INVITATION TO THE 17th ANNUAL ICOA
WINTER WEEKEND RENDEZVOUS
Again this year, with the help of Mr. Bryan Quickmire of National Ultralight Inc., Canadian distributor of the Challenger aircraft series, I am organising a 17th edition of the annual International Challenger Owners Association (ICOA Canada) Winter Weekend Rendez-Vous. This fun-filled skiplane event will be held on the 26-28 January 2007 at the beautiful Chateau Montebello, 392 rue Notre Dame, Montebello, QC. The GPS co-ordinates for the hotel's location are N 45 39 W 74 57.
This year our Rendez-Vous will start with a reception on Friday evening for the early arrivals. Saturday just before noon the "formal" educational and hangar flying sessions will commence. Our much enjoyed traditional banquet will be in the evening. Up-to-date details are on the challenger.ca web site - simply click here in this electronic letter to be transported there via internet magic!
Saturday morning is usually your best time to observe the airplanes coming in and buzzing all along the River. Anyone with an air radio should monitor the local frequency 123.2 mHz or the enroute frequency 122.75 mHz.
Last year, our 16th Rendez-Vous was held in this same venue. The weather was on a clearing trend for Friday, beautiful on Saturday and snowy on Sunday. A total of about 32 aircraft, of which 20 were Challengers, made it to Montebello and all returned home safely. Attendance at the Saturday evening banquet was our best ever. A great group of 186 people enjoyed a superb meal in excellent company.
Rob Mathers won the 2006 "Long Distance" Award for his great flight to Montebello from Windsor, Ontario, aboard his trusty Challenger C-IFVT. After many close counts, Gord Ekstrom finally did win a well-deserved "Best Show Plane" Award for his beautifully finished 2001 Challenger II C-IMLC. The prestigious "Maurice Vinet" Award, honouring a Challenger Pilot who exemplifies the passion for flight of the late Maurice Vinet, went to Dale Erhart from Comox, British Columbia.
Again this year, a group of owners of ski-equipped Challengers from Southern Ontario is planning to fly in formation to the Challenger meet. We would like to extend an invitation to other Challenger owners to join them along the route and help them in this aerial odyssey. This group will originate from the Toronto area and proceed generally eastward to Montebello, adjusting their route to meet up with others along the way. You can also come on your own or, better still, organise your own group to come to the Challenger Rendez-Vous! Let me know of your intentions to fly to Montebello and we will help you with contacts and use of the Challenger website to promote your own adventure flight.
Of course, flight planning is subject to weather. The group may leave a day or two early or get back a day or two late. Either way, this is true adventure and a great opportunity for you to build flying memories that will last you a lifetime. Groups usually can alter their plans to accommodate other Challengers. For more information or to indicate your desire to join the Southern Ontario group, contact Bryan Quickmire - for phone and email info click here.
Again this year, our group will be the hotel's prime customer during that weekend. The hotel offers us a group rate of $175.00 per room per night (many rooms have two double beds), which is a real bargain considering the luxury and comfort of this establishment. It also offers an impressive selection of recreational facilities for the whole family to enjoy. You can make your hotel reservations by either calling the Fairmont Hotel Reservation Centre at 1-800-441-1414 or faxing your request directly to Chateau Montebello at 819-423-5283. Please, specify you are part of the Challenger group, so you can get the special rooms and group rates.
If you find the Chateau fully booked then there are many picturesque sleeping spots nearby - a complete list can be found by clicking here!
Year after year, the deluxe buffet supper formula is a success. Having our own buffet and banquet room means we can all be together in casual clothing, we can move around freely and talk "Challenger Talk" all evening long with everybody. Again this year, the Chateau's biggest reception room, the Canada Room, holding a maximum of 200 people, will have a deluxe hot-cold buffet served with bar facilities available in the same room. Jeans are perfectly acceptable in our banquet room as well as throughout the hotel during the whole weekend.
As in previous years, the hotel will make only one single invoice covering everything for the banquet except personal bar expenses. The hotel will not collect individually at banquet time, which means I have to collect the money from everyone in advance.
The price for the banquet, again this year, is $50.00 per adult and $25.00 per child (under 12), including all taxes and a 15% service charge. The hotel will need to know the exact number of people who will be attending this buffet by Monday, 22 January 2007. Therefore, I need a firm commitment of your presence to the banquet one week prior to the event by Friday, 19 January 2007. Your confirmation will be in the form of a personal cheque sent to me at the earliest convenience and dated 19 January 2007 at the latest. The amount of your cheque will cover the full amount of your reserved seat(s).
As in previous years, if for any reason anyone from your group does not show up for supper, Joan, my wife, will be manning the banquet reservation table at the entrance of the Banquet Hall. She will do her utmost to sell your seat(s) at the door on the night of the banquet. Providing we are successful in selling your paid seat(s) to someone else, once Montebello is over, I will return your money in the form of a personal cheque sent to you by mail.
Hotel rooms and banquet places are limited. Attendance should reach or surpass the hotel's full capacity of 200 people. We work on the principle of "first come, first served", so please make an early commitment on your personal/family schedule for this special event, making this your best and most important Challenger activity in 2007. Whatever the weather, whatever the means of transportation (by Challenger preferably!), come and meet all your flying friends.
Every year, Montebello serves as an ideal launching point for discussions on the upcoming summer float trips and other flying adventures. This year's theme for the whole weekend will be "Two Flights Away". Most, if not all, pilots have visited all the airports within range and easy reach, "one flight away" from their home base. But have you visited all the airports "one flight away" from there? It is my wish to see every participant at Montebello sets apart one special "Two Flights Away" day during their 2007 flying season so they can fly to and visit an airfield where they have never been before. Such an adventure is easy to complete within one sunny day, so you don't have to worry about any long-range weather issues.
Personally in 2007, I plan to organise another two-week float flying adventure, this time drawing a big anti-clockwise circle right around Algonquin Park, in Central Ontario. The timing will be around the first two weeks of August 2007. The planned departure will on Saturday, 4 August, from the Ottawa area to visit interesting places like North Bay, Temagami, Sudbury, Killarney, Parry Sound, Gravenhurst and Haliburton. Join us for the entire trip or even just a portion.
This particular adventure requires all participating pilots to possess an amphibious aircraft and a minimum one full year of float experience. If everything goes as expected, people involved in the trip will take lots of pictures and will subsequently prepare a feature presentation of their whole adventure to be given at an upcoming Challenger event, probably at the 2008 Winter Rendez-Vous in Montebello.
If you are interested to join us or provide help on this floatplane adventure, please contact me personally at my home phone number indicated below.
As we do every year, we encourage the more experienced people at Montebello to seek out the less experienced ones, the new faces, and simply say something like "Can I answer some of your questions?" Conversely, I will ask all the newcomers to leave any shyness aside and openly go forward with their salutations and questions. If the answer is not on the tip of one's tongue, there will be someone right around the corner who will know where the right answer can be found.
Let me invite you, once more, to keep current with the latest Challenger news through the Challenger website at www.challenger.ca. If you have your own email address, be sure to leave this email address at the website notification list, so we can give you an automatic email notification of any change(s) to our Challenger activities.
Joan joins me in wishing you all "Season's Greetings" and lots of good flying in 2007!
Major (Ret.) C. "Crash" Roy
Director, ICOA Canada
1986 Richardson Side Road
613-836-7243 (H) firstname.lastname@example.org
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