Contact! Jack Lowe attempts to start on of the engines of his replica model Mosquito fighter/bomber aircraft. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Victoria’s Largest Little Air Show returns to Central Saanich

Model aircraft event raises money for Santa’s Anonymous and Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Sometimes, it’s getting an aircraft off the ground – not the piloting – that can be the most difficult of things.

Just ask Jack Lowe. He’s a member of the Victoria RC Modelers Society and he’s been getting his replica Mosquito fighter-bomber ready for the 2017 Largest Little Airshow in Central Saanich next month.

It’s a large remote controlled aircraft, with twin engines – one of which was recently overhauled. Lowe uses the old starting method of turning each prop. And, after several attempts, the small radial engines do start up. But something is not quite right. One is running fine, but the other isn’t getting up to the necessary rotations per minute – plus it sounds to Lowe and his friend Jack Price that the bearings in the propeller are noisy.

That’s not good news. But, following a short break to let the engines cool down under the warn sunshine at Mitchell Airfield on Lochside Drive, they are at it again, working to get the engines in sync.

“It’s always good to do this now, and work the bugs out before the Airshow,” Price said, as Lowe nodded while working on the engines.

Price knows first-hand that testing and getting time in on piloting the remote controlled airplanes is necessary – to ensure everything is good to go at showtime. Price owns a replica A-10 Warthog jet plane — a loud eye-catcher that takes considerable skill to fly. And to maintain.

It’s a labour of love for these men, and for the 55 club members who each year put on Victoria’s Biggest Little Airshow.

From August 5 to 6, model aircraft pilots from across the Island — and special guests from the United States and the lower mainland — gather at Mitchell Airfield in Central Saanich to put on an extravaganza of miniature flight. There will be Second World War-era fighter planes, jets — all piloted by experts to thrill the crowds of some 4,000 people Price said they see during the weekend.

And of course, there’s the return of the novelty aircraft — such as Snoopy and the Red Baron (Snoopy sits atop a flying dog house), Superman and a flying lawn mower. Price admitted he was thinking of dropping some of those novelty items, but the members said no way.

“People really do love that,” he said, adding it was easy to change his mind.

The Airshow is a fundraiser for CFAX Santa’s Anonymous and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation. Price said they raised around $24,000 last year. The event itself is free to the public, but they do accept donations at the gate and raise money through their concession on site.

Returning this year will be the static medal displays and the kids’ bouncy castle, as well as other activities under the tents.

“For something that is a by-donation event, it’s really pretty good,” Price added. “It’s affordable fun.”

Price and Lowe added the Club is very grateful for the long-time support their gotten from the Mitchell family on the Peninsula, as well as form the neighbouring farms that accommodate their RC planes during the event – and allow them use of nearby fields for parking.

The Largest Little Airshow runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days.

For detials, visit


Hundreds of people turn out each year Michell Field for Victoria’s Largest Little Airshow. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

The Largest Little Airshow features plenty of aerobatic expertise and a variety of flying contraptions for people to enjoy. (File) Jack Lowe, left, makes adjustments to one of the engines on his model Mosquito. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Just Posted

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

Weekend collisions keep West Shore RCMP busy

Officers responded to three separate incidents within the span of one hour

Reader photos: Greater Victoria’s hazy skies

Lingering smoke from wildfires contributed to the province issuing a smoky skies bulletin

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read