New Demo Pilot

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Gatineau, November 6th, 2013: I am very happy to announce the nomination of Travis (Brass) Brassington of Calgary, Alberta to the position of Demo Pilot for the upcoming 2014 season. Brass comes to the Hawk One team highly recommended. Brass is currently a pilot with Westjet. He is a former CF-18 Demo pilot.

Welcome to Hawk One Brass!

Pierre Clément
Team Lead

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.”

October Overhauls

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The Mk XVI Spitire sits in the fall sunshine, against a backdrop of the last of the coloured leaves. Photo HF.

The leaves continue to turn colours and fall gently from the trees as the flying continues to wind down for the season. 2012 gave Vintage Wings the opportunity to put another great and safe flying season under our belts. Hawk One, Yellow Wings, Gray Ghosts, Warbirds of the Med, we will celebrate all these programs and more at our end of the year Gala Ball on Nov 3. Space is limited and tickets are selling fast so, get yours now by visiting https://www.vintagewingsmembers.ca/eventsDetail/eventDetails.cfm?eventIdEnc=25E3C9 . And don’t forget about our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 10am the same day as the Gala Ball – for Vintage Wings’ members, this is your chance to vote and get caught up on Vintage news.

 

As usual, our Remembrance Day flypasts around the Ottawa-Gatineau valley will officially close the 2012 flying season. But while the engines are spooling down, Vintech Aero and those Wizards with  Merlins are just starting to spool up. With winter comes annual inspections on each aircraft, as well as a chance to clean up any remaining snags. Additionally, there is some “heavy lifting” to be done over the coming months:

-  the Harvard engine has been sent out for overhaul

-  the Mk IX Spitfire wings are making progress

– the Mk XII Hurricane rebuild is coming along

– the left cylinder bank is off the Mk IV Hurricane

– the Tiger Moth engine will be pulled off and sent to the Netherlands for overhaul

– the P40 will undergo an engine swap (spare goes in, current one gets taken apart)

– the Swordfish parts will come in: new valve seats, new valve springs, new valves, new pistons, and our friends at Standard Aero in Winnipeg  have retooled the cylinders)

– the Swordfish’s mock torpedo will be completed

– the Finch will have its canopy installed

– the Fox Moth has not flown in two years, so will require some TLC to get it airworthy again

– and the prop governor on the P51 has to be installed

 

Don’t forget with Christmas and Hannukah coming that Vintage Wings products make great gifts! They are available for purchase either at the hangar, at our Ottawa Airport Arrivals location, or online (https://www.vintagewingsmembers.ca/estore/index.cfm).

Finally, Vintage Wings would like to offer a sincere thanks to all of our volunteers, members and supporters for a fabulous 2012 season. Thank you for helping us keep ‘em flying.

See you at the Gala Ball!

Vintage Inspiration

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Air show season is in full swing, and Vintage Wings is thrilled to be a part of the action.

You may remember from last week’s update that on the way to the Hamilton air show, the Mustang stopped off at CYKZ, Buttonville Airport, just north of Toronto, ON. Before giving a speech to the Buttonville Flying Club, pilots Rob Fleck and Joe Cosmano visited the Seneca College hangar, putting current students through the cockpit and explaining the history and importance of the Mustang to Canada’s next generation of aviators.

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Students of Seneca College’s four-year Aviation Degree Program stand, well-dressed,
in front the Vintage Wings Mustang. Photo courtesy of Mary Norman

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Mary Norman, senior instructor at Seneca College, smiles from the cockpit. We are unsure if the grin is from the thrill of sitting in a vintage fighter, or due to the fact that it was her last day of work before retirement. (This author sends a shout out to all the students and teachers at her former college.) Photo courtesy of Mary Norman

 

Last weekend was Canadian Warplane Heritage’s big 40th Anniversary Hamilton Air Show. Vintage Wings was there in full force, with our F86 Hawk One Sabre, Gray Ghost Corsair, P-51D Mustang, and Warbirds of the Med: Hawker Hurricane (which was unable to fly in the show due to a damaged intake gasket), P-40 Kittyhawk and Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI. The weather was fine, the airplanes (mostly) working and the crowd enthusiastic.

topside pass Ken Lin

Vintage Wings’ formation Heritage Flight. From L to R: Corsair, Spitfire, P40, Mustang, F86.
Photo by Ken Lin

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Inspiring youth is part of our mandate. President and F-86 volunteer pilot Rob Fleck
gives an eager young girl a tour of the cockpit. Photo by Ken Lin

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Ain’t nothing like a good hero shot! Vintage Wings volunteer pilots from L to R: Joe Cosmano,
Rob Fleck (background), Rob Erdos, Dave Hadfield, and Dan Dempsey strut their stuff in front of
a line of Harvards. Cue Top Gun theme song. Photo by Ken Lin

Snowbird Colonel

Vintage Wings founder and Snowbirds Honourary Colonel, Mike Potter. Photo by Ken Lin

We would like to congratulate our friends at Canadian Warplane Heritage (http://www.warplane.com) on a spectacular show!

To view more of Ken Lin’s photos, please visit http://www.pbase.com/klin/hamilton2012&page=1.

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

What else is going on at Vintage Wings?

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We all know that the Mustang has left the building, but what else is going on at Vintage Wings?

Lots! First off, our brand-new Events Calendar is up and running. It shows all of our flying activities, plus special events and volunteer opportunities. You can see details of the flying, in addition to being able to sign up for events and volunteering.

If it looks like we are really busy, well we are. Eighteen airplanes + beautiful weather = a busy time for all.

Check it out! http://www.vintagewingsmembers.ca/eventCalendar.cfm

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Last Monday afternoon, the Hawker Hurricane put her wheels in the well for Toronto Pearson and the CBAA convention.

This past Wednesday the Spitfire, with her freshly-overhauled original engine, underwent a maintenance flight before being ferried to Toronto Pearson for the CBAA convention, followed by Hamilton this weekend. There were originally some oil pressure fluctuations, but bleeding the lines to allow trapped air to escape solved that problem.

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Keith Sabiston, Beaver driver, and Andre Laviolette, AME, prepare the Beaver for flight while the Spit awaits her turn in the background.

A favourite of many, the deHavilland Beaver was out flying on Wednesday as well, as pilots performed their annual proficiency check.

As I type this, our talented Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are wrestling with the starter on the Lysander in an effort to get it serviceable. This afternoon should hopefully yield a maintenance flight, and if all goes well, the Lysander will depart for Hamilton as well.

Why are all of our aircraft headed to Hamilton, you ask? This weekend is Canadian Warplane Heritage’s (CWH) big 40th anniversary air show. As our close partners, Vintage Wings is supporting CWH with our Mustang, Spitfire MkXVI, Hawker Hurricane, P40 Kittyhawk, FG-1D Corsair, Westland Lysander and Hawk One F86 Sabre. There will be individual aerobatic shows by the Corsair and Sabre, as well as the ever-popular formation Heritage Flight. Visit http://www.hamiltonairshow.com/ for more details.

We also have several sponsored rides taking place today and tomorrow, one for a veteran’s 90th birthday! Just a note that the Yellow Wings aircraft (Harvard, Fleet Finch, Cornell and Tiger Moth) will be departing for their Down Home, Down East tour of the Maritimes July 9th. They will not be returning until the Wings Over Gatineau-Ottawa en vol air show in September, so if you were thinking of sponsoring one of these aircraft, don’t delay or you’ll miss the boat (so to speak).

Out west, the Stearman is now home in Alberta, tucked away in a cozy hangar at the Springbank airport, just outside of Calgary. It is available for sponsored rides, and after a team-effort cleaning, is sparkling and raring to go!

Coming up on Thurs, June 21, Vintage Wings is holding our First Annual Spitfire Classic Golf Tournament. Come out and celebrate the solstice with 12 cylinders and 18 holes! Details can be found on our spiffy new Events Calendar.

Next weekend, June 23-24, is the Canadian Owners and Pilots Associations’ (COPA) fly-in AGM and annual conference in Hanover, ON. Vintage Wings is sending our Spitfire, Hurricane, and P40 to support our good friends at COPA. A highlight will be the honouring of one of a handful of living Malta veterans – a perfect fit for our Warbirds of the Med theme. See http://www.copanational.org/ for more information.

For sponsored rides out of Gatineau, contact Alison or Amber at 819-669-9603.

For sponsored rides out of Springbank, contact Todd at info@vintagewingswest.ca.

Cheers all and have a great weekend!

Vintage Wings Opens Retail Store at Ottawa McDonald Cartier Int’l Airport

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At 10am on Wed, Apr 4, Vintage Wings founder Michael Potter, along with Ottawa Airport President and CEO Paul Benoit, cut the ribbon on Vintage Wings’ new Gear Up retail boutique.

Located in the main concourse, downstairs in Domestic Arrivals, the store is the first of many to be established across the country in the new few years.

“It’s about getting our message out,” said Michael Potter, about Vintage Wings’ mission to Commemorate, Educate and Inspire Canadians, especially young Canadians, about our rich aviation heritage.

Offering quality aviation heritage clothing, including t-shirts, jackets, sweaters, and caps, the store is the result of many hours of hard work by Carolyn Leslie, Business Operations Manager, and Julien Brown, Manager of Retail Operations.

See Gear Up coverage in the Ottawa Citizen: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Come+with/6412120/story.html.

Check out opening day pictures by Vintage Wings photographer Peter Handley: http://www.phdcreative.com/galleries/VWC/2012/gearup_40412/.

A Marriage 41 Years in the Making

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Susan and Dave

Dave O’Malley, the genius behind all of the marketing and branding at Vintage Wings, the man who has donated over 6,000 of volunteer time to Vintage Wings, the pen that writes most of the weekly articles you receive in your inbox, recently took the plunge and got married.

After a 41 year courtship (and a few marriages) Dave and Susan tied the knot on Saint Patrick’s Day. They were high school sweethearts who drifted apart then back together again.

Cool eh?

Many heartfelt congratulations to you both from your family at Vintage Wings.