Dave Maric (Left) and Todd Lemieux hold up their “Calgary or Bust!” sign.
This past weekend was a busy one at the Vintage Wings hangar in Gatineau – Saturday was our Annual Volunteer Training Day, with over 200 volunteers who came out to start preparing for the Wings Over Gatineau-Ottawa air show in the fall. On Friday through Sunday we held our second annual Canadian Air Demonstration Formation Camp, with over 22 aircraft from across Canada and the US coming together to lay the foundation for Canadian Formation Standard Operating Procedures. And in the midst of it all, amongst the the big, brawling T28s, the sleek jets, the squadron of Harvards, the flight of Pitts’, the crowds of people and the pile of hamburgers, one small yellow craft quietly slipped the surly bonds, took up a bearing of 270 and left the Gatineau control zone for perhaps the last time. On Sunday morning, without fanfare, our Boeing Stearman, fresh from its official dedication to Harry Hannah the day before, left for Calgary.
Bruce Evans’ T28 taxis out for a formation flight at the Second Annual Canadian Air Demonstration Formation Camp.
While the hangar was a beehive of activity the last week, volunteer pilot Todd Lemieux was focused on flight planning. After all, 2000 miles is a long way to go in an open-cockpit biplane. And don’t forget – map reading is hard with the wind trying to tear it from your clutching grasp.
Our wonderful volunteers at the annual Volunteer Training Day.
Todd’s accomplice on this mega-journey is Dave Maric, who flew in late Saturday night after finishing up at his day job out in Calgary. These cowboys donned their flightsuits, took their nervous pee, cranked ‘er up, and were off with a wave.
They made it all the way to Wawa the first day. With weather in their favour, they cruised over to Kenora for their second night. And as of this writing, they were en route to Winnipeg, where the Stearman officially starts her star-studded summer tour.
Todd Lemieux (left) and Dave Maric: a partnership of speed.
For questions or to find out where the Stearman will be appearing next, email firstname.lastname@example.org.