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Many thanks to Discovery Air for their passionate support!

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Hawk One team lead Mike Woodfield thanking Diddier Toussaint, President of Top Aces, with the 2012 season lithograph. The “Discovery Air Hawk One” would never have flown if it not for the passionate support provided by the entire team at Top Aces led by Dids. We look forward to continuing our great relationship and wish Discovery Air the best of luck with their efforts this year.”

Hawk One and the Mynarski Lancaster take to the skies

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On June 12 / 13, 1944, 419 ‘Moose’ Squadron Avro Lancasters of the #6 Bombing Group, RCAF took to the skies to attack a target at Cambrai, France. Aboard Lancaster KB726 was Winnipeg native, Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, the mid-upper gunner on the mighty Avro bomber. During the raid, KB726 (VRA) was attacked by a German night fighter and set ablaze. The pilot ordered the crew to bail out, but against orders Mynarski stayed aboard the doomed aircraft to help save the struggling tail gunner, Pat Brophy, who was trapped in the rear turret. After numerous attempts to help Brophy out of his turret, Mynarski, with parachute and flying suit ablaze, finally jumped from the aircraft, but not before saluting his trapped comrade. PO Mynarski survived the jump but perished from his burns upon landing. Miraculously Brophy survived the crash of the Lancaster and was thrown free from his turret when the aircraft hit a tree. Brophy was able to tell the tale of his friend’s heroic actions and as a result, Andrew Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his brave efforts.

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Avro Lancaster is dedicated to Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski VC.

On June 13, 2012, the 68th anniversary of Mynarksi’s selfless actions, the Lancaster took to the skies over Southern Ontario with the Discovery Air Canadair Sabre V – ‘Hawk One’ for an air-to-air photo mission.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Peter Handley / Vintage Wings of Canada

Mid-Season Report

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Dear Sponsors, Event Organizers and Friends of Hawk One:

As we near the mid-point of our airshow season I would like to provide you with a brief update along with the attached CTV News report.

Click here to see the video

On July 26th we completed our extensive Alberta swing for the summer which included events in Cold Lake, Edmonton (x 3, including Canada Day with Chris Hadfield), Calgary (x2) , Airdrie, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. All were highly successful events in our view.

The attached report was done by CTV reporter Alesia Fieldberg on the second day of our show in Lethbridge. I particularly like it because it touches on both or our central themes for this year – reaching out to children across Canada (Pursue Your Dreams) as well as a salute to our RCAF veterans (When Sabres Ruled the Skies). In this report, you can clearly see the enthusiasm on the young boy’s face and the pride of both his father and great grandfather who flew the Sabre in Europe at the height of the Cold War. This has been a common theme we have seen repeated many times over the summer. We continue to pride ourselves as being one of the few airshow acts that does both a full aerobatic airshow as well as a static display whenever possible. Hundreds of Canadians have sat in Hawk One so far this summer and hundreds more will follow over the next six weeks.

We are looking forward to our next event this Saturday at the BC Aviation Museum in Victoria followed by the Abbotsford International Airshow the following weekend. From there we will be stopping in the Queen City, Regina, for a static display and then on to Ontario, the Maritimes and eventually back home to Vintage Wings in Gatineau, Quebec for the Wings Over Gatineau show on September 17th.

My thanks to all of you for your continued support and especially to those sponsors and private donors who have made our cross-Canada tour possible. It continues to be our great honour to represent you and this special era in  Canadian aviation history.

Best regards,

Dan

D.V. Dempsey, Team Leader

Edmonton Celebrates AIRFEST and CANADA DAY

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The Honourable Laurie Hawn was on hand to welcome Chris Hadfield and the Hawk One team to Edmonton for Canada Day 2011

In what can only be described as some of the best days of the summer, Hawk One was a featured attraction at the last AIRFEST that will be held at the City Centre Airport in the heart of Edmonton. Hawk One arrived from Cold Lake with Dan Dempsey at the controls just after noon on June 26th. A large group of enthusiastic aviation fans were on hand to welcome the jet back to the Alberta Aviation Museum where it last appeared in 2009.

Media attention during Hawk One’s visit was extensive with the Edmonton Journal devoting three full pages to the visit in the days leading up to the event thanks to local writer Karl Wilberg (Click here to download). At least two local TV stations were also on hand to record the return of the Golden Hawk.

As reported in an earlier blog, the presentation by astronaut Chris Hadfield on Canada Day was very well attended with Edmonton Centre MP, the Honourable Laurie Hawn, and City Councillor Kim Krushell bringing greetings from the federal government and City of Edmonton respectively. Also on hand were the president of the Alberta Aviation Museum, Marvin Kowalchuk, executive director Tom Hinderks and president of the Edmonton Aviation Heritage Society, Professor Rod Macleod.

Following Chris’ flypast salute to the city and surrounding area, Dan flew a full aerobatic routine at the Edmonton Garrison (formerly CFB Namao) later that afternoon. Narrator Jeff Hill dedicated the show to the Garrison’s lost soldiers and returning veterans from Afghanistan. A reported 57,000 people had passed through the gates of the base by late afternoon. Local TV stations were on hand again the next day as the classic fighter made its final salute to the city as it departed for Calgary.

Dan Dempsey addressed a large goup of enthusiastic spectators upon arriving at the Alberta Aviation Museum. Photo by Jerry Vernon.

Dan Dempsey explains the Sabre cockpit to former Starfighter pilot Dan Graham. Photo by Denny May.

Chris poses with museum volunteer and author Denny May, son of one of Canada's great pioneers, Wop May. Photo by Dan Dempsey

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, national president of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, took the opportunity to say hello to the Hawk One team while attending the CAHS annual convention in Edmonton.

Jeff, Danielle and Chris