The Kamloops Flying Club has been in existence for over 40 years offering local pilots a home away from home. It has been a source of knowledge and great social events over the years. You don't have to be a pilot to join just an interest in general aviation.
This is actually the third Flying Club in Kamloops. The first one being in a small building on the North Side of the Airport in the vicinity of the Mountainair hanger west of the present Fire Hall. It operated in the late sixties and it is not known if it was incorporated nor why it closed. It was called the Kamloops Pilots Association. The second one was called the Crosswind Flying Club and operated without a building of their own, for about a year, in 1970 or 1971 and closed due to lack of members and participation.
Then Kamloops Flying Club started up in early 1972 and built a building which is now our kitchen, bathrooms and adjoining room. The Club was incorporated in August 1972.
It 1977 it was decided to build a new building, which would become our Lounge and Meeting Room and would be attached to the old building. A sale of $100.00 debentures was created in June 1978 to help finance the new building and construction was commenced in July 1978. The delay was caused by trouble over the lease and location of the building.
To give an idea of the status quo in those days I quote the following figures.
In November 1978 there were 94 paid up members.
Meeting of April 1976 - 51 members attended
Meeting of July 1977 it was 41 members.
There were also more than 20 or 25 members who owned airplanes parked out in front. Now in the year 2003, there is only about 4 or 5 and our attendance at a regular meeting, except on occasion, is about 10 to 15 if we are lucky.
The new building was completed and usable in about September 1980. However, it caught FIRE in November of 1980 and the entire interior of the new building was completely gutted. The figure for repairs was about $18,000.00 which fortunately was covered by insurance. The repairs and replacement were mostly completed and the new section was reopened in the spring or early summer of 1981.
The annual membership dues at the start of the year 1978 were $25.00 and since have climbed, by the year 2002, to $90.00 per annum.
In June of 2000, the Kamloops Flying Club joined COPA and became COPA Flight #82.
It is with great sadness that George Vernon passed away on April 26, 2013. George has been a relentless advocate to the club and has participated in the various social functions up to recently. He will be missed.
Since the early 2000s membership declined substantially and the number of member-owned aircraft also met an all-time low. However, in the last two years, we have seen a dramatic increase in interest and the membership presently sits at 29 and we have 17 member-owned aircraft. We are about to renew a lease for the premises, a significant problem for the club during the last decade. Hopefully, it will render some stability to the club and allow it to function as a strong voice for general aviation at Fulton Field.
Another new development is the sub-lease of space to TylAir Aviation, a new flight school about to open on the field. This addition to the facility hopefully will make the club a hub of aviation activities, have rental aircraft available to members without aircraft and be a potential source of new members for the club. Presently the future looks somewhat better.
In June of 2000 the Kamloops Flying Club joined COPA and became COPA Flight #82.