Plenty of aircraft on display

Airport Appreciation Day: get ready to see the area's flying machines

Get your bearings and head on to the Qualicum Beach Airport on June 11 for Airport Day.

Fred Evoy is hoping flight fans will bring along a chair and an umbrella when the Qualicum Beach Aero Club presents Airport Appreciation Day on Saturday, June 11.

“It’s to keep the sun off, not the rain,” he said. 

“So far, the long-range weather forecast looks good.”

Rain or shine, the day should be an entertaining one for participants, with numerous displays and events scheduled between the pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and the end of the event at 4 p.m.

“It all kicks off with pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Parksville-Qualicum Aero Club hangar until 10:30, put on by the club,” Evoy said. 

“Following that, at 10 a.m. is the official opening ceremonies, when we will pipe in our dignitaries, including Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek, acting Parksville Mayor Chris Burger and MLA Ron Cantelon. They will probably want to bend our ears for a little bit.”

When the ears are sufficiently bent, Evoy said the fun will really begin, with sightseeing flights offered by KD Air, the Qualicum Flight Centre and Sunwest Helicopters.

“That could start earlier,” Evoy said. 

“If they have people who want to go, they will take them flying for a nominal donation.”

The feature act for the day, he said, will be John Mrazek and his Harvard pussycat II, along with Dr. Bill Phipps, who will perform aerobatics with a bi-wing plane.

“For the first time this year we will have Super Dave Matheson and his Pitts X-2C, a bi-wing aircraft and he does a pretty fabulous show,” Evoy said. 

“Those are our main feature acts, but the Mars Martin waterbomber will also do a flyby and possibly a water drop and the Canadian military Search and Rescue squadron from Comox want to do a  demonstration. They will also have a Cormorant helicopter on static display.” 

The local air cadets will have a glider on static display, while Vancouver Island virtual airline will be on hand with a flight simulator for the kids.

There will be a whole lot more to see and do as well, he said, noting  as many as 5,000 residents and visitors have attended the bi-annual event in the past and he’s hoping to attract as many this year.

Admission will be by donation.


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