October 15 – Victoria, British Columbia – Vimy Flight

Today was to be a special day to meet up with the Vimy Flight at their final stop in Victoria, British Columbia. Their replica World War I aircraft have had a very interesting year, from flying over Vimy Ridge, France for the 100 year celebration of the battle at Vimy Ridge, flying across Canada including Parliament Hill in Ottawa, us meeting up with them in Brandon, Manitoba at the Commonwealth Training Plan Museum, and now at their final event in Victoria.

We had another easy flight from Abbotsford to Victoria and as usual parked at the Victoria Flying Club. The Club has been around since before World War II and has conducted flight training since then.

After parking at the Victoria Flying Club it was a short walk to the BC Aviation Museum. There is no taxiway access to the museum so you have to park your aircraft nearby on the apron and walk to the museum.

Vimy Flight aircraft on display

BeBe Bilic giving the final presentation to the group at the museum. 

Larry Ricker Pre-flight inspection


Bob and Larry Ricker met the crew that we met in Brandon

On the final flight Larry carried our Canada Flag that has been across the country this past summer

The final flight for the aircraft – will be sent to a museum

October 5 – Tofino, British Columbia

Today we flew from Abbotsford to Tofino, Long Beach Airport, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

We had tried on June 29 and were unable to get here for our Canada 150 Kick-Off because there was fog all along the west coast of Vancouver Island. When that fog settles in sometimes it lasts for days. We might have missed getting here for the “Kick-Off” but I guess you can say we made it to our “Touchdown”.

Approaching Long Beach Airport


Long Beach Airport


We parked at the terminal for Long Beach Airport, small but very nice for the island community.

We had made arrangements with Orca Airways for transportation to the beach for pictures with our Canada Flag. Thanks to Charles Champenhet we had a short ride to the beach and he was also our photographer, what a nice young man.


Here we are at Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


Pacific Ocean gently rolling in. The sand here is so fine and clean and packs real hard. Some beaches near here are occassionally used for mini-flyins. The guys with tail draggers meet up and have a beach BBQ. Sounds like fun but not the kind of operation suitable for the Turbo Arrow.


On departure from Tofino we climbed out over the Pacific Ocean then headed east toward Port Alberni.


On our way to Port Ablerni. Here is where the situational awareness is enhanced with the amazing display of terrain. 

flew to Port Albernie (CBS8)

Garmin GNS 530 enhances situational awareness with terrain feature

Port Albernie had a lot of construction recently with a new runway extension fully paved mainly to accommodate a Boeing 737. The company at the airport is modifying older B737 aircraft from Southwest Airlines, to be water bombers, the first such modification in the world. Quite an accomplishment for a little airport on Vancouver Island.