July 13, 2023

Lac-à-la-Tortue Fly-in

Jon Robinson

— Text and photos by Jean-Pierre Bonin

Lac-à-la-Tortue serves the region as an airport (CSL3) and a water aerodrome (CSU7). The first commercial flight took place there back in 1919 with La Vigilance, un hydravion à coque Curtiss HS-2L. Folks from Manitoba will argue that they were the first in 1920 but theirs was the first passenger commercial flight.

The fly-in drew aircraft on land and by lake, with some 40 pilots and their passengers coming with about 30 planes, four gyrocopters and half a dozen seaplanes.

As I drove East toward Lac-à-la-Tortue on highway 40, it was misty conditions. Upon arriving on site, cloud cover was 1,100 feet with a few breaks allowing people flying VFR to squeeze in for a landing. Better weather might have brought numbers up somewhat, but the event still was a success.

The money generated by the event, for hotdogs, water and soft drinks or bag of chips at $1 each, and T-shirts at $20, amounted to $1,500. These funds will be used by a local school for kids to have breakfast so they do not enter classes on an empty stomach.

Thank you to Aero Atelier and Bel Air Aviation for organizing this event and, of course, many thanks to all the volunteers, pilots and passengers.