Feature Story                                                                                       Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Time For Me To Fly

Chilliwack strongman pulls for charity

Staff/Voice photos


People check out a line of planes at the Chilliwack Airshow.


he pilot community dazzled thousands of spectators August 16-17 at the 23rd annual Chilliwack Flight Fest. With the huge numbers of people attending, it's safe to say that the event was a roaring success.


Show goers delighted in a vast assortment of flying machines, from classics to light aircraft past and present, at the free event.


A pancake breakfast and a Snowbird flyby kicked things off Sunday.


The Airshow is an opportunity for pilots and industry experts to connect and share information about the latest in aviation technology, as well as show their crafts.


Pilots Jon Melby in his Pitts S-1-11B bi-plane and "Super" Dave Mathieson in his Scheyden MX2, performed their signature acts and daring aerobatics, painting the skies over Chilliwack with smoke corkscrews from flat spins where they simulated out-of-control planes.

Other show favourites was the father-son team of Bud and Ross Granley.

"Their duet is absolutely spectacular. What they do together is amazing. They're father and son. They've been flying all their lives, they're just amazing pilots to watch. We've got a couple of new kids here," organizer Chris Buchner told The Voice at the show.

"The 330 there is brand new," he said pointing down the tarmac. "He is just getting endorsed into his Airshow demonstration. We've had a couple of flybys and a couple of special presentation people weren't expecting."

According to Buchner, somewhere around 10,000 people were at the show. Everything went perfectly, however he said they were disappointed that the P51 Red Tail Mustang Spitfire and the B-52 Bomber were held back in Oregon by the weather and couldn't make the show.

"We'll see," he said when asked about getting the planes here in 2015.

Chilliwack City Councillor Stewart was talking in the Airshow. He tries to attend it each year and says he loves the planes.

"I've been in helicopters, I've been in small planes and I love it all. Today, I'm just a spectator," he said.

City of Chilliwack fire fighters and BC Ambulance paramedics were on hand.

"We're actually part of the organizers and we're involved with some financial help  to help the Chilliwack Airshow and we'll be representing them on the field as the Advanced Life Support Crew," said paramedic Phill Bruce. "St. John Ambulance are here taking care of the rest of the public on the tarmac and we also have a booth set up at the end where Annemarie Byers our Public Relations and Education Director, is chatting with the public.

"The Chilliwack Airport runway is over a kilometer long and fully lit, this is the envy of many airports in British Columbia. But what is more envious is this Airshow absolutely free. Ladies and gentleman enjoy your time here and enjoy people from the city of Chilliwack," Mayor Sharon Gaetz told the crowd over the PA.

For more information, visit www.chilliwackairshow.ca 

See more photos below.

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