Wings on My Sleeve - David H. Tate, Captain (N) / Colonel CAF

Wings on My Sleeve - David H. Tate, Captain (N) / Colonel CAF

David Tate reminisces about receiving his wings as a naval aviator, landing aboard aircraft carriers, flying naval jets, and participating in anti-submarine missions with the Royal Canadian Navy. Having flown many aircraft in his illustrious and extensive career, Mr. Tate visits the Hawker Sea Fury, an aircraft he affectionately refers to as "his first love."

"Voices from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum", a new documentary film series produced by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in collaboration with Outsiders Films Inc., focuses the spotlight on men who have left their mark on Canada's aviation history.
 

David Tate reminisces about receiving his wings as a naval aviator, landing aboard aircraft carriers, flying naval jets, and participating in anti-submarine missions with the Royal Canadian Navy. Having flown many aircraft in his illustrious and extensive career, Mr. Tate visits the Hawker Sea Fury, an aircraft he affectionately refers to as "his first love."

"Voices from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum", a new documentary film series produced by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in collaboration with Outsiders Films Inc., focuses the spotlight on men who have left their mark on Canada's aviation history.

Voices from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum 

Interview with David H. Tate

 

00:00:00 (ANIMATED LOGO)

    OUTSIDERS FILMS        

 

 

 00:00:10 (TITLE)    CANADA AVIATION AND SPACE MUSEUM

 00:00:15 (TITLE)    Wings on My Sleeve

 00:00:24 (TITLE)    David H. Tate

Captain (N) / Colonel CAF

 

00:00:31    The first question I have for you is what is your finest aviation memory?  

00:00:36    I guess the finest would have to be receiving my wings. A lot of training leading up to there: eleven months at Centralia and receiving my pilot's wings with my mom and dad present for the graduation. That was my finest.

00:00:53    Just describe for those people that don't know wings ... what getting your wings is all about. 

00:00:58    I'm taking a lot for granted. 

00:01:00    Well, you go through training and when the instructors, the hierarchy, feel that you're qualified to fly an airplane by yourself and do a certain job, ready to go to operational training, they say "OK, you're entitled to receive the coveted wings."  And in January of 1951, I got the wings and I have to say that my wings were pinned on my sleeve because naval aviators wore their wings on their sleeve.

00:01:29    (VISUALS)

00:01:35    All of your time in aviation, what's the proudest moment, whether it's when you were working with some of the Lockheed or some of the other companies or whether you were flying.

 

00:01:43    I think perhaps my proudest moment would be some testing we were doing on an electrical—it was called the Anti-submarine Warfare Tactical Navigation System, which was basically a system that would—electrical, mechanical and optical—which incorporated the feedback from the airplane: height, airspeed, heading and what have you—and an input from your anti-submarine sensors. 

00:02:14    (VISUALS)

00:02:22    Um, we had an opportunity. There was a group called Task Force Alpha with the American carrier Valley Forge. We were in Halifax; we deployed aboard and headed off to the south to participate in an exercise which was an exercise against the nuclear Skipjack—nuclear submarine Skipjack—to see how it fared against it.

00:02:50    We get going on the exercise and the, the uh, the object for Skipjack was to get inside the screen and raise hell around the convoy. We were briefed this one morning; we set out to search ahead of the convoy. And uh, fortunately, we received a contact of Skipjack on the magnetic anomaly detector, which is just something in the airplane that detects uh, a change in the earth's magnetic field. 

00:03:26    I looked out the side of the airplane and I could just see a hull, long below, way below the water. We dropped a smoke float and started tracking then. We went from there to another system, which was called [Julie] explosive echo ranging, sort of a sonobuoy type saturation. I brought the airplane around; I guess it was a little hairy for the boys in the back because I was back over the initial contact in about forty seconds and in a Tracker, you had to crank it around a bit for that.

00:04:00    Got another contact on that and we went from there. The long and the short of it is that we tracked Skipjack for fifty-five minutes. The previous best time in tracking Skipjack, the nuclear boat was five minutes. So this system: the Tactical Navigation System more than showed what it was capable of doing. We'd call other ships in that were there; they'd pick up the contact then they'd lose him. We'd find him again. Helicopters come in; they'd lose him; we'd find him again. And it went on for fifty-five minutes.

00:04:34    (VISUALS)

00:04:44    I think a lot of people today don't know that Canada had a Canadian Naval Air. Do you want to talk just a bit about Canada's Naval aviators?

00:04:55    Well, I could talk forever on that subject. It's obviously my favourite one but I guess we go back when the first carrier that—well, we've had five carriers in the navy that not too many people know of:  Puncher, Nabob and from 1948 on, we had Warrior, then Magnificent and then Bonaventure. I have to say that naval aviators are a special breed; they're a different group of cat.  

00:05:23    You'll never get more dedicated or disciplined or fun-loving guys than naval aviators. They believe in what they're doing and to this day anyone that has been associated with the RCN and naval aviation is—remains very proud and very dedicated to it.

00:05:42    (VISUALS)

00:06:03    Well, Dave I don't have to ask you what your favourite aircraft is. I think we're sitting in it.

00:06:07    So true. 

00:06:08    so the burning question that everybody wants to know is "what was this aircraft like to fly?"

00:06:13    This airplane as I've often said, was my first love. My wife is now my first love. However, uh, I felt comfortable the moment I got in it, even with all the power. It had so much power was one of its attributes. You had 2500 horsepower with a 12,000 pound airplane. And that's a lot of ... a lot of power for a small amount of airplane.

00:06:37    The harmonization of the controls and the responsiveness and the effectiveness of them was not as good as the sophisticated ones today. But it was—they were such that it made you feel right at home. The airplane felt part of you is the best way I can describe it. 

00:06:58    And of all the aircraft I've flown and I've flown a few, uh, this was and still remains my favourite. 

 

 

An Interview With David H. Tate, Captain (N)/Colonel CAF

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

 

Associate Director General Stephen Quick

Project Lead Renée Racicot

Site Coordinator Johic Nicolas

Technical Support Jean-François Labrosse

Executive Assistant/Volunteer Lead Linda Dupuis

Lift Jockey Gary Sanford

Conservation Technician (Aircraft) Matt Bruce

Conservation Aircraft Specialist Lee Norris

Conservation Aircraft Specialist Corey Stephen

conservation Aircraft Specialist Mike Irvin

Photographer Richard Lawrence

 

Director General Anthony Smyth

Director of Operations Marc Ducharme

Manager – Conservation Sue Warren

Manager – Technical Services Bruce Malanka

Manager – Internal Communications,

New Media and Inter-Governmental Affairs David Sutin

 

Outsiders Films Crew

Interviewer Stephen Quick

Producer Ginette Petit

Director of Photography & Film Editing Alain Baril

Sound Recordist Marc Larouche

Makeup Artist Sara Kryszak

Music Westar Music

 

We would like to thank Mr. David H. Tate for allowing us access

to his personal archival collection.

 

We would also like to thank all the employees of the Canada

Aviation and Space Museum for their passion, dedication, and

patience during the filming of this production.

 

©The Canada Aviation and Space Museum – 2010

CANADA AVIATION AND SPACE MUSEUM

 

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