From old to new

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COVER STORY - BY COLIN CHISHOLM stan­ley www. hantsjour­nal. ca

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.

Colin chisholM

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.

Colin chisholM

Colin chisholM

The CH-149 Cor­morant read­ies for take off at the Stan­ley Air­port.

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