MY DAD was never afraid to ham it up. And enjoy the moment.
Here he is in Sooke, BC at his brother's cottage there.
The Canadian Navy could at times be heard just outside Sooke, "boom, boom, booming" out at sea.
I gotta' laugh at this photo… it would have killed my mother dead, to see my dad dressed here; like Relic, of the Beachcombers.
(A friend reminded me of my dad… so I thought I should post one of him. Dad at 68)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
MY DAD was never afraid to ham it up. And enjoy the moment.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
IT WAS BAD ENOUGH that Trans-Canada-Airlines (TCA) made allusions to purchasing of the Avro Jetliner, before, during and after her creation… and then changed their minds.
Every, single, time,…
Yeah, that was bad enough.
But the final dagger had yet to be delivered.
So in true TCA fashion, the airline, Canada's national airline at the time, would flit about the world, like an unencumbered butterfly, descending on one aircraft manufacturer, after another, looking for the perfect jet airliner. Although the perfect jetliner, for their tiny needs, was sitting, had been sitting idle, at Malton Airport since 1949 waiting for that promised purchase order from them.
There the Avro Jetliner, which had achieved international acclaim in 1949, sat, and sat and sat. And the years past.
And in 1955, well…TCA was still looking!
So, since 1949, there was TCA energetically flitting about, unencumbered, that is by any sense of national pride, or loyalty to purchasing Canadian. Or even just doing the right thing for Canada, Canadians, Avro Canada, or themselves. Unencumbered by, you know, that very disposition most Canadians naturally came equipped with in the 50s.
But not the "uppers" or executive management at TCA. Nope.
So now watch TCA spring into action, in late 1955. This TCA prostituting of themselves should be entirely embarrassing to every true Canadian.
The British produced VC-7 was to be an jet-powered airliner alternative to the American Boeing 707 that was already scheduled to be delivered to airlines, worldwide, by 1958. BOAC had ordered some VC-7s but felt they could get by with their jet Comets so they rescinded that original order.
The VC-7 project was now on the verge of utter collapse. The prototype, then known as the XD662 was already eighty percent complete at the Vickers Wisley plant.
In struts TCA (later Air Canada).
Next occurs their 11th hour dramatic performance, and direct appeal (read whining) to the British Government, to keep the project alive! We might buy some VC-7s guys (… unless, well… we change our minds). For goodness sake, guys, save it, save the program!!
Here, TCA is trying to save a British produced aircraft from the cutting block!
Meanwhile. remember folks, at that very hour… the Canadian designed and produced Avro Jetliner, right there in TCA's backyard in Toronto, was still waiting on the tarmac in Malton, to get called up to the big-leagues.
After careful consideration of TCA's appeal (one day) the British government cancelled the VC-7 production on November 11, 1955.
WITH ALL HOPE NOW LOST… on December 10, 1956, with many newer, but not necessarily better jet-powered airliners to chose from… the Avro Jetliner still languishing at Malton Airport was ordered surplus, and then given to the National Research Council.
The NRC had no room to store a thing as massive as the Jetliner, so it was cut up three days later on December 13, 1956.
The cockpit and nose section alone were saved, and can be found today in the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa.
I personally have touched the sole remnant that was the once the spectacular Jetliner.
In fact, I have crawled into the museum piece and sat in Don Roger's spot. I know, I know, it is a museum piece and I shoulda' been arrested, especially with all the people who were there with hand to mouth, pointing, and screaming… but, … but, I wasn't—
And that's why CANADIANS have no sense of their own history… they made no effort to carefully preserve it when they have the chance (save Paul Cabot).
The preserved nose section was nice, but my political party would have ordered the whole damn plane preserved.
Actually, my political party would have ended TCA's whoring (shopping spree) early on, and ordered them to buy the internationally acclaimed Jetliner, despite their niddly grievances. Grievances, which were only ever petty to begin with.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
WE SALUTE YOU, JIM FLOYD!
Thanks, again, for the Canadian designed and produced Jetliner.
The De Havilland Comet was the first jet-powered airliner by 13 days BUT it had design flaws. Several crashed. Even a CP Airlines one on a world tour.
Right out of the gates, the Jetliner was a success. And Canadian. The American 707 came five years later.
And the French Sud-Aviation Caravelle was a big success with specs very similar to the Avro Jetliner. Did someone say, copy?
The AVRO C-102 JETLINER'S first flight was 60 years ago today!
The USAF wanted to buy 20, the US Navy, National, TWA, and others wanted to buy some.
But then Government of Canada scuttled it, the marketing and even the possible production of the Avro Jetliner, under license, at a US aircraft manufacturing facility.
In true Canadian, self-defeating style, the Jetliner was scrapped on 13 December 1956 without a single unit sold.
Don't forget the tip, from Ken, of Ken's Aviation, to this well-written article about the Avro Jetliner:
(ABOVE: A.V. Roe Canada or Avro Canada magazine advertisement to garner interest in the Jetliner)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
MORE CANADIANS flew more Halifaxes, on more missions, with more success, than any other nationality during World War II.
On January 20, 1944 an 800 plane bombing raid on Berlin racked up 27 Allied aircraft losses, including Halifax LW337 from 102 Squadron based at RAF Pocklington. Nicknamed "Old Flo", the RAF Halifax bomber, consisting mostly of an English crew of eight , except for a lone Canadian was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Germany, on the leg home from the mission.
FOUR of the crew were taken prisoner by the Nazis. Two died in the crash, but were buried (are you ready?) after the war. Gee, how does that work??
Mysteriously, two of the crew, co-pilot flight engineer Sergeant John Bremner, and RCAF French-Canadian upper gunner Warrant Officer Charles Dupueis were never recovered.
What indeed, happened to them?
In 2005, "Pilot Officer Reg Wilson " became restless while thinking often of the war years and decided to return to Germany to try to find out.
If he could find the wreckage of the Halifax he commanded, Reg also hoped to be able to find his co-pilot to have him finally laid to rest. With the help of locals, and his daughter Janet who speaks German fluently, eye witnesses to the crash were located. By using a metal detector the smashed Halifax was found readily enough, in dense German forest.
Bones were recovered from the crash site and sent away for DNA testing.
Two years later, the results came back and indeed Reg's efforts for his buddy, co-pilot flight engineer Sergeant John Bremner, had paid off. Sergeant Bremner was buried with full military honours at the Heerstrasse War Cemetery, in Berlin, in 2008.
RCAF French-Canadian upper gunner, Warrant Officer Charles Dupueis, remains missing in action.
Charles… these two Halifax flypasts are dedicated to you, and all other Canadians of the RCAF who never made it home, and are still missing in action.
Rest in peace, brother.
Only ONE fully restored HANDLEY-PAGE HALIFAX (from only Halifax parts) is in existance today. It is located at the RCAF Memorial Museum at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ontario.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
You know that feelin'.
A chill down the spine.
You are alone BUT don't feel alone. A presence. Unsure what?
Strangely, it just happens sometimes when I'm doing 621 research. At home, or out in the field.
Rest assured… that every man-made idol humanity places his trust in, will be, thrown to the ground.
With Air Canada Flight 621, a Douglas DC-8, quite literally—
IMAGINE MY surprise, no shock! when I discovered this, last year.
A Douglas Aircraft Company (of California) ad, from the throwaway year of 1960. Proudly, and whimsically advertising their first jet airliner, the DC-8.
Raw power, folks! Fast, quiet, comfortable, dependable, and safe. Yes, safe. Rest assured, the moment you step aboard a DC-8 and enter the sky… you WILL have peace of mind.
Now, that was the hype.
A little different with Flight 621, and many other DC-8 flights folks…
Back in the day there were "issues" with various mechanical aspects of the DC-8. A lot of incidents, accidents, and crashes were becoming the back-down-to-earth reality of this Douglas aircraft.
The Government of Canada even kept secret files on the DC-8 which can still be found in the national archives.
Through TCA and later Air Canada, which were both crown corporations, the Canadian federal government owned lots of DC-8s.
A whopping forty-four in total! Almost 10% of the entire McDonnell-Douglas production run, from 1958 through to 1972 was owned by Canadians, collectively.
And Big Brother, or the Government of Canada would later block the attempted purchase of McDonnell-Douglas DC-10s by Air Canada. The mounting evidence in the secret "8" files was a little too sobering. The "Feds" HAD had enough with Douglas, even though the DC-10's wings were made right in Toronto, right at the former Avro Canada plant!
Now, back to the ad.
Damn, it's eerie.
The ad shows an innocent blond-haired girl carrying a doll, and waving good-bye (to trusting parents).
The COLOURIZED INSET Jac Holland photo shows a similar doll found in the crash debris of Flight 621. Ironically, not even ten feet from the untouched doll was a lifeless, little, preteen blond-haired girl… amid tonnes, and tonnes, of burnt aircraft wreckage.
Age? About ten years old, I was told.
The former OPP police officer who returned with me to the crash site told me that he remembers her well. Too well.
She lay there in silence as he sadly looked down at her. Her blond hair, gently responding to a breeze, making its' way through the field.
Fifty-five minutes previous, she too, had waved good-bye.
Nobody knew it would be her last such wave.
And now, her family, would be left picking up the pieces of their personal tragedy for the rest of their lives.