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Happy Spring — Here Comes SUN ’n FUN, AirVenture, and Fly-Ins Galore

By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, Editor and Canadian Council Board Member

April 2018 - If you didn’t notice it, there was a really interesting link to a video in the March 15, 2018, issue of e-Hotline, about Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum and its collection of perfectly restored aircraft and military armoured vehicles. The video is only five minutes in length but provides a really nice summary of the collection and the reason for its existence. You can watch the video here, and read the feature story about FHCAM in the March issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.

Keith “Hoppy” Hopkinson’s widow, Isabel Sully, sadly died on March 25, 2018, at the age of 87. Keith was the founder of the homebuilt aircraft movement in Canada, and first met Paul Poberezny when the EAA fly-in convention was still at Rockford. Keith built a Stits Playboy and flew it to Rockford with Gus Chisholm who flew his homebuilt named Bits and Pieces to the same event. Keith and Gus built the first two homebuilt aircraft to be registered in Canada. We were honoured to have been able to present a lifetime achievement award for Hoppy at our Canadian breakfast at AirVenture, which was then presented to Isabel at an evening celebration in Goderich. You can read the obituary here.

If you are one of those lapsed readers of Bits and Pieces, for whatever reason, who recently received an e-mail suggesting that you needed to re-subscribe, welcome back! You’ve apparently subscribed anew! If you thought I’d stopped editing this Canadian e-newsletter because you hadn’t received it lately, we’re sorry for the months you may have missed. You can check out the archive of newsletters here. Rumours of my demise have apparently been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase something Mark Twain is accused of having said.

A worst possible scenario has happened in the world of homebuilt aircraft. A vendor of raw material steel and aluminum has confessed that it has been cheating its customers by failing to conform to its own material testing specifications. Kobe Steel, a Japanese company, is responsible, and it is currently working diligently to figure out the full impact of its negligence. The actual risks are hopefully fairly minimal if you have been flying a homebuilt aircraft for any time. One hopes that any risks to pilots would have made themselves obvious before now. Kobe is updating its website on a regular basis, and by what we can see, most of the products used have been given a clean bill of health. You can read about which products have been verified as safe at the Transport Canada website.

We’re excited to be heading off to the SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, which will be happening around the time you read this. Look for a report in next month’s issue. We’ve also begun planning your Canadian experience at AirVenture in Oshkosh in July. I’ve been asked to do a presentation on using ForeFlight in Canada. Since I’ve just typed that I suppose I’ll have to do it, so I hope a few of you will attend. I might learn something. It’s fascinating to me that the majority of the folks attending our talks about crossing the border to and from Canada are mostly our American friends. The talks are always packed, which I guess means that a lot of Americans like the idea of flying to Canada. We’ve scheduled that talk on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this year.

Did you see the gorgeous Piper J-3 Cub in the 2018 EAA Sweepstakes in a recent mail out? I have to disagree with one comment: “This Piper Cub will look just like when it rolled out of the factory in 1941.” I think it looks better than brand spanking new. Just watch this video of the rebuild and you’ll be convinced to; it’s worth four and a half minutes of anyone’s time.

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