look for another plane to buy in the future.

Of course he purchased another plane, a C-140 in late 2019. He removed the damaged aluminum wings, acquired a set of used wing ribs, constructed new wings and covered them with fabric. reducing 50lbs of weight. Impeccable workmanship and an excellent fabric finish! Neighbours enjoyed the construction as he was the man building a plane in his house. The garage door was open to take one wing outside and change it for the other. Done test flying, Jack is ready to join other COPA 45 members with their aircraft for an area flyout.

COPA 172's Captain Chris McCullough says, “Jack is a valued citizen whose expertise is sought for Kincardine Airport. When plans for runway extensions were proposed, the municipality asked Jack to lead this group with a path forward.” Jack chaired the 50th anniversary committee for Kincardine's Airport. But due to COVID-19 restrictions, the June 2020 weekend celebrations could not happen. Plans for 50+1 this June are not happening due to the lockdown. Everyone was looking forward to these celebrations after the 'stay-at-home' order. COPA 45 member Jim Farrell with Wayne Lowry was the first pilot to fly Bill's 150 CF-UQU into Kincardine's newly established airport (CYKM).

Co-Captain of COPA 45, Mike Beatty stated, “Jack is great example of grass roots general aviation on a do-it-yourself budget. Not many individuals are sufficiently self-motivated to accomplish a wing rebuild with fabric finish. After he insulated his workshop, he had the install completed in just over a year. The plane is lighter and flies straight.” Jack illustrates the comradre which exists among general aviation pilots. Jim and Jane Farrell recall a situation at CYKM “where there was no one to hand prop their plane. One phone call to Jack and he was there immediately and literally gave us a hand”.

For the members of both COPA Flights 45 and 172, Jack Searson deserves to receive an Award of Merit for all his dedication to General Aviation, COPA, EAA, RAA and local airports.

Marilyn Bruinsma, COPA 45 Navigator

Norm Paterson
COPA Award of Merit
June 2021

A pilot's best friend is his AME to ensure a well maintained and operating aircraft that gives the pilot peace of mind while flying. Knowing the machine is in good running condition the pilot is free to concentrate on the airspace, weather and other safety requirements while flying cross country.

COPA Flight 177 member and AME, Norm Paterson, is a valued individual among his aviation friends and colleagues. He operates a mobile truck from the town of Fullerton, southeast of Mitchell as well as a maintenance shop across the sideroad from his home, a converted 120 year old schoolhouse. He has a grass strip on the farm from which allows customers to fly in for service. Norm also flies his Piper Pacer from his home strip to the customer's airport, picks up their aircraft and flies it back to his shop for the maintenance required.

Norm apprenticed for his AME at Terry Air, a maintenance facility owned by the late Terry Stuart at the Centralia Airport. After receiving his license, Norm established his own business. As an AME, Norm is basically on call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Faced with an unexpected mechanical problem enroute, pilots say when phoned Norm will give them some suggestions to try adjusting certain parts to get both pilot and plane back to the home base. Myself, when I have had limited time between trips or air tours, he always manages to fit me in for needed maintenance or even an annual. Norm is responsible for maintenance on over 70 aircraft. Some annual inspections take longer to complete in one year than another but that is the life of an AME, who always wants to ensure the maximum safety for his pilots and their planes. That is Norm Paterson!

The first Sunday in January, Norm and Lillian host a buffet luncheon where homemade pies are the best and oh so very delicious. Each guest also brings a dish to add to the menu which allows a feast for all airplane enthusiasts that is second to none. Wow what a way to start the New Year off with friends, customers, colleagues and neighbours when nothing much is happening in the social world.

Lillian Kluka is an one-of-a-kind lady. While Norm had a career of fixing and flying aircraft, she had a career on the waters of the Great Lakes rising through the ranks until she became a Captain of a great lake transport ship. Over a decade, Lillian was Canada's first female ship captain at a time when shipping companies thought women would be a disruption, if not an outright liability. But she preserved and also courageously changed careers when her dreams changed. She came home to Norm and Fullerton, returned to university graduating with 3 degrees. Today is a classroom teacher. When the chance arises, she tells her high school students that all dreams are open to them. She is living proof!

Norm doesn't fix aircraft all the time. He does contribute significantly to his community by, driving seniors, especially older pilots and spouses to area events. Norm is also a very talented musician and enjoys to play his ukulele at legions, service clubs, hangar parties, retirement and nursing homes.

This AME serves as a southwestern director on the Ontario board of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, which is now transitioning to a national board and Norm will be a director of that newly formed board. Director at large, Wayne Juniper, says “that Norm has served over 10 years as a very active director of this organization. Norm is also one of those rare rural AME's that is still in operation.” In 2013, Norm was recognized for the Clare Leavens Award, which acknowledges a “member of the AME Assocation who, in the opinion of the directors and members, has made a particularly outstanding contribution to the continued success of the Association.”

Since its' inception nine years ago, Norm has been an active member of COPA Flight 177 Sexsmith. He has held various executive positions including Captain. Each year this Flight hosts a spring breakfast held the last Sunday in May in which many pilots in many varying aircraft, antique, homebuilt, twins and others, fly into the grass strip there for a day of food with friends. The last Sunday of August, COPA 177 holds a corn roast with the most delicious local corn, hot dogs and more. This is another time for friends to gather. Norm is one member that is always there to help the day be successful.

This is why I, also a member of COPA 177, wish to nominate Norm Paterson for a COPA Award of Merit.
Burt Hodgins

COPA 45 Members Receive HOPE AIR AWARD

Burt and Maria Hodgins received the 2020 Spirit of Hope Award for Distinguished Volunteers of the Year at the annual meeting of Hope Air in late May.
These Goderich COPA Flight 45 members engaged other flying groups and recruited other pilots to help with fundraising this past summer in support of HOPE AIR , They participated in the Give Hope Wings , The sault to Saguenay Expedition in 2020 and hosted a fly-in barbecue in their airport hangar. Burt also continues to fly patients as a Hope Air volunteer pilot.
Passenger snapped this photo of the heart shaped cloud while Burt was flying.
Hope Air is a national charity providing free air travel and accommodations to Canadians who must access medical care far from home. Since its beginning in 1986, Hope Air has arranged for more than 250,000 travel accommodations for patients inclusive of age and medical needs. For families living on a low income in rural and small communities , distance and cost are significant barriers to accessing life saving medical care in Canada where our system is designed to give universal healthcare to all. Many would simply cancel their appointments. The pandemic has created a greater demand on these services with job losses making travel less affordable. Hoppe Air is supported by commercial airlines providing seats, volunteer pilots flying their own aircraft and Hope Air purchasing needed travel arrangements and accommodations for their patients from donations received. Hodgins Hope Air barbecue raised over $7 000 for the charity.

Goderich Revisited
Summer 2020

Generally we, under-the-wing campers, are a fairly self –sufficient lot. Give us a patch of grass, out of the way of prop blasts and heavy foot traffic, and we can entertain ourselves indefinitely while at the same time endeavouring to stay out of everyone’s way. Equipped with camp stoves, tents and sleeping bags, we manage quite well but the two things we do appreciate are: a toilet (a porta-potty works) and a source of water - even an outside tap. Nice-to-haves are nearby food outlets, walking paths to explore and sites to see. Goderich has all this in spades.

I’ve always known the Goderich area as a great place to camp. Growing up, Point Farms and Benmiller Falls (before the camp ground was established) were prime summer destinations. Some years later, a family member had a seasonal trailer in the Maitland Valley campground by the harbour. During one visit by car I had spoken to an employee at the airport about camping on the airfield. He was very enthusiastic and said it was entirely possible. He even offered to make the terminal washrooms available to us.

Life got in the way and several years went by before a plan was finally put together to make YGD a weekend flight destination. To ensure we would still be well received, I contacted Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, COPA Flight 45 members, to see what facilities might be available if we were to stay for a weekend. Well, the response was immediate and welcoming. They rolled out the red carpet providing helpful tips for setting up on our arrival and background information on the airport’s current status. We were especially appreciative of the beautiful terminal building equipped with WiFi for flight planning and checking weather.

It was the COVID summer of 2020. We arrived on a Friday. After refueling at the self-serve, we tied down and set up tents in an area where the Bruinsmas had directed us. With our creature comforts taken care of, our small group set out the next morning to explore the surrounding area. The first full day found us trekking south down Mill Rd. toward the railway bridge. Enroute we marvelled at the aged, five foot monuments along the west side of the road almost certainly marking the boundaries of what we later found out to be the 19th century ‘castle’ estate of Tiger Dunlop which today is subdivided into appealingly shaded residential properties. (Tiger Dunlop, an army surgeon during the siege of Fort Erie in the War of 1812, made a considerable mark in Upper Canada.) We marvelled at the view up and down the Maitland River afforded from the 695’ long, former CPR bridge. During the early 1900s trains carrying grain, salt and passengers left the CPR station and the harbour, passing by the rail yard with its engine house and turntable, before crossing the bridge and climbing the grade up out of the Maitland River Valley enroute to Guelph, over 100 miles to the east. Through the efforts of many, the rail bed is now the bucolically scenic Menesetung Hiking Trail. My favourite vantage point is high up on the north side of the river valley looking down toward the town and the harbour.

Lake water levels along the Sifto Salt/Coast Guard pier were much higher than I had remembered. I wondered whether it was within normal seasonal variations or if it was a result of a more significant trend.

It was a warm day and sustenance was in order. Fortunately we were close to the Goderich Harbour Restaurant – a restaurant unique in my experience in that the transplanted Aussie proprietor offered an array of gourmet salts for seasoning his fare – appropriate given that the world’s largest salt mine extends out under the lake a hundred yards away. An hour later, our hunger and thirst satiated by an outdoor meal of fish and chips and washed down with a cold beer, we drifted on down to the beach area which offered expansive views of the lake and outer harbour.
Goderich is brimming with history. It was here that bodies of the crew of the doomed freighter Wessex were blown ashore after the great storm of November 1913. Eight other freighters suffered a similar fate that day.

On climbing the bluff to the oldest Canadian lighthouse on Lake Huron, we stopped to catch our breath and a view of the lake again before walking downtown and marvelling at the town square. (In Goderich a circle is referred to as a square.) Its recovery from the 2011 tornado is truly remarkable. The hub-and-spoke street configuration has such an appeal that I’d often wondered why other towns didn’t pattern themselves after it.

It was time to walk back to YGD before our energy levels flagged. We purchased take-out at West Street Willy’s Eatery and carried it back to the club house, eating it on the porch while watching the final Papple Aviation sightseeing flights of the day taking off and landing against the backdrop of a setting sun. An elderly American pilot happened by for a chat. He was driving, not flying. It turned out that he and his Canadian wife were staying in a town down the Lake Huron coast and as often happens when an airfield is nearby, he stopped by to take in any activities that might be taking place.

The next morning found us eating brunch at Flippin’ Eggs - a great meal … and right off the east end of the runway. Afterward, our wanderings took us back along the Menesetung Trail where we learned more about Tiger Dunlop and the planned town of Gairbraid that he had laid out along the old CPR rail line just north of Goderich.

As luck would have it, a low from the southwest dragged in some low cloud Sunday morning. All things considered, we didn’t consider it a hardship to stay one more day at the airfield known during WWII as EFTS #12. (That would be British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Elementary Flying Training School #12.) It was easy to imagine a fleet of Tiger Moths and Finches along the flight line not far from where our tents were pitched. I have a family link to wartime Goderich. My mother’s cousin, Lorne Sleeth from Gravenhurst enlisted in July of 1942, rising through the ranks from Acey Deucy ultimately to Flying Officer in RAF Squadron 158, piloting a Halifax bomber on missions over Germany. His ab initio flight training took place on this very field.

Unfortunate footnote: P/O Sleeth’s exit from a crippled Lancaster bomber over Germany one night in September of 1943 resulted in fatal injuries. He died before help could arrive and is buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery just outside of Kleves (of ‘Anne of Cleves’ fame), Germany.
Other alumni have brought well deserved recognition to Goderich: Sergeant Pilot Instructor Herbert Davidson who was present for the first days of EFTS #12 from October of 1940 until October, 1942 (and may have been Lorne’s instructor) went on to captain CANSOs in the Pacific; and war time student pilot, Andy Carswell, later a Sergeant Pilot in command of a Lancaster bomber who bailed out over Germany in 1941. The new Andrew Carswell Veterans Home in Ottawa bears his name, and his book, ‘Over the Wire’ about his experiences - including over two years in POW camps - is a must-read.

In early April, 2021 another pilot with Goderich roots, Bill Pepplar, post-war Sky Harbour flight instructor and Goderich Airport general manager passed away. Well known for managing the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) for almost four decades, he created the foremost Canadian aviation ground school textbook, ‘From the Ground Up’.

I remember as a teenager marvelling at Lancaster Bomber 213 in post-war Maritime Patrol livery, mounted on its jack points just across from the present terminal building. Then, in November, 1979 ‘213’ made a life-changing flight from Goderich to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Mount Hope Airport - wings removed and slung under a Chinook helicopter. Now, that very aircraft is one of only two - of over 7,000 produced - in flying condition in the world. In fact, ‘Vera’ as it’s now known, flew the Atlantic to join its sister ship in a tour of the UK in 2014.

Monday morning was departure time. Our take-off over the lake was breath taking and we enjoyed fair skies all the way home to Ottawa.

As is our habit, the weekend involved a great deal of walking. We would have made use of the bicycles normally offered by the airport but COVID restrictions temporarily suspended that option. Friends who had visited a couple of weeks earlier had taken a reasonably priced cab into town. They chose a downtown hotel instead of roughing it on the field.

Goderich has much to explore. Perhaps next summer we’ll reach the tipping point in vaccinations, allowing restrictions on our activities to be relaxed. During our next visit I hope to enjoy a brew in a sit-down pub and an in-restaurant meal. The jail and museum will also certainly be part of our next trip to the ‘Prettiest Town in Ontario’.

HanKosh 2020
August 30, 2020

The Hanover Flying Club hosted 2 barbecues on August 30 at Hanover Airport (CYHS). Possibly 55 aircraft, including a helicopter, and several cars were on display.
Everyone enjoyed tenderloin steaks or hamburgers on fresh bakery buns with corn on the cob, salads, and plenty of homemade deserts. Dedicated volunteers and sponsors were able to feed the crowd at no charge. But donations were encouraged to support Hope Air fly patients in need of access to medical care. Hope Air is a Canadian charity that provides travel and accommodations for people in financial need who must get medical care far from home.

Over $6700 was contributed by the crowd, enough to provide 27 medical flights.
It was a pleasure to welcome several Hope Air pilots that volunteer their time and airplanes to fly the patients to treatment.

Other featured guests were Trillium Aviators, Ontario Flying Farmers, Copa Flights 172, 45 & 177. As well many members of the Interprovincial Air Tour, general aviation friends and our local airport community joined in.

This event was made possible with the support of the airport management, Hope Air, WestJet, COPA 54, and many individuals.

Burt Hodgins

Photo credit: Edward Agnew, Walkerton

Trillium Aviators - Gore Bay re-cap
July 27, 2020

The Gore Bay fly-out was another great success thanks to all you Trillium Aviators who attended. Once again the weather cooperated with very warm temperatures, great visibilities, smooth flying conditions and light winds. The ramp was packed full with airplanes so overflow parking was along the hangar line. Right at noon I counted 25 airplanes from our group and I know for sure there were two more arrivals after that so let's call it 27 airplanes made the trip.

A highlight, especially for me personally, was that a good friend from Vancouver BC Chris Cox and his wife Joan showed up with another couple from Victoria BC. Russ and Beth Popel in a pair of RV-7's. They were on a work/vacation trip to Hornepayne On. (CYHN) to conduct annual inspections on a pair of Beavers. Since Chris is on my Trillium Aviators email list he knew about this outing so they decided to join all of us at the Gore Bay fly-out and to surprise me. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them, what a surprise...

In setting up this outing I was in contact with Robbie Colwel, airport Mgr. Robbie was a great guy to deal with and made sure that wash room facilities were available, picnic tables were set up, he pumped gas and generally made us all feel welcome. Robbie also gave us an overview of the airport improvement and expansion project which will include a brand new terminal building plus a lengthening of RWY 05-23 from 2615ft. to 3500ft.

As promised the drawing of the free oil change donated by Tri-City Aero was held during lunch and the winner was Sylvia Murphy C-FMUR. Congratulations!.

There will not be a fly-out this week so the next one is on Thursday Aug 6th. There are a couple of options next week, an email will be sent later with location and other details.
Here is a link to the picture album

The Manitoulin Expositor published an article this morning about our Fly-Out to the Gore Bay airport last Saturday here is a link to this article
Click here

There is also an article about us in the August issue of COPA Flight starting on page 24. The COPA article is from the Goderich outing on June 4th.

Ivan Kristensen
Event organizer

Alternate IPAT 2020
June 2020

Lee Arsenault and Marilyn Staig are the organizers of the IPAT, the Interprovincial Air Tour. This year was cancelled because of COVID19.

So Marilyn decided that the were going to have a weekend away, only a different IPAT. An email to the Farrells and Bruinsmas telling us that they were flying into Goderich’s Sky Harbour Airport for the weekend. We agreed to meet them and have lunch at COPA 45’s clubhouse.

After visiting and picture taking Lee and Marilyn walked the GART (Goderich Auburn Railroad) Trail into town. They stayed at the new Comfort Inn for Saturday night. Sunday morning after breakfast they walked along the trail taking the Sifto Loop to Mill Road and across to the airport. There Fred and Marilyn met there as they were ready to depart for Oshawa.

Burt and Maria Hodgins fly in for lunch that day and also said goodbye to our IPAT leaders

COPA 45 Captain Don Jones
June 2020

Don and Brenda grew up in the Exeter Ontario area. After graduating from the University of Guelph they moved to the Niagara region where Don worked for John Deere Welland Works. The Welland airport is where Don obtained his pilot license in 1981.
In the early 1990's Don and Brenda returned o Exeter and later settled in Kincardine where he was employed by Ontario Power Generation. We are both retired now and enjoy part time farming, flying and cottage life.
Don and Brenda have 2 children. Ashley, a teacher in Guelph and Fraser, an engineer with Honda Canada. They also enjoy the company of 3 grandsons, Tait, Jacob and Anthony.
Don flies a 1967 Cessna 172. The plane has taken us as far west as Alberta, and east to New Brunswick. Flying with the Interprovincial Air Tour has allowed us to visit numerous airports throughout Ontario and Quebec. Many area flights for the hundred dollar Hamburg and breakfasts have resulted in many aviation friendships.

The " Trillium Aviators"
June 2020

Thursday June 4th. 2020 was an absolutely perfect weather day for this our first weekly Fly-Out of the season. Due to the current restrictions we labeled this one a "social distancing" brown bag lunch picnic outing.

The Goderich's Sky Harbour Airport was the perfect choice with half an acre of grassed area for our picnic style lunch, social distancing was not a problem. The Goderich Airport is a desirable destination as they offer self serve fuel and other airside amenities and walking distance to Flippin' Eggs Restaurant and the Sky Ranch take out.

Pilots packed folding lawn chairs in their aircraft for a seat to sit on while eating their lunch. Most brought their own lunches but some chose to purchase burgers and fries at the Sky Ranch Drive-In Restaurant which is located adjacent to the aircraft parking. Of course Ice cream for dessert was a given.

A total of 16 airplanes crammed in the parking area near the threshold of runway 28. There was an RV-4, RV 9A, RV-10, a Cirrus, a Cessna 150, 172's, 182's and two Cessna's on floats. What an impressive view from Highway 21.

By all comments from the pilots and passengers, they thoroughly enjoyed this format of lawn chairs and brown bag lunches. It certainly is different from the 2019 flying season where this group flew to various airport where airside restaurants were available for a served lunch. Last year we had 20 outings from May 16th to Oct. 10 and flew to Lindsay, Peterborough, Goderich, Hanover, Orillia, Collingwood, Owen Sound, Wiarton and Killarney for Herbert's famous fish n chips and more.

Many of the usual flying events in Ontario have been cancelled this summer due to the Corona virus. This first weekend in June was to be the Interprovincial Air tour (IPAT) a 4 day tour of South Western Ontario between Welland and Centralia with a play at the famous 'Canada Eh' dinner theatre to golf, a fly-out lunch and a banquet at Grand Bend's Oakwood Inn. This tour was cancelled but re-scheduled to go again in 2021.

The "Trillium Aviators" is a loosely organized group of GA aircraft owners whose sole purpose is to fly our airplanes on a weekly basis. What better way to than to fly somewhere in central and SW'ern Ontario for a meal and to meet new and old friends as well as fellow aviators to share your best flying stories. The goal is to fly to an airport with an restaurant generally within 100nm of the Kitchener Waterloo & Guelph area once a week from mid May until the end of October. This is a VFR weather only Fly-Out.

After receiving some requests for a weekend Fly-Out lunch it was decided to have the next Fly-Out on the weekend of June 13-14. If successful these fly-outs will alternate between a weekday and the weekend for the balance of the summer, Thursday and Saturday will be the "default" days but will likely move a day here and there due to weather considerations. The "Trillium Aviators" will continue these weekly outings to various airports on a weekly basis with social distancing in mind as long as these restrictions apply. Let us enjoy every good flying day that Mother Nature gives us.

Submitted by Marilyn Bruinsma and Ivan Kristensen.

Mayor Speaks to COPA 45
January 2020

His Worship John Grace spoke to Goderich's COPA 45 at their January meeting. He told us that council and staff are in the process of developing a business profile along with a strategic plan to develop Sky Harbour Airport. He told us town council definitely supports the airport. Presently several corporate jets are using Goderich's airport because of the 5000 foot runway that is here. Bruce Power is a important corporate company that uses the airport often. With the development and manufacture of the isotopes for cancer treatment at the site, our airport will only become busier with air traffic.
The town has put several dollars into the airport with cardlock fuel system and building. He asked us what services we would like to attract here. Suggestions were a satelite flight school and aircraft mechanic. Both these services bring more air traffic to the airport. It is great that our Mayor uses the airport during the summer months to fly groups to the Old Trading Post in Pickle Lake
While waiting for our Mayor to arrive, newly chosen CAO Janice Hallahan dropped in to wish us the best in2020 and a brief bio of her personal and professional life. She and her family have long and varied municipal careers. She will be asset to our town. Congratulations on your new position with Goderich from COPA 45. Gift baskets were presented to both guests.

May 31, 2019

On Friday May 31 COPA Flight 45 planned a welcome barbecue for the new company Glavin Coatings and Refinishing who established its’ business at Goderich’s Sky Harbour Airport in March. The company experienced a devastating fire at the Hensall location mid January in which much of the stock and partially completed projects were lost.

The company began 41 years ago providing many different types of media blasting and industrial coatings. Glavins moved to our Parr Line location in 1998 and remained there until this year when the fire forced relocation to the Goderich airport. Besides work completed in our paint shop, Glavins Coating and Refinishing paints bridges and other large industrial projects. One project was painting a redy-mix cement truck purchased from another company into Miller’s (Lavis)colours of gold and brown. The company has completed a bridge in Little Current, London and other towns and cities both near and far. For some projects the manager, Matt Glavin, rents local aircraft to fly his staff and supplies to the destination.

Mid morning COPA 45 members flew in and parked their aircraft on the apron in front of the clubhouse. There was a Champ, Pietenpol, Cavalier, Cessna 140 and170, Piper 140 and others. Even in the parking lot there was a brand new 2019 red Chevy Corvette given to a member by his wife for his birthday. Passerbys were stopping to admire the aircraft and car.

Captain Mike Scott welcomed everyone to the lunch. While the group was enjoying delicious desserts, he introduced the local dignitaries that were present. His Worship John Grace, Mayor of the Town of Goderich thanked COPA 45 for the opportunity to attend. He welcomed Galvin Coatings and Refinishing to the airport and offered the town’s support. Next to welcome this company was Glen McNeil, Mayor of the municipality of Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh. He too expressed his gratitude to attend this barbecue and welcomed the new company to his area. The town owns Sky Harbour Airport but it is located in ACW’s jurisdiction. Lastly Chris Watson, pilot and economic development officer for Huron County offer his congratulations wishing Glavins a successful operation and the county support.

After lunch, Glavins was to complete its’ WHIMIS training. Some COPA 45 members went a local flight as the weather was just great for such an activity. What a way to finish a Friday afternoon.
L-R Glen McNeil - Mayor of Ashfield Colborne and Wawanosh Municipality Matt Glavin- owner of Glavin Coatings and Refinishing John Grace - Mayor of Town of Goderich.

Inspiring Women – Lauren Bos
March 2019

Lauren Bos is a girl that continually inspires. At 20 she has achieved much in rural Huron County to inspire other women. Throughout her time at school Lauren has been compassionate towards other children and is someone who encourages and supports other students to teach her goals.

When there is a task to accomplish Lauren is the first to volunteer and organize an event. She commits to the project until successfully completed.

At St. Anne’s she enrolled in the high Skills Energy program. Building construction was one course. She co-oped with Clinton’s Dykstra Construction. She was an outstanding asset to the company. Lifting 4x8 sheets of drywall and plywood were a struggle. She then chose electrical for a career. She enrolled in Georgian College’s program graduating with 89% (only girl). She has an apprenticeship with Shakespeare’s Hyde Electric.

She skates and coaches at the Clinton club. She has also coached at Owen Sound when at college. When Mitchell was desperately searching for a replacement coach, Lauren filled in. She choreographed a carnival including costumes. She convinced a St. Anne’s EA/skating coach to form a school figure skating team and helped to organize the first interschool competition.

You can find Lauren volunteering at Dungannon Tractor Pull and Fall Fair, Auburn Lion’s breakfasts, Lucknow Music in the Fields, Goderich COPA 45. and many activities in her church. For three years she competed in the Huron County Plowing Match. This year she was one of the runners up. She also competed in the Lucknow Fall Fair Ambassador competition and took home the tiara.

She cares for the family farm of cattle and pigs, helps with the house and younger sisters. Early mornings mean feeding the cattle before a 1.25 hour drive to the job site. After her father’s accident she came home from college to manage a barn of 4000 pigs.

On a plaque in her bedroom these words are written inside a cowgirl boot “Give a girl the right pair of boots and she will conquer the world” This so true of our Lauren

Jacob Van Beets
Our airport manager became a Canadian citizen on Friday Feb. 22, 2019 in London ON.
Congratulations Jacob!





Larry Fred Nelson Waldie,

Passed away peacefully on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Stratford General Hospital, Stratford in his 60th year. Larry was born in Stratford Ontario, a son of the late Karl & Mae (Mogk) Waldie.

Larry will be missed by his beloved wife Sandy Waldie whom he married on April 10, 1982. Larry will be fondly remembered by his mother in law Flo and Steve Sired, brothers and sisters-in-law; Glenn (Cheryl) Bristow, Kathy (Shawn) Bonte, Andy (Brenda) Bristow, Laura Melton, Eric (Sheila) Sired, Steven (Angie) Sired, Catherine (Scott) Grant and by their extended families. Predeceased by his father-in-law Ray Bristow.

Larry was a longtime Member of the Ontario Flying Farmers, the International Flying Farmers and a member of COPA 45 in Goderich. Larry was a member of Zion United Church, Rostock.

Friends and relatives are invited to the Mark Jutzi Funeral Home, 7 Spencer Street, Milverton on Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 11 – 1 p.m. The funeral service will follow in the chapel of the funeral home at 1:15 p.m. A spring interment to take place in the Rostock United Cemetery, Rostock.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to Victoria Hospital or the Stratford General Hospital would be appreciated by the family.
Online condolences and donation information available at www.markjutzifuneralhomes.ca

 Click Photos to Enlarge

COPA 45 Fliers Attend 2018 IPAT
May 31, 2018
Click HERE for Photos

COPA 45 fliers attend 2018 IPAT The 11th annual Interprovincial Air Tour (IPAT) was scheduled to begin in Orillia on Thursday, May 31st. Due to less than ideal weather forecasts with strong winds many of us elected to fly into Orillia on Wednesday afternoon. In fact 16 of the 49 aircraft on the Air Tour chose that option. Some pointed out it was no loss, but value added. That was the kind of attitude that carried our group through a challenging weekend. Our organizers, Lee and Marilyn, shuttled us in their car from the airport to the downtown Champlain Waterfront hotel. A beautiful refurbished hotel located on the water’s edge of the Lake St John. We filled the whole hotel for the IPAT participants. Next door was an excellent Irish sports bar where we could watch Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals begin the Stanley Cup series. Many of us chose to catch up on the happenings with our friends over the past few months. From COPA Flight 45 were Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Jim and Jane Farrell, Larry Waldie and Charles Riley.

Thursday did indeed arrive with a mixed bag of weather of low clouds and some rain. A few airplanes manage to arrive but many chose to drive. The Orillia restaurant, Tailwinds, served a terrific fresh pasta lunch in their soon to opened facilities. Marilyn presented a plaque to the airport manager Steve to denote our Air tour had been hosted by their city. Owner Clayton Smith has many improvements to the Orillia Rama Airport including the runway, mechanical shop, on site flight school, and restaurant. The terminal is outstanding with its decor of all things aviation and the great outdoors. Smith is a pilot of a float plane who hopes to make the area a new gateway to the North.

Friday the weather again was not the best for the trip to Arnprior. However all were able to make the trip arrive in time for lunch and the plaque presentation. Late Friday afternoon we boarded two buses that took us into downtown Ottawa for a dinner cruise on the Ottawa River. This was a wonderful outing with lots of laughs and good food and great friends.

Saturday turned out to be a fantastic weather day with blue skies and light winds. Many took advantage of the great weather and flew out to one of the three planned fly outs in the Eastern Ontario and Quebec area. Everyone returned back to the airport in time for a fabulous hangar party sponsored in part by the local COPA Flight 33. Again great food and good music and even a very talented magician showed up to entertain us. The Flight knocked it out of the park!

As our host, Marilyn, stated, “ the 11th annual IPAT took place May 30 – June 3. Many weather challenges but with a mix of planes, buses and cars we spent 2 days in Orillia and 2 days in Arnprior. It was a wonderful time gathering together with old and new friends.
“  Click for Photos

2017 Interprovincial Air Tour – a.k.a. the Crosswind Tour
June 2017

40 aircraft were registered for this year’s IPAT and so when Thursday June 1 dawned with sunny skies, all pilots headed to Elmhirst Resort CPS2 for the 10th annual air tour. Some landed at Peterborough (10 miles north) – to clear customs, to have lunch, or to get fuel. As the afternoon wore on, the wind increased to such an extent that 4 aircraft opted to tie down overnite at Peterborough rather than face the strong crosswind at Elmhirst. There are some interesting pictures of the aircraft landing on the beautifully manicured grass strip at Elmhirst. The staff and owners of Elmhirst were really welcoming and excited to see the aircraft arrive. After registration and getting settled into cottages, a scrumptious bbq buffet dinner was consumed and the registrants enjoyed an evening of sharing flying stories and getting caught up on events over the past winter months. During dinner, Carol Cooke reminisced over how the Interprovincial Air Tour came to be – 5 aircraft from North Bay and Timmins went on the Michigan Air Tour in 2006 and started thinking – we could do this in Ontario / Quebec – and as they say “the rest is history”.

Carol spent some time reviewing the registrations from previous years and was amazed to discover that 22 pilots had been on 8 or more of the 10 tours. These pilots were recognized with gift certificates from Aircraft Spruce (10 year) and Home Depot (8 and 9 year), as Carol and Ron thought the IPAT bank balance should continue to be kept at a minimal level and those who had contributed most should get some return of the unused contingency fund

10 year attendance: John Beimers; Fred/Marilyn Bruinsma; Marc Charron; Ron/Carol Cooke; Ron/ Sherry Dube
2 couples from Michigan registered for all 10 Tours – Dick/Nicki Acker; Nancy/Ron Walters –but fractured arm, parent having a stroke; flooded basement kept them home a couple years; Mike Woodley attended 8 tours
9 year attendance: John/Anne Donkers; Jim/Jane Farrell; Dave Frayne; Gary Grainger; Don Jones; Henri/Ginette Monnin; Lesley/Jeff Page; Adrian/Hortense Verburg.
8 year attendance: Steve Greenwell, Chris/Anne McCullough; Kevin Psutka; Larry Waldie

This year Aircraft Spruce donated 2 - $50 gift cards – won by Mike Ash and Bill Smith
Comp room in Brockville – won by Gary Todd; Comp room in Oshawa – won by Larry Waldie
To add to the excitement, poker hands were added this year. 2 cards drawn at Elmhirst, 1 at Brockville, and 2 at Oshawa. Steve McDowell big winner with 3 of a kind ($100); Jamie McCague second best hand with 2 pr ($75), and Bob Burns 3rd took home $50

Carol also announced that this would be her last year of organizing – after 10 years its time to get some other folks involved with their fresh ideas. Before dinner Jeff Page provided a detailed safety briefing, and because of the wet conditions at Morrisburg, it was decided aircraft would park totally on the pavement, and that we could probably only park 25 safely. The next morning dawned sunny and still windy and 24 aircraft flew into Morrisburg and walked over to Upper Canada Village. If you haven’t been – it’s well worth the visit. Heritage houses depict life as it was in 1860’s complete with working sawmill and grist mill. Then it was off to Brockville where the volunteers from the local COPA Flight, lead by Mike Bowen and Kent Wharton from Brock Air welcomed us and directed us to fuel and parking. Those that skipped Morrisburg had a leisurely departure from Elmhirst and enjoyed coffee and donuts in the Brockville Flying Club building while waiting for the rest to arrive. After the plaque presentation to Mayor Henderson, it was on the bus to the Comfort Inn and then down to the waterfront for dinner cruise of 1000 Island’s. Because of the recent flooding, our reserved boat was still in dry dock, but the smaller SeaFox 11 accommodated all 85 of us. Scenic boat cruises are always popular with the group, and this was no exception. It could have been warmer – but there were no bugs, and it wasn’t raining!!. Delicious catered dinner was enjoyed by all.

The next morning dawned sunny (3 days in a row – almost a record this spring!) so it was off to Oshawa for the last stop of this years IPAT. Airport Manager Steve Wilcox was on hand to personally welcome each pilot as they pulled into the parking spots reserved for the group. By 12:15 all were on buses heading to Parkdale Estate – the heritage museum where Sam McLaughlin (founder of McLaughlin Buick) lived. McLaughlin basically founded the City of Oshawa with the GM plant and the McLaughlin name is everywhere in the City. A scrumptious catered lunch – provided by the Oshawa Airport was enjoyed by all and we leisurely strolled through the gardens after lunch. The rest of the afternoon was on your own to visit the Automotive Museum, Art Gallery, or enjoy a brew in local pub. At 4:00 the first bus arrived at the hotel to take the group back to the airport – but to the other side where the 420 Wing is located. Tours of the tank museum and Tower tours which are both adjacent to the Wing had also been arranged. Thanks to Jeff and Lesley Page for making all these arrangements, as well as co-ordinating with the airport all the parking arrangements. A delicious pork roast dinner was cooked and served up by the Wing volunteers. Did I mention the desserts?? Homemade pumpkin pie, coconut cream pie, butter tarts – need I say more - - -

Meanwhile – Mother Nature decided our string of nice weather was over, and some looked at the Sunday forecast decided to head home Saturday. A few left Sat afternoon, a few more Sat evening after dinner. Sunday morning brought rain throughout much of the Province. The ceiling was reasonably high for some routes, so most departed (some IFR). A few rented cars to go home, and 5 participants spent Sunday night in Oshawa. Now the locals sprung into action –Lee Arsenault drove some to rental car facility, and the rest back to hotel; Jeff and Les Page had dinner with them on Sunday night; Paul Clark picked them up Monday and had lunch with them and delivered them to the airport where they departed for home – just a day late.

Now for some further stats that we used during the plaque presentations:
• 40 cities visited in Ontario and Quebec – having lunch at airports; numerous boat excursions; scenic train rides, gold mine tours; ziplining, and much more
• 900 participants;
• 500 aircraft
• Average Tour length 500 miles (+300 miles to get there & back home)
• 500 hotel rooms ($110 x 10 years x 3 nights /tour) $165,000
• meals, buses, tours ($15,000 x 10 years) $150,000
• Fuel: 800 miles = 8 hrs @ 8 gal/hr =64 gal per a/c x 50 a/c
per yr x 10 yrs=32,000 gal =128,000 litres x $1.70 $217,600
Very conservative estimate $532,600

Caroline Elmhirst posted this article on their web site. It contains some nice photos.


I posted this link on the Facebook page.
Reminder, if you'd like to join the FB group, search for "Interprovincial Air Tour" in Facebook and ask to join

Ken Bogie's Retirement Party
July 12, 2017


Honouring Three Goderich Aviators - Sept. 14, 2016

Intro at our monthly meeting:
Early last spring we were notified by Jack Dueck, from High River Alberta. He is the Chair of EAA-Canada. EAA wanted to honour posthumously Keith Hopkinson and Gus Chisholm for their efforts in establishing the homebuilt movement here in Goderich. Goderich, in the early fifties, was the centre of homebuilding activity outside of the United States. Marilyn and I went to Oshkosh this year to accept these 2 awards on behalf of their families.

Tonight we are here to honour 3 Goderich area aviation pioneers. Then as often the case is also now, the cost of a factory built aircraft did not fit into the family budget. So obtaining a set of plans, they used their own labour and skills. Hour by hour, week by week the projects ended up in several years of work. Ribs assembled onto the spars forming a wing. The fuselage welded together, controls installed, then hopefully a favorable inspection by Transport Canada. Or were they even inspected back then? Fabric stitched on, painting and registration marks attached, and the plane is ready to fly.

A few years ago at Oshkosh, at the EAA dinner, Paul Poberezny, who started the homebuilt movement in the U.S. and founder of EAA, was asked to speak on building his Baby Ace. He said and I quote “you take some 4130 tubing, weld it together, put some fabric on it and throw some paint at it. Finished”
To honour Keith and Gus with the completion of the first and second registered homebuilts in Canada, Paul, then President of EAA flew to Goderich to acknowledge this outstanding achievement in this sector of the aviation world.
Now we are here tonight to remember these 3 aviators that gave Goderich its’ rich history in aviation. They inspired others around here to begin this same journey. Some of those builders are here tonight.

Peter Verbeek Jodel Don Ross - Jodel
Peter Chandler Jodel Dave Warr – Tri Z
Sid Bullen Gary Baxter- KR2
Fred Bruinsma Cavalier Allan Chrysler Wag Aero Cuby

Now call on Taylor Lambert to present a plaque to Isabel Sully.

Keith (Hoppy) Hopkinson

60 some years ago is when it all began. In 1955 Keith (Hoppy) Hopkinson started a lifelong dream of building and flying his own aircraft. Since the Second World War no private aircraft had been manufactured in Canada; a result of the governments concern of military actions.

Keith was fascinated by a series of articles on building your own aircraft, published in Mechanics Illustrated, written by Paul Poberezny. Paul and a group of friends had begun an aviation club they called the Experimental Aircraft Association. As a result Keith used a set of plans designed by Ray Stitts of Flabob California called the Stitts SA-3A Playboy, and over the next eleven months Keith built C-FRAD (which he called "Little Hokey)", Keith modified the original design by using the nose cowl from a Piper J-3, the propeller spinner from a Cessna 170, wing struts from a Tiger Moth, landing gear from a Cessna 140 and wheel parts from a Stinson 108. It first flew in October 1955.

EAA's founding President Paul Poberezny and Keith spent countless hours persuading the Canadian Department of Transport to allow amateur (home built) aircraft to fly in Canada. Through their efforts they facilitated that registration process. Li'll Hokey is credited as being the first home built aircraft to fly in Canada since WWII. It currently resides in the Reserve Hangar at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
Keith passed away in a tragic aircraft accident in March 1964.

Where it all began !

Jim Armstrong’s EAA-C response at Oshkosh

About 80 years ago when I was this high, I was standing with my Dad on our farm nears Brussels ON. An engine sound was heard overhead. Dad said there’s someone riding in that machine. I thought ’that’s really neat’. That was the start of it for me. I found out later it was probably heading for Goderich, where the modern day Canadian homebuilding movement began.  In 1953 I obtained my private pilot training in Goderich around the time Keith Hopkinson and Gus Chisholm were building their airplanes. So I was lucky to benefit from their initiative. They inspired me to build my first Pietenpol AirCamper which I could legally fly when completed. I am also lucky my 3 sons and one daughter now all have their own airplanes that I helped them with. It has been a wonderful hobby. The family had had an annual Pietonpol get together for 21 years. We have no doubt helped get a few people interested in building their own airplanes.

I certainly appreciate getting this recognition, and especially at the same time as the 2 Goderich pioneer airmen. To whoever nominated me, Thanks. It gives me great satisfaction at this stage in my life.

Oshkosh 2016

The end of July is AirVenture at Oshkosh Wisconsin, the world’s largest air show. Oshkosh is all things airplanes and aviation. Each year rare, vintage, homebuilt and show planes come here to be judged. An Oshkosh award is very prestigious to have. New designs from companies are also launched here.

Pilots fly into the field to camp under the wing yet others fly in and camp in Camp Scholler or the Oshkosh dorms. Others drive either through Chicago or Sault Ste Marie. John and Marlene Black take the ferry across Lake Michigan with the camper and truck. A shorter more relaxing way to travel. Charlie Murray rode his motorcycle to Oshkosh. Once your campsite is set up either trailer or tent, it is time to see what Oshkosh 2016 has to offer. Programs are available to plan your day’s schedule.

This year the weather was hot. Most chose to shop the Fly Market early where selection is best but bargains best later in week. Mornings were busy with visiting the booths inside and outside the four hangars. Featured aircraft were showcased in the Shell Square. The ‘Women In Aviation’ photo was taken in front of an Alaska Airlines 737 Boering flown by a female crew. Tours through various aircraft took place here. Often you meet people you have not seen since last Oshkosh. It is like a family reunion. Other pavilions like the International Tent and the EAA-C tent are ‘must visits’. There are several lunch booths to have a cold drink, ice cream or brat.

Early afternoon is an opportunity to walk the various fields of aircraft, warbirds, vintage, homebuilts, and ultralights. Then time to relax, put your feet up in your lawn chair and watch the daily air show begin. There are parachute jumpers with the national anthem, spectacular aerobatics and a warbird show complete with bomb drops. On Wednesdays and Saturdays there is an evening air show with coloured lights on the wing tips and fireworks. The finale is the long wall of fire.

Evenings have many choices for dinner and entertainment. The Theatre in the Woods offers speakers and award ceremonies. There are banquets for COPA members, Young Eagles, Homebuilts, International visitors and more. There are many booths on the field from which to choose foreign fare, American food, burgers and more.

Special this year was the EAA-C breakfast in which Goderich area aviators Keith Hopkinson, Gus Chisholm (posthumously) and Jim Armstrong were honoured. Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma accepted Keith and Gus’ award. Jim Armstrong and family were there to see Jim receive his. Jim responded with a speech. OFF members John and Marlene Black took pictures of the plaques. Over coffee some spent time catching up on news since the air tours and other fly ins.

Departing the registration site and driving out onto Poberenzy Drive towards highway 41 leaves you with a saddened moment knowing that it will be at least another year before you see these grounds again loaded with aircraft, tents and trailers and many airplanes in the skies ready to land on the runways of Oshkosh.

COPA 26 Flies into Goderich Airport - July 16, 2016

The weather on Saturday July 16 was sunny with clear skies. A perfect day for COPA 26 to fly to Goderich for their weekly fly out. Every weekend, weather permitting, members of COPA 26 conduct flights to different destinations. Breakfast, lunch, a visit to an aviation museum at an airport away from home or a scenic flight over a picturesque landscape are often good reasons to keep the propellers turning and our piloting skills sharp. We have a fly out schedule where a different destination is assigned for every weekend. This past week’s fly out was to Goderich. This beautiful shore line of Lake Huron never gets old for pilots. The fly out culminated with a tasty breakfast at the Flippin’ Eggs restaurant located at the Goderich municipal Airport. Seven fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter carrying a combined total of sixteen aviation enthusiasts from COPA 26 touched down at CYGD at around 10 am.

Some COPA 45 members greeted the COPA 26 pilots and passengers from Waterloo International Airport (CYKF). Among the group was one of COPA National’s Directors, Phil Englishman, from Saugeen Airport in Hanover. Pilots enjoyed the fly out so much that some wanted to return to Goderich to hike or bike the trail from the airport on COPA 45’s bikes located in the terminal. Some wanted to bring their dogs and go to the beach. Again the bikes would take you down the trail, over the scenic Meneset bridge to the beach. Yes Goderich airport has much to offer including monthly gas draws for breakfast.

COPA 26 had a safe flight home and thanked COPA 45 for the warm hospitality they received here.
Luis Menezes ( on behalf of COPA 26)

Our Very First Garage Sale - July 2, 2016

COPA 45 and the Sky Harbour Modellers held their first ever garage sale on the Canada Day weekend in our new clubhouse. The weather was perfect. Several aircraft flew in not only for the breakfast at Flippin’ Eggs but also to attend our garage sale and BBQ. Members brought lots of excellent donations already priced or priced them with available stickers and labels at the clubhouse. The table were loaded with items both townsfolk and cottagers alike would want to purchase.

Early Saturday morning the tables were carried outside to the east side of the clubhouse which gave more visibility to the air and road traffic. As always there were the early birds looking for the best bargains. It was a steady stream of customers and lookers. Mid morning we fired up the BBQ’s in our pavilion now located beside the clubhouse on a pad of crushed stone. Pilots, their friends and club members enjoyed burgers and hot dogs for lunch. After lunch we brought the tables inside the clubhouse but people were still coming to check out the bargains. More sales were realized before we decided to stop selling. It was a very successful day for both clubs. It will be moeny for both groups to use for further events.

COPA Convention 2016 - June 24-25, 2016

COPA members look forward to attending their annual convention the last weekend of June somewhere in Canada. This year it was in Yarmouth NS. It is one event to attend the convention but another to fly there and home. Pilots left on varying days depending on weather and schedules for the Thursday Kitchen Party or Friday BBQ. Once the aircraft were fueled and parked, rides were provided by the transportation Committee to the hotel. This group even gave rides to various tourist stops that delegates wanted to visit. Sure saved the hassle of taxis and car rentals. Local waterfront restaurants allowed us to taste Maritime foods. Before and during the convention many of us toured the Acadian Shores. Point Forchu Lighthouse, Acadian village and Tusket boat cruise.

Thursday evening we experienced an Acadian Kitchen party with local foods served by Acadian dressed waitresses and music by an area band with step dancers. Friday was a day to tour the area ending with a BBQ at the airport with burgers, mussels, salads and desserts served to the hungry crowd. Tours were given of the control tower.

After Saturday’s breakfast, the annual general meeting (AGM) was held followed by an update of COPA’s activities in the past year. Wind turbines at Collingwood were the hot issue this year. Seminars by Magnes Insurance and CASARA Search and Rescue were also before lunch. At noon the awards luncheon saw Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma receiving an award for promoting aviation and Goderich’s airport. Retiring directors also received plaques. After lunch more seminars on aviation safety were held. A Maritime Feast of lobster and haddock with fresh strawberry crepes concluded the convention.

Sunday morning the local flying club hosted breakfast for departing pilots and passengers. We all enjoyed great Maritime hospitality and outstanding weather. Over 40 aircraft were parked on the tarmac of Yarmouth International Airport for the weekend.

Way Up North, North to Moosonee  - June 9, 2016

The lyrics, ‘Way up North’ from Johnny Horton’s song must have been on the minds of organizers Mike Geoffroy and Lloyd Richards. As Lloyd says, “This tour is a chance to showcase Northern Ontario, its’ towns and cities, and landscapes. It is not wilderness, log cabins and animals.” To us southerners we say, “Flying in this area is mainly trees, rocks and water and more trees, rocks and water”. The Northern Air Tour was created to allow the overflow of aircraft that could not be accommodated on the original Interprovincial Air Tour an opportunity to fly with a group of aircraft to new airports. This year the tour began at Timmins, home to both Lloyd and Mike, then north to Hearst overnight and further north to Moosonee and over to La Sabre, Quebec for a Saturday night rodeo. While in each town buses, tours and meals must be confirmed. Not an easy task with most aircraft dependent on fair weather for flying. It requires dedicated persons like Mike and Lloyd to plan the itinerary.

Bright blue skies on Thursday June 9th awaited 22 pilots to fly ‘way up north’ to Timmins with strong headwinds slowing the flight. North in Timmins we got out of our aircraft in just 4 degree temperatures. A receptionist told us that they had snow the day before but we were not to tell Mike. It was slightly chilly, windy but no black flies. As Lloyd says, “It is either cold, windy and no flies or warm, calm and flies. Take your pick!” When Larry Waldie arrived in shorts and sandals Mike mentioned to him, “This is not northern attire.” Shuttle vans took us to Cedar Meadows, a wilderness hotel. Once checked into our rooms, there was a wagon tour through the nature centre that surrounded the hotel. Moose, elk, deer and a big burly buffalo lumbered up to the wagon for food from us. Back at the hotel the bus was waiting to take us for a city tour and dinner. Again on the bus we toured around the gold mine and returned to the hotel for the night.

The weather on Friday was cool and windy. A weather briefing followed breakfast. The bus took us to the airport to get ready to fly ‘way up north’ to Hearst. Here students, teachers and parents watched us fly in, land, fuel, and tie down our aircraft. Hearst is 92% French. Lunch was in Commercial Aviation’s hangar where we were greeted by the Mayor, Airport Manager, press and radio personnel. Mike and others gave interviews to the news media. A bus took us to the Companion Hotel. Checked in, we toured the town. While walking the streets a young hairdresser came out asking us if we were the ones who came by air to the airport. She was so excited to meet us. We noticed the houses and buildings ‘way up north’ are built simpler, on less land and little landscaping. For dinner we walked to the Sawmill Marketplace. Inside was a loggers’ museum and large dining room. We were served a ‘loggers’ dinner on blue enamel dinnerware. This meal would satisfy loggers returning from the bush after a long day of felling trees and sawing logs. The day ended with our bus taking us to the award winning Loon Distillery inside the owner’s home. What an education on making your own liquors and wines. We tasted various vodkas and were able to purchase some. We all agreed he has a very understanding wife as few of us would want a still in our living rooms.

Saturday arrived with the trip ‘way up north’ to Moosonee a no-go due to low clouds, gusty winds and rain. While eating breakfast our hotel hosts were making plans for us. This is ‘way up north’ hospitality at its finest. Francine, Hearst’s economic development officer, agreed on her day off to open the tourist office for pictures, shopping and a tour of the adjacent green technology centre. Enroute to the Lecours Sawmill tour we stopped for lunch at our favourite fast food restaurants. An off-duty employee showed how logs are stripped, cut into boards and finished as lumber ‘way up north’. Much automation exists in this industry today. The tour guide showed us around the yard where stacks and stacks of lumber were ready for shipment by rail or truck. Lecours is the only independent sawmill in Ontario producing more than 100 million board feet of lumber annually. It employs more than 200 in summer and over 250 in the winter when logging the bush happens. Third generation owner Ben Lecours states, “His enterprise has implemented necessary changes over the years to ensure Lecours Lumber stays competitive”. Another excellent dinner at the hotel. Saturday night ‘way up north’ is Karaoke Night. Our James Bay group certainly did not miss this event. With great singing voices, Mike, Jim and Phil took the mics. We all enjoyed Saturday night ‘way up north’ in Hearst.

Our last morning, Sunday gave us no better news for flying ‘way up north’ to Moosonee and Moose Factory. Because of heavy rain, it was decided to scrap this northern flight. The weather favoured home with 45 to 50 NM tailwinds. We all arrived home in record time. As Stratford’s Larry Waldie said, “He has never seen his Cessna 172 SSJ fly so fast.” But we also decided that we would do a Moosonee tour later in the summer ending in Timmins for their monthly breakfast. COPA 45 members Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Jim and Jane Farrell, Steve Sirad and Larry Waldie experienced another great weekend of flying, food and fun ‘way up north’.

A Great Way to See Canada - May 26, 2016

Pilots know that a mile of highway will take you a mile but a mile of runway will take you anywhere. “It is a wonderful way to see Canada”, says Carole Cook, organizer of the Interprovincial Air Tour (IPAT). She along with husband Ron has organized all nine Air Tours. It is not small feat to plan a four day weekend for 50 some aircraft considering weather, meals, ground transportation and venues to visit while in each city. Jeff Page coordinates airport procedures and weather for each day. Each year the Air Tour alternates between Ontario and Quebec. This year an addition of a flight to Summerside PEI was added. The tour is so popular that it is booked within 24 hours of its’ release.

The purpose of the Air tour is to have pilots experience flying into airports in which they would not normally fly. It also shows the towns and cities that the Air Tour visits the value of their airports. Our group is dedicated to promoting local airports. If one or two aircraft fly into an airport, nobody thinks much of it but when 40 or more aircraft land it is a significant presence. Carol Cook says, “To many they think their airport is just for rich people or is a drain on the tax dollars. If you don’t have an airport, you lose the benefit of a lot of individuals visiting your area. Our aircraft are high octane engines for the local economy.” COPA Flight 45 members that participated were Fred and Marilyn Bruinsma, Jim and Jane Farrell, Don Jones, Chris McCullough and Ann Rock, Charles Riley and Larry Waldie. Many of us have been on all nine Air Tours.

The 2016 Air Tour began at Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Airport on Thursday, May26. Unfortunately due to weather many of the Huron County pilots and passengers had to leave Wednesday morning as a system of rain were to move in along the lakeshore early Thursday. Some stayed at Smith Falls and Peterborough and some flew to Ottawa. On Thursday the rest of the airplanes arrived, were fuelled and parked behind the museum. After registration our group then toured the Air and Space museum located on the airfield. The tour ended with a catered lunch in the museum’s theatre. Here the participants were officially welcomed by Carole Cook. She then introduced COPA’s new CEO and President, Bernard Gervais. On behalf of the Air Tour, Carole presented the first tour plaque to Bernard. It will hang in the COPA National office. Mid afternoon a bus arrived to take us downtown to the Lord Elgin Hotel where we were on our own to visit our capital’s restaurants and attractions. Several of us walked around the Parliament Buildings, the locks and other points of interest.

Friday began with a huge and delicious breakfast buffet followed by an updated the weather briefing. Two buses arrived at the hotel to transport us to Rockcliffe to depart for La Macaza. With our aircraft tied down we had a 45 minute bus ride to the Holiday Inn at Mont Treblant. Once checked in, lunch was in the restaurant. The afternoon was spent ziplining, mini golfing and riding the gondola. Many got together with their friends for dinner at any restaurant on the resort.

The next day Saturday began with breakfast and weather update. Checked out, we loaded two buses to take us back to La Macaza for the next leg of the Air Tour to Trois Rivieres. After lunch at the airport restaurant, Carole presented the second tour plaque to the airport manager. Back in the airplanes it was a short flight to Drummondville. Many fuelled here ready for departure home or Summerside. During refreshments Carole presented the last tour plaque to the deputy mayor and airport manager. We were told that the town, province and federal governments are putting 6 million dollars into the airport to bring more business and corporate jets along with airline travel. What an impact to their economy. The buses arrived to take us to the hotel. For the 21 aircraft going to Summerside, organizer Lee Arsenault, gave the latest information about weather, etc.

On the last day Sunday the weather looked good westward for those returning home but to the east for those going to Summerside, it was rain and more rain. Only 7 of the 21 aircraft were able to fly east to PEI. Lee like Carole had meticulously arranged live entertainment, a lobster dinner and coverage by CTV news, radio and press. Lee flew his Diamond aircraft home to PEI where he was raised. “It was a really good feeling,” he said.

Some of the aircraft waited until mid afternoon at Drummondville to make a decision whether to fly east or west. With little improvement in the weather to PEI we departed for home. Three of COPA 45 aircraft stayed overnight in Peterborough due to rain over the Lake Huron shoreline (again). Of course Monday morning dawned bright and sunny and all three aircraft arrived home at noon.

Another successful Air Tour in which all the aircraft were able to fly to all the airports listed on the 2016 tour. Again friendships were renewed, great restaurants enjoyed, tours taken and time seeing the sights and sound of the cities in which we were staying. Our name tags certainly let locals know there was a large of visitors from all over Ontario in town.

Goderich’s Sky Harbour Clubhouse Dedicated - May 11,2016

It was a very successful evening on May 11th 2016 when COPA Flight 45 and Sky Harbour Modellers dedicated their new clubhouse. The building was the former weather station at the Goderich airport.We planned to showcase our winter’s work. Local politicians, town staff and COPA Director Cheryl Marek were invited. Over 50 sat down for an evening of presentations and dinner.
Once tenants, we discussed and drew up plans for the clubhouse. A donated kitchen was the basis of the floor plan. Plywood painted gray completed the kitchen. Appliances, dishes, utensils, and cookware were added. The blue carpet stayed. Cleaning was all it needed. One washroom was eliminated to become a storage room. The electrical required much extra work to remove, trace and label wires ready for the panel. Plumbing was less work. It is a place for both groups to enjoy.
Modeller Darryl Carpenter welcomed everyone, acknowledged special guests and
mentioned items donated by local businesses. Politicians and our COPA director were introduced and given an opportunity to speak. COPA 45 member Marilyn Bruinsma introduced Eugene McGee who donated to Flight 45 a wooden propeller from a Sky Harbour Tiger Moth to Fred Bruinsma for the clubhouse. It was in appreciation of COPA 45 assisting him to move his collection of the war time Port Albert Navigation School from his home to the county museum in Goderich. Fred told the audience what the markings carved into the prop meant. Next COPA member Dan Stringer introduced Isabelle Sully who accepted a picture of Business Air Services’ Lear Jet landing at Sky Harbour airport on the 3500’ runway 10-28 with a chute deployed. Business Air Services was owned by her late husband Bruce A. Sully, also his initials. Her first husband, the late Keith Hopkinson (Hoppy) built the original hangar and established Sky Harbour Air Services following World War II. That building burned in October 1964. In the 80’s Bruce built BAS on the same foundation as the original hangar. Isabelle is certainly a large part of Sky Harbour’s aviation history.
Conversations continued over dinner. MAAC representative, Bill Fry, gave the concluding remarks. He commented that other MAAC (Model Aircraft Association of Canada) groups were looking at COPA 45 and Sky Harbour Modellers’ partnership and combined use of our airport facilities. We now have a bright building that can be used for many functions and events.

  Aviation Pioneer Passes- Gus Chisholm - Jan 2016

Known as Gus, Robert Angus Chisholm passed on January 27 at 89. His initials, RAC, was also the tail letters of his beloved Corben Baby Ace which he built and called ‘Bits and Pieces’. The aircraft was literally built from pieces Gus found or scronced. Gus spent 2 years 8 months and 15 days building the Baby Ace in his basement. But first, Gus helped his friend Keith Hopkinson build the Stits Playboy CF –RAD, which now is home in Canada’s Aviation Museum.

On August 3rd 1958, The Baby Ace flew its maiden flight with Hoppy (Keith Hopkinson) at the controls. The single seater, 826 lb Baby aced her performance. For Gus a special moment and dream had come true. As well, Paul and Audrey Poberezny (EAA President) flew to Goderich to see the plane take flight. The Stits Playboy and Baby Ace were the first 2 registered homebuilts in Canada. Best friends, Gus and Keith flew to many airports and the EAA Airshow in 1959 at Rockford, IL. Gus was very instrumental in establishing the homebuilt movement and in its’ continuing success.

After the war Gus came to Goderich and worked for many years at Sky Harbour Services where he earned his Air Engineer’s License. He also earned his private pilot’s license. A license he held for 62 years. Gus won many awards. In 1999 he also earned a COPA National Award of Merit for his contribution to aviation.
COPA Flight 45 hosted a “Come Where It All Began” weekend for the 50th anniversary of the Stits Playboy’s maiden flight in 1955. Pilots and friends came to celebrate Gus’ achievements at the 2005 banquet. In 2010 Brian Harrington
flew Bits and Pieces to Oshkosh and in October Brian fondly flew the plane back to its original home, CYGD, where the local COPA Flight held a social afternoon to honour its builder. In his lifetime Gus owned several aircraft.

In later years Gus was often at the airport giving rides to children under the Young Eagles Program. He remembers the thrill of his first plane ride and wanted many to experience that same thrill.
Each year Gus and family would host a fly-in barbecue at his hangar. Son John said,” Many of us do only that, dream; but my Dad turned his dream into reality”.