Category Archives: Uncategorized


Conrad Hatcher

Saint Catharines, ON

My flying career began when I took my first lesson in 1975 in a Piper Cherokee at the St. Catharines Flying Club. Since that time, I have amassed over 20,000 flying hours in a variety of aircraft as an instructor, charter, airline and corporate pilot. Currently I work as a Class 1 Flight Instructor at the St.Catharines Flying Club to which I returned after spending 14 years as an Inspector at Transport Canada. I enjoy teaching both new pilots and those who are pursuing advanced ratings or learning to fly a different aircraft.

I am also active Pilot Examiner which affords me the opportunity to travel regularly around Southern Ontario to a variety of airports and flying operations. I am able to get to know many more enthusiastic pilots that I would otherwise not get to meet.

My single most important reason for becoming a COPA director is that I am concerned for the future of Personal Aviation and I want to contribute to ensuring that it continues and thrives. I want to promote our segment of the aviation community and ensure that we expose as many new people as possible to the world of General Aviation.

I believe that the most important skill I can bring to the COPA board is that of a communicator. I want to tell our story and articulate our vision and values to the general public and the aviation community. If we fail to articulate our view of the world of aviation effectively others will do it for us and it may not be accurate or favourable. I believe that I can use my experience, skills and talents to assist the Board in achieving all of our mutual goals.


Kevin Elwood

Stayner, ON

My name is Kevin Elwood. I am a husband, father, commercial pilot, business owner, landowner, and elected municipal councilor in Stayner, Ontario.

  1. I have had a long-time love of flying. Beginning Flight training in 1986 to now carrying an ATPL license and having flown 25 aircraft types. I have a network of industry relationships from recreational pilots thru to professional pilots, maintenance engineers and airport operators.
  2. I have owned several planes during my 32 years as a pilot, including Ultra-Lights, Cessna 150, Cessna 185 and Cessna 206 and a Piper PA11S.
  3. While flying is my passion, it is also my business and supports my family. I am a professional Contract Pilot flying the DeHavilland Turbo Beaver. Prior to this, I was a Corporate Pilot from 1997 to 2006. In total, I have 5650 flight hours flying having flown in every Province and Territory of Canada and most of the continental US and Europe.
  4. Our 100-acre farm is the home of Clearview Field AerodromeCLV2 supported by RCAP IFR approaches.
  5. In 2009 I became aware of a proposed wind turbine project on land adjacent to Clearview Field Aerodrome close to Collingwood Regional Airport CNY3. I researched to understand how a dangerous proposal could be founded in government policy. To my dismay I learned that aviation facilities and procedures had been ignored by the Provincial Government even after COPA testified and submitted comments during the drafting of energy legislation. This gap in legislation resulted a project being approved by the province where upon the onus was on the aviation community to appeal and prove it would result in harm to human health. With much personal sacrifice, community support and COPA support the approval was revoked. I developed a knowledge of how aviation’s community benefits are overlooked by government and policy advisors. COPA has made it a priority to ensure general aviation is recognized for its contribution to society be it economic or social. This aviation knowledge and government experience can assist COPA in protecting personal Aviation and promote it as a valued, integral and sustainable part of the Canadian Community now and into the future.


Paul Armstrong

Toronto, ON

I am a candidate for one of the three COPA Board positions for Southern Ontario for the upcoming term.

I gained my interest in flying through my father, who was an R.C.A.F. fighter pilot who learned to fly in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. I joined COPA before I started flight training in 1975. I have a Commercial license and currently fly 250 to 300 hours per year, with most of my flying done on floats or amphibious floats conducting initial or re-currency training, insurance checkouts and aircraft ferrying. I am a Transport Canada Authorized person.

I was a partner for many years in a 703 Air Taxi operation that primarily did seaplane training under contract to a community college. I currently do not own an aircraft, having access to a number of float and amphibious aircraft as I require.

In addition to my flying background, I have considerable experience in the insurance field, at both the company and broker sides of the business.

I am a member of the Ontario Seaplane Association, and reside in Toronto.

My main interest in becoming a Director is to give back to aviation some of the skills and use the relationships I have developed in my varied tenure in aviation. Aviation in Canada has become increasing costly and complex, and governments at all levels have become increasingly aviation adverse at best, with it being viewed as a tax generation opportunity at both the federal and even more provincially, in Ontario.

The biggest skill I can offer the Board is my persistence, whether it is through motivating for a more engaged membership that will encourage COPA to be more than a $200 hamburger club, or through helping an engaged Board and Executive to become a more active lobbying force.


Joe Abley

London, ON

I learnt to fly in the late 80s in the UK, in Cessna 150s and 152s at EGTC. After getting my PPL at age seventeen I spent the better part of three decades first at University where I had no money to fly and later working in the tech industry in Europe, New Zealand and Canada when I had no time. It took me until 2015 to get my priorities straight in the form of a Transport Canada license. I now have a couple of hundred hours logged and hope to complete my instrument rating and commercial license this summer. Turns out, despite all that time not flying, I still get the same giant smile every time I sit in the left seat or open a hangar door to the delicious aroma of oil and avgas.

I own 1992 Grumman AG-5B Tiger C-FBLY which I bought in Kamloops, BC in January 2017 and flew back across the country to CYXU, where it is now hangared. I am a member of Aviateurs Quebec, COPA and COPA Flight 75 based in CYQS, St Thomas, Ontario, which is where I am doing my Instrument and CPL training. I’m also, a current member of AOPA and the AYA (a Grumman type organization).

I would like to be a COPA Director because it seems like a great way to contribute back to the Canadian GA community whilst also getting a better insight into aviation in Canada in general. I have not-for-profit board and governance experience in a consensus/community context through my work designing and operating global Internet infrastructure; however, I think the most useful skill I can contribute is the desire to focus on pragmatic, real-world answers to real-world problems.


Marc Whittemore

Kelowna, B.C.

Hello COPA friends,

My spouse, Susanne, and I are passionate aviators, flying for pure joy and fun. Living in BC affords us the opportunity to go and see places we would not get to as often otherwise with busy work schedules.

My flying dream got real in about 1995 with about 1100 hours to date, holding a private license with instrument rating, and ownership of eight beautiful single engine birds over the years; currently flying a Mooney Rocket and a Maule. We are proud members of the Kelowna and Nanaimo flying clubs and our informal Nakusp flyers group.

Why a COPA director?

Our mission statement centers on “freedom to fly”. This freedom is always under threat from a variety of sources, and my main reason to stand for election is to help continue the work to preserve this great freedom which I cherish. There are two other related reasons which indirectly contribute to preserving and enhancing the freedom.

Firstly, it would be so helpful to establish some type of pilot support program. Many new pilots are too intimidated to fly to destinations they would like to. The system appears at first view to be overwhelming; one or two flights with a fellow pilot on board is all it takes. Kelowna to Victoria is an example – a bit daunting but a conversation and ride with someone familiar is all that’s needed; fellow pilots helped me long ago and I’ve helped others over the years. A structured program would help pilots overcome these intimidations.

Secondly, ATC has different criteria for control in mountainous regions driven by safety. I advocate extra training/knowledge built into our private licensing for those training in mountainous regions to help pilots avoid the various insidious risks associated with mountain flying, and at the same time increase the freedom to fly by equipping pilots with more knowledge.

As a practicing lawyer in Kelowna for 30+ years, I bring knowledge of legislative and regulatory schemes and a healthy wariness of the agendas of government and lobby groups.

If elected a COPA director, I will serve faithfully and diligently.


Ken Welte

Nanaimo, B.C.

1) I hold a Cat 3 medical, with a Day and Night VFR rating, with 800 hours on type total pic time of 900 hours. I am competent at flying from both left and right seats of a Cessna, an Arrow and a Comanche. I have around 300 off airport landings under my belt. Nanaimo grass, Vargas island and Nootka Island Beaches, Dog creek, etc (again, landing from both left and right side of AC). I have flown most of British Columbia, big chunks of Yukon, Alaska, Alberta and Washington State.

2) I Own a Cessna 172

3) I am with the Nanaimo Flying Club and Nanaimo Air Cadets. I have supported the local Copa for Kids days at the Nanaimo chapter and I have in the past been a Cadet Familiarization Pilot. I run the Flying Scholarship program at my Air Cadet squadron.

4) I believe that recruitment of new membership is the biggest requirement for COPA over the next few years. With the drastic requirements for pilots in commercial aviation, our (Copa) voice needs to be strong to advocated for access to airports and air space. As costs, sore we need a strong voice to support General Aviation.

5) My single most important skill is I am a comfortable and an effective public speaker in front of any size group. My second most important skill is that I have a passion for mentoring leadership in youth.

Quick Bio

Born in Campbell River BC and graduated from Nanaimo Distrist Secondary Highschool. I attended Malaspina College and studied Science and Social Science.

As a teenager, I was an air cadet. I received my private pilot’s license while in college. I am Civilian Instructor with Air Cadets and run the flying program as well as mentoring young cadets on career planning and life skills. I complete one big flying trip every year.

I am a pragmatic and professional negotiator, I own my own business and understand how to keep costs in check. I understand that costs are our biggest barrier to enjoying General Aviation. As commercial aviation grows at an unprecedented pace, we need a strong voice advocating for General Aviation, from the local airports to the Federal government.


David McElroy

Kelowna, B.C.

Flying: 3500 hrs current SE/ME/IFR

Ownership – about 8 aircraft both solely & in partnerships. Including C140, Harvard, BE23, PA-24-250, RV6.

COPA – member since 1967 except the 15 years I spent in the UK between 2000-2014

Past Chairman Scottish Aero Club, Perth, UK

Current President Kelowna Flying Club/COPA Flight 36

Current Director BC General Aviation Assn

Reason for interest: my broad experience well suited to make a contribution to COPA members and members-to-be

Single most important skill: Leadership

My bio speaks for itself. Lifelong passion for aviation which has included many multi-country expeditions including a Round the World Flight. Want to share this passion with younger people and bring them into aviation. Well equipped to do so.


Peter Lythall

Fort St. John, B.C.

I have been active in Aviation for most of my adult life. As a youngster, I was introduced to GA flying with the grandfather of one of my childhood friends. Grandpa was a back-country outfitter and my first experience flying with him was memorable, sitting on freshly oiled yet well-worn saddles and salt blocks in the rear of a rough 172 without any seatbelt, and when the baggage door opened in flight, he shouted at me to not fall out. And so, it began, I started flying lessons when I was able to drive myself to the local airport.

I have been involved in both the experimental and certified areas of aviation, having built a Vans RV7 kitplane several years ago. I have had the opportunity to own several certified aircraft and to use these aircraft as tools for business as well as recreation. Whether it was used to attend to client meetings in remote areas or to enjoy the Canadian backcountry on a weekend camping trip, I have embraced aviation as part of a successful business and rewarding personal lifestyle.  I have logged over 2500 hrs of flight time in a variety of different aircraft as I pursued and completed my various ratings that have culminated in a Single/Multi Engine Land and Sea with a Group 1 IFR rating.

As a member of COPA Flight 180 I assisted with bringing a successful COPA for Kids event to Fort St John in 2017 and I previously volunteered as a Pilot with COPA for Kids in Alberta. I believe I can bring a fresh voice and a well-rounded GA perspective to issues facing the membership in Western Canada and I am committed to ensuring that our rights and freedoms as a community are maintained for the current and future generations of aviators.

LORING, Arthur

Arthur Loring

Kamloops, B.C.

My name is Arthur Loring and am an enthusiastic 42-year-old small business owner from Kamloops, BC.  I’m running for a position as a Director representing BC/Yukon for COPA.

My Private Licence was obtained in 1998 and have been active in general aviation ever since.  In the past 3 years, I have significantly increased my activity by purchasing a Diamond DA20 which has allowed me a great opportunity to do more flying both locally and cross country (my most recent trip being to Nevada). With becoming more active again, I have also recently obtained my Night Rating and hope to pursue additional learning opportunities soon.

In 2017, I was elected as the Vice President of the Kamloops Flying Club (COPA Flight 82) where we have faced similar challenges of other clubs such as declining membership, aging membership and are in the on-going process of addressing those challenges to create a more vibrant relevant club. I was re-elected to hold the same position for the 2018 year.

My main reason for wanting to become a COPA director is to try to bring a fresh more youthful perspective from the members at large about how to make COPA a more relevant organization to both young and experienced aviators alike. As a COPA member, in addition to its important role as preserving our freedom to fly, I personally believe that COPA should also be the hub for everything aviation including the social hub of participation, knowledge and events. I want to help achieve this.  Additionally, I hope to use this experience to increase my profile within the COPA organization to become a more knowledgeable General Aviation advocate.

The biggest skill I can bring to the board is my 20+ years of business management experience by delivering a calm, level-headed approach and willingness to listen and consider all perspectives of issues. I am progressive and embrace new thoughts and ways of doing things.

I may not have a significant amount of professional aviation experience behind me, but I have the passion, enthusiasm and dedication to represent BC & the Yukon and to do my best to ensure our members voices are heard as well as to guide future progressive changes to make this great organization one that reflects the beliefs of pilots in Canada.


Pat Cochrane

Coldstream, B.C.

BC/Yukon COPA members;

My name is Pat Cochrane and I am requesting your support in electing me one of the BC/Yukon COPA directors.

I received my Private Pilot License in 1990 and am current as of February 2018.  I own a 1/4 share in a Piper Turbo Arrow III which is hangared at Vernon BC and am a member of the Vernon Flying Club, COPA flight 65.

I have extensive Board and Committee experience.  I am in my twenty-second year as a Municipal Councilor, having served twelve years at the City of Vernon and the remainder at the District of Coldstream having chaired numerous committees as well as well as representing the community as Acting Mayor.

I find as a pilot that there is always more to learn, whether it is new upgrades in the airplane or changes to procedures.  To help me be an effective Board member I will draw on the knowledge and experience of BC and Yukon COPA members.

COPA has an important role in protecting and improving General Aviation in Canada.  I will use my board and committee background to help COPA be successful.

As a COPA board member, I will work co-operatively with fellow board members and senior staff to make the best decisions possible on behalf of COPA members.

Please take a few minutes to vote and make Pat Cochrane one of your choices for BC/Yukon director.

Thank you.