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Buttonville Flying Club

COPA Flight 44


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  • 13 Aug 2019 09:34 | Anonymous member

    The world of aviation is said to be a tightly knit community.  There is a kindred spirit in this connected village of folks who all share a passion for all things that fly. 

    However, this tribe is unlike any other societal grouping.  It is driven by a shared wicked disease that controls the entirety of your life.  Sure, we use positive words to spin it as a healthy thing, words like ‘passion’, ‘hobby’, ‘interest’; but those of us who feel the twitching yank of airplanes recognize that it is something else – it is an addiction.  The collective is more of an assemblage of rambling plagued zombies who surrender to a nagging agony for aviation.

    Having been infected by the aviation germ as a child, there seems to be no known cure.  Once you are sickened for airplanes, all you can do is feed this habit and live a lifelong existence lurking in the far reaches of airports waiting to spot that next big hit of something exotic - perhaps a warbird or a heavy transport.  Often, you cannot find the boundless rush of heavy iron, so even a small smack of a Cessna, Piper, or a Cirrus pulse tickler must suffice until the next spell compels you.  

    Once a year, the afflicted arise to sate their unquenchable thirst.  We gather for the big fix.  We come from all over the world to one point - Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  We know well that here in this quaint mid-western valley that we can reach a level of aviation euphoria that cannot be found anyplace else.  While it is impossible to satisfy our never-ending needs, it still temporarily overwhelms us and serves to fulfill the necessity right now nevertheless.

    Of course, I am just poking fun at this passion for the aviation virus, but AirVenture is the Woodstock for pilots and want-to-be aviators.  This year more than 642,000 gathered for the last week of July to pay homage to the hunger for flying.  It was an inspiring gathering of like-minded folks who all come to kick tires, look at airplanes, hear the Doppler song of a Merlin V-12, and discuss minuscule details about flying that absolutely baffles and bewilders those outsiders who collectively shake their heads and roll their eyes at us.

    One aspect that makes me happy is the community itself.  I marvel at this gathering of friends and fans.  Aviators know no boundaries of culture, age, language, colour, sex, education, or citizenship.  If you are a pilot, then you are in the club.  You crisply comprehend a divergent universe.  You see the world diametrically; in a deeper manner that mere mortals cannot grasp.  You enter a conception that blends physics with romance seamlessly.  It marries sophisticated cutting-edge technology with old style, highly questionable, but workable know-how.  Sometimes, using just a wool string to coordinate flight.  It is simply magical how we can slip the surly bonds of the earth.

    My village is the Buttonville Flying Club based at the Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport.  We are perhaps 200 members strong.  But when AirVenture rolls around every July, we rally en masse in Wisconsin to feed our condition.  This year, about 40 members trekked to Oshkosh.  Most flew into KOSH or neighbouring airports, some of us drove.  We camped, rented homes, stayed at the university dorms, found distant hotels, and one even set up a tent in the gymnasium at the local YMCA.  All sorts of levels of discomfort can be easily endured simply to play with airplanes.

    We gather as a collective, with a goal to build even more plans to meet again, so as to continue the aviation conversations.  During the days of the show, we all operate independently, or in small groups of two or three friends.  Every day of the show, our club’s plan is to meet at noon at the AOPA tent for 10-20 minutes to discuss ideas for dinner, to share the hot topics, and discuss the fun times.  As a group, dinner reservations for large numbers of 15 to 25 are pre-set for each evening and those so inclined, join in ad hoc. 

    On the Wednesday of AirVenture, I hosted a beer and ice cream social from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at my motorhome for members of the club.  My 37-foot coach was my home for 21 days while I attended three airshows in three weeks – Geneseo, AirVenture, and Thunder over Michigan.  It is my habit to sport a large Canadian flag off of the door awning.  I fly a second Canadian flag high up on a mast 30 feet above grade to act as a beacon to guide the weary souls / soles towards the festivities.  Finding a motorhome in the sea of 5,000 campsites can be a daunting task for the uninitiated.  But a cold beer and ice cream awaited the brave folks who made the journey outside of the fenced-in exhibits.

    What did we all talk about at the social gathering?  Airplanes of course, what else.

    These meetings make AirVenture special.  Helen Keller once said, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”.  Without exception, the club members generously help each other.  When we come together for a shared passion, we support each other.  We exchange knowledge, guide thoughts and ideas, debate and argue, and shape ourselves based upon the congregation to which we all subscribe.  So, being a pilot is part of what makes me who I am – it is in my DNA.  And, my pilot friends have a considerable influence over my ever-changing persona.  We are all so different from one another, yet we hold a common bond that stitches us together into a beautifully woven fabric of strength, warmth, and wisdom.

    The history of aviation should inspire us all to innovate, create, and know that impossible ideas are all possible.  As pilots, we can all be fearless intrepid explorers.  We can travel and see the world – or parts of it anyway.  It is these adventures that make flying stimulating and fascinating.  But, to do it alone is not nearly as much fun as doing it all as a member of a village of friends.  Thus, I say, share the passion, share the affliction, be a part of it all.  The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

  • 21 Jun 2019 19:19 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Buttonville's Safety Manager would like our assistance in keeping track of issues that should be reported as CADORS or simply things that can be managed better on the field.  If you experience this type of situation, please write it up (using the form below).  You can do this whether or not you submit a separate CADORS.

    CYKZ Safety Report

  • 15 Feb 2019 16:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wednesday’s club meeting featured members Mark Brooks, David Cox, and Phil Lightstone, discussing recommended procedures for flying into and out of the Buttonville mandatory frequency area.

    Please review the excellent slides from the meeting presentation:


    Please also review this document discussing recommented VFR procedures at Buttonville. An equivalent IFR document is in progress.


  • 08 Jan 2019 16:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Now that the tower has closed, Buttonville is a Mandatory Frequency area.  Our president has collected a series of useful links, which are summarized here and will be maintained in the future on the Useful Links page.

    NAV CANADA announcement of Buttonville tower closure and map of new MF area (pdf)


    Call London FIS on 123.15 for weather information from the air or on ground. Their phone number is + 1 866 992 7433 ext 3 for Ontario briefing or flight plans

    NAV CANADA Aviation Weather Web Site flight planning page with links to METAR information, NOTAMs, GFAs, and other useful information

    METAR and LWIS

    Ontario GFA

    CYKZ wind and altimeter settings — this page updates the LWIS on the METAR page, and updates many times an hour

    General MF area information

    The Smart Pilot Video series is also useful for some reminder information on process in Mandatory Frequency areas:

    Uncontrolled Aerodrome Intro — Radio and flight procedures for landing and departing Non-Tower Aerodromes using ATF and MF

    Departing a Mandatory Frequency Aerodrome

    Landing at a Mandatory Frequency Aerodrome

    Departing an ATF Aerodrome

    Landing at an ATF Aerodrome


    AeroWeather Pro (IPhone/pad app) has the LWIS for Buttonville now. You may have to pay a bit extra ($5/year subscription) plus upgrade to PRO but it is useful. You access it through the settings page in AW Pro and additional features (plus subscription).

  • 17 Dec 2018 23:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Executive of the Buttonville Flying Club has prepared the following documents in response to the planned closure of the Buttonville Control Tower in January 2019.

    Letter to Minister of Transport Marc Garneau [pdf]

    Appendix A -- Buttonville AS Report -- final Received from Nav Can May 3 2018 [pdf]

    Appendicies B C D and sign off v1 [pdf]

  • 13 Nov 2018 23:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Wednesday November 14 it will be time once again for our Annual General Meeting and elections. We hope you can make it to the meeting, but if you cannot, we are making our proxy form available online, until the meeting begins at 7pm. You will need to be logged in to fill out the proxy form — please contact the webmaster if you have trouble logging in and we will be happy to help.

    Voting has ended — thank you!!

    The new Exec is as follows:

    • President and Chair of the Board: David Sprague
    • Treasurer and Board Director: Gordon Roberts
    • Secretary and Board Director: Michael Templeton
    • Membership Director and Board Director: Simon Lam
    • Directors of Operations: Joe DeCaria and Massood Ghahremani
    • Director of Flyouts and Activities: Charles Barnes
    • Webmaster: Erica Peterson
    • Online Content Manager: Claude Pio
  • 04 Sep 2018 00:03 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Commanding Officer of the Markham Cadet Flying Site asks that we make our members aware of the following information, to reduce potential conflicts in the vicinity of Buttonville, Markham, and the Claremont practice area:

    Operating near Claremont, Markham or Buttonville?

    The Air Cadet League of Canada operates 8 Gliding Centres from various small airports across Ontario each Spring and Fall.  The Markham Cadet Flying Site (Markham CFS) operates from Markham Airport (6.5NM NE of Buttonville) and would like to make you aware of our presence.  A recent review has identified traffic conflicts occurring at an increasing rate. The most alarming were aircraft that blundered through the circuit area, unannounced, at circuit altitude operating to/from Buttonville or the Claremont Training Area.

    Quick Facts

    • Markham CFS operates from April through mid-June and late August through mid-November
    • Operations occur only on:
      • Weekends and holidays during Day VFR between 0800 and sunset, and
      • Occasional Friday afternoons during Day VFR until sunset
    • All active operations are advertised by NOTAM and are included in the Buttonville ATIS
    • The tow aircraft and up to 2 gliders will only be found in the red box bounded by:
      • Markham airport runway 09/27 centre line and the town of Stouffville
      • McCowan Road and 10th Line
    • All operations are conducted from the surface to 3,500’ ASL
    • Glider and tow aircraft continuously monitor and transmit on VHF 122.8
    • The tow aircraft uses TCAS technology and will detect aircraft operating a transponder
    • Markham Unicom or “Glider Ground” will provide GTGC operational status on VHF 122.8
    • During active operations, the tow aircraft and gliders remain in the north circuit–all other powered traffic remains in the southern circuit.  Circuit joining via overhead is not authorized.
    • Markham is a PPR (Prior Permission Required) airport. Permission must be obtained from the airport operator by phone as per the CFS.

  • 20 Jul 2018 13:37 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As of Thursday July 19, the Buttonville control tower is operating between 0800 and 2000 local time (EDT/EST).  This is a reduction from the previous hours (0800 – 2300).  While the tower is closed, the airspace is MF uncontrolled.

    The ARCAL system is now operational on 124.8 — 5 clicks to engage, 3 clicks to disengage.  The timer is 30 minutes, and at this time only the maximum lighting intensity is available.


    The ARCAL at the airport has been adjusted to give you 2 different intensities. 

    Now 3 clicks on the microphone will activate the medium lighting for both runways. 

    Now 7 clicks will activate the high intensity lighting for both Runways.

    The original 5 clicks will no longer work.

    The lights will then time out after 30 minutes.

    As a refresher, please review the Transport Canada one-page pdfs on uncontrolled airspace operations:

    VFR Circuit Procedures at Uncontrolled Aerodromes

    IFR Procedures at Uncontrolled Aerodromes

    VFR Communications Procedures at Uncontrolled Aerodromes With MF and ATF Areas

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Buttonville Flying Club

Toronto-Buttonville Municipal Airport

2833 16th Avenue, Box 100

Markham, ON, L3R 0P8

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