Airshow Nelson 2014 — a grassroots event that showcases the aviation industry
Case Grypma, chair of the 2014 Nelson Airshow, would like to toss out the red carpet to area aviation buffs to attend the (Saturday) August 2 extravaganza at the Heritage City Airport on the city waterfront.
The event kicks off at 8 a.m. with the pancake breakfast and plane arrivals before the official opening ceremonies at 10:45 a.m.
However, when spectators are viewing the Phil Symmans and his Pitts Model 12, the two Harvards piloted by David and Drew Watson or Peter Herzig’s T-28 Trojan, Grypma would like people to think of life in Nelson without an airport.
A Nelson that would need to have Airevac patients driven to Castlegar for transport; a city that would need to have helicopters fighting potential fires waste potential time flying in the air to say the Salmo Airport; or Search and Rescue Teams, such as the Canadian Forces Buffalo Aircraft once again pick an alternate location to land during rescue missions.
“This is a family event for people from two to 92 (years) with plenty of aircraft on display but the airshow is a way to make people aware of the airport that we have in our community . . . the gateway that it is to the rest of the world,” explained Grypma, adding that Nelson is a place that no matter where a person is located in the Heritage City, they can enjoy the show.
“People who don’t fly in and out of the airport tend to forget about how important it is to our community for tourism but also functions such as search and rescue, fire suppression . . . medivacs.”
The airshow acts begin at 11 a.m. with demonstrations from performers including Mark Humbke, Bill Carter solo aerobatic show and many, many more class acts throughout the day.
“This is a grassroots event that not only showcases the airport for what it stands for but the opportunities presented by aviation,” said Grypma.
“It’s really important in this day and age to highlight the importance of aviation because with the shortage of pilots, we want to encourage people to get involved in aviation for whatever reason — financial, opportunity or a career — because there’s going to be a huge shortage of pilots and we don’t want to get into the situation where (airlines) need to high foreign pilots to fly Canadian airplanes.”
Grypma,said one of our performers organizers were able to scoop is female pilot Anna Serbinenko, who is flying Canadian Flight Centre’s Super Decathlon — a plane built by American Champion Aircraft for the purpose of aerobatic training.
The last airshow held in 2011 attracted thousands of spectators to the airport and kept heads gazing up into the skies over Nelson and Kootenay Lake while a host of planes on the ground had spectators seeing first hand aviation at its best.
The organizing committee has been busy finalizing all the necessary paperwork with Transport Canada.
The bi-annual event was missed in 2013 but thanks to amazing corporate support from the community, the $40,000 to $50,000 needed to run the event to the break-even point is ready for takeoff.
“This is a truly fun, family event,” exclaimed Grypma, who doubles as the air safety officer. “People are so interested in airplanes. From the latest to the greatest . . . we have old antiques and a wide ranges of aircraft coming to not only fly but for display people can get up close and personal.
“Pre-World War II trainers right through to some military equipment if possible.”
For more information check out the Airshow Nelson 2014 online.