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A Quiet Day at the Airport

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

December 2016 - It was a very quiet Saturday morning. In early November we all meet for breakfast, check our planes, and go flying if the weather permits. This weekend the cloud base was at the same altitude as the runway — we were in it. Like most airports we have something to look for to gauge the ceiling. In our case it’s a mountain, or as you would say out west, a small hill. Mount Shefford is 526 metres high, or 1,700 feet. With a runway elevation of 374 feet, we know that if we can see the top of the mountain, we can at least get in a circuit or two.

Well, we never saw the top of the mountain, and although the clouds did actually lift off the ground to about 1,000 feet, only one aircraft ventured out into the circuit briefly, and one IFR pilot took off to take advantage of a final opportunity to visit Mascouche Airport in Montreal for a weekend before it closes. So what did we discuss? You’d think it would be aviation related, but perhaps you’ve been in this situation, and it obviously depends on the demographic of the group. By what we discussed, it will be obvious that there were no ladies present on this occasion. We talked about hernia repair, the placement of intraurethral catheters (ouch), and the exact technique for checking the prostate without inflicting too much discomfort! There was general agreement that female doctors were better at it, maybe because they are smaller and more delicate. Anyway a jolly good breakfast was had by all, and we left to go look at our sad-looking aircraft through the drizzle. I found green mildew on the inside of my Bruce’s Custom Cover and e-mailed them to ask the best way to remove it. They told me a chlorine bleach was okay but not to use much friction on the microfibre on the inside.

How many organizations do you belong to?

If you want to go to AirVenture you get a better rate as a member, not to mention the superb magazine. If you want competitively priced insurance, EAA’s C-PLAN has that covered too. It has even resulted in pushing down the price of some of its competitors. I guess, regardless of our historical loyalties, it’s really a question of value for money. Hopefully you will agree that your EAA membership is the best deal out there. We are your Canadian advocates, your international family, and we’re always interested in how we can get better. Remember you pay the same membership as our U.S. friends, but we actually get more for our money, like the Canada Tent at AirVenture, the Canadian breakfast, the international party, this newsletter, and lots more. So, in asking yourselves at renewal time “how much value am I getting for this,” we hope that you will be convinced that you are getting more and more for the same membership fee. I have declined to join one organization, stopped paying for another one, and decided to avoid joining a relatively expensive chapter. Hint to chapter officers: Value for money! Find ways to hold down the budget and grow. 

Many of EAA Bits and Pieces subscribers are also Recreational Aviation Association members. I hope you feel as much part of the EAA family now as ever. The history of the formation of RAA is long behind us, but we share a common ancestry. The RAA chapters even kept their EAA chapter numbers. So to all you RAA members out there, we hope you feel free to distribute this e-newsletter to your chapter membership. Maybe some of you will even contribute an article or two?

Mike Davenport sent us another very well-written article this month from the left coast. It’s nice to receive articles from people who appreciate the ability to cross the border, despite the increased workload to do so these days.

You may have read elsewhere about the appointment of Ken McKenzie to the board of the EAA. Ken is a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilot, and he has risen to the executive VP level within the ranks at Airbus. We’re delighted to have a Canadian on the board at headquarters, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet him. He flies a Lancair IV-P and recently survived an accident in one, resulting in him and his wife escaping a flaming inferno in the Florida Everglades.

As usual, please don’t forget to encourage your friends to sign up to receive our newsletter by clicking here. It’s one more thing that EAA does for us — our own e-newsletter. And the more readers we have, the better the quality will be in the articles …. you are thinking of sending me one, aren’t you? Just a few paragraphs and a few photos attached to an e-mail would do very nicely.

One last thing — Christmas or whatever you and your family celebrate this holiday season. I and all our contributors would like to extend the warmest wishes for the holidays to you and yours. May your year end in tranquility, and may the new year bring you joy.

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