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We Struck a Rich Seam

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

December 2017 - When we mentioned the Cavalier last month, we hit a goldmine of information about this fascinating design. We have two articles about the Cavalier this month – one from Fred Bruinsma, EAA 87176, from Goderich, Ontario, and one from Stu Simpson, who hails from Calgary, Alberta. Thanks to both authors for letting us know about their love of Cavaliers. This aircraft, designed by Stan McLeod from Calgary who now lives in Edmonton, is really a Canadian story, and there aren’t a whole lot of retractable-gear homebuilt aircraft like Fred’s.

Sadly, Canadian baseball icon Roy Halladay died in a tragic accident while flying his ICON A5 off the coast of Tampa. You can read our separate article. Our thoughts go out to his family and anyone who knew him. He died doing what he loved to do.

EAA’s presence in Canada has, at times, been stronger if you count the number of EAA chapters, but I’d hazard a guess that it’s never been stronger in terms of membership numbers. Our geography puts a strain on our ability to get together at a chapter meeting, so while many of us have memberships with several organizations, we sometimes find it tough to find a chapter. I’d recommend any Bits and Pieces readers dig a bit into the IMC and VMC clubs.

These clubs, under the umbrella of EAA, can be part of an EAA chapter meeting with a preprogrammed topic each month for pilots to discuss. The idea is not so much that you meet to be taught how to be a good pilot by some wise sage, but that you sit and learn from each other. There are no right answers at an IMC or VMC club event.

If your chapter isn’t already active in this program, you might like to bring it up at your next chapter meeting as a way to inject more life into your chapter meetings. Many EAA chapters have adopted the idea, and you don’t have to be an instrument-rated pilot to join in. With the winter coming, this is a good way to meet regularly with your fellow pilots and hone your flying skills. The only IMC or VMC club in Canada is presently in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. Maybe now is the time to get the program going where you live. You can start here.

There is a massive database of EAA videos here. If you want to while away a few hours watching aviation videos, this might be a good place to bookmark.

As always, a word on readership. We’d love our readership to keep on growing. If you are reading this because it was forwarded by someone else, you can sign up to receive the newsletter directly. You don’t need be an active EAA member, but subscribing does involve creating an account, which is only used for the purpose of keeping track of who is receiving the newsletter. Remember to keep your e-mail address current with your subscription. If you are the proud possessor of more than one e-mail address, you might like to update your account with the one that is most unlikely to change if you select a new internet service provider. You can get to the Subscribe section of EAA’s website for e-newsletters here.

Don’t forget that there are numerous avenues within EAA for learning about aviation and homebuilt aircraft issues. Joining a live webinar is a really special experience, akin to being present in Oshkosh AirVenture forums. But if, like some of us, you find it difficult to be present in the evening for a specific webinar, why not cruise the archive at your leisure? There are an amazing number of topics in the archive.

Thank you to all our contributors and to our readers. This is your newsletter. Fly safely.

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