Sunday, July 24, 2011

CRASH! Geneseo!! Brampton Triplane (C-GDRI) NO MORE!!!

THANKFULLY THE PILOT, Joseph Auger, of Brampton Ontario, was relatively unhurt.

After a rough landing, on Saturday July 9, in which Mr. Auger's Fokker DR-1 Triplane (C-GDRI) did cartwheels through a New York cornfield, the lucky pilot was able to walk away from the crash with only a broken arm! In the 18 year history of the Geneseo Air Show there's only been one other crash. That too involved a World War I replica. A Fokker as well.

As fate would have it, the third accident at this airshow would happen the very next day, on Sunday and involved an Beechcraft Bonanza. That mishap was attributed to pilot error.

All right back to the tri-plane, which is, actually is, a replica.This replica made from Fokker plans was operated by Great War Flying Museum in Brampton. The Fokker Triplane had been participating in an re-enactment dogfight when suddenly the aircraft suffered an engine failure. The pilot was able to bring the plane down successfully…but as she was landing…its wheel snagged something, and then violently flipped over on impact.

The airplane is a complete write off.

The picture I have posted is from BETTER TIMES at last year's Brampton air show (Great War Flying Museum Open House and Fly-In) approximately 9 months ago.

Here's a crash photo:

Thank God, the pilot is all right…but it still remains a very sad loss of an absolutely fantastic airplane.

A flying replica this grand, this precisely detailed, is the result of thousands of hours of devoted work, both by its owner and Museum club members. Sad, indeed ~

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

::: HAMILTON AIR SHOW 2011::: The Arrow and Marc-André Valiquette

YOU KNOW that's the one thing about an air show, hardly anyone ever talks about—you just never know who's going to show up. Who…you may run into.

It's not just about the airplanes.

An air show is also about the people who attend. Some attendees will be the guy next door. Others, could be celebrities. Others, could be world-renowned collectors.… And, hey that's just who I ran into. Marc-André. Yes, that MA—the world's premier Avro ARROW collector! Marc-André Valiquette. Right there, at the show! If he doesn't have it—he's seen it!

SO if you also ran into Marc-André, you have have been able to buy any of his three Arrow books (the third in the series is in the pic above) and get them signed. Marc-André also has a very nice embroidered Avro Arrow sewable patch that he has designed, and has made available to the general public.

But folks, we're just scratching the surface here.

REMEMBER Marc-Andre is the world's premiere collector of all things Arrow and/or Avro (Canada).

This guy has the control yoke from Arrow 205!

And there it is in the pictures. That stick was the main drawer to Zura's flying office, the Arrow.

Just don't think for a minute that's the only Arrow part he owns! But it is DAMN significant, isn't it!!

After I held the 'stick' and was flying the Arrow high above Hamilton, Marc-André snapped me back to this world by telling me a secret about the Arrow that I didn't even know!!

I know that, in and of itself—that's kinda' hard to believe since I've been inhaling stuff about the Arrow ever since I was a newborn—but he shared an important secret with me that I captured in the above photos…but will remain mum about!

It affects Arrow collectors everywhere.

Ain't I, a *whistle, *whistle, !@#$~


And then Marc-André told me something that I had only dreamed about. That I hoped would somehow come true. And it has. It did.

There are a few collectors, outside of the regular Arrow collecting community who have, well, between them…about half an Arrow.

How could that be, you ask? Well, when you aren't married—you don't have a wife to answer to—and you can get away with stuff. You know, stuff like storing the front landing gear of one of the Arrows in your living room, keeping a Sparrow missile in your kitchen, etc. Before you know it‚ you've squirrelled away half the airplane on your property!

Now THAT is the kind of hoarding I like to see!

But, you better let him tell you that story…

Marc-André will be releasing his fourth and final book in his Destruction Of A Dream series about the demise of the Arrow and Avro Canada in the fall (the readership are cued for a round of applause at this point). THIS SERIES would be better described as the Encyclopedia of the Arrow! And remember each book is rendered simultaneously in both official languages of the Dominion of Canada, that is, in both French and English.

Marc-André Valiquette will be be promoting his fourth book when it is released this November.

MA has informed me that he will be going on tour with his Arrow parts, his books, and other Avro related artifacts starting in the fall.

MA will be giving his Arrow presentation next year at the Brampton Museum when it officially re-opens to the public. That opening should be in the spring, upon completion of its incredible two year restoration odyssy. Can't wait! Not only will Marc-André's Arrow presentation be great, once again, you never know who will show up at these things! Remember that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

::::: FUNNY, never did figure out…

what she was looking' at ~

::: HAMILTON AIR SHOW 2011::: Here Comes Trouble!


The Belle makes a grand landing.

It ain't often CANADIANS get to see a real live B-17 at a Canadian air show. Hamilton was visited by two!!

Very few people know that the RCAF took on strength and operated six B-17s in bare-metal finish during WW II!



"The Hurricane Mk 4 of Vintage Wings of Canada is painted in the markings of RAF 6 Squadron, “The Flying Tin Openers”, which operated the Hurry in the “tank- busting” and ground attack role. Many Canadian pilots flew the cannon-equipped tank-buster variant with 6 Sqn. on operations in North Africa."

Last Mark Hawker Hurricane IV in existence!

::: HAMILTON AIR SHOW 2011 :: FIREFLY Gets the Girl



THE HELLDIVER doesn't land so much as it belly flops…

(just kidding)

Cool Naval airplane.

And the ONLY ONE still flying today! Comes to the Hamilton Air Show in CANADA to usher in Hamilton's return to the air show world.

What the readership may not know is that CANADA made Curtis SBW-1 Helldivers during WW II at our Canadian Car and Foundry plant in Fort William, Ontario. The first one rolled out of the factory on July 29, 1943.

HAMILTON AIR SHOW 2011: RCAF Harvards and the BCATP

ASK CANADIANS about the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and they haven't got a clue.

HOWEVER it was under the BCATP in WW II that Canada grew up as a nation. We would never be the same again.

CANADA, a nation of only 11 million at the time…was entrusted with training the air power arm of the British Commonwealth. So from all over the globe British subjects came to Canada—and left as trained airmen to fill up positions in the squadrons of the RAF and the RCAF (6th Group).

It was Canada's greatest test as a nation. And we passed it graciously. It was Canada's finest hour!

WINSTON CHURCHILL called Canada the "linchpin of the Commonwealth". Without Canada supplying trained airmen, without the Canadian Army stomping all over Europe, without the Canadian Navy keeping the supply lines to Great Britain open, and without the efforts of the Canadian Merchant Marine—the British Commonwealth would have unravelled.

Four hundred years of history and heritage would have been lost.

The leftist wingnuts can read and rant all about Louis Riel—but my Canadian history books start with WW II and the BCATP and end in 1962 with the formal death of Avro Canada.

TWO SUMMERS ago my neighbour came over to borrow a book on gardening. As he perused my mighty book collection he noticed a book on Canadian history.

"Hey Arrow, somebody has vandalized your book, here. Seriously, man!"

"Someone has ripped out like about three quarters of its pages! Who would brutalize a book like this?"

"A true Canadian" —I responded.

"Care to explain this?!"


(If you don't get it now, you never will)


British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) springs to life again at the Hamilton Air Show 2011!

I thoroughly enjoyed the HARVARDS. My dad (deceased) in his early RCAF years spent a lot of time with these 'yellow birds'. So a son comes to an air show to remember a father who never failed to take him to an air show—every single summer.