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EAA Canada Council Attends COPA's National Fly-In
Jeff Seaborn, EAA 793688, Chair, EAA Canada Council
August 2, 2022 – I’On June 23-25, EAA attended the COPA National Fly-In and Aviation Exhibition held in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Unlike AirVenture, which has been hosted at the same place (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) for the past 50-plus years, COPA moves its event around, alternating between eastern and western Canada each year. Many of our current Canadian Council and past Council members have attended COPA’s National Fly-In before, but this was the first time that EAA attended the COPA event as an exhibitor.
I was fortunate enough that my schedule put me in the area preceding the event. With the help of a few local EAA chapter members and a couple EAA Canadian Council members, we hosted our own booth. We were very fortunate to have some partially completed pieces of homebuilt aircraft on display. A big thanks to Ron for not only lending us these pieces but driving out to the airfield and dropping them off for us, and then making arrangements to store them with a friend of his afterwards. I can’t say how grateful we were to have these pieces. It would have been impossible for me to bring anything comparable as I flew into Montreal on Air Canada. Imagine taking a partially completed section of aircraft as a carry-on? Had I tried that, I suspect I would still be held in security.
COPA’s event was a success with the numbers they were expecting. It was a beautiful weekend, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see much as I was at the EAA booth the entire time. There were forums and presentations and COPA’s AGM, all of which I missed for the same reason. One of the most interesting activities that was held was the underwater egress training. This was done in the swimming pool of our hotel. The training simulates an unplanned dunking in an aircraft, likely on floats, resulting in you being flipped upside down and submerged while strapped in. Unfortunately, I missed that too, but judging by the kids who were playing at the pool that evening and looking at the training apparatus, I’m sure it would have been a lot of fun. Maybe not as much fun, but just as important, were updates from Transport Canada on key issues such as medical delays and ADS-B. Jim Ferrier from COPA will be sharing those updates and more during a forum at our tent on Wednesday at AirVenture.
Like AirVenture, an event like this can’t happen without the help of countless volunteers. I don’t know how many volunteers assisted or where they all came from but I know that the Association des pilotes et propriétaires de hangar de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (APPH) in Quebec was key to making this happen. A big thanks to all the volunteers for hosting everyone, and especially to Mark Richardson, Philip Johnson, and Raquel Lincoln for supporting our booth.
One of the greatest successes for me was getting to meet and chat with so many people. Some were EAA members, some weren’t. We all shared the aviation passion though. COPA’s event was just like AirVenture in that respect. It is the airplanes that bring us together but it’s the people that make us want to return.