Long time passing


Let the New Year in, meet it with a grin! La la la lalla… etc, etc. Where does all that stuff go? Seems like only yesterday it was last year! Despite my fancy-digi camera, I still have no pics for 2012, so must troll old shoe boxes for this month’s Whatever Perspective.

Sigh, am a bit creaky for this archival digging. Sorry about last month… Saw something nasty in the barn, as they say at Cold Comfort Farm.

Anyway, hope everyone had a nice Christmas… Still to come as I write… This writing in the past tense for the future is weird, and gets confusing at times. Like a wonky time machine. Sigh. But I babble.

Fortunately I get letters, well, e-mails, from all across our globally warmed planet. Well maybe two, but interesting.


Last Saturday, The Boundary Bay Flying Club and COPA Flight 5 held their annual Pot Luck Christmas Banquet in their new clubhouse in Delta’s Ye Olde Coffee Shop. Thefare was scrumptious, and we lucky folk on table one, got first crack at a wonderful variety of turkey, meatballs, casseroles, exotic desserts, and a genuine flambé English plum pudding! With traditional roast potatoes, sausage rolls, and pizza for afters. Bought new pair of XXXXL pants yesterday. Sigh.

There followed door prizes, a 50-50 draw for the food bank, and male, female, and uni-sex gift exchange. Tom, the rent guy got a set of aviation plugs! We got a tire pump.

Aviation Christmas Rust Removal was accomplished by display of a framed Vancouver Aeronautical Sectional Chart, circa 1946. There have been some changes made!

Some folks present even remembered using the A & N radio beams shown. Fascinating stuff. I still have charts somewhere from my NATO days of Penhold and Gimli, from 1953! But where?

Anyway, the evening was ably emceed by Club President Jim Niessen and his wife Robyn, assisted from time to time by the local human klaxon, your Copaguy.


Remembrance Day ceremonies at Delta Heritage Air Park have become very special for local flying folk and close neighbours. The Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 655 provided a smart escort for the ceremonies, their trumpeter’s evocative Last Post raising the emotional level appropriately for the lowering of the flags, reading the verses, Why Remember, The Ode, in Flanders Field, and the laying of the Wreaths. Some present spoke of loved one’s lost in the wars, and some inspiration for the future.

Whilst the poor weather precluded fly-bys over the Vancouver Cenotaphs, east of the Fraser River was brighter, and Delta’s ceremony was graced by overflights of two separate Warbird formations, the Harvards and The Yak/Nanchengs, who had visited numerous other ceremonies around the Lower Mainland.

I was particularly honoured to be being asked to give my ‘City at War’ slide presentation to Vancouver’s Templeton Secondary School. They have a wonderful theatre, and the students were very attentive, a number of them coming by after with questions and thanks.

To provide a full life perspective and context of war’s terrible effects on ordinary people, my show covers the period from my parent’s childhood, through WWII, the aftermath, and how the sacrifice of those lost, allowed my generation to have a future. The lesson being that somehow, humanity must learn not to repeat these terrible mistakes. Sigh.

It is quite emotional to be a VIP visitor in a modern school, and be summoned to the Principals office! And to find despite what we hear, kids are simplykids, and generally look to we adults for direction. They were fascinated at pics from my teens of our bike racing teams, our custom ‘Track Bikes’ cobbled up from the dump! The 1948 version of today’s mountain bikes. We would have given our eye teeth!


A couple of years ago I wrote a piece about my late good friend Andy Anderson, a civil test pilot for CPA Repairs at RCAF Lincoln Park, Calgary. His son-inlaw Doug Ogle got in touch, and we corresponded some.

Doug is a glider pilot, and has recently restored a 1943 vintage LK-10 glider, originally built as a USAAF trainer. The restoration is as accurate as possible,and is probably be the oldest glider on the Canadian Civil Register. His plan is to Oshawa in spring for a weight & balance, to obtain a flight permit.

He says the windshield was particularly difficult to layout and attach, but it fits so snugly that no caulking or rubber strips are necessary.


My UK Aviation Artist friend, John Batchelor sends me interesting stuff from time to time, and particularly fascinating is a Facebook movie via a Luther Johnson, the ‘Freedom Airfield Air Show September 1945’. John says he would swop that 1945 air show for any modern show in the blink of an eye.

He is pretty good at WWII aircraft recognition, found it good looking along the lines muttering names like Flettner, Macchi, Fiesler, etc. never mind the more common

Me.Bf. Junkers and Heinkel. A great piece of film, though some of the marching guys could use a drill sergeant. But a great display of old aircraft! V-1 and V-2 on display as well. And even better, the background music is contemporary, with ‘In the Mood’ and other classics!

As Luther says, “Can you imagine goin’ to an air show like this one today?! You ain’t gonna believe this one! Go to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1723870789084

The pics I managed to snatch are not the best, but neither is another from my show-box, but the content is great. Big Jerry Janes at Comox AFB with his fab P-51

Cottonmouth by his wonderfull B-25 Mitchell in the good old days of the Western Warbirds Seagull Squadron, circa 1980-ish.


After selling shoes for Bata in Hull, UK, I landed a trainee draftsman job at Blackburn Aircraft nearby at Brough, and the first proper drawing I did was the gear box cover plate for the clamshell doors of their impressive Beverley C-1 military freighter.

I immigrated to Canada at Christmas 1956, and my first job was at Bristol Aircraft in Winnipeg. It was 40 below every day, and I was picked up for work in a tiny Hillman Minx. They still talked of the Bristol Britannia that had been there the previous year for winter trials. Five months later I moved to CPA (Repairs) in Calgary, and heard all about Grant MacConachie and his wondrous airline.

Somewhere along the way I ended up with an assortment of glossy B&W photos in my shoe box files, and by sharing them with you today, maybe someone will recognize the people, places and occasion? I believe they are from Bristols at Winnipeg.

The 1936 Custom Waco EQC-6, CF-DTD was an MoT Inspector’s aircraft, black with yellow wings and speed stripe. This model \Waco is the same as the beautiful restored ‘Doc Pickup’ Custom Cabin CF-CCW at Langley BC’s Canadian Museum of Flight. In 1975, that registration was on a DC-3.

What year is the vintage RCAF fuel truck? Can anyone identify the ramp guy, and what is the aircraft beyond the run-up Waco, a Beech 18 or a Lodestar?


Happy New Year to everyone… Take care out there, have a good year. And so the world turns ever on… That’s all folks… Fly safe now!

— Tony Swain & The Mary