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Texada Annual Fly-In (TAFI) 2009

indexJuly 20, 2009 – Approximately 50 aircraft from all over B.C. streamed in to land on the 3000 ft. asphalt runway at the beautiful Gillies Bay airport on Sunday, July 12. The intent was to celebrate 100 years of powered flight in Canada!


July 20, 2009
By Melissa Damota
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July 20, 2009 – Approximately 50 aircraft from all over B.C. streamed in to land on the 3000 ft. asphalt runway at the beautiful Gillies Bay airport on Sunday, July 12. The intent was to celebrate 100 years of powered flight in Canada!

The annual event started at the Texada Canadian Legion on Saturday, with the Fly-In Fling held previous the evening. Then, just after sunset, at the airport’s campsite amateur Powell River astronomer, author, pilot, and educator Wayne Lutz hosted an interested throng of stargazers, explaining the heavens and allowed people to see the stars with his two reflector telescopes.  The next morning, as the smell of delicious pancakes and sausages permeated the fresh seabreeze at the hangar area, aircraft began to arrive at a rate of approximately one every minute for the next hour…   A squad of parking marshals efficiently guided the visiting airplanes with a golf cart bearing a “Follow Me” sign and ATVs to appropriate parking spots. .

The crowd had new things to do this year at the TAFI , including aviation oriented displays of scale models, a wind tunnel built for the recently completed Texada AeroSpace Camp youth project, and a great display of aviation books by a Powell River bookstore. 

Organizers report that the pancake breakfast and barbeque sales were up over last year, despite a slight drop in numbers of visiting aircraft…  The many different aircraft types were enthusiastically viewed by locals and tourists throughout the day, starting at 8:30 until 4Pm when visiting aircraft soared away home…

The highlight of the Fly-In again was the  precision close formation flying demonstration performed flawlessly by the Fraser Blues, a threesome of antique Navions. Beautifully choreographed in a series of formations for nearly twenty minutes, the team totally absorbed the crowd’s attention of over three hundred onlookers.

 The end of their performance was marked with huge applause as the colourful Navions shut down their motors in unison on the ramp. A unique sendoff was staged for the Fraser Blues with a Scottish piper sounding “Scotland the Brave” as they rolled on their way to   the runway to take off for home.