Flying club open house draws military aircraft from Comox

The skies above the Alberni Valley will be filled with planes this Sunday, June 28 as the Alberni Flying Club hosts its open house.

SUSAN QUINN/Alberni Valley News A Cormorant helicopter from 442 Search and Rescue Squadron at 19 Wing Comox is on static display at the Abbotsford Airshow in 2013. A Cormorant will be at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on June 28 for the public to see.

The skies above the Alberni Valley will be filled with planes this Sunday, June 28 as the  Alberni Flying Club hosts its open house.

“It’s to help make people aware of the airport and the facilities there,” said Alberni Flying Club president Chris Duncan.

But this year, the open house will be better than any before.

“This year the Royal Canadian Airforce is going to be setting up a static display with the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter and they’ll also be doing a fly-past with the CP-140 Aurora (maritime patrol) plane,” said Duncan.

The Cormorant helicopter is one of two distinctive yellow and red aircraft 19 Wing uses for search and rescue all along the coast of B.C. (the other being the fixed-wing CT-115 Buffalo).

The four-engine grey Aurora is typically used for long-range patrol and reconnaissance missions and has for more than a decade also been tasked on overseas missions.

The flying club has tried to get the airforce to bring in their planes for five years now, Duncan said, but this is the first time they’ve been successful.

“We’re pretty excited about that.”

The aviation arm of the Coulson Group will also be out in full force.

“Coulsons will be putting up a display about some of the stuff they’re doing,” Duncan said.

But it’s not only the big, military planes that Alberni Valley residents should get excited about.

“As long as the weather’s good, we get a lot of airplanes coming in from all over the Lower Mainland and sometimes as far away as Washington State,” said Duncan. “So people can look at the different airplanes and see what’s here.”

While the flying club has had as many as 120 planes come in before, Duncan said that he’s expecting 50-60 as long as the weather holds up.

For the more adventurous, there will be opportunities to get up in the air.

“The glider club is going to be operating and taking people up for glider flights,” he said.

“The flying club will be doing $25 a seat flights over the city.”

Everyone is welcome at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport for the flying club’s open house from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Burgers will be served and families and kids will have a chance to take a look at what the airport offers.

For more information call Loretta Parkinson at 250-723-2555 or e-mail alberniflyingclub@telus.net.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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