July 13, 2023

BCATP Fly-in at Tillsonburg Regional

Jon Robinson

— By Gus and Clara Carujo

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Fly-In (BCATP) was held at Tillsonburg Regional Airport from June 24 to 25, 2023, which coincided with the celebration of Tillsonburg’s airport 80th anniversary.

The first day of the BCATP Fly-In encountered some weather-related issues, which temporarily grounded planes. The weather improved in the afternoon, however, culminating in the arrival of a Royal Canadian Air Force CT-156 Harvard II trainer aircraft from 15 Wing Moose Jaw. The aircraft was piloted by former CHAA pilot Ed Soye and co-pilot Leo Fletcher.

Author and historian Ted Barris was the special guest speaker on June 24. He delivered an educational and moving presentation on the Dambusters Raid.

The event featured displays from the CHAA Aircraft Recovery Team, Tillsonburg Military History Club, BCATP, and other historical exhibits. There was also a designated kids’ zone inside a hangar, as well as an outdoor area. Food trucks were present throughout the two-day event.

Among the notable arrivals on the second day were Dave Hewitt with his Beech C45 Expeditor, Steve Gray flying in with his grandson in his Fleet PT-26A Cornell, and Paul Marot arriving with his DH 82C Tiger Moth.