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ISSUE 187 - September 2011
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Everything Old is New Again!

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Roslin, Ontario, Canada

This beautiful and unique radial engine Culp Special, with a touch of slip on,
was a favourite of spectators and pilots alike.

In northern regions of Canada and the U.S. winter often means little to no flying depending on who you are and whether or not you enjoy dragging yourself outside on those cold winter mornings, let alone your airplane. If you're lucky enough to have your aircraft hangared it's not so much a chore as it is for those who simply have theirs tied down requiring snow, ice and/or frost removal first. That's why, when the warmer weather arrives, fly-ins become the thing to do for many pilots.

From old and slow to modern and fast, there was a wide assortment of aircraft flying in for the day including this beautiful white and orange Stampe, left, and the sleek VAN's RV 8, right.

Whether it's a fly-in at the local airstrip, or a 2-3 hour cross-country at an airport several hours away, many pilots plan out their trip well in advance and have the date marked on their calendar with a big 'X.' Fellow pilots and airplane owners will plan well ahead of the date to make the trip together, sometimes in one airplane, but more often than not, in a loose gaggle of 3 or 4 airplanes.

Created during World War II, this former BCATP satellite field saw an assortment of aircraft including the Canadian built Harvard training aircraft of the RCAF. Seen here, Vintage Wings of Canada's Harvard Mk 4 taxies past, left, and Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association Harvard climbs on take-off, right.

One of the most enjoyable and well organized fly-ins in Canada is the Edenvale, Gathering of Classics Fly-in near Stayner, Ontario. This former World War II era airport was once part of multiple British Commonwealth Air Training Plan bases used by the Royal Canadian Air Force as a secondary or relief airfield during the war for training aircrews. Near CFB Borden, Edenvale was intended to be used by RCAF aircraft when an issue arose at Borden that prevented aircraft from returning such as poor weather or aircraft accidents that closed runways. The first recorded landing at Edenvale took place in the fall of 1941.

Two other RCAF training aircraft included the De havilland of Canada Chipmunk, left,
and the Fleet Finch, right.

Though time has changed the airport from what it was in the early 1940's to an active, well maintained and modern facility today, the character and charm that often comes with small airports and airstrips still hangs in the air. Little remains of the wartime feel and look of the once RCAF, BCATP base other than an old bunker, but the history remains and, to that end, the annual fly-in draws both vintage and modern aircraft from across the province.

The "Gathering of Classics" isn't just about airplanes, it's also about cars and there
were a variety of different vintage and classic cars that made the trip to Edenvale.

The "Gathering of Classics" is, however, more than just a fly-in. It's also an opportunity for owners of classic and vintage cars to meet and show off their unusual, rare and/or unique vehicles. Whether you fly in for the event, or come by car, the draw of both beautiful cars and aircraft bring people from all over in to celebrate history.

The Vintage Wings of Canada P-40 Warhawk on take-off, left.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage B-25 Mitchell rolling out after landing, right.

Vintage Wings of Canada, Canadian Warplane Heritage and the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association always participate in the event by bringing some of their classic and vintage aircraft including a stunning P-40 Warhawk, the B-25 Mitchell, and a Harvard, along with a new display from Vintage Wings for 2011, the "Yellow Wings Tour" which included a Stearman, Fleet Finch, Harvard and Cornell.

A rare but beautiful Canadian built Fleet Canuck from the Collingwood Classic Aircraft Foundation, left, and the venerable Harvard Mk 2, right, taking members for flights during the fly-in.

There are opportunities to take a flight in a vintage aircraft such as the Edenvale Classic Aircraft Association's Fleet Canuck or Tiger Moth or the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association's Harvard. You also won't starve while at the event as there are food and beverage and other vendors on hand including the airport's restaurant called "Fud."

The Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) "Golden Helmets" motorcycle team
perform a 30 minute show on their custom Harley-Davidson Police Specials.

New to this year's fly-in was the addition of the O.P.P (Ontario Provincial Police) with their "Golden Helmets" precision motorcycle team. Made up of highly experienced "motorcycle cops," this group of 17 riders, a commentator, Ride Master and a technician travel to events across Ontario. They perform a 30 minute demonstration on their Harley-Davidson Police Specials demonstrating the riders skills and the maneuverability of these 800lb motorcycles.

A common sight at fly-in events is the Piper Cub such as this one, left.
A rare sight in Canadian skies is the Rutan Long E-Z, left.

Unfortunately, poor weather and the threat of thunder storms later in the day kept many pilots and aircraft from making the event. Though they were expecting and hoping for some 300 aircraft to make the fly-in, only about 100 airplanes made the trip. A band of inclement weather to the south-west, where a high percentage of aircraft come from for the day, meant numbers were way down. Regardless, it didn't dampen the mood for those who made the trip and the event was a great success. Well organized and advertised, the "Gathering of Classics" was a hit again this year and it's expected that, weather permitting, the 2012 event will see a return to big numbers of aircraft flying in for the day.

First time visitor to the event was this beautiful Titan P-51D, left. One of several Challenger ultralights at the event, this one a Quad City Challenger II on floats on long final, right

If you've never been to a fly-in it's a great aviation and social event for anyone who loves to be around airplanes. Whether it's at a small, grass strip for a pancake breakfast or an afternoon pig or corn roast or a larger event such as the "Gathering of Classics" they are a lot of fun. You often see aircraft you may have never seen before and, oftentimes, you'll run into a long, lost pilot friend. You'll also make new friends and you'll have a great time and what's better than starting and ending your day with a relaxing flight in summer skies and a visit to Edenvale where everything old is new again!!!

A classic training aircraft is the Boeing Stearman from Vintage Wings of Canada.

For more information on the Gathering of Classics:

The VWC P-40 Warhawk climbs out, heading for home in Gatineau, QC.

For more information on Vintage Wings of Canada:

The B-25 rotates, bound for home in Hamilton/Mount Hope, ON

For more information on Canadian Warplane Heritage:

The CHAA Harvard on final with another paying passenger.

For more information on the Canadian Harvard Aircraft

This beautiful 1969 Beech "V" tail Bonanza climbs away,
bound for home at the end of the day.

For more information on Edenvale Aerodrome:

Based at Edenvale and always on hand at the "Gathering" is this stunning
Fairchild 24W-46, owned and flown by Dave Hadfield, taxies to the parking area.
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer

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