Canada's Favourite Advanced
Hundred Things | Thanks For The Memories
| Ultralight Soaring Primer
Flying As It Was Meant To Be |
This Gift Of Time | Fall
The Montebello Experience | The
Adventures Of One Jelly Bean
The Dream Comes True | Get
At It And Don't Procrastinate!
West Coast Wekend | Ultralight
Nate's Favourite Vacation | I
Took The Challenge | Airplane Finds
Ice Floe Rescue | To
Cradle A Brother | The
Challengers of Montebello
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What's it like to fly such a versatile personal airplane?
Challenger pilots have received awards for multi-thousand mile cross-country
flights - on wheels, skis and floats. They have turned off their engines
and soared silently in afternoon thermals, staying aloft for hours and
climbing many thousands of feet. They've loaded their camping gear and
flown to wilderness lakes. They have had tremendous pleasure from simple
Let people tell you in their own words what it's all about! You'll
notice a common thread - whether seasoned veterans with thousands of hours
or rookies with empty logbooks all are realizing their dreams.
|Julius Banfai was a Private Pilot flying a Cessna 172
over the Niagara Peninsula. Now he's flying a Challenger over the vineyards
and the falls.
COPA Flight published an account Julius wrote of his trip down the
from sceptic to believer - enjoy "Flying
As It Was Meant To Be"!
||It started with a dream... or was it the video?
I can't quite recall. It doesn't matter anyway since both the dream and
the reality of a Challenger are so interwoven. All I wanted was a ride.
I never actually wanted to buy one. After all, I'm a real pilot commanding
a real airplane - a Cessna 172. ...
|Stu Simpson lives and flies in Alberta. Recently he
penned a thoughtful, philosophical reflection that captures an essential
element of recreational flying. Share Stu's insight in "This
Gift Of Time" published in COPA Flight.
|Time plays a crucial part in nearly everything
we do as aviators. It tells us when we have to land, because there will
come a time when the fuel gauge reads empty, or, for some, a time when
the daylight gauge reads empty. Time is important to our airplanes too
- the number of hours ...
|Each of us fortunate to have our very own magic carpet
has our very own favourite places to teleport to. In "Fall
Foliage Floatilla" the Georgian Bay Challenger Gang introduces
a visitor to a very special flying venue.
||I had been waxing eloquent to Patrick Vinet
about the wonders of Georgian Bay for so long he could stand it no more.
He ejected from his desk and flew his Challenger from Mont Tremblant to
Edenvale. North of Montreal to north of Toronto. As the Challenger flies
this is 500 km. As the crow drives it is 750 km. Now that justifies a plane!
|Rob Mathers flew his Challenger like a lone eagle in
the middle of winter from Windsor, ON to Montebello, QC to attend the Challenger
Winter Rendezvous. His 800 km flight there earned him the Farthest Flown
Award. Rob put pen to paper and "The
Montebello Experience" was published in COPA Flight and in the
Windsor Flying Club's quarterly newsletter Windicator.
|It's 5:30 am on a cold January morning
and I am snuggled up in bed next to my lovely wife. Then the alarm clock
sounds! I jump out of bed and have a look out the window. It is pitch black
outside but I can see the tree tops in the backyard are quietly still.
This is not a routine work day. This is a special day that has been on
the calendar for some time. ...
|Kris Falk flew Challenger C-IJBN - call sign One Jelly
Bean - 3,000 km from Montreal to Edmonton. In "The
Adventures Of One Jelly Bean" we have reconstructed the adventures
from messages and pictures emailled between members of the Challenger community
as they followed the track west.
||It was flying for the sake of flying. It was
wonderful sights and amazing hospitality from strangers. It was celebrity
status achieved by arriving at a remote lake or a small town in a Challenger
on amphibious floats. ...
|Mike Lobban tells airy tales in a unique earthy prose.
In the first of several articles published in COPA Flight "The
Dream Comes True" reveals how becoming a pilot released his spirit
from its cage after decades of captivity.
|This was the day, the day I had waited
40 years for. I wanted to fly like they did in the old days, lots of stick
and rudder, low and slow, with the smell of hay and cow poop in my nostrils.
|John Woudstra writes: "For as long as I can
remember I've had a desire to fly and soar like the birds." John started
out in gliders as a teenager then spent decades in General Aviation but
only found the elusive fountain of magic in a Challenger. Read all about
it in his COPA / Canadian Flight article entitled "Get
At It And Don't Procrastinate!".
|Maybe it was coincidence that Chuck Yeager
broke the sound barrier a few days before I was born, that sent sonic waves
into my brain that instilled in me a passion for leaving the ground and
exploring the skies. ...
|If you have a peek at Dale Erhart's great photo Crankin'n'Bankin'
in our Challenger Gallery you'll see he treats his Challenger much like
his former mounts - the CF-18 Hornet, the CF-101 Voodoo and the CF-5. Now
flying the Airbus A330 and 340 for Air Canada, Dale assembled his Challenger
over a period of 10 months during days off from flying between Canada and
In his West Coast Weekend diary Dale
and his wife Laurel enjoy a delightful weekend in their amphibious Challenger
|Like many professional pilots, my love
for aviation has drawn me back to the roots of stick and rudder flying.
An amphibious ultralight that can carry two people and has the performance
to fly medium range trips in the mountainous areas of British Columbia
seemed like an impossible fantasy until I came across the Challenger II.
|In June 2005 the 20,000 members of the Canadian Owners
and Pilots Association enjoyed "Ultralight
March Break", a very well written story about a fabulous winter
flying adventure. 17 year-old Douglas Fleck, instead of airlining it to
the warmth of Florida, spent his School Break flying the family's ski-equipped
Challenger ultralight around not just Southern Ontario but also Northern
Ontario. Another Challenger inspiration for young and old to come out of
their cabins and enjoy winter!
||... I thought about the opportunity I had
been given. The idea that I, a mere 17 year old, had the chance to first
of all obtain a pilots license, use it to fly our very own ultralight and
then use that ultralight to have an incredible adventure that took me across
the province. ...
|Nathan Quickmire was 9 when he started flying with his
father Bryan in a Steen Skybolt. Now they're frequent flyers in a Challenger.
Nate presented a photo essay entitled "My
Favourite Vacation Activity" to his Grade Six class.
||6:30 am! I'm ready to go to the airport.
I was about to start the longest flight in XSL I ever made. My Dad was
taking me to the 1997 Challenger fly-in. ...
|Peter Walpole's first flight in a Challenger was on
a warm summer's eve. It's recounted in "I
Took The Challenge", published in COPA / Canadian Flight.
|I couldn't stand it any more. Every month
I'd read another story about the fun of flying on skis or floats, of soaring
thousands of feet over Barrie, of boaters waving along the St. Lawrence.
|Ray McBain's love affair began at Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
He penned "Airplane Finds Man"
which appeared in COPA / Canadian Flight.
||May finds me looking at retirement.
In September I will be turning my companies over to my daughter and her
husband. What to do? ...
|Paul Tomascik weaves a gripping tale of drama in "Ice
which was published in the March 2000 edition of COPA / Canadian Flight.
|Mayday Mayday Mayday! Challenger India
Papa Victor Tango at nine hundred feet over the Ottawa River, west of the
Champlain bridge, left-hand orbit over a child on a disintegrating ice
floe. Require immediate assistance! ...
Cradle A Brother" was published in November 2001:
|The fighter plane bristled with ordnance.
Nose high, wheels down; it slid in front of the ultralight. Instinctively,
the pilot of the smaller craft, a Challenger II, climbed to avoid the wake
turbulence knowing that the vortices ...
|And his latest, published in January 2005, a short aviation
adventure story inspired by an actual event - "The
Challengers of Montebello":
|They whipped around the bend in the river,
flying low, banking steeply, two of them coming at a steady pace. It was
difficult to see them clearly because it was snowing lightly, a remnant
of a fierce winter storm the night ...
Bryan Quickmire earned his wings in the Air Cadets in 1967
and has since enjoyed a wide variety of general aviation aircraft and sailplanes.
His ultralight career began in 1984 when he instructed in the very first
two-seat Challengers. Bryan's column "A Hundred
Things" in COPA's Canadian Flight magazine offered an account -
at times humorous, at times philosophical - of his wanderings and adventures.
also wrote "Room To Manoeuvre", a column covering aerobatics
and thought-provoking issues in piloting, which appeared in Aviation Quarterly
magazine along with his feature articles. In the Fall 1996 cover story,
"A Voyage Of Discovery", Bryan recounted his first summer with
C-FXSL, his amphibious Challenger.
Ian Coristine is one of the pioneers of the ultralight industry,
having been active since 1981 when he built a Lazair.
Ian has accumulated nearly 2,000 hours in ultralights on wheels, skis and
floats, which makes him one of the most experienced ultralight pilots you
will find. Ian's column in COPA's Canadian Flight, "Thanks
For The Memories", was a glimpse into his log book of flights and
experiences, some pure fun, others fascinating, beautiful or even scary,
but all memorable.
came to ultralights from gliders which provided him with a unique background
for exploring the soaring capabilities of the Challenger. Of course if
you use your Challenger as a motor-glider then you don't need a tow plane
or a ground crew. And if the thermals peter out, you simply turn on the
engine and head home, instead of landing in a field. Climbing in thermals
is taught to glider pilots from day one but power pilots are left to learn
for themselves. Ian's primer on the joys and techniques of "Ultralight
Soaring" will get you going up in circles too!
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