Adventures with G-AKDN - Chapter 12

Dave, James and KDN

"Move up one foot and in three feet." said the photographer over the radio. Here James and I were flying formation with the EAA Photo aircraft over the Wisconsin countryside. What an honour to be asked to do this. One of my favourite aviation writers Bud Davisson had asked to write an article about KDN and our adventures with her. This article appeared in the EAA vintage aircraft magazine and KDN was also featured on the back cover. 

We had returned to Downsview to collect KDN and fly her to the EAA Fly In at Oshkosh. James’s son Charles flew as co-pilot on the trip. We made a stop in Brampton where we flew an air-to-air photo mission with the great Canadian photographer Eric Dumigan. Eric’s and EAA photos of KDN have become very well known and represent the iconic image of start of the Chipmunk story.

Charles and I departed Oshkosh for the long flight back to Saskatoon in typical blistering humid heat of the Wisconsin summer. Poor KDN. What a trooper, as she pushed through the constant hot headwinds, making her way Northwest. The oil temperature was pegged on the gage. Stopping for fuel en route we were also overheated and gave up to wait for cooler weather. The Gypsy engine just kept purring and never gave an indication of being stressed. I understood how all the famous long distance flyers felt as they crossed continents and oceans setting records. Flying England to Africa to Australia, the Gypsy gained a well-earned reputation and continues today performing for us as we crossed North America.

Arriving back at home in Saskatoon we breathed a sigh of relief. We were glad to be home safe and sound. We were very proud to have accomplished our goal of getting KDN back in the air as she looked 60 years ago, fly her across Canada to meet up with her original test pilot on the spot she was built, 60 years to the day. An ambitious plan that played out perfectly.  

This was just one of many more special adventures we would have in KDN.

to be continued...

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