Supporting the VFC Legacy

April 23, 2020

As most of you are aware, despite the significant adjustments that were required to deal with COVID-19, the Victoria Flying Club (VFC) is still open….albeit, just barely. From a historical perspective, the VFC has faced several financially challenging periods in its past, and almost closed in the early 1980s when interests rates had risen to an unprecedented high. However, there is no doubt that the current circumstances are probably the greatest challenge that the VFC has encountered over its nearly 74 years of uninterrupted operations. We are determined to stay in business, to continue to serve our Club Members, and celebrate the VFC’s 75th anniversary on 16 November 2021!

As such, we’d like to remind you that while the ab initio training (including ground school) and all dual flight training have been suspended.  The good news is that licensed and current pilots are still able to rent VFC airplanes. We continue to practice the many precautions required to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19, both in the building as well as in the cockpit, to ensure that we provide a safe environment for you and anyone else you’d like to take flying (that you reside with). Here are a few things to consider as to why you might want to drop by for a flight:

  • Availability – for recreational flyers, the VFC has returned to its “roots” as a club. With the suspension of training flights, availability of rental aircraft has rarely been so good;
  • Rental cost – as the fuel price at the gas stations has gone down, so have our fuel prices for AVGAS. This has allowed us to eliminate the fuel surcharge reducing your cost to fly;
  • Currency – although Transport Canada has permitted extensions to aviation medicals, this doesn’t apply to currency, so to avoid having to go up for a dual flight (which is now suspended) to regain your currency, why not simply retain it by flying at least once every 30 days? Similarly, although the VFC closes at 17:00 daily, self-dispatching for evening and night flights are permitted; and
  • Paying forward – with the severe reduction in commercial flights, our ATC friends in the YYJ tower have never been so dependent on the VFC to maintain their own currency and allow new controllers to complete their check-out. The circuit has never been more open to circuit training!

So despite the significant restrictions to our normal operations, we are doing our best to keep the VFC alive. If we were to close during the pandemic, there is a serious risk that we would not be able to reopen given the recurring financial costs we’d have to continue paying even whilst closed. Support your club, come by for a flight, and let’s find our way together through this rough patch so that we can celebrate the VFC’s 75th anniversary!

 

Colin Williamson

President & Accountable Executive