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French Team Visits Canada

The Patrouille de France will perform at Wings over Gatineau April 30.

The French Air Force’s demonstration team the Patrouille de France will return to Canada for the first time in 31 years with a performance at the rescheduled Wings Over Gatineau show on April 30.

The troupe, which flies eight Alpha Jets, last appeared in Canada at Expo 86 in Vancouver. Earlier this year it announced a month-long tour of the eastern U.S. in April and the Gatineau gig was added.

The Snowbirds will also perform.

The air show was originally scheduled for June 30 but was moved to accommodate the world famous team, which uses coloured smoke to ad artistry to their complex manoeuvres.

Other military aircraft will likely attend making it more military oriented than in previous years.

The Patrouille de France was formed in 1931, making it the oldest military air demonstration team in the world. The team has announced three other dates in the southern U.S., including Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida in early April.

The aircraft are sporting a new paint job that is reminiscent of the Stars and Stripes in honour of the U.S. performances.

Vintage Wings Restructures

Vintage Wings of Canada is restructuring. Peter Handley Photo

Canada’s premiere private aircraft collection has changed the way it operates Vintage Wings of Canada will continue to allow public access to its planes.

At a meeting in December, the board of directors of the charitable organization announced to members that it would be winding down the foundation.

The organization has been heavily reliant on cash infusions from founder Michael Potter to keep the doors open and there is no indication the financial picture will improve according to a statement from Vintage Wings.

At the December meeting, volunteers formed four independent organizations which will continue the 14-year history of Vintage Wings outreach to the community. So volunteers will run the programs and the aircraft will be privately owned by Potter.

The four groups that will operate under the Vintage Wings Umbrella will be the Michael U. Potter Collection, Vintech Aero, Friends of Vintage wings and Vintage Wings Air Shows.

The groups will need a lot of help so a “beer and pizza” session will be held Feb. 3 at the hangar at Gatineau Airport from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for those interested in taking part in the activities.

For his part, Potter has reiterated his pledge to keep the aircraft in good flying condition and available for public events.

Canadians Join International Boards

COPA President Bernard Gervais has been elected a Vice Presiden of IAOPA. Photo by CBC.

Two prominent Canadian aviation leaders have joined the executives of major international organizations.

Canadian Owners and Pilots Association President Bernard Gervais has been elected the North American vice president of the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Gervais has been president of COPA since 2015 and has led a major restructuring of the organization to improve its advocacy and member services.

Meanwhile, longtime Canadian Business Aviation Association member Scott Macpherson has been named chairman of the International Buisness Aviation Council (IBAC) governing board.

MacPherson is the founder and president of and has served in various capacities with CBAA over the last 25 years.

The IBAC is an official observer at International Civil Aviation Organization and CBAA was a charter member of the group when it formed in 1981.

“It is an honour to represent the CBAA as Chairman of the IBAC Governing Board and to work with the IBAC Directorate and its Director General, Kurt Edwards, to help IBAC achieve the aims of the member associations, with the result that business aviation has a greater global influence and freedom to power economic growth,” Scott stated.

CF-18 Demo Pilot Announced

Capt. Matthew Kutryk is the 2017 CF-18 demo pilot.

Capt. Matthew Kutryk will put a specially painted CF-18 through its paces at air shows all over North America as the demo pilot for 2017.

Kutryk earned his wings in 2012 and was stationed at 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bagotville before his appointment.

He earned his glider and pilot licences through air cadets and got his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta before joining the RCAF in 2006.

He will report for the annual Spring Training sessions at CFB Comox in April to prepare for the season.

The paint scheme of the 2017 Hornet celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary.

“Being selected as the pilot for the CF-18 Demonstration Team is an incredible honour, especially on such a significant year for Canada,” said Kutryk. “I am excited to travel all across Canada and the United States to show the skill and professionalism of the Royal Canadian Air Force. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the team of highly dedicated professionals that support the team and make our performances possible.”