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A Year of Challenges Ending With an Invitation

By Jeff Seaborn, Chair, EAA Canada Council

December 2020 – I'd like to commend the members and chapters who have not let the challenges of this year prevent them from flying and sharing The Spirit of Aviation. There are many who were grounded because of stricter requirements and lockdowns in their region. Many who share ownership or are members of flying clubs have had additional challenges in planning or sharing a flight.

One of the positives of this lockdown has been the implementation of useful technology to allow people to keep in touch. Besides COVID being a new part of our vocabulary, so too has the word Zoom. Just like Google, Zoom is now a verb, not just a proper noun. A year ago, few of us had heard of Zoom, let alone used it. Now practically everyone has attended at least one Zoom meeting and possibly even hosted a Zoom meeting of their own.

This technology has shrunk the world. Through Zoom I've had the pleasure to attend many chapter meetings across the country. This couldn't have been done physically in even the best circumstances. With computers and programs like Zoom, anyone can attend a meeting anywhere.

Chapter 245 in Ottawa recently hosted a meeting with a terrific speaker, Kerry McCauley. Kerry has worked as a ferry pilot for over 30 years. He has more than 100 ocean crossings and has flown in 60 countries. He's also the author of a book, Ferry Pilot, available on Amazon, and had a starring role in the Discovery Channel series Dangerous Flights. Hearing just a few of his stories in this meeting, I'm sure he's had more than his share of dangerous flights. I'm looking forward to reading his book.

Without the use of Zoom, we wouldn't have been able to hear Kerry speak. Kerry is in the U.S., Chapter 245 is in Ottawa, I'm in Calgary, and I saw at least five other chapters represented in the attendees. I'd like to give a big thanks to Chapter 245 for sending the invite out to all. I hope other chapters follow suit. Each chapter has unique members with their own story worth sharing. Since we all have an interest in aviation, let's share that passion. There are others across the country who would love to hear your stories and learn from your experiences.

Similarly, EAA hosted their annual Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet as a virtual event this year on December 10. The event featured Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13 as the special guest. (Think of the line "Houston, we've had a problem.") EAA's own board member and former NASA space shuttle commander Charlie Precourt was the event's host. The full presentation is now available online with the many hundreds of videos, webinars, and interviews that EAA has posted on their website.

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