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Jet Aircraft Museum Celebration of 30th Anniversary of the “Last Flight of the Voodoo”

By Gord McNulty

On April 9, 1987, CF-101 Voodoo #101006 made the last flight of the “One-O-Wonder” in the world from CFB Chatham to CFB Greenwood. In commemoration of that flight, the Jet Aircraft Museum (www.jetaircraftmuseum.ca) held a celebration at its London base on April 9. The event featured a panel discussion by former Voodoo pilots and navigators and live fundraising auction in support of JAM’s Voodoo Restoration Fund. A unique painting of the last flight, titled “One Last Time,” by retired Canadian Forces soldier Peter Robichaud, depicting #101006 taking off with full afterburners alight, was unveiled during the celebration. In 2013, #101006 was donated to JAM in 2013 from the CFB Cornwallis Military Museum in Nova Scotia. The auction, which also launched the sale of 101 limited edition prints of the artwork, will raise funds to continue the preservation of #101006. Greetings were extended by London Mayor Matt Brown, MP Peter Fragiskatos and MPP Teresa Armstrong.

Moderated by Simon Pont, JAM Director of Communications and Events, the panel included Mike Kyne of St. Catharines, the Electronic Warfare Officer who flew in the back seat of the Voodoo on its final flight. He was joined by other former CF-101 aircrew including Steve Wallace of Wasaga Beach, Andrew Kennedy of Oakville, and Peter Levedag of Barrie. The panelists shared lively recollections about the thrill of flying the powerful Voodoo, especially with the afterburners blazing. It was exciting, to be sure, almost too exciting if one afterburner lit before the other, resulting in a violent swing that one panelist described as “pretty uncomfortable.” All of the panelists remembered the Voodoo most notably for its sheer power, high performance and noise. While the Voodoo could roll nicely, it was laboured in a loop. The crew had to be certain they had plenty of altitude before attempting a loop. The panelists paid credit to their largely unsung groundcrews, who worked hard in the worst of weather, starting early every day. Mike Kyne recalled one harrowing flight from North Bay to Winnipeg when the crew ran into heavy weather. They opted to fly through thunder and lightning to “wrestle it in” and safely land at the USAF base at Niagara Falls, NY, where Voodoos were stationed.

Roughly $10,000 has been spent restoring the museum’s Voodoo to date. “It’s not ever going to fly, let’s be clear about that,” Simon said. “We’re never going to be able to restore it to flying condition. What we want to be able to do is restore it to good, visible museum condition, so that people can come see it in all its glory.”

JAM started in 2007 when six CT-133 Silver Star trainers were purchased from the federal government. Crews prepared all six planes for ferry flights, at CFB Mountain View, through late 2008 and all of 2009. The first two aircraft arrived at JAM on April 15, 2009. The final aircraft completed its ferry flight on October 19, 2009. A BAC Jet Provost T.4 owned by Graham Rawlinson flies with the museum. Most recently, a Hawker Hunter T.7 was acquired in an auction in 2016 in the U.K. The jet was used exclusively by the Royal Air Force before being transferred to the Royal Navy as an instructional airframe.

The Hunter last flew in 2014 and was going through its annual inspection when the company that owned it went into receivership. “All indications are that it is an eminently flyable aircraft,” Simon said. It’s expected to be displayed at this year’s Airshow London, Sept. 22-24, at London International Airport. JAM is also planning to restore a CT-133 to a striking Red Knight colour scheme. For more anecdotes about the Voodoo, check out the “CF-101 Voodoo Fans Public Group” on Facebook.

A panel of four former Voodoo aircrew at the JAM celebration

A panel of four former Voodoo aircrew at the JAM celebration, from left Mike Kyne, St. Catharines, Steve Wallace, Wasaga Beach, Andrew Kennedy, Oakville, and Peter Levedag, Barrie.

 

A BAC Jet Provost T Mk4 C FDJP

A_BAC Jet Provost T Mk4,  C-FDJP, shown at the Jet Aircraft Museum, was acquired by Graham Rawlinson in 2011. There are only five known flying Jet Provost survivors.

 

CF 101B Voodoo 101006 at the Jet Aircraft Museum April 9 2017

CF-101B Voodoo 101006 at the Jet Aircraft Museum, April 9, 2017.

 

Models of the three British V bombers

Models of the three British V-bombers are featured in a display at the JAM.

 

Two of the CT 133 Canadair Silver Stars

Two of the CT-133 Canadair Silver Stars in the JAM fleet, April 9, 2017.

 

Hawker Hunter T7

The Jet Aircraft Museum's Hawker Hunter T.7 was acquired by the museum in 2016 and last flew in 2014.