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International Skiplane Fly-In Changes to Sunday

Skiplane Fly-In
Pilots from the U.S. (right) reach across the border to greet their Canadian brethren at the International skiplane fly-in on Lake Memphremagog, Vermont/Quebec.

February 13, 2014 - The weather forecast in the Lake Memphremagog region has led organizers of this weekend's 6th annual International Skiplane Fly-In to move the event back one day - from this Saturday, February 15, to Sunday, February 16. Skiplane pilots from the United States (Vermont) and Canada (Quebec) can land on frozen Lake Memphremagog behind their respective borders along the 45th parallel just west of Providence Island. The U.S.-Canadian border is readily apparent - a 20-foot-wide line cuts across the island.

Once planes are on the ice, pilots and passengers are allowed to cross the border to share lunch, look at each others' skiplanes, and visit. Pilots should plan to arrive between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with departures by 3 p.m. Bring some lunch and a lawn chair or something to sit on to be comfortable while we walk and talk across the border with each other and see each other's airplanes. A grill will be available.

Organizer George Weller, EAA 185481, of Stanstead, Quebec/Derby Line, Vermont, cautions would-be attendees that everyone flies at their own risk, and to pay attention to ice conditions, people, shacks, pickups, snowmobiles, etc. on the ice.

"I started this activity to promote Canadian and U.S. aviation get-togethers without having to have passports or go through customs," Weller said. "It is a unique event for pilots and their like and I hope it can continue." Weller receives official permission to conduct the event, and Canadian RCMP and U.S. Border Patrol officials are usually on site.

Sunday's forecast is partly sunny with west winds at 5 mph and temperatures of 10? and no precipitation. The ice on the lake is nearly two feet thick, Weller states. Only planes with skis are allowed this year as there's too much snow for wheeled planes.

If you have any questions, contact Weller via e-mail.

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