Museum Events & Activities

Events in 2009

The year began with the event in February honouring the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Silver Dart and the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Golden Hawks.

As reported in our June Newsletter we were honoured to have so many distinguished guests at a reception and visit to the Museum. Among these were Ex Snowbird lead Dan Dempsey and Astronaut Chris Hadfield – both pilots of the Vintage Wings Sabre “Hawk One – former Golden Hawk pilots Jim McCombe, Bill Stewart, and Ralph Annis, our MLA the Hon Percy Parish and so many others whose attendance we very much appreciated. A great way to start another year!!

Halifax Antique Car Club
On Tuesday June 30th ACAM was visited by some 30 members and friends of the Halifax Antique Car Club with 15 fascinating antique cars. From all reports the visit was enjoyed by all. It was noted by the Club that Michael White has made presentations to them in the past that were very much appreciated by the members. We have much in common with such groups and their visit was appreciated by all.

Open Cockpit day – Saturday July 4th
Visitors were obviously fascinated with the opportunity to see close up the cockpits of some of our historic aircraft. To allow these close up visits to be fully enjoyed, and without danger to the aircraft or visitors, obviously takes close supervision. In this case the hosts were former Golden Hawk pilot Jim McCombe with the F-86, Dr John Christie with the CF-5 and Michael White hosting the first visit to the Jet Star now under restoration. It was a much enjoyed event and our thanks go to all involved for making it a success.

The “Centnnial Collection “
The Canadian Aviation Artists’ Association undertook a traveling display of aviation art – in their words – “to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first manned, heavier than air, powered flight in Canada and the British Empire”. We were pleased indeed to be included with other aviation Museums in having this extremely impressive collection on display. Good use was made of the new wall constructed beside the ramp in the “Silver Dart Gallery” to present the paintings in a most effective manner. They were on display in the Museum from late August until early September.

Of one of the many fine paintings was one  of the Fleet Finch which gives an understanding of the freezing cold that was experienced as pilots received their British Commonwealth  Training Plan (BCATP) training in our cold winter months. At some point these wonderful little aircraft operated in winter on skis.

The “Ian Allen Aviation Tour”
On Monday, September 14th, we were very pleased to receive a visit by this very distinguished 14 day tour originating in the UK and traveling across our Country from Toronto to Newfoundland in the East. The tour was organized as the “Aeroplane Monthly” Aviation Tour to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Canadian Aviation. It was to visit two international air shows – including the Nova Scotia International Air Show in Yarmouth – and some 12 Aviation Museums including ACAM, Greenwood and Shearwater in Nova Scotia. In their words they were to visit “the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum which details the history of aviation in Halifax; with more than 25 aircraft in its collection, it is currently the largest civilian and military aviation Museum east of Ottawa. To all reports the visit lived up to expectations and many complements were received.

Helicopter Rides
Arrangements had been made, in co-operation with Visio Air services, to have helicopter rides held on Saturday October 10th. This would have been a very effective promotion for the Museum while offering an opportunity for many to enjoy the experience of a helicopter ride. Unfortunately the weather did not co-operate and the event had to be cancelled. The response to the event has been very encouraging and it is hoped that it can again be scheduled for next year.

Member BBQs
On every third Saturday through the summer season a member and guest BBQ was held at the Museum to show appreciation for the work being carried out. This proved to be a successful effort.

Fall 2006 Dedication

The TBM Avenger was dedicated in mid August.  The event was a great success with over 50 people in attendance. During the ceremony, we heard Don Henry discussing some of the obstacles that the team had to overcome during the recovery of the airframe from Juniper along with recovery of other parts from various crash sites in New Brunswick.

Tourism Minister Len Goucher was was in attendance with his grandson and spoke at the ceremony.  Minister Goucher took time out his busy schedule to have a full tour of the facility and was very impressed with our organization.  Minister Goucher spoke very kindly about the work and service our volunteers provide to the community.

Board  Chair,  Michael Garvey,  welcomes  the guests to the Avenger Dedication Ceremony.

Tourism Minister Len Goucher speaks to the assembled membership and guests.

ple recited stories of the restoration and recovery; among them was Dave Da- vies, General Manager of Forest protec- tion Limited. Dave’s comments were quite funny when he told of how Frank and Don had approached FPL for their help with the restoration and how FPL employees reacted to the entire situa- tion. At first, they did not think the guys would really get it out of the swamp, and then they were not sure that it would ever be finished. In fact, FPL has been a keen and supporting force in the resto- ration process that allowed the Museum members to achieve such a high qual- ity finish making Tanker 20 the show piece of our Museum. Dave presented the Museum with a signed collectors painting that celebrated 50 years of the Avenger’s service with FPL.

Cutting the ribbon to dedicate Tanker 24. After nine years of restoration, the TBM Avenger has officially taken a place of honour in our Museum.

Frank MacLoon was honored by the Museum for his dedication and service as Past Chairman of the Board of Directors. Frank was the driving force in the Museum acquiring the main dis- play hanger and the building was named the  “Frank  MacLoon  Gallery”  in  his honour. A fitting tribute to Frank’s out- standing dedication, determination and leadership to lead ACAM to the location it has become today.

Open Cockpit Day –  Summer 2001
Photos By: Rob MacIlreith

Open Cockpit Day was on June 9th and 10th. The public was able to access many of the aircraft. Saturday the 9th was a slow day with few visits. However, the 10th was very busy with about 30 families and lots of smiles.

Open Cockpit Day was run in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Museum Funky Museum Road Show Kick-Off Weekend.

This allowed the Museum to get 3 minutes of free airtime on Breakfast Television on June 7th. Mark Peapell represented the Museum and did a fine job of promoting our facility.

Map Display May 2001 Report by: Rob MacIlreith. Photos by: Kristin MacInnis

Sixteen students from Leslie Thomas Junior High School have undertaken to build a three dimensional map display for the Museum. Beginning in November of 2000, the students began to research various airports and airfields in the Maritimes. Their research was augmented with information provided by a group of ACAM members in March. Altogether the map will illustrate approximately 95 sites in the Maritimes. Originally, the display was to include Newfoundland and Labrador, however, including those provinces would have resulted in a map to large for the location that it is going to be displayed in, or a scale to small to be useful.

The map display measures four feet by four feet and is being manufactured out of MDF. Sites will be displayed by using electronic light emitting diodes controlled by push button switches. For the students and myself the project has been a huge challenge. The first problem we had to overcome was locating all the airfields and deciding how to categorize the sites accurately, yet simple enough to wire all the required LED’s. Next came the challenge of teaching the students enough electrical basics to build the required circuits. Last was the actual building process. Now that we have moved into the actual building process the students are much more excited. We hope to finish the map before the end of the school year and have it on display by July 1st. The students have been keeping a log of their activities to date and wished to include a couple of pictures of their work to date in this report.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Museum for providing my students with the opportunity to do a service learning project and I would like to thank Mike O’Leary, the School Principal, for allowing the students to undertake the project.

569 “Col. G.N. Henderson” Air Cadet Squadron Work Day (May 5th 2001)

The third annual Air Cadet Squadron Work Day at the Museum was a huge success. This year the 569 “Col. G.N. Henderson” Air Cadet Squadron, from Brookfield N.S. made the trip to the Museum to do some of their community service. Marcel Olsen made the arrangements with the Squadron to come and work at the Museum. As usual, there were lots to do and the Air Cadets and their leaders pitched into a mountain of work and were a great help.

The Cadet’s were given a full tour of the Museum and then helped to clean and prepare the washroom facilities for the opening day. Additionally they cleaned and polished display cases, emptied the garbage cans and removed other waste to the dumpster, cleaned the tunnel, cleaned the area between the washrooms out, helped put up some new rope barrier, vacuumed the information center, gift shop, theatre and part of the original display building. When the weather turned nice after lunch the Squadron moved outside. Here they completed the following jobs: raking the front lawn, sweeping the stairs and walk ways, picking up gravel in the lawn from the snow clearing of the roof in March, raked out the gardens and turned the soil, removed brush from the bushes and trees that were trimmed, removed the brush from the walk way to the Airport Hotel, moved the remaining gravel from the parking lot beside the Voodoo and spread it to complete the path to the Hotel.

The amount of work completed by the 14 members of the Squadron in 5 1/2 hours speaks volumes of how keen and motivated this impressive group of young people was. However as a teacher, what impressed me most about this group was that all the jobs were done without question or complaint. That ended the day on a positive note.

Members of the Squadron and their leaders include:

SGT. D. Budd, CPL. M Elm, LAC S. Reid, LAC Brennan, LAC O’Brien, LAC Smith, CPL. A. MacDonald, CPL.R. Graham, CPL. Justin Wright, CPL. James Wright, CPL. A Yeadon, CPL.P. Dunn, LAC S. Digdon, CAPT. M Eng, CAPT. R Eng and T. Eng.

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