Vintage jet buzzes Calgary on aviation celebration tour

A special guest made its return to Calgary yesterday after being away from the city for over 46 years.

A special guest made its return to Calgary yesterday after being away from the city for over 46 years.

The Golden Hawks’ ex-RCAF F86 Sabre fighter jet is paying a visit to Calgary, and Calgarians can see the jet today at the Art Smith Aerocentre.

“This is the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada, (and) there was a group formed to celebrate by flying historical aircraft around Canada,” said Gary Watson of the NATO Veterans Organization.

“The Sabre is such a significant part of our aviation heritage — in the ’50s we had 1,000 of them.”

The pilot touring the Sabre around the country is retired Lt.-Col. Dan Dempsey, who said it was a dream come true.

“Flying this airplane is an absolute thrill, there’s just no other way of putting it,” he said.

Dempsey added seeing the very first Golden Hawks display in Calgary was what inspired him to join the air force.

“I was mesmerized by the Golden Hawks right from an early age,” he said.

Dempsey urges Calgarians to take a look at the fighter during its brief layover in the city.

“Everybody that sees the airplane is really impressed with it, and of course it means an awful lot to the RCAF,” Dempsey said.

 
 
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