Vol. 2, No.
5 JUNE 2009
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. - Jack Dueck, Editor
Russell Air Group's Bf 109 damaged after striking
AND PIECES POLL
What should be done
about the Bf 109 incident?
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?
See more photos
month's poll (Click "previous
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
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.
BULL RACER INJURED BUT OK AFTER CRASH NEAR ST. THOMAS
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.
SILVER DART REPLICA TO APPEAR AT AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH 2009
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.
AIR SHOW TIME!|
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
PORTRAIT OF AN AIRMAN:
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
- 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!
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
EAA CHAPTER COMMENDED FOR
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
FLEETING GLORY: THE CRASH
OF 'F FOR FREDDIE'
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.)
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
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
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
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,
(log-in required) and click on the Sport Aviation Archive
image like the one at right. EAA has also recently
Aviation-Digital Edition - an electronic version of