Adventures with G-AKDN - Chapter 13

KDN with James, Saskatchewan MLA Laura Ross, Dave, Terry Lyons, handing over the "batton" to be delivered to Brandon Manitoba.

Lights camera action! Besides being a centerfold in EAA Vintage Aircraft magazine, KDN has also been featured in a TV commercial advertising high speed Internet for the provincial telecommunications company SaskTel. With a 35mm camera in the front seat, I flew formation and aerobatics from the back seat. KDN is unique in that it can be soloed from either seat. Another indication of the lightweight and different handling quality compared to the production models. We continued to fly and display the airplane at events all over Western Canada.

Graham Fox would arrive each fall and do the annual inspections, while our local AME Doug Tomlinson would guide us in the day-to-day maintenance. We continued to fly it during summers and stored it over the winters.

One the 100th anniversary of flight in Canada we contributed to the celebrations and flew a leg in the Back to Beddeck program. This was a coast to coast rally flown by vintage aircraft. The northern portion of the relay started in Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 5 March 2009 going west across the Canadian north to end up in Comox, B.C. by May. The southern portion flew west to east from Comox, B.C. starting on 23 May and end at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia September 12.

This cross Canada flight will stop at all each provincial capital as well as in Ottawa. On board the aircraft will be the "baton" (actually a black briefcase) which will contain special mint coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint and commemorative stamps issued by Canada Post, cancelled in Baddeck on the Anniversary date, affixed to a specifically designed envelope. These will be presented to the provincial Premiers and the Governor General of Canada.

KDN was chosen to pick up the baton from an F-18 from Cold Lakeland fly the leg from Regina to Brandon Manitoba, and hand it off to a Harvard. James and I arrived and departed on time from Regina, to arrive in time to hand off the bag to the Harvard, which departed quickly as a monster thunderstorm hit the airport as we pushed KDN into the BCATP Museum. Soaked to the skin we spent the night and got to know the people at this incredible museum. Since then we have become pilot volunteers for the museum, flying their Tiger Moth, Cornell, and Harvard. A few years later, this museum flying experience would be key to allowing me to fly another very exciting aircraft…the Spitfire!

to be continued…

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