Professional air show pilot “Super Dave” Mathieson poses for a selfie with a young admirer during the 2015 Qualicum Beach Air Show at the Qualicum Beach Airport. The bi-annual show returns this year on July 8. — NEWS File photo

Qualicum Beach airshow returns

Local airport to host fly-bys, demonstrations and skydiving July 8

The Parksville-Qualicum Aero Club, COPA Flight 76 and the Town of Qualicum Beach will team up to bring back the biennial Qualicum Airport Airshow July 8, at the Qualicum Beach airport.

The event will kick off with a beach fly-by Friday, July 7, at about 6 p.m. — weather permitting. The air show, which returned in 2015 after several years’ hiatus, kicks off Saturday with a pancake breakfast hosted by PQAC and the Qualicum Beach Legion branch 76, beginning at 8 a.m. at the PQAC hangar, 6A Ravensbourne Lane.

Opening ceremonies, with appearances by Mayor Teunis Westbroek and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, begin at 10 a.m. in front of the hangar.

The show will follow, with feature performers including Stefan Trischuk of Saskatoon (in both a Pitts X2C biplane and a Pipistrel Virus SW, Light Sport Aircraft); and Anna Serbinenko of Vancouver, who performs sky dancing, a slow, graceful airborne dance to classical music, in an American Champion Decathalon.

In addition, there will be local aircraft fly-bys by Roger Yorke (T-28 Trojan), Ken Fyfe (Boeing Stearman bi-plane), Allan Franko (Giles 200), Jim Green (RV-7), and Paul Connor (Glasair, Super IIRG); performances by ultra-lights, gyrocopters and a Harmon Rocket; commercial helicopter flights by Sunwest; flights by donation in a T-28 and Cessna 172 by PQAC pilots; radio-controlled aircraft; helicopter bucket demos and possibly an appearance by the RCAF search and rescue crew of 442 Squadron Comox in its Buffalo and Cormorant helicopters.

On the ground, there will be opportunities to meet and greet with performers for photos and autographs; static displays and booths; the Texada Island Air Buzz flight simulator which may be tried by would-be pilots of all ages; and several home-built aircraft on display.

Participants include CASARA (Civil Air Search &Rescue Association), the Town of Qualicum Beach, the PDQ Flyers radio-controlled aircraft club, the local ham radio club, 893 Beaufort Squadron Air Cadets, Angel Flight, Sunwest Helicopters, PQAC – COPA For Kids Registration, Airspan Helicopters and ZFF Engines Ltd.

Tickets are $10 per person at the gate; children aged 12 and under are free. In addition, there is free parking on-site, including handicap parking, and a food truck concession from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pets are not allowed, and guests are encouraged to bring their own chair — as well as a hat and sunscreen.

The Qualicum Airport Airshow is sanctioned and certified by the Ministry of Transport and is supporting Canadian Enterprise and Canada 150. Airspace will be closed to commercial and private flights from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., PQAC said in a news release.

— NEWS Staff and

PQAC submission