Musuem Progress Report from our Fall 2009 Newsletter


While all of these events were underway much was also being accomplished by our dedicated Museum volunteers on the many projects underway. To give them full justice they will be reported on, with photos, in the Winter edition of our Newsletter

Among these were:

  • Raising aircraft on jacks to  unload tires
  • Continued restoration of the  Cessna L-19
  • Completion and delivery to  the  Museum of the Piper PA-38  Tomahawk as restored  in   Fredericton
  • Continued restoration of the  Jetstar interior
  • A remote control aircraft model to demonstrate flying control actions
  • Painting of the CF-101 Voodoo on external display
  • Many incidental, but vital, improvements in Museum displays


We were extremely pleased to have a  virtually complete photo record of our many displays presented to the Museum.  The photos were extremely professionally done thanks to the work of Jennifer McKinnon. Jennifer is the cousin of Colin Wilmshurst who is the prime mover of our L-19 restoration project .

Jennifer trying out the cockpit of the Avenger

(Photo – Colin Wilmshurst)

It is planned that many of these photos will appear in the Museum Website and will appear in the Newsletters as various displays are discussed.

Jennifer – please accept our sincere thanks for a job so very well done.

See our full Newsletter in pdf format here

T-33 Cockpit Move Fall 2007

In late October, our team relocated the T-33 cockpit from the Silver Dart Gal lery to the MacLoon Gallery as part of the Silver Dart Gallery Renovation proj- ect. To move the cockpit to its new location with the CF-100 and Sabre (Below) required the movement of the Bell 206, the Halifax International Airport Map, the outside J-57 engine (which required the tires to be put back on and later removed, the T-33 fuselage, Bird dog, V-1 and several exhibit panels and or cases. The move went very smooth over 2 Sat urdays. Thanks to the members for their help and to Bob MacIlreith for the use of his truck to pull the fuselage up the hill to the main hanger.

As we finished up the T-33 cockpit move, Piercey’s arrived with the boom truck of building supplies for this win- ter’s project. We were fortunate enough to have all the supplies boomed into both buildings, saving us a lot of mov- ing. Once the boom truck was finished, both buildings were closed up for the

Newsletter Article May 2001 Operation Harvard Part 2

Operation “Harvard” Part 2

Report and Photos by: Rob MacIlreith

A further step in the Harvard Restoration was made over Easter weekend. The Harvard wings were painted at Provincial Western Star late Friday afternoon and returned to the Museum around noon on Saturday. Upon arrival the wings were installed on the Harvard. This is the first time since the Harvard’s arrival at the Museum that both wings have been on at the same time. With the installation of the wings, the look and size of the Harvard has taken on a totally new shape. Thanks to Danny McLaughlin for organizing both the transportation of the wings and their painting. Members involved include: Danny McLaughlin, Ken Brown, Pat Smith, Barry Rodenhiser, Dave McMahon, Bill Leeming and Rob MacIlreith.

Thanks to all the other members that pitched in to unload and install the wings when they arrived at the Museum. Also, thanks to Provincial Western Star for the use of their paint facility and thanks to Fraser Percy for painting the wings. Currently Crew Chief Bill Leeming and Ron Cunningham are working on the landing light covers and installing other completed components on the aircraft. Visitors to the Museum will see a much more complete Harvard, parked in a slightly different location, this year compared to last.

Eventually the restored Harvard will form the center of a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) exhibit at the Museum. In fact, we are currently looking for volunteers to help with the research work on the BCATP exhibit. The Museum Executive would like to see a completed exhibit in place for the 2002 Season. If you might be interested in helping with the research of this piece of history we would like to hear from you.

ACAM’s Harvard Mk II

The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum was fortunate enough to recieve a Harvard Mk II from the Canadian Aviation Musuem, in Ottawa, on a ten year loan. While on loan to the Museum, the Harvard is to be cleaned up and restored for static display. The Harvard arrived at ACAM in the summer of 1996, courtesy of Owen Davis Trucking in Lower Sackville. The aircraft was in fair shape, however much restoration work has been done and still more is required.

A small team of members began restoration at once, beginning with the cockpit and it’s vast greenhouse canopy and proceeding on to the engine. Work proceeded on the old bird under the leadership of the late Doug Ordinal. With Doug’s passing in the summer of 2000, the role of crew chief was turned over to Bill Leeming. By Feb 2001, the fuselage was ready for painting and Operation “Harvard” was carried out

Newsletter Article March 2001 – Operation Harvard

Operation “Harvard”
By: Ken Brown

After months of corrosion control and prep work the Harvard fuselage was removed from the Museum painted and returned to the Museum during the weekend of Jan 13th. The aircraft was transported by Atlantic Tiltload Ltd. and painted at the Provincial Western Star paint facility in Dartmouth. The wings will be painted at a later date and markings will be reapplied in the spring. A hearty congratulation goes out to Crew Chief Bill Leeming and Ron Cunningham who have spent plenty of hours on the corrosion control and preparation for painting after Doug Ordinal’s passing. Also, a big thank you goes out to Danny McLaughlin, who organized both transportation and the painting at Provincial Western Star.

The following Museum members were involved with the move and masking efforts during the weekend of the operation: Danny MacLaughlin, Danny Price, Bruce Paul, Barry Rodenhiser, Bill Leeming, Dave McMahon, Ken Brown, Pat Smith and Dave Powell.

Special Thanks To:
The Painters: Fraser Percy, Greg Rogers
Provincial Western Star: David Lockhart
Atlantic Tilt Load: Darren Butcher
Driver who picked up the Harvard: Paul Kiddson
Delivery Driver: Darren Tone

Again, ACAM wishes to thank those people and organizations that help make it possible for us to preserve aviation history in Atlantic Canada. Without that ongoing community support our organization would not exist. Your professionalism and generosity is appreciated.

Newsletter Article February 2001 – Jetstar Painting by Paul Tuttle

Local aviation artist and Museum member Paul Tuttle delivered his latest masterpiece to the Museum in early December. It is a 8′ x 12′ painting of ACAM’s Jetstar in flight. The painting has been hanged on the wall at the back of the hanger in the center frame. It is a wonderful addition to the collection. The color is very vivid and it brightens up the back wall significantly. When asked what’s next Paul answered, “I’m thinking of a CF-100 in a large format as a 2001 project.” Awesome job Paul, keep up the great work!

Newsletter Article November 2000 – Canadair Sabre V

Gate Guard To Display Aircraft: Canadair Sabre V
By Frank MacLoon

Museums, such as ACAM, rely on obtaining display aircraft from a number of sources. Sometimes these are relatively complete aircraft that require little beyond preservation measures to ensure their future. Others are recovered from crash sites such as our Canso and TBM Avenger. These require long-term reconstruction and restoration involving long searches for missing components.

ACAM’s first experience in recovering a Gate Guard was the Canadair Sabre V, which had been on external display at CFB Chatham, New Brunswick. While obviously in a reasonably good and complete condition. Our experience has shown that such aircraft require a long and, sometimes, difficult effort to bring them to a properly well restored and preserved display.

Sabre #23355 had been on strength with the Sabre Transition Unit (STU) at Chatham and is believed to have served for a period with the RCAF Air Division in Europe. Sabres were, of course, the mounts of the world famous Golden Hawks aerobatic team; which was formed at Chatham in 1959. The Golden Hawks operated from Chatham until moved to Trenton, in 1962. They were officially disbanded in 1964 after having thrilled millions with their dramatic displays.

September 17, 1967 was designated as Golden Hawks Day in honour of the team. On that day the Base unveiled Sabre #23355 painted in Golden Hawk colours, mounted on a pedestal. The aircraft had a direct connection to the Hawks having been used in the development of their display routines

ACAM had long sought a Sabre. Therefore, when it became known that CFB Chatham would close in 1996, and that the local community was unable to meet the costs of removal and preservation, efforts were launched to acquire the aircraft for our collection.

Museum member Dr. John Christie supported by Jim McCombe and Bill Stewart who were both Golden Hawk pilots in the years 1959, 1960, and 1961 carried out the negotiations with the DND. While there were concerns from the local community ACAM was able to demonstrate an ability and intent to properly preserve and maintain this historic aircraft and was given permission to acquire it.

The engine and landing gear had been removed before display the mounted aircraft still weighed in at some 7,500 lbs. Here the excellent co-operation of Base personnel came into play, as a large crane was made available to remove the Sabre from its mount and place it in an available hangar.

A crew of eight ACAM members, led by the late Doug Ordinal, arrived and began the process of disassembly. They were greatly aided by the direct efforts of MWO Romeo Goulet and were afforded every co-operation by the Base Commander Lt. Col Van Will.

While the Sabre had been well maintained there was early evidence of the effects of bird ingress and general corrosion from extended outside display. These effects would require much remedial work. Dismantling took two days of effort and once almost came to a complete halt, as a large sized Allen key essential for wing removal could not be located. Fortunately, one was located at a local auto parts store just moments before closing time on the weekend.

Once dismantled the Sabre was transported to Halifax and partially reassembled in the Air Canada hangar. From there it was moved to the Museum. It was initially displayed mounted on the modified wood forms used in it’s dismantling at Chatham. Early efforts included extensive cleaning of the aircraft interior of accumulated sand, bird nests, and other debris.

The immediate problem was to locate a complete landing gear to allow proper display and ability to move the aircraft. This proved to be an extremely difficult process and required a $4,000 (U.S.) investment, supported by member contributions, and transportation of components from Arizona where many Sabres had ended their days as target drones. A trip to Pennsylvania was also required to locate other gear components.

To present a complete listing of all the members, supporters, and companies involved in bringing the project to its current state would require an article in itself. Suffice it to say that few among our active members and supporters, and among our corporate friends, were not involved at some point.

At this point the restoration was under the leadership of John Christie and Doug Ordinal with the support of many. First priority was the installation of the landing gear; which lead to the happy day when Sabre #23355 once again sat on her own “feet”. Among the difficult operations was the fabrication of new flap trailing edges, made locally, and their replacement. The instrument panels, gun sights, and other cockpit equipment were removed and a huge effort was begun to restore the complete cockpit.

More parts, including a belly panel, which had been replaced by the pedestal mount, were acquired from Arizona. In accordance with the Museum’s policy of appointing a Crew Chief to lead each restoration effort the Sabre became the responsibility of Marcel Olsen. Marcel has given the project dedicated leadership and took the very unusual step of introducing a group of young Air Cadets to his team. They have become committed and enthusiastic partners in this lengthy restoration.

At this point a full program of corrosion repair and control began with the removal of the wing panels where paint was found peeling along with corrosion on the inside surfaces. Glass beading and brushing was employed along with proper priming. This was followed by many such efforts around the aircraft. Each crewmember has specialized in a different area as work has continued on the cockpit, control surfaces, and airframe in many areas.

Control surfaces are being made operational and the leading edges of the wings, stabilizers and drop tanks are being buffed to their original high lustre. Birds nests have been located in the wing tips. These were removed along with the considerable corrosion that resulted. The affected areas having been repaired and primed.

One badly corroded fuselage hatch has had to be remanufactured while another was repairable. The anti-glare panel has been repainted, landing gear panels have been stripped and repainted. Speed brake recesses and doors are being redone and consideration is now being given to the many other areas of repainting and component restoration still remaining.

There are still a number of items being sought in order to present the Sabre as a truly complete example of an historic aircraft and one that had a significant presence in our region. It’s display in Golden Hawk colours also honours those that served in that marvellous group that brought so much recognition to our Armed Forces and to Canada itself.

Our continued appreciation goes to all among our members, our supporters, and the many Companies whose efforts have combined to bring the Museum a fine example of a very unique aircraft – Sabre V #23355.

We believe we are meeting the commitments made to restore and preserve a truly significant artifact.


Newsletter Item November 2000 – TBM Avenger Project

TBM Avenger
By Frank MacLoon

Work on the TBM Avenger is progressing at a good pace as an outdoor activity on the ramp at the Forest Protection Limited (FPL) base in Fredericton. Restoration on the aircraft itself is carried out as a warm weather activity. Other work, such as that carried out at the Moncton Aircraft Maintenance School or on small components in personal workshops, goes on during the winter months.

The summer began with the much-appreciated addition of Clem Crocker, an experienced Avenger Engineer, to our crew of four.

First priority was to complete the construction of the “shelf” section, which incorporates the oil cooler and control door and is the base of the aircraft’s equipment bay. A large amount of metal fabrication and riveting was required. At the same time reconstruction of the other area of extensive damage, the lower rear fuselage was begun in earnest.

The next step was to move the now completed R2600-20 engine from the Moncton School. Here we owe our thanks to Gordon Nielson and his students for undertaking the immense task of building a complete engine from an assortment of parts acquired around the country including from several crash sites.

The engine, weighing some 2850 lbs, was moved from Moncton early in July thanks to a trailer supplied by Heinz Limpert of Canadian Helicopters. Installation was carried out soon after followed by the remaining engine attachments and accessories. Following this the engine cowlings were fitted and, while many more days of effort were required to fit components, fabricate metal, and rivet on the forward area, the old TBM was beginning to take on a new appearance.

During the summer a damaged bomb tank, complete with doors, was acquired which, on repair, will allow the aircraft to be accurately completed in it’s Air Tanker configuration A trip to the 1973 TBM crash site near Sussex by John Mossman, Don Henry and Gord Nielson recovered a complete, but badly bent, propeller which has produced a number of small parts needed to complete our example. This is the same site from which an engine was recovered in 1998.

Next came the installation of the vertical fin and stabilizers on which any needed repairs had already been completed.

The lower rear fuselage required removal and replacement of many damaged structural sections and the fabrication of new formers and stringers. This required many weeks of work and reskinning was able to begin in September.

Next year will see the beginning of work on the fuselage interior fittings along with the reconstruction of the wings.

Newsletter Article September 2000 Retirement – Gord Nielson


One of our longest standing relationships has been with the Aircraft Maintenance School at the Moncton Community College. The Program Co-ordinator responsible for the school has been Gordon Nielson. Gord is a member of ACAM and an active personal supporter of Museum projects.

The TBM Avenger restoration being carried out at Fredericton owes much of its progress to his personal involvement. Gord organized and directed the initial recovery of the aircraft from it’s remote location undertaking the project as a student experience opportunity. Many components, including the just completed engine, were undertaken at the school and he continues to make many trips to Fredericton to participate in the restoration effort.

Gord served in the RCN from 1956 to 1966 as an aircraft technician, including service on HMCS Bonaventure. His career covered many aircraft types including: Avengers, Trackers, Banshees, HUP-‘s and T-33’s.

His post military experience began with Skyway Air Services – later Conair – with experience including A-26’s and TBM’s, then on to Central Aero Engines, self-employed for 1 1/2 years, and finally Forest Protection Ltd (FPL) as Chief Engineer from 1976 to 1982.

Very attached to his beloved Avengers. Gord relates many well told stories of numerous exciting experiences with the aircraft. After his many trips across Canada in the rear cockpits while with Conair on contract work and through many years of service with FPL.

In 1982 he moved on to the development of the Aircraft Maintenance School at Moncton where he has served until his retirement this year. The school has, under his direction, developed an international reputation as a quality source of skilled aircraft technicians.

Gord and his wife Lorraine have three daughters, one son, and three grandchildren. One daughter is a serving as a Corporal in the RCMP.

With his retirement, the school moves over to the very competent direction of Boyd Geddes who has already demonstrated his understanding and support for the objectives of aircraft preservation and ACAM.

We wish Gord and Lorraine a long and happy retirement, continued involvement in our Museum’s projects, and we look forward to continuing good relations with the school.

Newsletter Item September 2000 – Relocation Effort


Another major relocation of our display aircraft was carried out this summer as our members struggle to maintain the best possible layout of a developing collection within the limited confines of our buildings.

With the help of a boom truck provided by our good friends at Aqua Terra Resources Ltd. of Waverley the Ercoupe was positioned on posts fabricated by Gene Hamilton with Don Hirtle acting as overall “M/C” of the very involved, yet smoothly run process.

Many of our aircraft had to be moved to allow this to occur. The Harvard has been relocated to a much more effective location along with the repositioning of the CF-5. The V-1 and the Bell 47 J-2 projects were moved into a better location for their continuing restoration. The new location of the Harvard places it in a position for future attachment of the wings.

Members involved in the process also included: Danny Price, Barry Rodenhiser, Ken Brown, Dave McMahon, Bruce Paul, Thomas Hughes, Marcel Olsen, Bill Leeming, Dave Powell, and Rob MacIlreith. Thanks to all for another successful operation.

Newsletter Item September 2000 Doug Ordinal


The Museum has suffered a great loss with the death on August 6th of Robert Douglas (Doug) Ordinal in his 81st year following several months of illness. Born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Doug is survived by his wife Marjorie, a daughter, a son, and their families including five grandchildren.

Many who have been closest to him over his years with the Museum attended his funeral on August 10th. Long time friend and Museum member, Dr. John Christie, delivered a very appropriate eulogy; who paid fitting tribute to Doug and his dedication to family, friends, and ACAM.

Doug enlisted in the Canadian Army at the start of World War II as a vehicle engine mechanic. When the rapidly expanding Air Force sought candidates as aero engine technicians he applied and was successful in both being accepted and in achieving a high course standing. This lead to an active wartime experience, which included service in the difficult living conditions of the advanced landing grounds of North Africa and later on into Europe.

Following the war Doug reenlisted in the army serving in Peace Keeping operations in the Middle East. After leaving the army he operated an auto body business in Wellington, N.S. until finally retiring.

Doug’s involvement in our Museum is legendary, having been part of virtually every major effort since it was first formed. Never one to back away from a difficult issue Doug was the consummate “scrounger” for every project that required assistance in materials or services. It was a measure of the respect held for him that virtually nobody seemed able to resist his approach for assistance to Museum projects.

Doug’s most recent project was his much beloved Harvard II restoration. The quality of that work has brought much credit to both Doug and ACAM. In recent years he extended his efforts to the Shearwater Museum where he was a valued member of the Firefly restoration team.

Having lost his first wife Isa some years ago. Doug’s marriage to Marjorie gave him the last five years of happiness and fulfilment that were obvious to all who knew him. His seasonal visits to Marjorie’s farm in Saskatchewan were also used to extend our contacts with many of the Western Museums.

Doug sought respect and received it in full measure. In return he respected the efforts and commitment of those around him. He could at times appear gruff and demanding but beneath that surface was a deep respect and appreciation of others.

Among the many comments of respect:

Reg Clarke – Curator: “His presence is in the very walls of this place.”

Jim Johnston – Board member and President of Cougar Helicopters: “He had the tenacity of a pit bull but the good nature of a retriever. He brought me back to the reasons I got involved in the Aviation Industry in the first place.”

Dave McMahon – Museum President: The Museum owes a lot of its existence to Doug Ordinal — It may just take three or four people to keep on where Doug left off.”

Don Hirtle – Canso Crew Chief: “People in the aviation industry had respect for Doug. — Old Doug would simply walk into a place, tell someone who he was, what he wanted and hand him or her an empty box. And sure enough he’d walk out with the box full. I don’t know how we’ll fill those boots.”

Marcel Olsen – Sabre Crew Chief: “The overpowering thing about this place is its personality.
After a few weeks here I began to realize that this Museum wasn’t about sheet metal and rivets, it’s about people. Doug never wanted us to lose sight of that.”

It is often said that the best we can hope for is that the world is better off for our having been here. That is certainly something that can be said of this most unique gentleman.

Doug Ordinal 1919 – 2000 GoodBye