For seven decades the Red Deer Flying Club has been active and instrumental in promoting general Aviation in Central Alberta.
For over seven decades a Red Deer Flying club has been active and instrumental in promoting general aviation in Central Alberta. The first Red Deer Aero Club was formed in 1930 with the objective of establishing an airport in this community. The airport was located in what is now the West Park area of the city. Over five thousand people attended the official opening on May 24, 1930.
In 1946, the Red Deer Flying Club, (mostly through the initative of Charlie Parker) held a Charlie Parker) held a two-day air show. An Avro Lancaster was on display and Mr. Fred Macall from Calgary took people up for rides in his airplane. There was no charge to attend the show but it cost fifty cents to go through the Lancaster. Traffic was backed up for a considerable distance on both days.
For a few years after the war interest in private aviation waned. There was a military air show and open house during the summer of 1954 and the local flyers were using the Waskasoo Field on the north side of Highway 11.
IIn 1965 the Red Deer Flying club was chartered with over fifty members. Dr. Ian Scott was president, J.T. Miller was secretary, and Harvey Millard was vice-president. This club was active in sponsoring fly-in breakfasts, purchasing a club aircraft, and holding the 1967 air show for Canada's Centenial. After several years of successful operation, interest again waned and the club became inactive for a short period of time.
September 1973 saw the club revitalized and activities such as the first poker rally, aerial support for the Red Deer To Drumheller snowmobile race, the COPA Air Rally and the 1976 and 1977 Aviation Showcase (air shows) were held by the club.
In 1979 several members of the Club attended the Alberta Air show at Medicine Hat and decided that Red Deer would be an excellent location for a future Alberta Air show. An Executive was formed, application was made, and by 1984 the first Red Deer International Air show was a reality.
The Red Deer Flying Club is presently active with about 35 members. It has been awarded the Alberta Aviation Council trophy on three occasions in the past few years. This award is for the club, which has done the most to promote general aviation and safety. Major projects of the club at this time are: the ongoing support of the Harvard display including landscaping, active participation in CASARA, cooperation with the Red Deer Air Cadets, and monthly meetings with interesting programs focused on safety and entertainment. There are also 2 or three social events per year.