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Vintage Wings and ultra light fun at Picton Airport

Prince Edward Flying Club President David Main with Harvard pilot Edward Soye.

Prince Edward Flying Club President David Main with Harvard pilot Edward Soye.

Aviation enthusiasts young and older flocked to the Prince Edward Flying Club Saturday.

The club hosted a visit by three Yellow Wings vintage airplanes – the perfect fusion of history and nostalgia, said member Lorraine Wilson. “Seventy-year-old, yellow wing airplanes at the 62-year old Prince Edward Flying Club, Picton Airport.”

Yellow Wings vintage aircraft is part of Vintage Wings Canada, a national organization of members who lovingly restore and fly aircraft of Canadian historical significance.

A Fleet Finch, a deHavilland Chipmunk and a Harvard were inspected by visitors and more than 50 guests to the Flying Club’s monthly breakfast.

Edward Soye, pilot of the Harvard, said the group enjoyed their visit to the Central Region Gliding School in Trenton where cadets in the aviation program were introduced to the planes and were able to ride in them.

Soye was pleased to stop at Picton’s airport and not only because he got his wings there.

“This airfield is like stepping back in time. It is the most intact Second World War British Commonwealth Air Training Plan airfield anywhere in the country,” he said. “Thousands of people flying here during the war, looked out the window and saw the same view of the County we’re seeing today.”

“It is an absolute gem,” adds Flying Club president David Main. “It’s like stepping back in time here. We’re pleased to have the Vintage Wings return after their 2011 visit.”

Main said the club will be working on special events in the summer for next year’s 75th anniversary of the airfield.

Harvard pilot Edward Soye shows George Wright the secret compartment.

Harvard pilot Edward Soye shows George Wright the secret compartment.

When former Waupoos resident George Wright, of Winnipeg, was leaving the Flying Club breakfast with his brother Frank, he spotted the Harvard and made a beeline to speak to the pilot to ask about a special compartment on the side of the plane.

In 1967, Wright was a young RCMP constable in Manitoba working at an air show day. A pilot invited him to go for a ride and placed his hat in the side compartment of the airplane and until today, he had not had the opportunity to see that compartment.

“I didn’t know it was an aerobatic plane at the time. I had told him I was a little concerned about getting sick but he said he would take care of me. We rode around and around and when he was coming into land, he swooped down and headed straight back up – but never once did flip the plane over. My only regret now is that he had of done it anyhow.”

George and Elaine Inrig pose by the Harvard.

George and Elaine Inrig pose by the Harvard.

George Inrig recalled that during the war, there were thousands of airmen at the location and the planes moved in and out every half hour or more.

“I remember the sound scared my aunt to death,” he said. “She crawled right under the bed.”

Meanwhile, Air Cadets at the event, waved as their advanced aviation instructor, Destiny, was buckled in to ride in Jeff Douglass’ Trike – an ultra-light weight-shift sport aircraft, somewhat like a motorized hang glider that flies at up to 8-10,000 feet.

The fun continues next weekend as the Prince Edward Flying Club invites children aged eight to 17 to experience the thrill of flying free of charge.

The fun continues next weekend at the Picton Airport.

The fun continues next weekend at the Picton Airport.

The club, with the The Canadian Owners Pilots Association, (COPA), welcome participants to a short ground school, a walk around a plane and a flight giving a birds’ eye view of the County. The program takes about two hours to complete.

Those who wish to participate Saturday, Aug. 22 (rain date Aug. 23) should contact Jacqui Burley at Loch Sloy by calling 613 476 3064.

All COPA pilots are licensed by Transport Canada, and their aircraft is registered by Transport Canada. Prince Edward Flying Club is part of COPA Flight 53, a three-club partnership that includes the Belleville Flying Club, and Oak Hills Flying Club in Stirling.

Families watched planes taxi down the runway at Picton Airport.

Families watched planes taxi down the runway at Picton Airport.

Jeff Douglass buckles Destiny, an aviation instructor with the Air Cadets, into his Trike.

Jeff Douglass buckles Destiny, an aviation instructor with the Air Cadets, into his Trike.

Jeff Douglass flying his Trike with Destiny, an advanced aviation instructor with Air Cadets.

Jeff Douglass flying his Trike with Destiny, an advanced aviation instructor with Air Cadets.

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  1. JEFF DOUGLASS says:

    THANKS SUE,GREAT ACTICLE AND LOVELY PICTURES! ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT CAMP PICTON. JEFF D.

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