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Buttonville Flying Club

COPA Flight 44


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  • 03 Jan 2024 17:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Long time BFC member Peter Styrmo passed on December 31st, at the age of 96.  He was still flying during this last year, in a C172.   You can read his obituary here.

    Peter’s Celebration Of Life ceremony will be held on Monday January 8 at 1:00pm, at Thompson Funeral Home, 530 Industrial Parkway South, Aurora, ON L4G6W8.

    The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to The Alzheimers Society of York Region, 2-240 Edward St Aurora, ON, L4G 3S9

  • 01 Dec 2023 07:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While we mourn the loss of this important resource that brought so much joy to our lives, we look forward to the future of the club as a general Toronto-area group for pilots to socialize, plan flyouts, and learn from each other.

    Several members of the BFC collaborated to produce this video, showing footage from the last days of our beloved airport.  We will cherish the memories.

  • 10 Nov 2023 09:10 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Buttonville Flying Club (COPA Flight 44) was delighted to present aviator Charlie Rampulla with a COPA Appreciation Award during our November club meeting!  The COPA Appreciation Award is given to a group or aviator who made a significant contribution to support or promote flying, piloted and remotely piloted, in Canada.  Nominations are made by COPA members.

    Below is Charlie's aviation biography, prepared for the award ceremony by BFC President David Sprague and BFC Safety Officer David Cox.


    Charles Rampulla was born in Sicily on May 9, 1948.  He emigrated to the Toronto area in Canada with his family in 1952.

    Charlie attended Riverdale Collegiate for High School.  He obtained his Private Pilot Licence during these years.  His first flight was on May 27, 1967 – he was just 19.

    He started a course in Aeronautics in Ryerson but left after 6 months to start his long-term flying career.  Soon thereafter, he was an instructor at the Markham Airport flying Fleet 80 Canuck taildraggers and multiple other early trainers – as he describes it, “anything with a single engine and wings”!

    In parallel with building his flying bonafides, Charlie began his training to be an ATC Controller with a stint at the Ottawa Tower as a student trainee, followed by time at the Hamilton Tower where he obtained his Controller licence.  His first assignment was in the Oshawa Tower where he spent 5 months before he joined Toronto Centre as an IFR area controller in 1971.  He remained there for 19 years leaving in 1992.  Charlie will disavow any knowledge of helping ATC improve service levels and engage pilots in high quality traffic control, but he has never been shy of offering his expert opinion on how to do so!  He has helped many a “lost” pilot flying in difficult conditions to find their way to safe landings over those years.

    In 1981, Charlie joined Georgian College to train new ATC controllers which he did for 2 years.

    Charlie became a Pilot Examiner – Private and Commercial Licences - in 1972 and performed these duties through 1982 when he put the Examiner role on pause while he opened a computer services company in 1985.  For several years in the late 70s and early 80s Charlie owned the Markham Airport with a partner along with the King City Airport Flight
    School.  He sold both in 1983 while still with ATC in Toronto. Charlie retired from ATC in 1992 so he could devote proper time to his developing Computer Services business.  He sold the computer business in the year 2000.

    In the year 2000, Charlie returned to his training roots as a senior instructor at Island Air for a year.  In 2001 he joined Canadian Flyers as an Instructor at Markham Airport until 2003.  In 2003 Charlie began flying as a cargo carrier in Cessna 310s and Piper Navajos for the next 4 years.  At the end of this period, Charlie had accumulated over 15,000 hours of flight time.  In 2006, Charlie joined Brampton Airport flight school as an instructor.  He was Assistant CFI in 2007 and became full time CFI for 6 months in 2010/2011 timeframe.  In 2023, he is still a member of the Brampton flight school team.

    In 2008, Charlie returned to the Flight Examiner role with Transport Canada and in 2009 earned his qualification for Multi-IFR Flight Examiner status.  Over his many years as a Transport Canada Examiner and his experiences as a flight Instructor, Charlie has trained over 300+ Flight Instructors and has trained numerous IFR pilots (too many to count as he says!).

    Over the 56 years since Charlie’s first flight in an airplane, he has made many positive contributions to the many flying communities in Canada – flight instruction, airport development, Air Traffic Control, Flight Instructor development, IFR Pilot development and a general support for those flying in and those using our Canadian airspace.

  • 10 May 2023 19:28 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This article has been contributed by BFC member Gord Roberts.

    Give Hope Wings

    Many of you know that I have been a Volunteer Pilot for Hope Air for the last 15 years and I have flown more that 100 volunteer flights in that time.

    In June, 2023, I’m taking part in Give Hope Wings — an epic flying adventure with an important purpose.

    Many of us take travel for granted. Hope Air supports those who don’t have that luxury when they need to travel for medical care. All fundraising through Give Hope Wings provides travel for patients in financial need who must reach vital medical care far from home — and as a Hope Air Volunteer Pilot, I get the opportunity to connect with the people Hope Air helps firsthand.

    The Give Hope Wings Expedition fund-raising event is a series of flights by multiple aircraft consisting of three regional expeditions: Western, Prairies and Eastern, taking place in June, 2023. To help raise much-needed funds for Hope Air, I’m flying the Eastern Canada mission to make a difference.

    Supporting Hope Air allows me to combine my love of flying with an opportunity to give the gift of flight to others - our flight path takes us through some of the most interesting aviation sites the region has to offer but most importantly it takes us on a journey to connect with the many Hope Air communities where our clients live and work.

    Thank you for considering the important role you can play in helping patients get to medical care.

    If you’d like to support this cause and my personal goal of $5,000, you can make a donation below using the link. There are suggested amounts however any donation is appreciated.

    Donations over $20.00 will receive a tax deductible receipt. Donations may be made at:

    Please share this with any friends you think might be interested in giving to this worthy cause.

    Thank you,
    Gordon Roberts
    Hope Air Volunteer Pilot

    About Hope Air:

    Hope Air's Mission is to provide Canadians in financial need with free travel and accommodations for medical care far from home. Founded in 2018, the Give Hope Wings event has raised more than $1.8 Million for Hope Air.

  • 22 Apr 2023 09:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written By:     David Sprague, President Buttonville Flying Club

    Toronto: Recently, members of the Buttonville Flying Club attended a series of publicly held municipal planning meetings.  On behalf of the 200 plus members of the Buttonville Flying Club, part of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, I would like to thank the competent and organized elected officials and staff of Durham Region for recognizing the importance of aviation.  The Region’s recently released draft Official Plan is the culmination of years of work completed through the Envision Durham process, the Municipal Comprehensive Review of Durham’s existing strategic growth plan.

    The plan includes input from individuals, planning experts, businesses and not-for-profit organizations such as our flying club. It will replace a planning document released 30 years ago.  A lot has changed in 30 years, including the growing importance of aviation to our economy. The new logistics hub and airport planned in North Pickering cannot come a moment too soon.

    With Covid behind us, the capacity crunch at our major commercial airports, especially Toronto Pearson International Airport (CYYZ), are well known. What is less well known, is the dire situation developing in Southern Ontario for General and Business Aviation.  Airports that traditionally serve GA and BA have limited ability to accommodate additional growth.  Space at Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport (CYKZ), historically on of Ontario’s busiest airports, is at  a premium. The Oshawa Executive Airport (CYOO) is already trying to evict a flight school to reduce daily flight numbers.

    The new airport in Pickering will remedy both the BA and GA capacity issues, enhance safety, provide badly needed new industrial space and provide the capacity for future passenger flights.

    For more than a decade the Buttonville Flying Club’s members have been volunteering their aviation expertise in support of a new airport on land set aside in Pickering.  Since 2017, our club members have created a framework to discuss the need for the new airport, which can be found at This includes more than 130 well researched and written articles about the need and role of the new airport.

    The Buttonville Flying Club’s volunteers look forward to continuing to support our community with educational efforts on the role of aviation in Canada’s modern industrial economy and the value of local accessible aviation. Working together we can help foster the appropriate conditions for a prosperous Net Zero emissions future in which the new airport in Pickering is the lynch pin of our connection to the global economy.

    For more information, contact Mr. David Sprague at

  • 04 Apr 2023 07:47 | Anonymous member

    SUN n FUN 2023

    The annual run away from our Toronto winter trek to Lakeland, Florida is now over and the 2023 edition of Sun n Fun is completed.  About a dozen members of the Buttonville Flying Club attended the show this year.

    The weather was superb and the plethora of activities keep everyone well entertained.  Each evening, small groups of BFC members gathered for ad hoc get-togethers and shared comradery over dinners.   Fun times were enjoyed by all.

    BFC members stayed in hotels, motels, condos, and Airbnb rentals.  Some flew their own airplanes into the event and others used commercial airliner flights.  Rental cars are very affordable in Florida and parking was readily available at the Lakeland Linder International Airport (IATA: LAL, ICAO: KLAL, FAA LID: LAL) venue.

    Sun n Fun is Florida's largest annual convention of any kind, and each year over 200,000 visitors flock to what has become known as “Aviation's Season Opener” or “Spring Break for Pilots.”  Pilots flying into the Expo are fascinated by the vision of hundreds of aircraft showcased in all shapes and sizes.

    All reports are indicating another record-breaking year for attendance and rumours persisted that this year's event could top 225,000 in 2023!

    SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In, Inc. is all about education and training.  SnF is a non-profit organization that markets and supports dozens of year-round events, including the Aerospace Expo. Proceeds from these events are the primary source of funding for The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), which has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, scholarships, and summer camps aimed at engaging, educating and accelerating the next generation of aerospace professionals.  In addition to SUN ‘n FUN, ACE is the home of the Florida Air Museum, Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center, and the Lakeland Aero Club, which is the country’s largest high school flying club. ACE is the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and delivers youth programs that engage over 50,000 students a year.

    Set your calendar for Sun n Fun 2024 as the dates are April 9th to 14th.

  • 05 May 2021 08:19 | Anonymous member

    Many of us are keen to get back to some form of normal.  As pilots, we love airshows and to see amazing pilots flying incredible airplanes.  In 2020, most airshows were cancelled, but as the USA opens up again and Canada gets ready to return from the brink of COVID, our focus is back on the possibility of attending an airshow.  Here is an abbreviated list of Canadian and USA airshows that BFC members have attended in the past.  Some have been cancelled and others may yet be stopped, but we all remain hopeful that some of these airshows will happen and we can be there.  Over the next few months, I will update this schedule for you so you have a convenient location on the club's web site to see what is still on and when the dates are planned.  If I have missed a show that you would like to be kept up to date about, just drop me a note and I will track it for you all.  You can email me at - - Michael Martin

    2021 Airshows [pdf]

  • 28 Feb 2021 15:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The guest speaker at our February 2021 meeting (via Zoom) was Canadian Forces Pilot Andy Chen.

    Andy got his start flying in a Piper Archer at Buttonville for his PPL, and then joined the Canadian Forces for fighter pilot training.   He shared stories with us from his flight training experiences, as well as the following slides including photos from:

    • PPL training at Buttonville
    • Primary Flight Training at Southport, Manitoba 
    • Basic Flight Training at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
    • Fighter Lead in Training Cold Lake, Alberta


    The Right Attitude -- Inside and Outside of the Cockpit (Andy Chen)

  • 27 Jan 2021 11:51 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Every November, the BFC hosts an awards banquet, honoring those who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer contributions, earned new licenses or ratings, or achieved anything otherwise noteworthy (or funny!) in the last year.  In 2020 we could not hold our banquet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we got together on Zoom in January 2021 to honor our members and give out some door prizes.  

    2020 BFC Awards Night Honorees 

    Mark Brooks: Pickering Pilot

    For perseverance, determination and skill in leading the relentless pursuit of a new Pickering Airport!

    Phil Lightstone: Pickering Co-Pilot

    For perseverance, determination and writing skill in leading the relentless pursuit of a new Pickering Airport!

    Dr. John Brown: Pickering Co-Pilot

    For perseverance, determination and writing skill in leading the relentless pursuit of a new Pickering Airport!

    Michael Martin: Pickering Co-Pilot

    For perseverance, determination and writing skill in leading the relentless pursuit of a new Pickering Airport!

    Jason MacBean: Instrument Rating

    For learning how to fly with his head in the clouds!

    Peter Kofman: Instrument Rating

    For finally figuring out that he already knew how to fly with his head in the clouds!

    Marvin Kalchman: Passenger Carrying Rating (Ultralight)

    For qualifying to introduce his friends and family to aviation in tiny light aircraft

    Erica Peterson: Night Rating

    For qualifying to come home late

    Humberto Villalobos: Multiengine and Multi-IFR

    For proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks twice in the same year

    Michel Quintas: Multi-IFR

    For achieving the ability to fly IFR while burning twice the fuel

    Claude Pio: Twin Comanche and Multiengine Rating

    For proving that the four forces acting on an aircraft in flight are money, money, money, and money!

    Paul Hayes: Life Member

    For his many years of tireless devotion to the Buttonville Flying Club, to the defense of our nation, and to aviation in Canada

    Million Air: BFC Supporter

    For generously hosting, supporting and encouraging the continued activity of the Buttonville Flying Club at the Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport

    Mike Walker: Sucker Volunteer of the Year

    For taking on the thankless tasks of BFC membership and marketing from Simon Lam

    Nick Bartzis: Buttonville Safety Coordinator

    For successfully taking on the task of keeping the skies over Buttonville Municipal Airport safe

    Simon Lam: Marketing & Membership (Retired)

    For figuring out a way to smooth-talk Michael Walker into this thankless job

    Werner & Eunice Amsler: COVID-19 Test Pilots

    For unfortunately becoming BFC's first COVID-19 patients and for their good fortune in faring so well

    Paul Hayes: BFC Octogenarian Chapter Member

    "Be nice to the old farts" award

    Bill Harding: BFC Octogenarian Chapter Member

    "Be nice to the old farts" award

    John Chandler: BFC Octogenarian Chapter Member

    "Be nice to the old farts" award

  • 29 Dec 2020 10:24 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Contributed by BFC Member Michael Martin

    Hey Buttonville Flying Club (BFC) let’s all have some fun.  During the cold, dark days of winter, when flying opportunities are limited. And COVID still has its grip on our daily life, it is time to get creative, get some exercise and fresh air, and do something interesting.

    So, here is an exclusive invitation to the members of the Buttonville Flying Club.  Let’s get out our cameras and have a photo contest.  It is important to include everyone so we will run three categories so everyone can have a chance to win the prizes.

    What are the prizes?  As Forest Gump said, “Do you want a chocolate?  I could eat about a million and a half of these.  My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're going to get.”

    So, our prize will be a deluxe 24-piece box of chocolates.  But, not just any chocolates.  We are offering a box of premium chocolates from “Peace by Chocolate”.   Here is Prime Minister Trudeau talking about this famed Chocolatier.

    The time frame for this contest is from 12:01 am, January 1, 2021 until 11:59 pm, March 31, 2021.  All times are Eastern Time Zone for Toronto.  All photos must be taken within this window of time.  You will need to submit a large sized JPEG image of at least 1 MB, but not larger than 3 MB, with at least 1000 dpi on either the horizontal or vertical edge.  By making a submission you are asserting that the submission was taken within the time frame stated.  All images, regardless if taken digitally or on film, need to be submitted in a JPEG digital file format via email to the address provided below.  We will have three categories.

    • Aviation – on the ground or from the air

    • Nature - Waterfalls and Streams

    • Nature – Animals, domestic or in the wild

    All photographs submitted must be taken outdoors.  So, go for a walk and get some fresh air and exercise.  Be sure to practice safety first by wearing a mask, maintaining at least 6 feet / 2 metres away from others, and washing your hands.

    Please include a brief description with a maximum of 250 words with your photo to be shared with the members online.  Also, include a title for your photograph submission, humours titles add points.

    Photos will be judged on the context to the category, framing, exposure, colourimetry (or B&W), detail, storytelling, lighting, and aesthetics. 

    All images will be judged by famed aviation photographers “Gus and Clara”.  The judge’s decisions will be final.  Winners will be announced on April 16, 2021.

    Please read all of the terms and conditions of this contest fully and by submitting your photos you will be deemed to have agreed to all of them and will waive all rights other than as described below.

    Rules and Guidelines for this contest

    • Which cameras can you use?  Whatever camera you have!  You can shoot with a smartphone, a DSLR, or a film camera, the choice is yours to decide.  All cameras and technologies – digital or film are acceptable to use.

    • One entry per category per BFC member.  

    • Photos will be posted online in various social media venues and on the BFC web site.

    • Please use the prescribed naming convention to identify your photo, as follows:

      • Rename the submission by using your BFC membership number and the category name that you are submitting to:  [insert your BFC membership number here]-[category].jpg or 123456-aviation.jpg

      • By using your BFC membership number, we can identify you and keep the submissions anonymous for the judging review.

    • All photographers will retain the ownership of their submitted images and by entering this contest agree to allow the Buttonville Flying Club to use these images online or in any manner at its sole discretion.  

    • Only the winners will be notified via return email.  So, please include your detailed contact information with your submission.  

    • All submissions must be from members in current standing with club members by the close of the contest.  

    • All submissions must be original work taken by the BFC members within the defined time frame.  

    • Entries will only be accepted via email to in before 11:59 pm on March 31, 2021.  

    • We reserve the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed inappropriate or does not conform to stated contest rules.  

    • No nudity or profane content will be accepted.  

    • We reserve the right to disqualify any submission at our sole discretion for any reason whatsoever.  Our decisions are final.  

    • No submissions will be accepted after the close of the contest deadline of March 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET.  

    • The photo must be in its original state and cannot be altered in any way, including but not limited to removing, adding, reversing, or distorting subjects within the frame.  Resizing the image to meet the file size limitation is acceptable as long as the EXIF data is retained and included with the submitted photo.

    • The photographer is responsible to have secured prior permission to include any persons or personal information visible within their submitted photograph and will agree to save the organizers of this context and the Buttonville Flying Club harmless and will sign an indemnification agreement before being named a winner.

    • We reserve the right to amend the rules and guidelines of this contest at any time.

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