Alberta farmers complete epic mission to get wartime plane back in the sky


FAIRVIEW At age 95, former Second World War pilot Hal Burns could be called a living embodiment of Canadian history.

On Sunday, at the tiny Fairview Municipal Airport in northwestern Alberta, he met another one.

Not another veteran, mind you. Rather, Burns reconnected with a newly refurbished Canso aircraft, the very same patrol bomber he had piloted three times on submarine hunting missions during the war.

It was the first time he had seen it fly again in 72 years, and the first time anyone had seen it fly since 2001.

“The Cansos were a big plane and slow plane but there was no purpose in going faster,” said Burns, who spent most of his life in Edmonton but now resides in Victoria. “The idea was to go low and slow when going after submarines.”

The first official flight of a restored Canso PBY-5A World War II patrol bomber, one of thirteen aircraft of its kind in the world that are still flight-worthy, was a success. Hundreds of people attended the event at the Fairview Municipal Airport in Fairview, Alberta on Sunday June 18, 2017. (PHOTO BY LARRY WONG/POSTMEDIA) Story by Keith Gerein
Larry Wong, POSTMEDIA NETWORK

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The first official flight of a restored Canso PBY-5A Second World War patrol bomber, one of 13 aircraft of its kind in the world that are still flight-worthy, was a success. Hundreds of people attended the event at the Fairview Municipal Airport in Fairview, Alta., on Sunday June 18, 2017.

The opportunity for Burns to visit Canso, RCAF 11094, again was perhaps the unlikeliest of reunions.

A little under 16 years ago, the aging aircraft was employed in firefighting duty in the Northwest Territories when it crashed on a lake north …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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