EAA - The Spirit of Aviation

Vol. 2, No. 5  JUNE 2009

Jack DueckWelcome to Bits and Pieces, EAA's e-newsletter and monthly information digest for builders and fliers in Canada. We encourage you to forward your copy to your aviation friends and invite them to subscribe.

This edition of Bits and Pieces marks one year of monthly newsletters. How have we performed? Your contributions and feedback, both positive and negative, will help us produce a better newsletter. Let me know at cgyrv@yahoo.com. - Jack Dueck, Editor

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SABOTAGE OR ACCIDENT?
Russell Air Group's Bf 109 damaged after striking flagpole
BITS AND PIECES POLL
What should be done about the Bf 109 incident?

If the adjacent landowner is found to have deliberately placed a pole near the end of the runway to obstruct aircraft take-offs and landings, what should be the consequences?
Vote now!

Damage
See more photos
   
View last month's poll (Click "previous polls")

One of the very special aircraft scheduled to appear at AirVenture to help celebrate this year's Canadian Flight Centennial is the Russell Air Group's meticulously restored Messerschmitt Bf 109E. However a troubling incident occurred at RAG's airstrip in early June that caused significant damage to the left wing. Repairs are under way and, barring any unforeseen damage, RAG is optimistic it will have the Messerschmitt - which RAG claims is the last one of its kind still flying - fixed in time to attend Oshkosh 2009

The troubling part: Pilot John Romain escaped injury and severe damage to the vintage 1939 machine when he was forced to make an emergency landing after clipping a flagpole on takeoff on June 4. Romain was preparing for the RAG air show at the Niagara Falls Aerodrome the following weekend, June 6-7.

Several Warbird website chat rooms were buzzing about the incident when it was alleged that the landowner adjacent to the RAG airstrip deliberately placed the pole near the end of the airstrip (Runway 19) to obstruct aircraft take-offs and landings. If that is that case, there may be some pending legal (possibly criminal) ramifications. Stay tuned on this one.

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RED BULL RACER INJURED BUT OK AFTER CRASH NEAR ST. THOMAS
Hungarian aerobatic pilot Peter Besenyei, who was scheduled to compete in last weekend's Red Bull Air Races in Windsor, ON., suffered minor injuries during an emergency landing June 9 in a cornfield near St. Thomas airport. According to Red Bull, Besenyei and several other pilots took off at about 1:50 p.m. headed for a photo shoot at Niagara Falls when his MXS-R began experiencing technical problems. He immediately looked for an alternate landing area and set the airplane down in the cornfield, about two kilometres south of the St. Thomas airport. The plane flipped near the end of the landing roll, but Besenyei emerged from the aircraft with only a few bumps and bruises. (Watch video of Besenyei describing the incident.) As for the weekend's races in Windsor, the first to be held in our country, a crowd estimated at 215,000, watched as Britain's Paul Bonhomme came away with the win.

Red Bull Crash

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LYSANDER, SILVER DART REPLICA TO APPEAR AT AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH 2009
What do Lysander, Lanc, Epervier, Silver Dart, and Billy Bishop have in common? Canada and Oshkosh, that's what. We're bringing the celebration of our nation's 100th anniversary of flight south of the border next month, to EAA AirVenture, the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Several airplanes will be making the trip, so let's get up to speed on the what's in store Oshkosh 2009.
Read more

Silver Dart Replica

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ARLINGTON: AIR SHOW TIME!
To many Canadians, the Arlington Fly-In is our air show! Arlington, Washington, just northeast of Seattle, always attracts a large constituency of Canadian aviation enthusiasts. And why not? It's ideally located in the northwest corner of the United States, close to our border, in a most beautiful scenic spot, with rising mountains on the east and the blue Pacific Ocean on the west. The weather is mostly congenial, and the air-show is exciting and innovative. This year's Arlington runs July 8-12.
Read more
Arlington Fly-In
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PORTRAIT OF AN AIRMAN: ROBERT ERDOS
If you were to describe a pilot's dream world, it might go something like this:
  • Chief Test Pilot for the Flight Research Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada.
  • Pilot of incredible aircraft for Vintage Wings of Canada (VWC) like the Harvard, the Hurricane, the Spitfire, the Waco Taperwing, and the De Havilland Tiger Moth. (A checkout in the Beech Staggerwing is underway, with checkouts in the Corsair, the P-51 and the P-40 on the horizon.)
  • Currently serving as the Aircraft Manager for the VWC restoration of a Westland Lysander and a Fairey Swordfish; liaising with other organizations that operate the types and then conducting the post-restoration test flights when ready to go.
  • Two test flights logged in the Russell Aviation Group's Bf 109E
  • Traveling around the world on test-flight assignments.

Well, meet Robert Erdos, the man who lives the dream!
Read more

Erdos

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LYSANDER FLIES AGAIN
After 60 years, a Westland Lysander has flown again following a long restoration process completed recently by Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The first post-restoration flight, flown by Robert Erdos (see above story), was June 9, quickly followed by three more flights totaling 3-1/2 hours. (See the first flight video.) This aircraft (RCAF NO 2363) was manufactured in 1942 by National Steel Car Company at Malton (Toronto) under license from Westland Aircraft Corporation, England. Worldwide, 1,660 models were built, 225 in Canada. Lysanders built here were chiefly used for target-towing at training schools, limited navigational training, communications duty, and search-and-rescue operations. The restoration project was started by Friends of CWH in Niagara Falls, NY in 1983. In 1997, the aircraft was returned to the museum where volunteers continued to restore the aircraft to flying condition. For more about the airplane, visit the CWH website.

Erdos

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EAA CHAPTER COMMENDED FOR SCHOOL PROGRAM
While scanning several EAA chapter websites this week, I was impressed with the amount of space devoted to chapters' work with children. Most chapters have a page devoted to Young Eagles that is second only to their page for member projects. Others publicize their scholarship programs or share building projects with Air Cadets, while some chapters send members to speak at schools. Chapters seem to be concerned with making a difference in their communities through sharing their love of aviation with children and young people; they hope to build a succession so that general aviation will grow, airports will thrive, and the sky will represent the hopes and dreams of the next generation.  Read more

Map reading

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FLEETING GLORY: THE CRASH OF 'F FOR FREDDIE'
Looking backHaving survived World War II, an RAF pilot and his navigator flew a 213-operation veteran de Havilland Mosquito across the Atlantic to Canada for a victory tour. But their triumphant celebration was to turn to tragedy just two days after VE-Day. Read the story, originally appearing in Dave O'Malley's Vintage Wings Canada newsletter. (Click here to subscribe.)
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HIGH FLIGHT ADVENTURE CAMP FOR KIDS - OTTAWA
Mike Bourget, a member of EAA's Canadian Council is the CEO and Founder of this unique Kids Camp. Mike's is a wonderful story of a prominent EAAer reaching out to kids in his community. Learn more at www.highflightadventures.com.

Area youth who feel the call to flight are in luck; Canada's only aviation-based overnight youth camp is located right here in the National Capital area.

High Flight Adventures Inc., the first of its kind in Canada, provides a residential camp experience that aims to help youth develop unique skills through aviation, and helps build leadership and self-esteem.

This is the second season for High Flight Adventures Inc, with two camps scheduled at Smiths Falls airport, July 6-10 and July 13-17. Camp cost is $499 (plus taxes).  Read more

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY?
In 1989, as EAA was preparing for the 37th annual convention and fly-in, a feature story appeared in the July issue of Sport Aviation telling about our beloved Canadian AVRO Mark X Mynarski Lancaster VR-A and its pending arrival at Oshkosh. Now, 20 years later, in the midst of our centennial of flight celebration, our minds again shift to Oshkosh and the returning sound of the Lanc and its distinctive "quartet of Merlins" sound. Read the story.

EAA members can access any issue of their organization's past magazines (1953-2006). To do your own searches, or browse through a back issue, visit http://members.eaa.org (log-in required) and click on the Sport Aviation Archive image like the one at right. EAA has also recently launched Sport Aviation-Digital Edition - an electronic version of the magazine.

EAA Sport Aviation


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