This past weekend saw the Grand Forks Airport hosting the Grand Forks Flying Associations’ 2nd annual Fly-I and Airport Appreciation Day.
On Saturday many of the out of town participants flew in and there was a Meet-and-Greet with each other and the public. A small talk was given by Grand Forks, own winner of the Top Gun award, Jock MacKay. And you probably thought he just flew choppers, didn’t you? Well, he flew all kinds of craft AND won the Top Gun award. Following that they showed the Hollywood movie Top Gun under the stars at the airport.
Sunday was the big day with over 400 visitors. What did they get to see?
- 24 airplanes, with 3 warbirds. 2 from Oliver: an older Harvard trainer and a Ninchang Chinese trainer and a current RCAF Harvard trainer out of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan.
- Aeorobatics display with large R/C model craft out of Fruitvale, B.C.
- Approx. 30 Cars, and 3 Bikes, in the Show-and-Shine
- Multiple vendors both inside and outside the fence (Farmer’s Market vendors as well)
The new Harvard was on static display throughout the day but when it left we recorded that. Watch it here:
A number of the craft were giving rides to people. Some flew in the helicopter that came from Campbell River while others flew in various airplanes from local operators. Below you see Ron Wyers from Western Aviation giving a ride to local volunteer firefighter Lee Nermo.
Brian Fletcher, owner of the local Bike shop Chain Reaction, was there with his new Pedicab shuttling people around the site. He gave us a lift from the gate … watch below.
The R/C models put on quite an impressive an aerobatics display for the crowd. Unfortunately one of the craft experienced a mechanical failure but the operator was skillful enough to bring it in for a very hard landing away from the crowd and runway.
The general impression was that it was a good success – since this was only the second time it was held some parts served to show how it could be improved. They want to do it up even better next year and are hoping to get more participating planes, try to organize some rides in the warbirds and better accommodations for some of the vendors.
Some links to companies mentioned in this article:
Western Aviation Services: www.westav.ca
Chain Reaction Ride and Slide: www.chainreactionrideandslide.com
While we did not get there in time to see the Radio Controlled model aircraft doing their aerobatics this year … we got some video of that last year.