Yellow Wings return to their roots
The Fairchild Cornell MKII will be touching down at Debert Airport for a two-day visit on Sunday and Monday along with three other Yellow Wings aircraft, which are part of the Mike Potter Collection of Vintage Wings of Canada. Photo by PETER HANDLEY/VINTAGE WINGS OF CANADA
DEBERT- History will be brought to life in Debert this weekend as vintage aircraft take to the skies.
Four beautifully restored Yellow Wings will tell the story of one of Canada's proudest achievements when they touch down at the Debert Airport on Aug. 12 and 13.
"The connection between flying and Debert is synonymous," said Alan Johnson, spokesman for the Colchester Regional Development Association, a tour sponsor along with Debert Flight Centre and Regional Gliding School (Atlantic).
During the Second World War, the yellow planes would have been a familiar sight above the military town.
"All the training planes were painted yellow to identify them to the other pilots in training," said Johnson.
During the 1940s the Yellow Wings built airfields and trained hundreds of thousands of allied Second World War aviators.
This tour is the backdrop to this aviation story.
Yellow Wings volunteer pilots will talk about the significance of their historic planes, operated by Vintage Wings of Canada. The aircraft will be on display and available for rides between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
This stop is one of dozens the volunteer pilots from Vintage Wings of Canada's Yellow Wings Program will make in communities across Canada to pay tribute to a little-known moment in Canada's history, the Second World War British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).
The pilots tell the story of the BCATP and how ordinary Canadians from coast to coast came together in what became known as the "Aerodrome of Democracy" to train hundreds of thousands of aviators from Canada, the British Commonwealth and the United States in the effort to win the war. One of the lasting legacies of the BCATP was the construction of dozens of Canadian airports.
"Debert has a long history of military aviation within Canada," said CoRDA executive director Ron Smith. "As such, we are pleased the Yellow Wings organization has returned to its roots at Debert Airport."
This is the first time the Yellow Wing vintage aircraft show has come to the Debert airport.
"This helps the people of Nova Scotia to celebrate an important part of our past by viewing these fine machines as they take to the air and land in pristine condition, giving visitors a chance to take a ride and speak with the pilots at the Debert airport," said Smith.
Johnson said the show is a perfect fit for the airport. The association has been working to grow the Debert Air Industrial Park by promoting the airport within its boundaries for business uses such as importing and exporting. As recently as last year, the airport also adopted a Canpass system enabling pre-approved international flights to land there.
Johnson said the Yellow Wings event also highlights opportunities for tourism activities that could boost the local economy.
To find out more about the aircraft and the heroes to which they are dedicated, visit www.yellowwings.ca.
What: Vintage aircraft show
Who: Vintage Wings of Canada's Yellow Wings Program
Where: Debert Airport, Spitfire Road, Debert
When: Aug. 12 and 13, showcase events 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
Participating pilots: Ulrich Bollinger, George King, Chris Cormier, Bob Childerhose
Local hosts: Colchester Regional Development Agency, Debert Flight Centre, Regional Gliding School (Atlantic)
Details: The Yellow Wings aircraft are part of the Mike Potter Collection of Vintage Wings of Canada.
They include the North American Harvard, deHavilland Tiger Moth, Fleet Finch and the Fairchild Cornell.
Admission: No admission is charged to view the aircraft.