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Roger Slauenwhite shares this information -

A follow up to the NetLetter #1450.

The aircraft picture from Whitehorse Flying School is definitely a Fleet Canuck.

At Central Airways Flying School in Toronto, we operated 6 Canuck airplanes. I have flown them all many times when working as a Flight Instructor at Central Airways, sometimes called the “Chinese Airforce”.

(Editors' Note: See Wayne's Wings for more on the "Chinese Airforce" reference.)

Many TCA/Air Canada pilots took their first flying instruction on this aircraft. We processed over 100 student pilots for the airline. The Canuck was a good aircraft for training and could take a “hard landing” that you could walk away from.

I have flown the aircraft on many photography flights with the passenger door removed. The control stick on the right hand side was also removed to provide more room for camera equipment.

'WINDY - COLD - NOISY'.

With the door removed, your “fastened seatbelt” was your first priority, especially in a tight turn! You would not want to exit the aircraft before your passenger at 500 feet, because your seatbelt wasn’t securely fastened.

tmb 550 fleet canuck

Photography flights taken for the Toronto Star and Telegram newspapers were:

  • TCA Viscount crash in Malton, Ontario years ago.
  • Jail break at Kingston Penitentiary.
  • Cattle train wreck in Scarborough, Ontario - cows running all over the place.
  • Several major fires.

A newspapers reporter always wanted you to fly at least 500 feet below DOT minimums to get a better picture. A tricky situation to say the least.

Roger Slauenwhite,
Ex-Flight Instructor and AC Pionair.

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