June 15, 2023

Trillium Aviators first flyout

Jon Robinson

— Text and photos by Phil Lightstone

May 31, 2023, saw the Trillium Aviator’s first flyout of the 2023 season to the Kincardine Airport (CYKM) located on the shores of Lake Huron. The weather was severe VFR with ceilings reported at over 25,000 feet and greater than 15 miles of visibility. The day before the event, Ivan Kristensen, Trillium Aviators founder and lead organizer, reported that he had a total of 43 people, 30 aircraft and 13 passengers, planning on descending upon the shores of Lake Huron.

The airport management and on-site Cheesy Monkii (food truck) were fully supportive of the fly in, with the airport supplying coffee and donuts beginning at 9:00 am with lunch service between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. With more than 30 aircraft descending upon the normally quiet Kincardine Airport, the Trillium Aviators kept a vigilant look out for aircraft joining the circuit (runway 31 is right hand circuits).

Most pilots (if not all) made their first radio calls at 10 NMs out from the field on the unicom frequency (122.8). Ivan Kristensen reports: “As there will be a lot of aircraft arriving, please keep a vigilant lookout and a listening watch on the appropriate frequencies. Make your first call on the CYKM unicom frequency 122.8 10nm back then again 5nm back. It is important that proper circuit entries and radio calls are made so we are all on the same page. Don’t forget that it is Right hand circuit for RWY 31 (Check NOTAMs).”

Steve Rouse, Airport Manager at Kincardine, put together a team of volunteers to make sure that all of the needs of the Trillium Aviators were meet during the event. Volunteers were on hand to direct traffic to parking and to the fuel pump, with 100LL fuel at $2.82 inclusive of taxes. A new AWOS system was operational, providing airport weather information on 122.55.

Lauren Morris, owner and operator of the Cheesy Monkii food truck offered a lunch special to all Trillium Aviators. Morris offered Pork on a Bun, or a hot dog/sausage with fries and a drink for a pilot special of $13 plus tax. Cheesy Monkii had its full summer menu for pilots and passengers looking for an alternative to the pilot special.

Through Ivan Kristensen’s tireless volunteer efforts, the Trillium Aviators have entered their fifth season of gathering like-minded pilots and aviation enthusiasts for mid weak flyouts to destinations in southern Ontario. The flyouts range from bring your own lawn chair and lunch to delicious BBQ hosted by local COPA chapters. Kristensen started Trillium Aviators in 2020 as a reaction to the Covid pandemic based upon flyouts which he experienced while vacationing in Florida. Kristensen’s email list now has more than 310 names. Email Ivan at ivankris10@gmail.com to be added to the list.