Ancient ex-Canadian DC-3 still on the go + a load of other solid new blog reading. Don’t miss our detailed item about Canada’s air force on humanitarian duty in Honduras and elsewhere around the world. Away you go!

CANAV Booklist: https://canavbooks.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/1-canav_books_may2021_lowres-summer_fall-2021-1.pdf

Red Lake Norseman “DRD” needs your personal help. Restoration has been underway and the job nearly is done. The wings have just arrived back in Red Lake from Gordy Hughes’ shop in Ignace. If you can help with even $10.00 “DRD” will love you forever. Here’s your chance to be part of Norseman heritage … right here, painlessly: Save DRD – Red Lake’s Norseman icon It’s easy as pie, give it a shot!

Homebuilt Fly-In Have a look here at the wonderful photography of the great Gustavo Corujo. All through the summer, Gus and Clara cover flying events across Southern Ontario. Here’s their latest adventure. Miss this lovely slide show at your peril:

http://gusair.com/htdocs/Aviation/2021/21-Ultralight-Convention-UPAC-/21-ultralight-convention-upac-.html

You’ll notice the sweet photos of Corben Baby Ace CF-RAC. I first photographed “RAC” 60 years ago at Oshawa and Kitchener. Here it is in 2021 in front of Gus’ lens … still on the go. You can see the squib I did about this historic plane earlier on the blog. Just enter CF-RAC in the search box and it’ll put you right there.

Calgary Mosquito Society Have a look at what this important organization is doing. Please take a moment and join. How better to show your support, right. No such society can get by without an involved membership. Members always get their money’s worth, guaranteed, and the price of admission is always a bargain:

https://calgarymosquitosociety.com/feature79/feature_79.html

Also see:

 CBC.caVolunteers finding creative workarounds to restore
historic aircraft amid pandemicJack McWilliam, project manager with the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society, has been working at home on the pilot seat of a historic de …May 13, 2021

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Tells Us a Bit about Photography from the ISS:

Chris Hadfield@Cmdr_Hadfield· Here’s what taking photos in space is like https://youtube.com/watch?v=yFp9pn Lots of fascinating images that you can freeze to look at more closely.

A Solid COVID Update from August 25: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/24/covid-claims-100-lives-a-day-on-average-across-the-uk-statistics-show?CMP=fb_gu&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0QtMuFlnJVx0pDlfwLGvVZIYsP0hiaE3m8SfcAeruzmnrJ34-FRcifmoY#Echobox=1629838362

DC-3 CF-POX Now in Colombia

Last week’s blog item covering the longevity of Colombia’s DC-3s includes a headline photo of Colombian police Basler turbo DC-3 PNC 0213 – formerly CF-POX from Ottawa. As with any such surviving DC-3, this is an enticing story for any curious reader. Built in August 1944 with Douglas serial number 20875, a few weeks later this “Gooney Bird” was with the USAAF in North Africa. The war soon over, in January 1948 it was acquired by the French Air Force at Naples, then gave 20+ more good years of service. Appearing briefly on the French civil aircraft register as F-BTDG, in late 1971 it was sold to John Bogie’s famous Laurentian Air Service of Ottawa. Transport Canada documentation dated September 18 of that year noted that total airframe flying hours then were 10,283.6. Also mentioned was how both engines were low time. Being under 100 hours per side was a very big “plus” for any purchaser. TDG’s legal all-up weight listed as was 26,900 lb.

After many repairs and mods were done in France to make it “legal”, “TDG” was re-registered CF-POX. Early in 1972 it set off for Canada burdened with a planeload of paperwork and spares. LeaIt followed the time-honoured Greenland – Goose Bay trans-Atlantic ferry route. Joan Turner photographed it at Ottawa Uplands airport on June 3, 1972 and Ian Macdonald provides us with Joan’s lovely photo.

As one of the last DC-3s imported to Canada, “POX” soon was toiling in the north. In the spring of 1973 and winter of 1975 it had short leases to Austin Airways. Along the way it took some lumps, including being put on its nose at Schefferville in May 3, 1975. Repairs were made at St. Louis Aviation of St-Jean, Quebec. However, by then the log books and all maintenance data for “POX” had been lost in a fire at Lachute, Quebec airport in early October Subsequently, “POX” spent a long period collecting dust at Ottawa Uplands airport.

Finally, in early 1980 “POX” became N8059P with Sunset Aircraft (a bit of an ominous name?) of Miami. Then came a long list of owners. Who knows what “under the radar” activity was going on. Then, in 1984, “POX” was purchased by USAC Turbo Express of Phoenix for conversion to PT6-45R engines. Nothing seems to have come of this, then this prototype was acquired by Warren Basler of Oshkosh, where in 1988-89 it became Basler’s first turbo DC-3s using the PT6-67. It was the company demonstrator until sold in 1994 to Air Colombia. Having soon been caught in the illicit drug trade, it was seized and transferred to the Colombia national police. As far as I know, there ol’ “POX” remains to this day.

English Language Beat Down: Only in Canada

If you’re age 50 or more, you’ll be mortified at the decline of the English language in the 2000s. In Canada this is the result of ministries and school boards deliberately launching offensives against the language. Where else in the world would you find this? Try it in Quebec, where the language cops soon would straighten you out. Quebec, happily, is fully aware of the importance of language as a foundation block of any civilization. Most countries are the same – language is paramount and sacred. Meanwhile, do you think that China is undermining its educational standards?

Try messing with the national language in any civilized, even, half-civilized nation, and you quickly will be called out. Not in Canada, however, where liberal “progressives” are on the rampage against anything to do Canada’s incalculably fantastic accomplishments over the decades/centuries. Pull down a statue, re-name a street or building, go for it! Sabotaging anything genuinely cultural is what the “progressives” in Canada call a good day’s work. And look who approves – our self-besmirched PM leads the charge, the “progressive” mayor of Toronto is gung ho. Anything to appease the obnoxious minorities, few of whom have read a history book in their shallow lives.

These “progressives” have decided that, if anything good in Canada has been accomplished by the Euro-North Americans (i.e. pretty well everything worthwhile about Canada and the civilized world as we know it today), that must be torn down and its defenders made to apologize. The “progressives” are not messing around. They’re high stakes campaigners — the language, the great founders and achievers, Canada’s global record for doing good (see the following article about Honduras), etc. Leading the charge are the PMO, the CBC, then the rest of the go-with-the-flow mainstream media.

I’ll give you a few simple examples today from the language front. All these come straight from the airwaves, chiefly from radio hosts, many times from Radio Canada. Each is a stupid little gaff, you might say, but these snowball and soon your grandchildren can’t spell. The “progressives” know that they are bungling the language, rattling off one faux pas after another, the sorts of gaffs that Grade 3 kids 50 years ago would not commit, since they were being so well taught. Try these beauties on for size:

Some politico on the radio invents a new phrase: “public outbringings”. The liberals just love to make up a totally moronic non-word. “Outbringings” already!

Most, however, are straightforward language errors. Let’s hope that our radio station managers start doing something about these travesties. How do you like this one? “Some of the other topics we cover is …” Is they, really!

“My expectations is …” Perfect, Homer!

“There has been rumblings…” I guess there has been, if you say so..

“The most common drugs was …” Was they?

“There has been many cases …” Of course, there has. Go to the corner, you dunce, for being so clueless about the fundamentals of singular and plural.

Someone, “may of threw a wrench into the works”. No, this is not a “Don Cherryism”, but some radio host or news reader showing his/her lack of English language skills. Of course, they’ll explain that learning is “way too hard”, so go away with your language rules.

“There is a lot of guests.”

“There was a couple of storms.” If you respect the English language, you’ll probably be starting to feel a bit ill by now. Hang is, check out a few more gems.

Some yahoo with a microphone recently put this one out: “to fragilize”! Google almost melted down when I searched for this one, telling me, sharply: “No results found for ‘What does it mean to frangilize?”’

Here’s another category of language atrocity. My wonderful old Grade 13 English teacher, Brother Ignatius, would have had a stroke if he ever heard this one — “a hot heatwave”, which a TV weather “reporter” spouted recently. I had to change channels. On top of this, here’s another prize-winner: “Mendacious lies”.

“Workers at de Havilland and Bombardier have went on strike.” Arghhh!

And no … I am not making these up. They pour from my radio all day long.

Moving right along … “There was a thousand revellers”. Next to churn your stomach ulcer — “Flames have destroyed everything in its path …”

Sometimes there are subtler examples. Since spelling, grammar and handwriting no longer are serious subjects in most Canadian public schools, I suppose we can understand how a radio voice has no clue that there is a difference between “number” and “amount”. Such subtleties used to be commonly understood by Gr.7 or 8. Here’s an example: “a good amount of games”. No … that would be “a good number of games”. Look it up.

While I’m at it, what about “between” and “among”? In Toronto, if there is a lone on-air voice who knows this difference, that would be John Oakley on 640 AM. Oakley is one of the few on Toronto radio with an understanding and respect for the importance of the English language on the public airwaves.

Besides all such language abuses across Canada, it seems that there no longer are standards for pronunciation. When I was a boy in the 1950s, future broadcasters attended such schools as the Radio College of Canada. There they learned the finer points of accurate English usage. No excuses were accepted for the least faux pas. The CBC had the best broadcasters in the country, the likes of Lorne Greene. An announcer with poor pronunciation would be unemployable. Today? Being a klutz may be an asset at the job interview.

Elocusion was a vital course for every broadcasting student. Today, of course, few people on-air could spell the word, let alone know its meaning. However, decades ago grade school children learned elocution:

“el·o·cu·tion /ˌeləˈkyo͞oSH(ə)n/noun the skill of clear and expressive speech, especially of distinct pronunciation and articulation.”

Well, that sure sounds hard, so fergit about eleyqushun, eh.

What do we have these days? Turn on your radio and find out. If you can stand the punishment, you’ll soon hear such brutalizing of the English language as: “miracusly” (miraculously), “fortunly” (fortunately), “vunable” (vulnerable), “definly” (definitely), “measural” (measurable), “differutly” (differently), “corinated” (co-ordinated), “Chrona” (Toronto). It’s a laugh a minute. Many of these blunders were heard on CBC. Apparently, the CBC no longer has a language ombudsperson and it’s open season there in 2021 on the English language.

Here’s a final example today of a “CBCism”: “a lot of parents who doesn’t”. No, wait … one more beauty: “It’s not based off of anything”. “Off of”? Right – an actual “Don Cheeryism”. CBC people used to mock Don’s slaughtering of English, “now they is Don himself”. Well, the “progressives” are doing an ace of a job tearing down Canada. They’ve sure been brilliant in their campaign to wreck the English language – simply punt formal lessons “off of” the school curriculum. Makes all the rest of their campaign that much easier – cancelling this, cancelling that, etc.

PS … don’t get me going with “exact same”! Grade 3s used to know how stupid a saying this is. Today? What radio host doesn’t use “exact same” as if it was correct English usage. One last turn of the knife in your gut – here’s another real CBCism – “logicality”. There aren’t enough corners in the big classroom of Canada to accommodate all these dunces, I fear.

Media Coverage

With book publishing in Canada, there are two essentials if a publisher is to succeed: produce a top quality book for which a readership exists, then, somehow win some media support. As you’ve seen in our past few blogs, CANAV Books has done exceedingly well at both. As I continue going through the CANAV archives, almost daily I still turn up long forgotten media clippings about our many projects.

July 4, 1995 was a red letter day for us – the launch at Marché Bonsecours in Montreal of Canadair: The First 50 Years. Sponsored by Bombardier, this was the glitziest of all our book launches. Soon, I had distributed the usual batch of copies to the aviation and general press, and the reviews starting to appear. To this day, not a negative line has appeared about this magnificent book. This week I came across some typical press coverage. This was from the inimitable Mike Filey, best known for his regular columns in Toronto’s “Sunday Sun”.

I met Mike about 1980, when he already was immersed in his passion for Toronto history. Since then, he has turned out dozens of important Toronto books, and become famous at the “Sunday Sun”. This is Mike’s 1995 column featuring our Canadair book. As to the book, it’s now long out of print. All 24,000 copies sold, but you always can find a nice example on the web. For example, this morning (July 26, 2021) I noticed 134 copies for sale at www.bookfinder.com . Most are very affordable at less than our $50.00 sticker price. Any fan of Canada’s great aviation heritage will revel in this book. Thanks you for you comments, Mike … Larry

Massey-Ferguson Flight Department c.1960

In earlier CANAV blogs you’ve seen quite a bit about corporate aviation in Canada 50 – 60 years ago. Lately, one of the “Massey” old timers asked if I might have photos of their other aircraft, besides the Lodestar and Howard Ventura, which you can see on the blog by scrolling back a bit. A look through my ancient negative files yielded these two lovely old Massey aircraft, which I photographed at Toronto’s Malton airport in 1960. First is the company’s De Havilland Dove CF-GYQ, then, Gulfstream CF-MUR. Once “MUR” arrived, the older piston-powered types quickly were sold in various directions.
CF-MUR later had many operators, starting in 1968 with Hollinger Ungava Transport. Then, it joined the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway in 1977. This led to a long stay in Sept-Iles, Quebec. In 1985 it moved on the Air Inuit, the City Express. In 1989 it went back to the US as N26AJ. As such it had nine owners to 2002, the last being Phoenix Air Group of Cartersville, Georgia. Flying “MUR” from Sept-Îles for at the railroad was Jim Court. Lately, Jim sent me some important “MUR” history.

No, sorry I’ve nothing on MUR after it went to Austin Jet. I do know they sold it, and it did some rendition flights from the US mainland to a certain island in the Caribbean, but that’s it. Charlie Clifton and I did the very last PAR [precision approach radar] at Montreal Dorval with MUR. We arrived there about 11:45 AM that morning, and they closed the PAR facility at 12:00. I was flying, and approach asked us if we wanted to do the last PAR before it was shut down. I said yes, and they switched us over to the final controller. After all the proper questions were taken care of, they asked us what altitude we wanted to descend to – minimums were 200 feet. I told them all the way to the ground. The wind was right down R06R and, once I’d set up approach power and flap, the most the guy had to do was say was “On localizer, on glide slope”. He called at 200 feet, 100 feet, 50 feet, then called “Commence your roundout.” Best landing I ever did with a G1. Just as the wheels touched down, the stick shaker went off.

I contrast to MUR’s long and useful career, Dove “GYQ” did not fare well once sold by Massey. Having left Canada late in 1961, it became N424SF, but I have few details. By 1972 it was serving Trans National Airlines of San Francisco. On March 6, 1975 it was hauling freight in bad weather from Paso Robles, California to Los Angeles. Along the route it crashed into 3000-foot terrain, killing the pilot.

Backseat Excitement in the F-16D

I can’t recall why we flew this runway profile with our wingman 90-797. Probably just a photo op that I suggested. Last heard of, “797” was based at Edwards AFB on test flying duties.

On June 16, 2000 I was at Cold Lake hoping for a famil flight in an F-16. This story went far back to the mid-80s, when I met Capt Grant Bruckmeier, a young F-106 pilot with the 49 th FIS, Griffis AFB, New York. What was I doing down at the 49 th ? It all had to do with an assignment from “Air Classics” to do a feature story about the 49 th . Having made 2 or 3 trips from Toronto to gather my basic story material, in the end I was scheduled in January 1986 for a flight in “the Six”. Naturally, this included cockpit famil and the ejection seat course, also some basic winter survival training, and how to extricate myself if I ever ended stuck in a tree after a parachute ride. All this was exciting stuff for any “civvie”, and was very seriously taught by the safety systems staff at the 49 th . In the end I was scheduled on January 6, 1985 to ride along on an F-106 2-ship ECM mission against a pair of EW T-33s. LCol Steve Rogers, CO of the 49 th , took me flying for an hour and what a fantastic trip it was. After the EW training, we formatted with the other Six and the T-birds for a brief session shooting air-to-air Kodachromes.

What a wonderful opportunity this all was. You can see the results of my efforts in “Century Series Survivor” in “Air Classics” July Later, I bumped into Grant Bruckmeier at an airshow at CFB Trenton, where he was showing off the F-106, again in July 1986 when we attended the stand-down of the 49 th FIS at Griffis. As the years passed, we occasionally touched base and always had the idea the we should do a ride together. Ages later, this panned out. One day Grant called to say that about a year down the line he would be leading his F-16 squadron from Hill AFB to CFB Cold Lake to take part on Ex. Maple Flag. If we got started on the paperwork now, maybe Grant could get approval to fly me.

So it happened that in June of 2000 I travelled to Cold Lake to meet with Grant and his squadron, the 4th FS from Hill AFB, Utah. The base people made sure that I was well received and got to cover all the exciting Maple Flag actvities. However, Grant still didn’t have approval to fly me. The wheels had been turning slowly in the Pentagon. Then, the day before the 4th FS was to fly home, approval came through – some USAF General had decide to put his neck on the chopping block for us. The 4th FS medical officer gave me a look- over, I was given a cockpit and ejection seat checkout, then Grant and I walked out to his sparkling new, 2-seat F-16D-40. We strapped in and fired up, then away we went in a 2-ship for a wonderful hour- long trip around the Cold Lake area. Such were the types of great aviation connections I had built up over the decades. There always were serious folks in uniform who recognized we little people in the aviation press and could make things happen for us. With Grant and I, it took about 15 years of waiting, but the day came that we got finally together in F-16 89-2174. But … it was easily worth the wait!

Grant snapped this shot of me as the crew chief was getting me squared away in the cockpit. Where is our F-16D today? Last noted, 89-2174 was flying with the 175th FS of the South Dakota ANG.

Canadian Civil B-25s Update

If you search here for CF-DKU, you’ll find an important little article about how some keen fellows once operated a fuel hauling business in Western Canada using B-25s. You’ll enjoy this item. Lately, someone with a special interest in this operation – Aurora Aviation – dropped me an email:

I just came across this article, brings back many memories! My dad was Harley Koons, and this was such a dream for him. I remember at the age of 15 occasionally helping out during the post- purchase re-fit, and also having a couple of exciting shake-down flights in DKU. Thank you!

Airside at YYZ, September 1 and 3, 1990

It’s always great fun to get airside at any airport with your camera. As you’ve seen at the CANAV blog, 50 – 60 years ago my pals and I got airside pretty well any day of the week at such a place as old Malton Airport (today’s YYZ). There were many openings to the ramps, so we could wander around when it clearly was safe to do so. By the 70s, however, there was no such a chance, for better security was needed. Traffic was increasing at all commercial airports. Then, with the era of the aviation terrorist, there was no choice but to tighten up to the max with fences, patrols, checkpoints, etc. No more airside, except on special occasions. Today, many rules for airside visitors have to be observed – escorts, badges, etc. All fair enough.

Those of us who had some connections with the aviation press or general media often have enjoyed a day “on the ramp”, when there was some special event. Case in point: September 1 and 3, 1990, when I was invited to join the media at YYZ for a Canadian International Air Show session. Of course, it was great to hang out with the team and photograph the flightline. Here are a few old K64s that show the media buzzing around, the team and their colourful little Tutors. This was always a great chance to mingle with the who’s who of the local media, so I made sure to photograph some of these great characters, Boris Spremo included. Meanwhile, the airliners were coming and going over our heads, so that distracted some of us. We always looked forward to all such CIAS fun. For me and the other early Toronto spotters, there couldn’t be a more enjoyable summer’s day. These airliner shots are run of the mill side views, but most of these planes long since have gone to the scrap yard, so their colour schemes and individual stories remain fascinating.

Some of us like to shoot the whole airshow from the planes and people to the tarmac activity. Here are scenes as the media were starting their interviews and getting set up for their Snowbird media flights on September 1, 1990.
The great Canadian photographer, Boris Spremo (1935-2017), pulls on his flight suit. Boris had several Snowbird rides over the years. See his book Twenty Years of Photojournalism, also his wiki site.
Another famous old Toronto media man, Charles Doering, gets briefed, then straps in. His pilot was Les Racicot. A few years earlier, Les had flown me in a T-33 doing air-to- airs of 414 Squadron’s big, black “Electric Voodoo”. You can see my favourite shot from that mission in Canada’s Air Force Today (CANAV Books 1987). Les was keen enough that day to do a roll over the Voodoo, so I could shoot down on it through the top if the canopy. It worked! Back to Charles … he was a seasoned Toronto radio newsman, who put in 40 years at CFRB. In 2021 he still was on the go at age 94.
Here are a few of the other aircraft that we spotted at YYZ on these two CIAS media days. Airbus A310 C- GDWD is seen on approach. Delivered to Wardair in March 1988, it was named in honour of the great Austin Airways bush pilot, Thurston “Rusty” Blakey. When Wardair was acquired by Canadian International Airlines International, “DWD” moved there, then had various other owners and operators, Montreal’s Royalair and Toronto’s Canada 3000 included (where it flew as C-GRYA). Finally, it became N627SC just before being broken up for scrap in 2014 at Pinal Airpark in Arizona. For extra fun, here’s a satellite view of Pinal Airpark, where the main business is scrapping old airliners.
Wardair’s A310 C-GLWD “C.H. ‘Punch’ Dickins” also was at YYZ on September 3. It also went to CAIL, but in January 1993 was sold to Canada’s DND to serve 437 squadron at CFB Trenton as CC-150 Polaris 15002. It remains there after almost 30 years in CanForces service.
Air Canada 767-200 series C-GDSP on arrival. Boeing serial 24142, it was delivered in July 1988, served to around 2010, then went to Roswell, New Mexico, where it was scrapped in In 2021, C-GDSP is a Cirrus SR-22.
Ironically registered C-FTCA, this 767-300 came to CAIL in April 1989. Following Air Canada’s CAIL takeover, “TCA” served there from 2001, but also had leases (Ansett Australia, QANTAS, etc.). Its long career included 3 – 4 “incidents”, including twice when severe turbulence injured people aboard. Then, on March 4, 2019, while landing at Halifax from Toronto with 219 aboard, “TCA” ended in a snow bank facing the wrong way – that must have caused a bit of grief on board! One report explains: “About 2570 meters down the runway the aircraft skidded, turned around by 180 degrees and came to a stop in a snow bank … Ground services reported the runway was 100% ice, the chemical truck had just broken down while trying to spray the runway.” Although it’s 30+ years old, “TCA” presently is in Tel Aviv for conversion to freighter configuration for Air Canada’s expanding cargo fleet.
Air Canada DC-9-32 C-FTLR f/n 717 departing YYZ. Views from the underside often reveal that an airliner is overdue for a good wash. Having served the company from September 1967 to April 1997, “TLR” was sold to Philippine operator CEBU Pacific Air, where it served as RP-C1508 into 2006. Then, CF- TMA f/n 727 on approach. It also went to CEBU for a short second career as RP-C1535.
Air Canada 727-200 C-GAAE joined Air Canada in October 1974. After almost 20 years of good service, it went to FedEx as freighter N254FE “Courtney”. In 2010 it went into final storage at Victorville airport, California. It was scrapped, then cancelled from the US civil aircraft register in April 2013.
Boeing 757 C-FOOE began with Canada 3000 in May 1989, then was G-JMCF with UK operator JMC Airlines. Other operators followed until it was sold to FedEx in 2010 to become freighter N928FD. There it has served solidly as a freighter. On July 16, 2021, for example, it operated Indianapolis-New Orleans-Atlanta, logging 2:36 hours.
CAIL 737-200 C-GCPY at YYZ on September 3, “CPY” joined CAIL in October 1981 as “Empress of Grande Prairie”, then plodded along into 2003. In 2004 it migrated to Indonesia as PK-MBS. It’s listed as sent for scrapping in 2006.
Many smaller “bumble bees” came and went as we waited around watching for the next interesting plane to come or go at YYZ. Here is a typical case — Ontario Express Jetstream 31 C-GJPU. A typical 19-seat commuter airliner, “JPU” served 1987-94, then became LN-FAZ with Coast Air in Norway. In 2021 it was ES-PJA with Tansdaviabaltika in Estonia.
By mid-afternoon, when we were getting ready to head home, the overseas jumbos starting to appear, Lufthansa 747 “combi” D-ABYZ included. Delivered in 1985, it went exclusively into Lufthansa cargo in 1994. Finally, it joined Evergreen International Airlines in 2005. As N487EV, it toiled into 2012, then went for pots ‘n pans at Pinal Airpark in 2017.
Attending the CIAS this year was RAF Nimrod XV230, the first of the RAF’s 38 Nimrods to enter service (1969). We caught it departing to do its show a few miles away along the Toronto waterfront at the Canadian National Exhibition. In 2003, XV230 was modified with intelligence-gathering equipment. While on operations against the Taliban on September 2, 2006, it exploded over Afghanistan and crashed, taking all 14 crew to their deaths. Investigators concluded that the likely cause of this disaster was an overflow during mid-air refueling. This soon met hot air pipes, ignited, then XV230 exploded.

Canada to the Rescue in Honduras

Some of you will remember how “Hurricane Mitch” ploughed across Honduras in 1998 causing huge devastation. In typical form, Canada and the United States were quick to respond with a full humanitarian relief effort.

No sooner was Canada mobilizing to send aid, than I received a call from CFB Trenton. Would I be interested in accompanying this mission to cover it for CANAV Books and the press. Well, since the 1960s I’ve never turned down such an offer, so, on November 15, I rendezvoused at Trenton with 436 Squadron and soon was southbound on a Hercules laden with relief workers and supplies. We refuelled in the dead of night at McDill AFB, Florida, then pushed on for a dawn landing at LaCeiba on the Honduran Caribbean coast. I spent the next few days covering the scene, mainly the dreadful damage caused by “Hurricane Mitch”.

 To get my work done, I took helicopter flights to different areas aboard a Honduran Air Force Bell 212, a Venezuelan Puma, and a CAF 427 Squadron Bell CH-135. The results of these travels were published in “Aircraft Illustrated” of February 1999. Here’s the story for your enjoyment.

This operation was so typical of Canada at its normal humanitarian best. This is an age-old Canadian process, contrary to what those yahoos in Canada today would like you to believe, i.e., Canada is a terrible place, we’d all be far better off in North Korea, etc. Shame on every one of these moral weaklings. They’re an embarrassment to Canada and to any civilized society. All they can do is nitpick away, stupidly magnifying any flaw in our ancient history, most of which occurred long before we were born, and during the normal advance of humanity as it gradually moves (as it never has stopped doing, no matter how slow a process) towards an ever improved level of civilization. Let these idiots read this article about the real Canada, and weep (as if they have any shame, right).

*For similar in-depth articles about Canada’s military operating on humanitarian duties, check out these detailed blog items:

Canadian Forces Supports the Former Soviet Union: 1993 Mission to Krasnoyarsk

Canada’s C-130s to the Rescue – “Operation Preserve” August to December 1991

East Africa Adventure, Summer 1994

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