C-FETE is Beaver No.1204, delivered new circa 1959 to Father W. Leising of the missionary order Oblates of Mary Immaculate at Fort Smith, NWT. Later owners included North Coast Air of Prince Rupert and Odyssey Air of Richmond, BC. Several accidents marred the career of OMI/ETE through the years, but each time it returned to the air spiffier than before. Here, it takes off on September 8, 2009 from Downsview, the place of its birth decades earlier. You can find the history of nearly every Beaver at Neil Aird's amazing website dhc-2.com. (Larry Milberry)
While the photogs were fussing about getting their Arrow-Snowbirds pix this day, a few realized that there was another bit of good history cooking at Downsview. As some beautiful Q400 regional airliners and Global Express bizjets waited on Bombardier’s flight test ramp, a solitary Beaver came rumbling out for takeoff. Minutes later it took off nonchalantly behind a fresh-off-the-line Global Express. Two fabulous airplanes manufactured at Downsview, but half a century apart.
A "green" Global Express (the 363rd example) blasts off on a test flight from Downsview on September 8. This grand bizjet contrasted totally with our pair of iconic Canadian "time machines" -- the Avro Arrow and the DHC-2 Beaver. (Larry Milberry)
On September 8, 2009 the Canadian Air & Space Museum invited some local aviation history fans to Downsview airport for a photo op. Since the Snowbirds still were in town following the CNE airshow, CASM curator Paul Cabot arranged for the team to do some fly-bys over his museum’s gleaming CF-105 Arrow replica.
With the Arrow basking in the sunshine, the Snowbirds appeared out of the north to make their first pass. Shutters fired madly. Here’s one of my shots that friend Andrew Yee (of Weather Channel fame) photo-shopped to fine effect, cleaning up some crud and getting the sky looking wonderful. (Everyone photo-shops these days, just the way the old fogies used to do photo retouching by spotting and dodging in the darkroom, then air brushing their prints — nothing new under the sun, except that it’s now a “no fuss, no muss” process.)
The idea for the "set up" at Downsview was inspired by this famous Golden Hawks scene, shot by the RCAF at Calgary in July 1960. You can see the drama in this view -- the lower the formation, the more exciting the photo. But you can't always have it your way when you're behind the lens. Someone else is calling other shots, but do the best with what you get and hope for a bit of luck.
Yet another variation on the theme: this shoot was set up at Comox on April 9, 1990, while the Snowbirds were in spring training under team lead LCol Dan Dempsey. I shot this one using a steam-powered 35-mm Pentax SLR. James Jones cleaned up this old Kodachrome for your enjoyment.