The Owners



Canada's Favourite Advanced Ultralight

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25th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous - Jan 30 to Feb 1, 2015 - Chateau Montebello
Future COA EventsPast COA Events | Challenger Happenings | Seven League Boots
Trumpeter Swans

For the very latest in videos browse our Challenger Canada YouTube Channel
http://www.challenger.ca/cinema.html

For the very latest in photographs browse our Challenger Canada Photo Sets
http://www.flickr.com/photos/challengercanada/sets/

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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 the very latest in photographs browse our Challenger Canada Photo Sets
http://www.flickr.com/photos/challengercanada/sets/

More? Try Seven League Boots - Canadian Challenger flights over 1,000 miles!

For a peek at even more owners and airplanes, leaf through our Family Album.
If you're getting a new Challenger, this is great for ideas on paint schemes!
(The Main Chapter has an index to go direct to specific pages or enlargements!)

The album has tons of
photos organized into
chapters on special events
and topics, plus a huge
catch-all of pics from round
the world since 1983.

In the summer of 1990 two owners, Jim George and Clint Hooper, founded the
International Challenger Owners Association. Their newsletter Challenger News was eagerly received each quarter. The ICOA grew to over 800 members globally before the print medium was superceded by the internet. Now there is an extensive suite of internet-based resources for Challenger owners, including web sites and an email group with over 3,000 members!

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 Royal Canadian Air Force. This chapter is the most active worldwide. Four major fly-in/drive-in events are held each year - the Challenger Winter Rendezvous, between Ottawa and Montreal, and in the summer the Challenger Canada Open House north of Toronto, the Western Challenger Rendezvous near Edmonton, and the East Coast Challenger Rendezvous near Greenwood, NS. As well, birds-of-a-feather flockings happen frequently across the country.

The annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous is the venue for presentation of the Maurice Vinet Memorial Award and the Dave Allan Memorial Award.

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 2013 Award was presented to Bill Bryan of Markham, ON who for many years has given his full time and attention to the Challenger community. Bill is an instructor, builder, inspector and passionate flyer.

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 2013 Award was presented to the Challenger Team at Quad City Ultralight Aircraft Corp in Moline, IL. Quad City has produced not just the most popular ultralight in Canada but one of the most popular and long lasting in the world.

The Challenger line of aircraft launched in 1983 and has enjoyed continuous improvements ever since. To illustrate the staying power of the marque, Challengers swept all Light Sport awards at Airventure Oshkosh in 2013!

Click here for a complete list of the award winners and their accomplishments.

Challenger Winter Rendezvous posters are created annually by Dave O'Malley of Aerographics Ottawa. Dave is also historian and webmaster at Vintage Wings.

Click here for the complete Dave O'Malley poster collection.

Write the following down on your calendar and plan to attend the next event!
Click on the venue for Directions from your location!


25th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous

Jan 30 - Feb 1, 2015
Chateau Montebello


100 skiplanes! 200 people!
Click here for 2014 details!


24th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous

Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2014
Chateau Montebello


100 skiplanes! 200 people!
Click here for 2014 details!


8th Annual Western Challenger Rendezvous

July 11-13, 2014
Wetaskiwin, AB


Put it on your calendar!
Click here for 2014 details!


EAA Airventure Oshkosh
2014 XL-65 in Booth 908


July 28 - Aug 3, 2014
Oshkosh, Wisconsin


EAA Honours Challenger
Challengers Take Awards

8th Annual Open House
Challenger Canada


August 9, 2014
Edenvale, ON


Gathering of the Classics
Click here for 2014 details!


5th Annual East Coast Challenger Rendezvous

August 22-24, 2014
Lawrencetown, NS


Put it on your calendar!
Click here for 2014 details!


16th Annual Float Tour
Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal


August 16-30, 2014
Journey to Eastebello


Put it on your calendar!
Click here for 2014 details!


15th Annual Fly-in
Carleton Place


September 6, 2014
Carleton Place, ON


30 Challengers in 2010!
Click here for 2014 details!

Come to any or all of our events whether you're an owner or not.
You don't even have to be Canadian!

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 gatherings:
(Remember to click underlined text to go to the full report and pictures!)

22nd Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous
Chateau Montebello - February 3-5, 2012

SNOW 'n FUN was FABULOUS!
Sun & Wind Perfect! Ice & Snow Perfect!
Over 90 Planes!
Click here for Tomorrow is Today video!
Click here for photos galore!
Click here for COPA Flight article and pictures!
Click here for 2012 theme and agenda!

Click the poster on the left above for large English and French versions.
Click the COPA cover on the right above for full article and pics.

21st Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous
Chateau Montebello - February 4-6, 2011

WINTER FLYING - THEN & NOW
Blue Sky / Warm Air / Light Wind
Click here for Full Emotion video!
Click here for More than a Feeling video!
Click here for COPA Flight article and pictures!
Click here for 2011 theme and agenda!

Click the poster on the left above for large English and French versions.
Click the COPA cover on the right above for full article and pics.

20th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous
Chateau Montebello - January 22-24, 2010

Everything Purrfect! See COPA Flight - March 2010 - Cover & Feature!
Click here for The Big Two Oh video!
Click here for Full Action video!
Click here for tons of photos!
Click here for 2010 theme and agenda!

The Big Two Oh!

Click above and find
the 49 Challengers!

Pilgrimage to Baddeck - An Amphibious Adventure

11th Annual Challenger Float Tour - August 2009

19th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous
Chateau Montebello - 30 Jan to 1 Feb 2009

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Ultralights in Canada!

Challenger 25th Anniversary Celebration
Erie Airpark, Illinois - Sept. 19-21, 2008



Click here for Evolution!

Click here for Kitplanes!



Click here for Evolution!


Click here for Canuck view!

Click here for COPA article!



Click here for Canuck view!

18th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous - January 25 - 27, 2008

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Quad City and the Challenger!

17th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous - January 26 - 28, 2007

At the 11th hour it was up in the air - then it happened up in the air!

16th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous - January 27 - 29, 2006

The 16th Annual Challenger Winter Rendezvous was enjoyed by 250+ people and a large gaggle of ski Challengers. Click here for text, photos and video.

The March 2006 COPA Flight featured great Montebello pictures and an article by Rob Mathers who flew his Challenger 800 kms from Windsor, ON.
Click to see Rob's piece "The Montebello Experience". It also appeared in the April issue of Windicator, the Windsor Flying Club's quarterly newsletter.

The February 2006 UPAC News cover had a great shot of a Challenger
on skis doing a fly-by plus inside there's a report on the event.

If you're not already a member of COPA and UPAC join today!

36 Challengers
on skis flew in!

March 2005 COPA Flight Coverage

Over 200 people
in attendance!

March 2004 COPA Flight Coverage

Why is this front page news?

The Challenger Rendezvous is
THE biggest winter event in
Canadian aviation and every year
sets new attendance records!

Montebello Montage

A picture is worth a 1000 words
so click above for 37,000 words!!

13th Annual Winter Rendezvous

January 25-26, 2003

The Full Montebello

Click above for complete coverage!

12th Annual Winter Rendezvous

February 2-3, 2002



July 2-9, 2000

Owners voyaged to the Saguenay fjords and the CF-18s of Bagotville!



July 20 - August 1, 2000

The first Canadian ultralights crossed the U.S. border for Oshkosh!!

Accolades were received from EAA, COPA, FAA and Transport Canada!



July 1999

Float Flying Adventure


Winter 1998

Montebello Meet Magnificent


Summer 1997

Jacksons' Iroquois Fly-in Rated 5 Star


Winter 1995

ICOA Sets Records For Ski Fly-ins


Summer 1996

Challengers Swarm To Haliburton

What does a 250 lb. 6'5"
Challenger owner paint on
the bottom of his fuselage?
Anything he wants!
Click on the picture to see
what Bruce Craig painted!

Did you see the movie "Fly Away Home", about the geese and the ultralight?
The Migratory Bird Research Group used a Challenger to teach Trumpeter Swans to migrate! These magnificent birds with wingspans up to 8 feet were eradicated from eastern North America a hundred years ago. The three year project to reintroduce a self-sustaining migratory flock concluded with an 800 mile migration from northern Ontario to southern Indiana. That's 800 miles in close formation at the swans' long range endurance speed - 40 mph!

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!

If you wish, we'll notify you automatically by e-mail when this site is updated!


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