Challenger owners exhibit an infectious enthusiasm for their aircraft. With some 4,000 worldwide, that's a lot of enthusiasm! They are an interesting bunch from all walks of life, with flying backgrounds ranging from rank beginners who did their initial training in their Challenger to professional airline and military pilots with thousands of hours logged. In this section you'll meet some owners, see how they use their planes, and learn about their association and its events.
Bryan Quickmire wrote: "A benefit of being part of the Challenger community is that we meet lots of interesting people. Anyone who sees the point of flying in a Challenger is something of a kindred spirit and someone to be enjoyed."
"Some of these interesting people are not just interesting they are inspirational as well. This spring Alison and I were on the West Coast and traveled to Sooke on Vancouver Island to visit Andreas and Michele Ruttkiewicz." Click here to read the account of the visit and click here for an update to the story.
A picture is worth a thousand words a video must be worth a million! If you have high speed internet access you can enjoy videos of Challengers in action. Click to the Challenger Cinema and enjoy! If you don't have high speed internet then click to Challenger Cinema anyways - it just takes a little longer to enjoy!
There's also the Challenger Gallery with high-resolution images to download for desktop wallpaper and screensavers or to print and stick on your fridge!
And if that still isn't enough, head for our Hot Shots section for still more pics!
For a peek at even more owners and airplanes, leaf through
our Family Album.
In the summer of 1990 two owners,
Jim George and Clint Hooper, founded the
The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association profiled members of the ICOA in the monthly COPA / Canadian Flight publication. We've mixed a few of those with some bios from Challenger News to let you Meet A Challenger Owner.
The Canadian Chapter of the ICOA, is under the able leadership of Major (Ret.) Claude Roy of the Canadian Air Force. With hundreds of names on the membership roster this chapter is the most active worldwide. Two major fly-ins are held each year - the Challenger Winter Rendezvous, between Ottawa and Montreal, and the Western Challenger Rendezvous in the summer near Edmonton. As well, birds-of-a-feather flockings happen frequently across the country.
The Maurice Vinet Memorial Award was founded by National Ultralight Inc in 2001 to honour the late Maurice Vinet who passed away from cancer in 2000. Maurice's company Puddlejumper Floats opened up new realms of pleasure for Challenger owners worldwide and is now run by his son Patrick Vinet. The Vinet Award is presented to a Challenger pilot who exemplifies Maurice's passion for flight. The 2011 Award was presented to Bernie and Shelley Rector of East Coast Ultralight in Nova Scotia who have made a major contribution to furthering ultralight aviation on the east coast.
The Dave Allan Memorial Award was founded by National Ultralight Inc in 2007 to be given each year to a member of the Challenger community who has made a substantial contribution of a technical nature. Dave Allan passed away from cancer in 2006. Dave was an extremely talented and knowledgeable Challenger builder and inspector. He gave freely of his time to owners across Canada who called for advice and he welcomed visitors to his workshop. The 2011 Award was presented to Bob Robertson, owner of Light Engine Services in British Columbia. In addition to great products and services Bob also contributes to safety by sharing his extensive knowledge with others.
Write the following down on your calendar
and plan to attend the next event!
Come to any or all of our events whether you're an owner
Click here for brief reports on a typical year's Happenings in Canada.
And here's a sampling of some past summer and winter Canadian
Did you see the movie "Fly Away
Home", about the geese and the ultralight?
On the migration the group's Challenger was used as chase plane. This role is much like that of a sheepdog - herding the swans behind the trike on takeoff, bookending the formation in flight and chasing after the swans when they decided to scoot. Sometimes the birds broke formation to check out something interesting on the ground below. Other times they were escaping something scary like a passing Cessna. When they did break they flew off at over 60 mph!
National Ultralight assigned Bryan Quickmire as liaison to the project. Bryan actually had the honour of flying the group's Challenger on the migration. Ask him sometime how he earned the nickname 'Rex'!
Click to the Trumpeter Swan Migration Project for more info and pictures!
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