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Celebration of flight at today’s Nelson airshow

Cover photo: Yellow thunder, two Harvards flown by pilot brothers David and Drew Watson, opened the Nelson airshow that continues until 3:30 p.m. today.

Photo below: Pilot Mark Humbke flew the Gyro plane with a helicopter blade. He demonstrated numerous emergency and safety procedures including auto-rotations (a controlled landing without the engine running to simulate an engine failure) and many ninety degree turns with seemly ease.

Bottom photo: (Left to right)Announcer and former aerobat Micheal Wiger, chairman Case Grypma and Les Westmacott. Grypma is the driving force behind the airshow and received a lifetime achievement award on Aug 1 from the Canadian Owner's and Pilot's Association for a lifetime of contribution to aviation.

All slideshow photos by T. Hynd

All eyes are on the sky today as the Nelson Pilot Association hosts its airshow in a celebration of flight. The official opening began just before 11 a.m. at the Nelson airport.

Yellow thunder began the show as brothers David and Drew Watson piloted their two Harvards in a formation fly past and demonstration. The yellow planes are hard to miss with their volume and the punch of yellow colour prominent against the West Kootenay blue skies. Drew Watson said they are loving it here. “We’re from the prairies (Edmonton),” he said.

He explained flying as close as he does to his brother’s plane, having mountains effects his planned exit strategies as they fly wing to wing during their performance.

Mark Humbke flew the Gyro plane with a helicopter blade. He demonstrated numerous emergency and safety procedures including a couple autorotations (a controlled landing without the engine running to simulate an engine failure) and many ninety degree turns with seemly ease.

The Pitts special solo aerobatics show with pilot Bill Carter began with smoke and a complete inversion moments after take off.

The sailplane magic airshow with pilot Paul Hajduk was magical as it glided in silence above with a trail of smoke off either wing tip leaving its gliding signature in the air.

This afternoon is full of more aerobatics, including Anna Serbinenko who is flying Canadian Flight Centre’s Super Decathlon, a plane built by American Champion Aircraft for the purpose of aerobatic training. It has inverted fuel and oil systems for upside down flight and can handle severe g-forces typical for aerobatics. You can meet Serbinenko and her Decathlon later after the flight.

The show will close at 3 p.m. with a vintage military trainer air race and fly past. This is something new for the airshow and hard to miss as they will race for the trophy up and down the valley.

Don’t miss out on this special event that happens every two to three years thanks to the many volunteers and organizers, Case Grypma and Bob Schmitz. Entry is by donation and there are static (stationary) aircraft on display until 4 p.m.

 

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