INVITATION TO THE 18th 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 the 18th edition of the annual International Challenger Owners Association (ICOA Canada) Winter Weekend Rendez-Vous. This fun-filled skiplane event will be held on the 26-27 January 2008 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.
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 Ottawa River. Aircraft equipped with radio should monitor 122.75 mHz enroute and 123.2 mHz within 5 nm of Montebello.
This year, our Rendez-Vous will feature at least four Saturday "hangar flying" sessions. Starting at 11:00 hrs in the Quebec Room, Mr. Quickmire and Mr. Bill Dawes, Challenger Dealer for the Ottawa area (www.challengerottawa.ca), will hold an information session on what's new with the Challenger. Refreshments will be served. At 14:00 hrs in the same Quebec Room, Ms. Oonagh Elliott, Inspector, Aviation Enforcement, Ontario Region, Transport Canada, will let us in on a few secrets about staying away from the arm of the Law. At the same time, in the opposite Ontario Room, Mr. Marcel Pinon, Service Level Manager, Nav Canada Headquarters, will give us a slide presentation on the services offered by Nav Canada and on an important Service Level Study being done about the Toronto-Montreal corridor.
Following a refreshment break, at 15:30 hrs, Ms. Kathy Lubitz, President, Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada (UPAC), will inform us of the very latest in the ultralight world, including the ongoing reform of all Canadian aircraft categories. As well, tradition willing, Mr. Frank Hofmann, in his dual role of Eastern Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), and Canadian Representative, International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), will also be giving us his thoughts on the latest trends in the world of aviation.
Finally, the evening's post-banquet presentation will be an entertaining presentation by Henry McKinlay, Andrew Ricketts, Keith Robinson and Claude Roy, about their 4-ship float flying expedition "Around Algonquin Park" this past summer.
Last year, our 17th Rendez-Vous was held in this same venue. The weather was crisp and cold on Friday, greyish on Saturday and a return to sunny and cold conditions for Sunday. A total of at least 43 aircraft, including 21 Challengers, made it to Montebello 2007 and all returned home safely. Attendance at the Saturday evening banquet was great, as a group of 160 people enjoyed a superb meal in excellent company.
Mr. Dave Scott won the 2007 "Long Distance" Award for his flight to Montebello from Bromley, Ontario. Not only that, Dave also won the "Best Show Plane" Award for his strikingly beautiful 2006 Challenger II registered C-IDAV. The new "Dave Allan" Award, in the memory of the late Challenger builder Dave Allan, was launched to recognize the highest levels of technical achievement in the Challenger world. Its first ever recipient was the very deserving Dave Griffith from Katevale, Quebec. Finally, the prestigious "Maurice Vinet" Award, honouring a Challenger pilot who exemplifies the passion for flight of the late Maurice Vinet, went to Kris Falk from Terrace, British Columbia.
Again this year, a group of owners of ski-equipped Challengers is planning to fly in formation from southern Ontario 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 will 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. It is 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 as I pre-booked for you a block of eighty (80) Fairmont rooms. You can personally reserve one (or many) of these rooms until Monday, 24 December 2007, after which any of the hotel's remaining rooms will be on a "first come, first serve" basis to any hotel customer. Price wise, the hotel offers us a group rate of $180.00 per room per night (many rooms have two double beds), which is a real bargain considering the luxury and comfort of this hotel. It also offers an impressive selection of recreational facilities for the whole family to enjoy. You can make your own 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 on challenger.ca!
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, 21 January 2008. Therefore, I need a firm commitment of your presence to the banquet one week prior to the event by Friday, 18 January 2008. Your confirmation will be in the form of a personal cheque sent to me at the earliest convenience and dated 18 January 2008 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 "Canada Room" 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. Every year, attendance can reach or surpass the hotel's full capacity of 200 people. We work on the principle of "first come, first serve", so please make an early commitment on your personal/family schedule for this special event, making this one your best and most important Challenger activity in 2008. 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 "Twenty-Five Years Young". Incredible but true: the Challenger aircraft series has now been with us for 25 years. From its humble beginnings in Moline, Illinois, in 1983, it grew to become one of the most popular kit planes in the world and certainly Canada's favourite ultralight with nearly 500 Challengers on the Canadian Aircraft Register.
Personally in 2008, I plan to organize another two-week flying adventure, this time to commemorate the first 25 years of success of the Challenger. The goal is to fly to Erie, Illinois, near the Challenger factory in Moline, Illinois. We will participate in Quad City's 25th Anniversary celebration fly-in/drive-in scheduled for the weekend of 20-21 September 2008.
Dubbed the "History Tour", this adventure will stretch over 2,400 statute miles and will depart on Saturday, 13 September 2008, from the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa, ON. On the way to Moline, we will visit air museums like the Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial Museum in Trenton, ON, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, ON, and the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, MI. On the way back, we will go to different museums like the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, the Piper Aircraft Memorial Museum in Lock Haven, PA, and the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY.
This particular adventure requires all participating pilots to have one full year of flying experience and a 25-hour License or Permit, like a GA License or a Recreational Pilot Permit, to fly in the USA. People involved in the trip will take lots of pictures and will subsequently prepare a feature presentation of their flying adventure to be given at an upcoming Challenger event, probably the 2009 Winter Rendez-Vous in Montebello.
If you are interested to join us or provide help on this adventure, please contact me personally at my home phone number indicated below.
Like last 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 ask all the newcomers who will be there to leave any shyness behind 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 2008!
Major (Ret.) C. "Crash" Roy
Director, ICOA Canada
1986 Richardson Side Road
613-836-7243 (H) firstname.lastname@example.org
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