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On Oct. 17, the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA) held its last Flyday of the 2020 season. Over 30 guests partook in a flight experience. The weather was cold and clear with a brisk wind straight down the runway at the association’s home base in Tillsonburg, Ont.
In light of COVID-19, flights were pre-booked to keep onsite numbers within provincial gathering allowances. Face coverings were mandatory during flights and while indoors. Headsets and aircraft were sanitized between flights.
As the fall colours, sunshine and autumn air brought out families and friends, the airport grounds were bustling with local, transient aircraft, spectators and restaurant patrons. All set in the pastoral countryside of the Township of South West Oxford.
It was uncertain if any events would occur this year, but provincial restrictions were lifted enough to allow Flydays to resume again. In late August, the first event was held, then a second in September, and the October event was the third and final for 2020.
The sixty-plus-year-old aircraft performed flawlessly thanks to the restoration, maintenance, ground crew and pilot volunteers who work tirelessly, keeping the current fleet of four Harvards and one Yale flying. In the hangars are at least four more Harvards under various stages of restoration and repair. The association is always open to volunteers to lend a hand. Restoration and maintenance days are Tuesdays and Saturdays every week.
Work will continue through the winter in preparation for another flying season. Many who took a Harvard flight this season eagerly await their next opportunity to experience the Harvard roar again.
Memberships, flight experiences and gift certificates can be purchased at www.harvards.com