CHAA FlyDay at Tillsonburg among the highlights of the 2017 CAHS Convention at London

Gord McNulty

Sunny skies provided ideal conditions for CAHS Convention attendees who travelled from London to nearby Tillsonburg Regional Airport on 10 June to enjoy a Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association ( FlyDay. Check out Gus Corujo’s spectacular images of the people and aircraft involved at The outing began with an overview of “CHAA,” as it’s called, by Terry Scott, Director of Public Relations. He outlined how a handful of aviation enthusiasts formed an association to keep the memory of the Harvard and the BCATP alive so that future generations would never forget the sacrifices that were made to maintain our freedom. That was 32 years ago. Today, the all-volunteer, Tillsonburg-based CHAA owns 10 aircraft including six airworthy Harvards, a beautifully restored Yale and a Tiger Moth, along with two hangars and two portable buildings.

Convention attendees enjoyed conversing with CHAA stalwarts including President Bjarni Tryggvason, Past President Pat Hanna, and Technical Operations Chief and Archivist Shane Clayton. Then it was time to take to the air, as several CAHS members were thrilled to experience Harvard flights. Convention Chairperson Jim Bell savoured a formation flight with John Bertram, Marco Jonker and Jack Twells. Marco and Hugh Halliday each had a separate flight, while Robert Orr had an aerobatic flight. John has provided a five-part photographic post-mortem of the Convention, including excellent coverage of his experience in the formation flight, including video clips, click here.

A special Convention attraction --- the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Norseman Mk. V, piloted by Steve McIntosh --- flew in to add to the excitement. The museum’s Norseman, CF-GSR, was built in 1950 by Canadian Car and Foundry, Fort William, ON. Mounted on floats, it first flew with a forestry company in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Later it moved East and operated with a succession of companies in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba until it finally went to Huron Air and Outfitters in Ontario. CWHM acquired CF-GSR from them and it arrived at the museum in 2015. The CAHS would like to thank CWHM President and CEO Dave Rohrer, Flight Co-Ordinator Laura Hassard-Moran and Marketing Manager Al Mickeloff for facilitating the much-appreciated appearance of the Norseman.

Two Canadian-registered T-28 Trojans were among some of the other notable aircraft that participated. A T-28C, C-GKOL, in U.S. Navy colours, was flown by Alf Beam of Fort Erie, ON, and a T-28B, C-GDKR, in U.S. Army markings, was flown by Danny Richer of Tillsonburg. The pilots flew in formation, adding to an impressive FlyDay enjoyed by everyone before the group returned to the Best Western Plus Stoneridge Inn for the remainder of another successful Convention.

Photos and notes courtesy of Jim Bell

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 CHAA is working at a steady pace to restore this Harvard Mk. 4, 20304, C-FBZT, to airworthy condition.

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 North American Yale 3399. It appeared in the film Captains of the Clouds. It didn't fly while we were at CHAA.

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Marco Jonker, a CAHS member from Calgary, flies in the back seat of 422.

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John Bertram and Jack Twells in aircraft three and four.

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This is 436, the slot aircraft with Jack Twells. It's painted as a No 2 Flying Training School aircraft from the late '50s / early '60s, as you can see from the "Big 2" badge on the engine cowl.

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John Bertram in aircraft 242, and Jack Twells in 436. We were flying to the east of Tillsonburg while these photos were taken.

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Tiger Moth 5030 needed a wing walker to keep straight in the breeze while taxiing back to the apron after a flight.

CWHM Norseman Gord McNulty

The vintage CWHM Norseman, CF-GSR, arriving as a special Convention visitor at Tillsonburg June 10, 2017 - Photo: Gord McNulty