Northern Lake Amphibian Pilots'
Fly-In & Safety Seminar 2008

September 4th  to 7th, 2008 saw another successful Northern Lake Amphibian Pilots’ fly-in to scenic Killarney Ontario.  We had over 20 planes and 50 registrants.  Planes (and their pilots), came from as far away as Colorado, Arizona and Florida.  Quite a journey for some of them – particularly when taking into consideration the price of fuel. On this rainiest of summers, we were fortunate to have the weather cooperate long enough for most  people to arrive when expected, and also leave when expected (more or less)  - with lots of rain in between!  

This year’s program had something for everyone: 

  • Cliff Maine provided an update on Insurance/Risk Management and general legal issues in his presentation on “The Top 10 Mistakes You Can Make on Your Insurance”.  
  • We were very fortunate to have Dr. Randy Knipping, (Aviation medical examiner for Transport Canada, US FAA and a number of foreign jurisdictions, ER physician with a special interest in Preventive Medicine) as a guest and speaker.  He discussed various health issues in his inspirational presentation on how to stay airworthy -  “The 100 Year Old Pilot: Optimizing Vitality & Longevity”.  For the rest of the weekend, attendees were busily planning weight loss programs and exercise schedules – trying to incorporate what they had learned into their lifestyles.  Perhaps next year’s fly-in should start with a weigh in.   Hmmm… maybe not.
  • From COPA, John Quarterman provided an update on various issues, including COPA’s success in keeping the  Banff/Jasper airports open.  Kudos to COPA.  On a more sobering note, he also discussed the impending 406 ELT requirements.  If these go ahead as planned, our attendees from the USA might not be able to attend next year, jeopardizing the entire fly-in.  A decades old tradition could come to an end.
  • Jim Hodgson presented an update on the Polar 5 (DC3) - the fascinating arctic/sub arctic survey plane that Lake Central Air is modifying  for the Alfred Wagner Institute. 
  • In spite of the somewhat busy schedule, our Lake experts, Elton Townsend, Harry Shannon and Jim Hodgson found time to address various questions submitted by our participants.

Saturday afternoon saw one of the most well attended fly-outs ever for this group.  The weather cooperated as fourteen planes flew up to an ‘off the grid’ cabin on a remote lake half an hour north of Killarney.  The lake had never seen as many planes, and possibly never seen as many people!  Somewhere in the woods a moose was no doubt peering through the trees wondering what was going on!

Companions enjoyed an equally full program.  They were introduced to various crafts,  and took part in a book review and exchange.  On Saturday morning, Ken Lindsay (CFII, MEI, ATP)  provided a  “Pinch hitter’s overview” to a very eager, receptive, though  somewhat nervous group of companions.  Happily, the companions were less nervous after his session  with some even considering taking the flying portion of the “Pinch hitter’s program”.

There was lots going on!  All this was combined with evening social events: Tom Tuxill’s presentation on “America” the original flying boat & the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport New York,  a social evening that included an impromptu knot tying session, and, the (always fun) Fundraising Auction on Saturday night.    Since 2001,  proceeds from the auctions have enabled the Northern Lake Amphibian Pilots’ to donate over $18,000 to COPA, SPA and other flying related organizations and initiatives.

A fun and educational time was had by all.   Next year’s fly-in will be from September 10th to 13th, 2009.

Sky Bicevskis