The day was terrific for flying … but the mud at my home airport would not let me get out of my hangar to fly so “Road Trip!” was the call for March 27th and 28th. Tammy, my wife, and I drove the little blue Cavalier down to Estevan to connect with the Reetz’s and COPA Flight #3. The Reetz family is a big part of the local Estevan/ Weyburn General Aviation scene. Doug Reetz is a pilot, CFI , AME, and the Flight Captain for Flight #3 while his son Richard manages the airport.
Although Doug was away on a holiday trip, Tammy and I wandered into the welcoming lobby of the Estevan terminal building Monday morning and introduced ourselves to Richard. The Estevan/Weyburn club meeting was not scheduled until after the election but we sat down in the lobby to have a “kitchen table” meeting. Richard gave us a tour of the hangar, showed us his pretty cool Commanche, his Dad’s AME work space, and also described the local GA scene in our discussion.
That discussion covered much of the same issues I have previously mentioned, with one addition. Richard described how the airport’s success was in no small part contributed to by their efforts to build connections to the local city council and the community at large. He described how they are involved in promoting a new unique wood carving memorial to Canada’s military contribution to the Allied victory in W.W.II. The Estevan Soldier’s Tree Project is being headed by the Royal Canadian Legion Br #60. As part of the commemoration, celebrations in September (10th)the Reetzs’ and committee are working on bringing a SPITFIRE and B-25 Mitchell up from Texas. The connection to the Spitfire is through the owner’s father, who trained at the Estevan BCATP airbase in W.W.II!
Oh yes, and the waterbombers? Estevan is going to be a new base for our provincial water bombers and is currently being set up for that. “The open plains have forests?” you ask. No, but apparently, the Sask Gov’t has signed a contract with the northern border States to lend a hand when they need some help to fight fires. The last few fire-seasons in the US have shown a need for that. Estevan will be the bomber base with the ability to easily reach those US locations.
See, there are lots of happenings in local and provincial aviation. These kinds of events can really promote aviation and GA. These events are the “sizzle” that attract more interest and involvement. What other events are out there?
Well, this will be my last post before the election. I hope you have enjoyed following along on my venture.
Until next time,
“Good luck Shane”