From old to new
The Stanley Airport was relatively quiet during the final day of the Victoria Day fly- in - until the Cormorant Helicopter took off.
With its powerful blades humming, adding to an already windy day, it swung around for a final pass of the airfield before heading to its destination.
Capt. Jarrett Cormier, part of the flight team out of 14 Wing Greenwood, said he has the best job in Canada.
“It’s a CH- 149 Cormorant and it’s our primary search and rescue helicopter,” Cormier said, walking towards the massive yellow machine before lift- off. “It goes up to 150 knots, can carry around 4,000 kilograms of fuel and can go about 1,100 nautical miles.”
Each Cormorant usually has a crew of five and can hoist cargo anywhere from 15 to 60 metres.
“It’s a pretty capable platform,” he said with a grin.
Cormier and his crew stopped in at the Stanley Airport for the fly- in, to grab some breakfast, talk to the other pilots and visitors, and to check out some replica Nieuport, aircraft similar to those used in the battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War.
The final day of the fly- in, May 21, was a bit quieter because wind speeds were quite high, making it challenging for some pilots to make the trip.
Capt. Rob Nicholson admired the lightweight Nieuport replicas, feeling the minute details in the wings and inspecting the classic design.
“We’re the search and rescue standby crew for the day; during the summer we’re on a half- hour posture throughout the weekends too because more stuff tends to happen,” Nicholson said. “We’re just out on patrol most Saturdays and Sundays and knew there was a fly- in going on and decided to meet some of the local aviation community. These are some of our customers as well if anyone has an accident while flying their aircraft, we would be responding to that.”
Nicholson took out his miniature flashlight to inspect the cockpit of the replica aircraft.
“We’ve seen them flying around, they’re definitely interesting to watch,” he said. “I was interested to see what they had for instrumentation, and it is pretty sparse.”
Nicholson said he started flying on gliders with the Cadets.
“It looks like they have a lot of the same equipment they would have had, with a few modern additions, like a transponder,” he said. “It was really neat to see up close.”
Brian Chappell, vicepresident of the Stanley Sport Aviation Association, said he was thrilled to have members of the Royal Canadian Air Force stop by.
Master Corporal Patrick Alan (left), Captain Rob Nicholson, Corporal Ryan Hennessey and Sergeant Mike Cox check out the replica Nieuport aircraft at the Stanley Airport on May 21, 2017. Brian Chappell, vice president of the Stanley Sport Aviation Association with his 1955 Cessna 180 four-seat airplane, which just got a new modern engine.
The CH-149 Cormorant readies for take off at the Stanley Airport.