Despite challenging weather, the annual event once known as a fly-in for Challenger ultralights attracted over 23 aircraft and 130 members. This year’s event was the first one organized by COPA. The Chateau Montebello was again the host, providing a luxurious riverfront location that has proven popular to be a popular venue over the years.
Rain fell in the days before last weekend’s event, which was subsequently topped off by a snowfall that prevented a smooth, frozen surface from being prepared for wheeled aircraft. Ski-equipped aircraft had no problem in landing, however. Many others arrived for the event by car, and accommodation at the Chateau was sold out.
Among the weekend’s highlights was a team from Vintage Wings of Canada that provided marshalling services to the many aircraft manoeuvring on the surface of the frozen river, dotted with passing snowmobiles.
Among aircraft that flew in were Piper Cubs, a Bellanca Scout, a Cessna 150, a Fleet Canuck, a Husky A-1C, a Champ, an RV8, as well as numerous ultralights including, of course, a fleet of Challenger ultralights. COPA President and CEO Bernard Gervais arrived in his Maule MX-7.
The Saturday night banquet attracted 90 members, with Transport Canada’s Pierre Ruel, Chief of Flight Standards, serving as keynote speaker. During the banquet, representatives from Aviateurs.Québec presented COPA with a donation of $5000 to COPA’s Freedom to Fly fund in recognition of the support COPA has provided in the defence of airports whose viability is being threatened by litigation.