The Bulkley Valley Radio Controlled Flyers (BVRC) has been an active club for over 30 years. The goals of finding an airfield, supporting radio controlled (RC) flyers and increasing public awareness of the hobby are still goals, along with just having fun and learning more about aircraft.
The BVRC uses the Houston Airport off of Barrett Station Road West of Houston as its primary flying field. The airport has approximately 4000 feet of paved runway which it shares with full scale planes and occasionally with other community activities. RC pilots will be seen there as soon as the snow clears, usually on Sundays, but at any time when a pilot can organize a buddy to spot for him. Spotting means watching out for full scale planes, people, deer or other obstacles to good navigation.
Club membership is open to anyone, and if you have Model Aircraft Association of Canada membership which provides $5,000,000 in insurance you may use the airfield. Although pilots may fly at any time, Sundays are a favourite and there is a social atmosphere along with flying, fixing and talking about planes. Occasionally, there is an impromptu hike into the bush to find a get away plane. Several times per year a group of club members will camp at the airport and enjoy hot dogs or hamburgers along with their flying.
Twice each year the club organizes special events which have been very popular. The Father's Day weekend fun fly at the Houston Airport comes early in the season. Between twenty and thirty pilots and their families camp for three days or up to a week (dry camping) and enjoy the weather, the flying and the camaraderie. It has been going for 29 years and provides an opportunity to see a wide variety of planes as well as a chance to meet and exchange information with pilots from other areas. Pilots have come from Vancouver, the Okanagan, and Alberta in the past. Pilots and their families take part in a free steak and prawn supper on the Saturday night, and a free pancake breakfast on the Sunday morning.
The To-Sink-It Fun Fly has been going for about 25 years, and is currently hosted by Dave and Verna Hopper at their property on Burns Lake, east of the community of Burns Lake. The Hoppers have created a lovely park like area along the lake, with dock facilities and a picnic gazebo, and it is available to flyers on the first long weekend (civic holiday) in August. Dry camping is available. Club members take part, while others again come from distant points, and there is often an audience of locals, such as a senior citizen's' group. The scenery is beautiful and there are a wide variety of planes to be seen. The atmosphere of mutual assistance and appreciation is part of what makes the event so attractive. If the weather closes in, there will be a cluster of "experts" around any plane that has been having problems. Evenings find the pilots and families in the gazebo swapping stories of past successes and sometimes spectacular failures. The gazebo also comes in handy for marshmallow roasts, a group dinner on the Saturday night and a pancake breakfast on the Sunday morning.
Twice the club has organized an RC Air Show. These events were advertised to the public and prizes were awarded for a variety of categories of plane on display. Presentations by RC jet pilots were a favourite, along with the stunt flying by local and visiting pilots. The air shows were a part of the Father's Day weekend fun flies.
There is a certain amount of gloating by the senior pilots who enjoy saying, "Retired guys fly anytime!"
|BVRCF CLUB OFFICERS: (2017/18)|
This year's Christmas Dinner/Meeting was hosted by Ted & Coral at their Smithers home on Sunday, 9 December 2018.
Minutes of the meeting will be posted soon.
For further information contact: Dave Hopper at 250-692-3035 or Email:
Club Membership: $20 Annually.
BVRCF Club has three MAAC approved Locations:
Houston BC Airport.
Co-ordinates: 54º 26" 15" N 126º 46' 35" W
Decimal Degrees: 54.4375 126.776389
GPS: N54 26.250 W126 46.583
UTM: 9N x 644212 y 6034477
Burns Lake BC Airport.
Co-ordinates: 54º 22" 55" N 126º 57' 25" W
Decimal Degrees: 54.381944 126.956944
GPS: N54 22.917 W126 57.417
UTM: 9N x 632683 y 6027942
Dave Hopper Location on the shores of Burns Lake.
Co-ordinates: 54º 12" 35" N 125º 37' 24" W
Decimal Degrees: 54.209722 125.623333
GPS: N54 12.583 W125 37.400
UTM: 10N x 328926 y 6010034