Island Bound Traveller Writer, Storyteller
Gary Grieco is a freelance writer, photographer, avid reader, sailor, and motorcycle enthusiast based on Texada Island, British Columbia, Canada.
TEXADA ANNUAL FLY-IN
By Gary Grieco
Published Powell River Living
Texada's Second Annual Fly-In is fast becoming an annual pilgrimage for private pilots who fly in from all parts of BC to swap stories with their Texada counterparts. Information travels freely and quickly wherever there are clubs and small airports. "The flying community has its own kind of communication system, and
lure of a flight to meet with other fliers and aviation buffs is a welcome occasion",
according to Doby Dobrostanski, a key organizer, one of Texada's noted artists who has immortalized many of Canada's famous military aircraft on canvas.
What started almost as a spontaneous event in 2007 has now developed into a well organized macine. Bob Timms, President of T.A.C.T.--Texada's Arts, Culture and Tourism, the community organization sponsoring the Fly-In--is looking forward to as many as fifty private and Government aircraft arriving for the week-end get-together at Texada's Gillies Bay airport. Aviation enthusiasts and the public were treated to a pancake breakfast, eye grabbing, aviation oriented displays and aircraft, as well as games for the kids, live entertainment, and a barbecue luncheon. RCMP aircraft were on display along with their pilots who answered questions about the force and their duties. Well known west coast author and pilot, Wayne Lutz, was on hand with a power point presentation of flying in BC. Texada Heritage Society visual display about the airport ran continuosly throughtout the day for the history buffs. KD Air, a commercial carrier and integral part of the airport's operation with ttheir daily flights between Texada and Vancouver's International South Airport were on hand with an exhibit. The Canadian Armed Forces Search and Rescue made an appearance with their Canadair Buffalo and New Cormorant helicopter. The Fraser Blues are a crowd pleaser. This precision formation flying demonstration team ended the day with some of the best aviation formation manoeuvres that civilian pilots have to offer over the "biggiest little airport" in the world. These five pilots and four ground crew perform more than 35 shows per season. They have a variety of backgrounds, from ex-military to airline captains, and like the team, the aircraft they fly are unique as well--Classic Navions built by North American Aviation after WW11 for the civilian marke the Navion first found favour with the US Military, and eventually saw combat durting the Korean war. When peacetime finally happened this very civilian-friendly design was ready for production. The Fraser Blues team makes formation flying look easy in these 50 year old beautifully reconditioned planes.