Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Grindrod Air Force Spring Float Fly

The GAF Spring Float Fly was originally started way back in the mid 1970's by the original Kamloops RC Modellers club. At the time, I belonged to the KRCM and our family owned a summer resort on the main arm of Shuswap Lake called Pine Grove Resort. We started the event around 1974 or 1975 and it quickly grew attracting pilots from all over southern BC and Alberta. When my parents sold the resort in 79, the event moved across the lake to Copper Island Resort for a couple of years then back to Pine Grove for a while. Around this time I was off pursuing my first career as a commercial pilot so lost track of the event but sometime between the mid 80's and mid 90's the event moved to Sandy Point near Salmon Arm and the Grindrod Air Force took over where it has been running successfully ever since.
The event has always been the first full weekend in June but since the GAF has been looking after it, it has expanded and now starts the Monday right after the Kamloops Spring Fun Fly and runs all week. We now regularly see pilots from all over BC, Alberta, Washington State and even one pilot who comes all the way from Tucson, Az!
This year we personally have a conflict with another event scheduled for this coming weekend. The Princeton Jet Rally starts Thursday so we will be pulling up stakes and heading over there today.
It is still early and folks are still arriving but there is a good selection of aircraft already here.

Last year when we were here, the lake was at flood stage with very high water. The water was so high, we had to pit our aircraft on the top of the dike that protects the campground. This year is an exceptionally dry year and there is a lot more beach than normal. These next photos illustrate the difference.


Steven Bondar prepping his new Short Brothers Empire Flying Boat for a flight. The full size of this impressive aircraft was designed in the 1930's.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Back to the water

First off, here are a few photos from the KMAS Spring Fun Fly that I promised in my last entry. Thanks to photographer Mark Betuzzi for allowing me to use them.

Mark got some great shots of my Boomerang in flight. I am really enjoying flying it.

After the fun fly ended yesterday, we stayed over last night and today have moved on to Sandy Point Resort near Salmon Arm for the Grindrod Air Force Spring Float Fly.
Even though this is a week long event, we only plan to be here for a couple of nights before moving over to the Princeton Airport for the spring Jet Rally.
Chris and I are enjoying this week of down time. It has been crazy the last 2 weeks. Stay tuned as we have some news we will be sharing very soon!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

After 6 weeks, we are back on the road (sort of)

On the last weekend in May, our home RC club hosts it's annual Spring Fun Fly. This event started as a simple one day fun fly held on Mothers Day. While reasonably successful, we felt we would get a better turn out if we held it on another date. We tried a couple of different weekends around the May Long weekend and finally settled on the last weekend in the month. That was about 10-12 years ago. Chris and I were the primary organizers for most of that time and during our tenure, the event morphed from a one day event into a weekend event to now what is almost a week long event.
Two years ago, we decided to back off and let some new blood take over. One of our newer members, Andy Prodaniuk, stepped up and ran it very successfully last year and is doing it again this year.

It is Sunday night as I write this and we expect our first arrivals tomorrow. I expect folks will trickle in most of the week but the main even starts Friday.

We don't do any kind of competition; just a meet to come, fly and enjoy the company of friends and fellow modellers from all over BC.

I'll try and get some pictures up as the event progresses, but for now, this aerial shot shows our facility. We are very fortunate. The land is owned by Tolko Industries who operate a plywood plant across the highway. The land we are on is an old wood waste dump site and is essentially reclaimed land which they have generously given us the use of at no charge. The club was formed back in the early 90's and boasts 600 feet of asphalt runway with a parallel grass runway, in ground irrigation, and a clubhouse with power.

By the time we get into full swing, we are expecting between 16 and 18 RV's and 40 or more pilots. Should be fun!