… continued from Home
In 1965, Columbia Airlines offered flight training through the club with six or seven members on a day to day basis. In 1966, Kamloops Aircraft started a satellite school through the club with fourteen students obtaining their licenses. The club then installed a 3000 gallon underground fuel tank with a pump. In addition, many hours were spent by club members dragging and mowing the grass on the runways.
The club also built a public wharf on the Nechako river with all materials donated by club members with the exception of $20 worth of nails supplied by the Village of Vanderhoof. The wharf has been rebuilt three times over the last forty years and until recently was still available for public use. Though closed temporarily, the water aerodrome has been re-opened, and private property owners allow visitors to use their docks. More information on this will be available soon.
In 1967, Columbia Airlines again offered flight training through the club with John Kluber as the chief instructor and one training aeroplane. John established the successful Vanderhoof flying Service which he operated until his untimely death in 1983.
Vanderhoof Flying Services was then operated very successfully by Larry Frey and his lovely wife Lavonne until the sale of the company in 1998. Larry has amassed thousands of hours of commercial and instructing time all around the province and the central interior in particular. He continues on as our class 1 instructor and examiner. Our chief instructor is Andy Sundahl who brings his years of experience as certified teacher. Andy currently teaches the unique Aviation 11 Course at Nechako Valley Secondary School!
Vanderhoof Flying Services always provided club members with mechanical repair, flight training and fuel for the aviation public. Mechanical repair is now provided to club members through RDS Aviation with Royce Schaff as manager and past president of the Vanderhoof Flying Club. Royce built a new hangar in 2018 to support his growing customer base.
In the early 1970’s the club purchased a two-way radio for public use at the airport. This was replaced in 1993 again with funds donated by club members. The radio, recently replaced is still in use at the airport to this day.
Guardian Aerospace was formed in 2002 by Eric Stier and Bryan Wallace as a flight school, air operator and approved maintenance organization and continues to operate from the Vanderhoof, Prince George and Mackenzie airports.
The Vanderhoof Flying Club hosted seventeen airshows during the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s bringing in the first aerobatic acts ever to the central interior. After a ten year wait with no airshows north of Quesnel, the Vanderhoof Flying Club met to organize the Vanderhoof Airshow
in 2011. The 2018 airshow was a resounding success with the Snowbirds and other military aircraft adding Vanderhoof onto their airshow schedules. Alternating years with the Quesnel Airshow, 2020 promises to be another exciting event!
Every winter the club maintains a ski strip packed for the general public as well as members. Having an aeroplane on skis gives the otherwise wheeled aeroplane an opportunity to visit many inaccessible frozen lakes of the area for great ice fishing during the winter months. Stan Chapman, who was a long standing club member, volunteered countless hours of his own time and used his own machine to accomplish this. This tradition of club volunteerism and dedication continues to keep the Vanderhoof Flying Club operating to this day.
It is the long established dream of the Vanderhoof Flying Club to keep our local airport a public facility, open to anyone who wishes to fly and to encourage our future generations to become involved in aviation. We feel the local airport is vital to our community for recreational, business and training flights to the more specialized and lifesaving medevac transfers and forest fighting flights that have flown from the airport over the years.
The Vanderhoof Flying Club welcomes you.