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Air Rallye soars after dubious start

Despite being grounded and rained out on Saturday, the Classic AirRallye at the Canada Aviation Museum rallied nicely with solidattendance yesterday.

Despite being grounded and rained out on Saturday, the Classic Air Rallye at the Canada Aviation Museum rallied nicely with solid attendance yesterday.

The weekend air show got off to a rocky start. On Friday, Howard Cook, a 41-year-old pilot visiting from England, was hospitalized after the 1946 de Havilland Tiger Moth he was scheduled to fly crashed shortly after taking off from the Gatineau airport.

The crash has brought a heightened sense of caution to the activities around the show, said Vintage Wings pilot Robert Erdos.

“There are always certain risks to operating vintage airplanes. We minimize them, but we accept them,” he said.

Saturday’s heavy rain meant no planes were flying, but yesterday the ceiling was up to 4,000 feet, which meant all serviceable planes spent some time in the air making demonstration fly-pasts.

Air Rallye spokesperson Peter Pigott said they are not putting on the typical “boom and zoom” air show. The planes fly past at slower speeds, which allows people to get a better look when they are in the air. They are also parked nearby for people to examine up close on the ground.

“They’re just beautiful planes,” said Chris Geren, who attended the show with his wife Mary, his two-year-old son Keith and his parents. “I used to love looking at the old war planes in books when I was a kid, and my grandfather is a big war buff so he knows a lot about them. It’s fun to come out and see them.”

Canadian Forces pilot Capt. Mathew Cormie said most air shows he’s been to focus on jets, bombers and air-acrobatics teams, whereas the Classic Air Rallye encourages more interaction between planes, pilots and the public.

Cormie attended the air show yesterday with a CT-156 Harvard II training plane from Moose Jaw, Sask.

“People are really interested to hear what we do and where we’re based,” he said. “We’re showing the kids what they can fly if they wanted to join the air force.”

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