Princeton Air Show – July 16, 2011
For the third year in a row, the Museum joined forces with other vintage and warbird aircraft at the
Princeton Airshow. The Waco Cabin, Harvard and Sopwith Camel made the journey to this idyllic
setting in the beautiful Similkameen Valley in BC’s southern interior. Museum pilots Dave Beales
(Waco) and Bill Findlay (Harvard) along with crew members Caitlin Ringland, Jim Beswick and Bob
Fowles, arrived in Princeton on Friday, the 15th. Also on this day, Terry and Doreen Brunner drove to Princeton and towed the Museum’s trailer with the Camel and gift shop items inside. Along with Caitlin, Terry and Doreen manned the CMF’s sales booth during the Saturday show.
Dave Beales, Bill Findlay, Bob Fowles, Caitlin Ringland and Jim Beswick
Friday afternoon activities included VIP flights in the Harvard. These flights also involved air-to-air photography with the Harvard getting most of the attention. In the evening, air show organizer
Patrick Robins, and his wife Shala, hosted another of their now famous outdoor dinners in their
beautiful back yard. All the air show participants and crews were gathered here for an evening of
delicious food, socializing and story-telling.
Nothing like blue sky and clouds to make the perfect background
On Saturday, the Waco and Harvard spent part of the day on static display where the crowds were
able to get up close for viewing and talking with the crews. The air show was a good one and the
Museum aircraft performed well during their flight time at centre stage. The Museum Harvard also led a 4-ship formation that included Harvards flown by Bud Granley, John Mrazek and Vic
CMF’s Waco Cabin and Harvard entertain an enthusiastic crowd.
The CMF Harvard leads a 4-ship formation by the public gallery
Bill Findlay enjoys another chance to show the “big yellow bird”
Later that afternoon, the Waco and Harvard crews set off on the return flight to Langley. Weather
would become an issue as the Hope Slide area was blocked with low cloud. The crews knew that
this might be a possibility, so the alternate flight plan was put into effect – return to Penticton and
spend the night at Bill’s cabin on Skaha Lake. Bill circled over his parent’s home in Kaleden, just
south of Penticton, which was the signal for them to drive to the airport and pick up the Museum
crew. In the meantime, Terry and Doreen had travelled to Naramata so a quick phone call to them
determined that we would all meet up in Penticton for Chinese food that evening. We did
ourselves proud at eating everything put before us!
The next morning, we arose early, set about eating, packing, cleaning up and then checking the
weather. It looked good for a mid-morning departure so we headed to Penticton airport to prepare
the aircraft for flight. Bill’s Mom and Dad met us there to bid farewell and to enjoy the necessary
Harvard flyby on departure. Dave, Bob and Jim crewed the Waco Cabin and Caitlin assisted Bill
with flight duties in the Harvard.
In Penticton – Dave Beales, Ray Findlay, Bill Findlay, Caitlin Ringland, Win Findlay
and Bob Fowles (photographer - Jim Beswick)
After an enjoyable flight to Princeton for fuel, the crews departed for the good weather flight to
Langley, following the normal routing above Highway 3 through Manning Park, the Hope Slide
area, Hope and then the beautiful Fraser Valley to home. It was good to be back after a great
weekend of aviation. We’re all looking forward to participating in next year’s Princeton Airshow.
Give some thought to joining us there – you won’t be disappointed!