Category Archives: Aviation news

Find YOUR Wings

Find YOUR Wings is a career fair for girls and young women. It is a free event that will run rain or shine on Saturday September 23 from 1 to 4 at the Prince Edward Flying Club inPicton. Families can enjoy the afternoon meeting pilots, looking at aircraft and talking to representatives from Air Cadets, museums, flight schools, Ninety-Nines and the Northern Lights Aero Foundation and lots more.

Canadians at Oshkosh

— By Phil Lightstone

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) at AirVenture 2023 on July 25 hosted a meet and greet event at SOS Brothers Beer Tent. Flying a large yellow with red lettering balloon, it was easy to find the COPA gathering. The COPA BBQ offered beverages and food with large tents to allow patrons to get out of the sun or rain, as well as daily parking during AirVenture (US$25 per day with free parking after the evening air shows).

More than 320 COPA members and industry partners gathered at the all-Canadian BBQ for beer and bratwurst. With all the fixings, the food was outstanding. Five COPA Directors and three staff members, including Mark van Berkel, Jim Ferrier and George Farrington, attended the event, mingling with COPA members to chat about Canadian aviation.

“The BBQ was open to all Canadians attending Oshkosh. We anticipated 300 and we ended up getting some last-minute additional tickets for the event to try and offset some of the demand,” said Mark van Berkel, President and CEO, COPA. “All of the tickets were gone the first day and we still had people show up at the event just to socialize without the food and drink tickets. We easily had 320-plus people in attendance. Members, non-members, families, and a few invited guests. Very nice to see. All the tables inside the tent were occupied and people were sitting on the grass outside the tent too.”

Folks attending the COPA event gathered at the BBQ tent, sheltered from the weather, which was mostly few clouds, lots of sunshine and a tolerable amount of heat. Shortly after 5:00 pm, a line formed inside the tent, exchanging tickets for a beverage ticket and a COPA baseball hat (for members only), with 200 hats gone in roughly 15 minutes.

Gary and Beverly Martin of Smithville, ON, flew to AirVenture in the Piper Cherokee Six (C-FZBP). Both are licensed pilots, married for the past 10 years with Beverly reporting that flying keeps them together. With 88 acres and a grass strip, they are accustomed to other pilots dropping in for a social coffee. John van Lieshout of COPA Flight 44 sees AirVenture and the COPA event as a way to network, meeting new and old friends.

Flying out of Sudbury, ON, twin brothers David and Bill Chisholm with wives Karen and Christine flew to AirVenture in their Piper Cherokee Six. While they also own a Cessna 180 on amphibious floats, the Cherokee Six is more like a station wagon, able to carry the Chisholm family and all their gear. This was their 13th year attending AirVenture, with no doubt more to come.

COPA’s exhibited at AirVenture in Hanger D in the International Federal Pavilion. COPA members from COPA Flight 70 Durham Region volunteered to staff the booth in addition to COPA staffers and directors. While it’s hard to estimate the number of people flowing through the booth, the traffic was steady with little down time for people pulling booth duty. Some people just stopped by to see what swag was available.

COPA stickers and pins were very popular. Hot topics of discussion included: Basic Med for US pilots flying to Canada; Canadian ADS-B and impacts to General Aviation (check out my article in August 2023 edition of Aviation Consumer); COPA Aviation Academy; Transport Canada’s NPA 2023-005; and COPA’s recurrent training seminar, which was delivered to a full house.

“The value [AirVenture] adds is representing the Canadian Aircraft Owners and Pilots at the largest General Aviation gathering in the world,” said van Berkel. “We get to meet with other industry colleagues, learn about what others are doing, see old friends and make news ones….and have fun.

“Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the demand for the BBQ event. I think we need to start thinking about how we roll it out for next year to make sure everyone who wants to come can,” continued van Berkel. “I think AirVenture will become a regular place for COPA members to see us. Walking around the parked aircraft there were quite a number a C-registered planes here. We have been taking pictures and posting them on our social media sites. This could actually be someone’s full-time Oshkosh job.”

For those who have never been to the EAA’s AirVenture before, it is a must do item to have in your logbook. Flying into Whittman Regional Airport (KOSH is reputed to be the world’s busiest airport during AirVenture) is a badge of honour and an accomplishment. Flying into regional airports like Appleton (KATW), Green Bay (KGRB) and Fond du Lac (KFLD) eliminates the stress of operating in a high traffic environment.

Flying the Commander from Buttonville Municipal Airport (CYKZ) to Appleton (KATW) was a non-event, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the field and a quick three-hour flight. At the time of my arrival, I was the only aircraft in the pattern, making landing and taxing easy as pie. PRO TIP: For rookie pilots, consider taking an AirVenture veteran with you.

AirVenture is jam packed with things to do, see and people to meet, as well as cool aircraft, educational seminars/forums, airshows, evening movies and the latest in aviation products and services. AirVenture delivers an aviation adventure that you will not regret.


Casey set to host AeroVenture in early September

— By Marie-Claude Guimond

For the third year in a row, Casey will put on her finery and fly away to the rhythm of her countless cold war era ruins. From September 1 to 4, aviation and outdoor enthusiasts, this is an event not to be missed. Join the many visitors arriving from across Canada and the northeastern United States. Whether you arrive from the air, by road or by train, you don’t want to miss this event!

Along our water base on Lake Wet and the CSQ4 aerodrome in Casey, AeroVenture is without a doubt considered the biggest event of its category in Canada! On the program: “Fly-in”, camping, conferences, workshops, half-marathon, music, bonfires, static display and entertainment for all.

Welcome to the spellbinding world of aviation. This event is a veritable whirlwind of passion for aviation, history and the outdoors. With a rich and varied program, AeroVenture offers a unique opportunity where discoveries, experiences, adventures and unforgettable moments come together.

We invite you to take your wings in this vibrant universe, to explore the history and the military remains of the Casey cold war era runway which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and without forgetting the reasons why AeroVenture exists and has become a must for aviation and outdoor enthusiasts.

AeroVenture was born from the desire to bring back to life the CSQ4 Aerodrome following the informal fly ins which have been taking place since 2012/2013 at the Casey abandoned military airstrip.

Casey is filled with history and events that have marked the region, from the construction of a military base during the Cold War in the 1950s to the events of the mercenary pilot, Raymond Boulanger. This historic and heritage site had been abandoned for many years. During his first visit to the airstrip, Naor Cohen, a seasoned entrepreneur, fell in love with the site and made it his new challenge. Revive Casey’s runway and bring it to the general aviation and tourism world. Camp de Base Casey was born and the AeroVenture event followed. In 2022 we welcomed: 241 aircraft, 28 seaplanes, 22 helicopters, 260 RVs, 92 planes in camping formula and 2600 visitors for the duration of the weekend long event.


AeroVenture offers an eclectic and varied program highlighting the richness and diversity of its wild site and that of the world of aviation. From emerging speakers to outdoor icons to aviation influencer celebrities, through the discovery of Aerocamping and/or wild camping which is “a must” so as to not miss anything throughout the weekend. We offer you a real melting pot in the backcountry!

AeroVenture continues to evolve and reinvent itself, adapting to current tourism trends while remaining true to its primary mission: to celebrate aviation and the freedom to fly!

An exceptional showcase to promote the Haute Mauricie region and its jewels, AeroVenture would like to arouse everyone’s interest in aviation and thus offer a unique opportunity to showcase and discover the local actors of our territory on site. They bring freshness and creativity to the event, helping to strengthen the bonds of our community.

AeroVenture will also host renowned guest speakers such as Réal Langlois “the rack man”, a fly-by of two CF-18s in formation and cockpit visits of a CF-18 from the Royal Canadian Air Force, many hands on workshops and so much more. We guarantee grandiose and captivating moments in a friendly and warm setting. There will be something for everyone. Each year, AeroVenture has its share of surprises in store, you don’t want to miss them!

One of the most exciting aspects of AeroVenture is discovering the site of the CSQ4 aerodrome, the Casey Base Camp and all it has to offer.

This year with the first edition of the Casey Half-Marathon, you will have the chance to take a route which, with each step, will allow you to glimpse the rubble of the former Pinetreeline military base.

For those who want more comfort: We offer a luxurious camping concept at the Casey Base Camp CSQ4 aerodrome. Several packages are available, for more information, simply visit our website www.campdebasecasey.com and reserve! We are here to make your experience memorable. Hurry, places are limited, book your experience now.

Whether you love aviation, the outdoors or simply want to experience a unique moment, AeroVenture has something to satisfy your curiosity. The different themes of our programming offer a variety of experiences allowing everyone to find what they are looking for.

Attending AeroVenture is much more than being bitten by mosquitoes! It is to live an immersive experience in the heart of the boreal forest in the heart of the Haute Mauricienne bush country. Beyond aviation, we offer a multitude of activities such as a half-marathon runway run, survival and plant picking workshops, fireworks and entertainment for all visitors.

AeroVenture celebrates aviation and the freedom to fly with passion and diversity. It is an unmissable event where aviation and the outdoors come together, offering a unique experience and adventure. Fly with us from September 1 to 4. We extend our wings to you!

Scenes from Guelph Airpark BBQ bash

— By Gus and Clara Corujo

A wonderful evening unfolded at Guelph Airpark, where good times, good friends and cool planes came together for a special event. This get-together is a big draw for people who love airplanes. They gathered at the airfield for some sky-high fun, catching with pals, and enjoying Tim’s famous BBQ.

Though the wind wasn’t very friendly at first, only a few planes managed to get to the airfield. But that didn’t stop the brave pilots. As the sun went down and things got calmer, they showed off their skills in the sky.

Paul Dyson flew his trusty Aeronca plane, and Bruce Paylor impressed everyone with his fancy flying in the Bucker Jungmann. These two experts made the sky look like their playground.

A big shoutout to everyone who brought their planes and joined the Guelph Airpark BBQ. They showed their support for aviation and the local flying community.

Million Air Toronto Summer BBQ

— By Phil Lightstone (Photo: Phil Lightstone)

For the past few years, Million Air Toronto FBO, located at the Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport (CYKZ), has hosted a lunchtime BBQ for airport tenants, student pilots, itinerant pilots and airport staff. Million Air Toronto is owned and operated by TorontAir Limited. The BBQ is held every second Thursday between 11:00 and 2:00 pm during the summer in the main terminal building.

The BBQ held on Thursday July 27, 2023, attracted a full house with more than 100 hamburgers and 58 hotdogs and sausages. Sadly, the weather did not cooperate with a broken sky and off and on rain showers. Fortunately, this is not their first rodeo. The entrance to the terminal building has a large awning, creating a perfect place to BBQ during inclement weather. Typically, the BBQ is held on the terminal building’s patio. But with the awning, Flightline personnel (who are staffing the BBQ) can stay dry and keep the BBQ operating at peak efficiency.

The organizers at Million Air Toronto recognize the need for menu diversity. The menu included sausages, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers (featuring Beyond Meat burgers), potato salad, chips, condiments, soft drinks, water and a variety of cookies. Operating a peak efficiency, a buffet was setup in the terminal building, with Flightline shuttling in hot BBQ. For hungry airport patrons, seconds and thirds were encouraged (please note that overeating is not sanctioned by your local CAME).

The lunchtime BBQ is a great way to break bread with fellow aviators and aviation enthusiasts as well as folks employed by services companies operating at the airport. On a personal note, I had my BBQ lunch with the pilots and officers of the York Regional Police Air Unit, who operate out of the Buttonville Airport. The conversation drifted between YRP’s newest helicopter and their plans to move the air unit once Buttonville closes at the end of November 2023. While we can only make suggestions (the folks at the table were clear to mention that the relocation plans are above their pay grade), it is an interesting conversation about the state aviation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Robert Seaman, Vice President and Airport Manager, joined in with the BBQ, meeting and greeting BBQ attendees. It’s great to see airport staff members mingle with the tenants and patrons of the airport, especially during these times leading up to the closure of the airport. Rob is and has been a stalwart supporter of General Aviation, as an airshow pilot he has flown a variety of aircraft including my personal favorite a North American P51 Mustang.

On a personal note, I find these events to bring people closer together, through food and conversation, sharing experiences, knowledge and building bridges between diverse personalities. Rather than listening to the glass half empty conversations, which can deliver negative energy, why not focus on the positive side of aviation and the companies’ delivering products, services and solutions to your aviation experience.

Hawkesbury Flying Club/COPA 131 Corn Roast rescheduled to August 20, 2023

CORRECTION: Corn Roast re-scheduled to SUNDAY, August 20th, 2023
The Hawkesbury Flying Club/Flight 131’s Corn Roast is being re-scheduled to August 20th, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (no rain date). This is to keep in line with the usual event day and because of another fly-in event, the previous day. Offerings are: corn on the cob, hot-dogs, salads, dessert and refreshments. Info: hawkesburyflyingclub@gmail.com.

CORRECTION : épluchette de maïs remise au DIMANCHE 20 août 2023
L’épluchette de maïs du Hawkesbury Flying Club/Flight 131 du 19 août 2023 est remise au lendemain, 20 août 2023 entre 11 heures et 13 heures (pas de date alternative en cas de pluie). Cela nous ramène à la journée habituelle de l’évènement et corrige le tir, étant donné la tenue d’un autre évènement “fly-in” local, la veille. Au menu : maïs sur épis, salades assorties, dessert et breuvages. Renseignements : hawkesburyflyingclub@gmail.com.

Corn Roast / Épluchette de maïs

Hawkesbury Flying Club/COPA Flight 131 presents its Corn Roast on August 19 (rain date, August 20) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Hawkesbury Aerodrome (CPG5). Corn, hot-dogs, assorted salads, dessert, refreshments. Info: 613.675.2468 or 514.891.1856. Fly in or drive in… and welcome!
Le Hawkesbury Flying Club/COPA 131 présente son Épluchette de maïs le 19 août (remise au lendemain 20, en cas de pluie), entre 11 h et 13 h à l’aérodrome de Hawkesbury-est (CPG5). Au menu : maïs, hot-dogs, salades assorties, dessert, breuvages. Information : 613.675.2468 ou 514.891.1856. Venez par les airs ou par la route… et bienvenue!

Opening day of AirVenture 2023

People and planes at Cirrus Aircraft’s appreciation opening dinner, kicking off AirVenture 2023. (Photo: Phil Lightstone)

— Text and photos by Phil Lightstone

Founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes, the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) expanded its mission of growing participation in aviation to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicopters, and contemporary manufactured aircraft.

The EAA is expecting more than 10,000 aircraft and half a million enthusiasts which makes Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) the busiest airfield in the world during AirVenture. This weeklong event draws visitors from more than 80 countries, many of whom fly in. In addition to daily air shows, the event also includes learning centres for children and aircraft enthusiasts; aircraft of nearly every size, shape and era; evening programs, like a “fly-in” theatre, concerts, and presentations; and flight experiences.

EAA’s AirVenture started with inclement weather on Saturday evening. The TAF reported: KOSH 222320Z 2300/2324 23007KT P6SM VCSH BKN050 TEMPO 2301/2302 29018G28KT 3SM TSRA BKN035CB FM230500 26003KT P6SM SCT100 FM231600 29006KT P6SM SCT045 BKN100. Sunday had a high of 28C and mainly sunny skies, perfect for pre AirVenture activities, including the EAA Canada’s opening BBQ and Cirrus Aircraft Sunday Night Kickoff party.


Cirrus’ customer appreciation event, pulled out all the stops, delivering an event with food, drinks, live music and wall to wall aviators and enthusiasts, with factory staff on hand to answer any any all questions. With over 2,000 people in attendance and with founders Alan and Dale Klapmeier and over 2,000, the event kicked off Cirrus’s flight academy program, designed to take a student pilot from “zero to hero”.

Cirrus Aircraft announced its new, world-class Private Pilot Program designed to teach anyone to learn how to fly an SR Series Cirrus aircraft and earn their pilot’s license. The Private Pilot Program provides an immersive ground school training partnered with a dedicated Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) through a Cirrus Training Centre to help students complete their Private Pilot License in a Cirrus aircraft.

COPA held a BBQ for Canadians on Tuesday evening at the SOS Brothers Beer Tent. More than 300 Canadians were in attendance, sampling fine Wisconsin food and drink. The camaraderie afforded at these events, illustrates how a common interest (aviation) can bring complete strangers together sharing experiences, insights and knowledge.

Many electric aircraft and eVTOLs were on display, including Hydroplane’s whose focus on research and development activities and the commercializations of electrifying aircraft with hydrogen fuel cells. Dr. Anita Sengupta, founder, reports that Grey Hydrogen is as low as $2 per kg, but Green Hydrogen is $6-plus per kg.

Their Piper Cherokee test vehicle holds 25 kg of hydrogen which delivers three to four hours of endurance. Compared to 100LL fuel costs, hydrogen will help reduce the cost of flying. More to come as Hydroplane works through the R&D and certification process with the FAA.

While SUN ‘n FUN is reputed to be the spring break for aviators, AirVenture is no doubt the centre of general aviation in North America, if not worldwide.

Checkout eaa.org/airventure for daily updates and live event streaming.