Grumman American aircraft enthusiasts flock to Red Deer Regional Airport

Cat lovers of a different sort are have gathered at the Red Deer Regional Airport this week.

Cat lovers of a different sort are have gathered at the Red Deer Regional Airport this week.

The owners of Grumman American light aircraft, whose models are called Tiger, Lynx, Cougar and Cheetah, are taking part in the annual five-day American Yankee Association convention.

Named for the Yankee, Grumman’s first trainer, the club brings together owners and lovers of the company’s small planes.

“We’re here to share a camaraderie and love of the planes and flying,” said Sharon Spence of Cochin, Sask.

About 120 members are at this year’s Red Deer convention, only the third held in Canada in the organization’s 33 year history.

Many Canadian provinces and American states are represented as are Great Britain and Germany.

Seminars during the convention cover such subjects as maintenance and improving a plane’s appearance, important matters since Grumman stopped production of most models years ago.

But fun and flying are what the convention is really about.

Events include a precision taxi through a course of eggs, landing closest to a set runway line, an air race and even bombing runs with flour-filled bags as projectiles.

“We fly at our events,” said Spence.

“Most other groups fly in to their events and then they don’t fly until they leave.”

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