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Annual Fly-in returns to Sarnia’s Chris Hadfield Airport next month

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Journal staff

More than 100 airplanes will make their way to Sarnia’s Chris Hadfield Airport next month for the third-annual Sarnia Ontario Aviation Rally (SOAR) Fly-in.

The new and vintage aircrafts and their pilots, welcomed by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flight 7 flying club, will be on hand Aug. 11-13. During the weekend, many will “camp under the wing,” or be shuttled to local hotels, said Tourism Sarnia-Lambton’s Vicky Praill.

“Tourism Sarnia-Lambton looks forward to being part of this event again this year,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming all the pilots, families and visitors to our community and are ready for another incredible event.”

(Photo provided by Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.)

The public is invited to attend the SOAR event on Saturday August 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to Join COPA members for the main event, where visitors will be able to meet with Col. Chris Hadfield and family, Praill added.

Hadfield will also be available for book signing throughout the day.

On-site visitors will also be able to view over 100 vintage and new aircrafts including: P51, Harvards, Chipmunks, Stearmans, Grummans, plus assorted factory and homebuilt aircraft. Industry and local food vendors will also be on site, as well as the RE/MAX hot air balloon, a bouncy castle and other children’s attractions.

 The Canadian Aviation Museum will also be on site offering flights in vintage Yellow Birds, authentic WWII-era training aircraft.

To wrap up the weekend, on Sunday August 13, the Sarnia Street Machines will host Cars and Coffee at the main terminal parking area from 9 a.m. to noon, as pilots begin to depart for home.

“Our committee has been hard at work putting all the finishing touches together,” said Mark Seibutis, COPA flight & Sarnia committee members, pointing to a new start time of 9 a.m. on Saturday, to allow for more visitors. “We are working on attracting more planes and preparing to welcome over 2,000 visitors.”

The event is free to the public, however donations will be accepted with proceeds going to Pathways Health Centre for Children.

For more information, follow COPA 7 on Facebook.

Interested sponsors or volunteers should e-mail: [email protected].

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