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EAA Canadian Fly-In Growing Steadily

By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, for e-Hotline
A large crowd watches the Saturday air show.

A nice mix of aircraft both attended and were on display.

September 20, 2011 – Traditions are only as old as necessary to form a pleasing habit. The Gatineau EAA tradition is now 2 years old and pleasing more people all the time. Held September 16-18, with fly-in capacity to spare and camping available for all, it was the place to be for lovers of aviation. Difficult weather prevented many Canadians from attending AirVenture 2011, but clear skies allowed an easy path to the Gatineau fly-in.

Both Vintage Wings of Canada and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum fielded their best aircraft. Canada is truly fortunate in having so many warbirds flying and in excellent condition.

The end of the Cold War has presented us with some great opportunities to see some spectacular aerobatic aircraft in operation. An excellent example of this was the duo performance by Charlie Lynch in his Russian Yak 52 and Daniel Fortin in a Chinese Nanchang CJ6A. Next up, Andrew Boyd, son of Canadian CF-104 test pilot Tim Boyd, did an outstanding solo performance in his stunning red Pitts S2B.

Two large hangars were given over to vendors, workshops, and organizations including EAA, led by Adam Smith, Ron Wagner, and EAA Canadian Council member Jack Dueck. A beautifully finished Lancair was parked near the entrance to the show.

The presenters announced the end of the show as the Canadian Snowbirds wound up a super routine with two of their members missing due to illness and a death in the family. They seemed to put in an extra long performance and unexpectedly, as the Snowbirds rolled off the runway, an active duty CF-18 made a low approach and feigned a landing, at the last minute piling on the gas for another go-around.

To the delight of the crowd the pilot made two more passes before touching down and rolling into the central area to park with the Snowbirds, the Lancaster, Lysander, and many more sister aircraft.

More than 300 volunteers helped the day run smoothly, and the AirVenture-like tradition of not leaving litter was respected admirably. If you, too, like traditions, why not try to become part of the Gatineau EAA /Wings Over Canada event next year? It may be a young one, but as traditions go, it's thriving.


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