The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association dominated the skies over Tillsonburg in the afternoon with check-rides and flight experiences.
On June 4, 2016, Tillsonburg Airport was a flurry of activity as Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flight 181 held its annual COPA For Kids event and the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA) had its monthly Fly Day and open house.
The day started overcast but soon turned into a fair-weather afternoon with lots of sun and moderate temperatures. In the morning, COPA Flight 181 hosted its annual COPA For Kids flight and took over 40 children for their first airplane ride.
The COPA for Kids aviation program is free and provides an initial aviation experience for children ages eight to 17. By far the most popular aircraft to fly in was Danny Richer’s Bell 206B helicopter. Other participating aircraft included a Mooney and Piper Cherokee.
In the early afternoon, spectators were treated with the sight of Martin Mattes and his Aero L-29 Delphin, a two-seat military jet trainer. Mattes operates Bandit Airshows and has his fleet of aircraft based at Tillsonburg. In the airspace above the airport, Martin practiced his aerobatic routine.
By far the most popular aircraft to fly in was Danny Richer’s Bell 206B helicopter.
The CHAA dominated the skies over Tillsonburg in the afternoon with check-rides and flight experiences. CHAA maintains five operational Harvards and performs in airshows and fly-ins across Ontario.
As well, during their fly-days, people can purchase a members ride in the Harvard. One special flight that took place was for John Clarke whose brother was killed in a Harvard as an instructor with the RCAF. Clarke, who never became a pilot, always wanted to fly in the same type of aircraft his brother flew in the military and at 74 years of age he was able to chalk off the flight from his bucket list.
Over the past few years, Tillsonburg Airport has become a beehive of activity with several new operators making it their home. Groups like the CHAA, Bandit Airshows and several private operators of vintage aircraft have made Tillsonburg a destination airport for enthusiasts. Weekends always see a flurry of activity as the airport boasts one of the best airport restaurants, the Sky Way Café.