The Kelowna Flying Club’s first aircraft, a Grumman AA5B Tiger, has arrived at Kelowna International Airport and is now on display at the KFC clubhouse, 6135 Airport Way.
Visitors are welcome to come help celebrate this milestone in the club’s evolution.
Club president Dave McElroy said he’s delighted the organization has made this acquisition. He expects it will lead to an increase in club members beyond the current 92.
“People join flying clubs to fly, and we had not been in a position to provide an aircraft for their use until now,” he said. “There is great enthusiasm in the club about this aircraft. It’s been financed by members, and others, who’ve loaned the club money to make the purchase. And eighteen members have already signed onto the Flying Program and paid up for 12 hours of flying over the next year. We expect this number to quickly grow to twenty-five, which we’ve set as the maximum number of Flying Members for one aircraft.”
The Grumman Tiger will be flown by club members who hold private pilot licenses and are keen to fly but do not want to make a larger financial outlay to purchase an aircraft themselves. The Flying Program will be managed by Club Member Jim Hannibal and overseen by the Flying Program Committee, chaired by Chad Gartly.
The 1979 Grumman Tiger is arriving this week from Oshawa Airport. C-GVXY is a four seat, single-engine aircraft powered by a 180 Horsepower Lycoming O-360 engine. Cruise speed is just under 140 knots (250 km/hr) and the aircraft’s range is about 500 nm (900 km).
The current Kelowna Flying Club has been in existence since 1984 and occupies a building near the north end of YLW. The KFC is also known as COPA Flight 36; it acts as the local presence of The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. COPA is the national voice of General Aviation, with more than 16,000 members from coast to coast.
The KFC is active in the community and each year sponsors the COPA for Kids Event which flies more than 150 youngsters between the ages of seven and seventeen in a single day using members’ aircraft.
This year the KFC also hosted the COPA Annual Convention, Trade Show and AGM. In late June, more than 150 aircraft, 400 delegates and 700 members of the public descended onto YLW to attend this signal event – the largest in COPA’s 80 year history.