Airplane GEEK

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Western Canada Aerobatics Championship

By Jeff Seaborn, EAA 793688, Chair, EAA Canadian Council

Note: Typical of Jeff, he modestly declined to toot his own horn in this article, but on behalf of all his friends and colleagues we’d like to congratulate him on his first-ever participation in the Advanced category. – Ed.

 On September 4-5, the Western Canada Aerobatics Championship was held at Rocky Mountain House, Alberta (CYRM). The event has been in “Rocky” on that weekend for many years. This year was the first time in recent memory that we had great weather all weekend. The event was hosted by the newly formed IAC Chapter 137. The event attracted nine pilots from Alberta and two from Manitoba. We missed the additional interest from British Columbia this year, but we did have one new pilot, Brock Allison, EAA 1410956, fly his first-ever competition with great enthusiasm and we expect to see him back.

Friday, Sept. 3, was registration day and the opportunity to practice in the contest box. With such good weather, the flying was spread over both Saturday and Sunday. Two rounds on Saturday and one round on Sunday. This provided a relaxing pace for the competitors, the judges, and the many people who drove in or flew in to watch the contest.

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Group photo – contestants relaxing

Saturday night was a real treat for all as air show pilot Kyle Fowler (www.longez.ca) and his family hosted all to a delicious BBQ dinner. The smoked brisket was so good that it was enough to distract the pilots from walking through their Unknown sequence that was given to them earlier in the day. A big thanks to Kyle, his wife Miranda, and his family for such generous hospitality.

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Some of the acro airplanes sharing hangar space with some non-acro vehicles

Sunday was just as gorgeous as the previous days and the final round was flown. There was a wind out of the west that built through the morning but then faded around noon. The effects of the wind were felt by all.

The judges’ scoring was tallied by Pat Spencer and was even completed before the last pilot had landed.

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Advanced results
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Intermediate results
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Sportsman results

In the end, it was great to see everyone and we had a terrific, well-run contest.

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Advanced Winner – Jerzy Strzyz
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Jerzy Stryzyz with his Sukhoi and an adoring fan
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Intermediate Winner Jesse Mack
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Byron Reynolds, second place, Intermediate
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Sportsman Winner Phil Dewsnap

Lastly, there was an award that was presented this year for the first time. It was an award that was open to all. The award was called the Ken Fowler Esprit de Corps award. It was created in honour of the late Ken Fowler and awarded to a person who provides the same enthusiasm, support, leadership, and devotion to the sport as Ken. For those who knew Ken, he truly was an ambassador to the sport. Sadly, Ken and another close friend were killed last fall in an aviation accident, but his enthusiasm and dedication carry on in many. The award went to the very deserving Lenora Crane, EAA 1015429, who has been a real leader in the sport of aerobatics for many years. Although Lenora hasn’t flown competitively in many years, her knowledge of the sport, knowledge of the CARS, and ability to provide guidance and leadership has been a tremendous boon to all. The award was presented to Lenora in Ken’s honour by his son, Kyle Fowler.

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Lenora Crane receiving the Esprit de Corp award from Kyle Fowler

More information available at the Aerobatic Club of Alberta’s Facebook page.

It’s worth noting that there was less than one percent difference among the top three pilots in Advanced category. There’s already a lot of interest amongst the Advanced pilots to be selected for the team to represent Canada in the World Advanced Aerobatic Championship held in October 2023 in the Las Vegas area.

Below is a link to an info page on it. There’s a cool promo video. If you’re not a fan of rap music, hitting “mute” works nicely! The video is aimed toward the American audience but I think its message is the same for all countries.

View the page here.


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