BCGA Welcomes Three New Directors

With the 2019 AGM behind us we thank our members for their continued support. We also thank Rick Church and Ben Peach; two of our founding directors for their service to the BC General Aviation community both in their roles as founding directors and in their personal lives. 

This year we had three members come forward and express interest in taking on a leadership role within our organization. In consultation with the 2018 board of directors, Rick and Ben offered their seats to make room for young, new ideas from motivated members as the BCGA continues to evolve to best serve and represent the BC General Aviation Community. This move was supported unanimously at the AGM and we welcome the following new directors.

Warwick Patterson – Squamish, BC

Warwick is a fantastic addition, just look what he and his team have accomplished in Squamish over the past 4 years! 

Having grown up in and around airplanes, they have been a lifelong passion. I flew many hours with my father in my youth. Despite this, it took me until my mid-thirties to embark on my own flying journey. For some reason, it felt out of reach, and I’m sure many aviation enthusiasts feel the same way. The BCGA played a huge part in getting me back into aviation, and was a constant source of motivation during my training. And now, as an owner-pilot, it has continued to be a valuable resource.

I’m a big believer in the power of community, and taking action on good ideas. We are very fortunate to have such a vibrant general aviation community. I would like to play a hands-on role in BCGA’s community development efforts, including youth initiatives to inspire the next generation, and activities that engage the membership to get out flying and meeting each other in person.

I’m a 250-hour private pilot, owner of an early 172, and current President of the Squamish Flying Club. My company, Formula Photographic, creates TV and film productions for clients such as Subaru, Mazda, and TSN.

Erik Urquhart – Vernon, BC

Ok, we promise that we’ll stop bringing up his age soon but Erik was one of our scholarship winners this year and also raced in the STOL drag qualifiers this year at High Sierra as the youngest racer ever. He just turned 18 last week and is as passionate about aviation as they come. I am really excited to have Erik join our team and give him an opportunity to make a difference himself but also inspire other young people to get involved when they see that they too have a place and a voice. 

It would be such an honour to have more involvement with such a great group of aviation enthusiasts.
I have had a passion for aviation for as long as I can remember and started to pursue my license at the age of 14. I have just turned 18 and have logged over 270 hours. I currently hold a Private Pilot License, night rating, float rating  and am on target for obtaining my commercial license by the time I graduate in June 2020. In the last few years I have discovered STOL which has fuelled my desire for more out of the way places to land. 

As a Director I would strive to enrol more airstrips in the PAAP program and continue to add to the Members Airstrip Map. There are many airstrips throughout BC that are either decommissioned or need maintenance. I believe that it would be be beneficial to provide assistance in organizing maintenance on  airstrips that would otherwise be closed. My goal is to expand the list of airstrips for member use and help to continue the growth of BCGA.

Todd Weselake – Fernie, BC

Todd has been a BCGA members since the beginning and has been furthering his licenses over the past few years. He is now CPL MIFR and has founded the East Kootenays chapter of Angel Flight. He is involved in his local aviation community and was involved in providing close air support for the mother daughter team that skied from southern BC to Alaska a few years back. Todd is responsible for the epic mountain flying photos in the BCGA Facebook group.

Living in Fernie B.C for the last 2 decades and flying in the mountains as much as possible since 2017, General aviation has become a passion and major part of life for me. The experiences aviation has allowed me to enjoy while pursuing a career in aviation has been amazing. From flying next to glaciated peaks, to Island hopping around Hawaii in a 172, to flying from Cranbrook B.C to Phoenix Arizona and back. Recently I have reached some personal milestones becoming a freshly minted commercial, multi engine, IFR pilot. All while co-founding a much needed local non profit charity – Angel Flight East Kootenay. A community funded service providing residents with free flights to get to hard to reach medical appointments.

As for the goals I would like to see achieved with the BCGA, the affordability, awareness and continued access to maintained and usable aerodromes in BC. Without this, those living in rural B.C will have a very hard time either attending a local flight school, freelance instruction, time building, or simply flying. This would also encourage more provincial cross country flying and the local stimulus that coincides. Potentially inducing a rebound in rural aviation culture growth. The costs associated with owning or renting aircraft is also a contributing factor hindering aviation, but this is an economic well outside the BCGA