The opening of the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum at the Saskatoon Airport hearkens me back to the days of my childhood. It’s no secret that I’m what they called an “Air Force Brat” who grew up on military bases across Canada and overseas. Yellow, noisy Harvard aircraft used to buzz overhead throughout the day when we lived in a pilot training base at Penhold, Alberta near Red Deer when I was so young I’d be outside playing in a sandbox. We flew a number of times on DC-3’s that we called Dakotas. And while they don’t have a DC-4 North Star or a C-119 Flying Boxcar here at the museum, I recall trips on those as well. We are talking plain-Jane, stripped down, non-pressurized, non-insulated military planes with just paratrooper-style canvas seating. They didn’t fly higher than 10,000 feet for obvious reasons and when you boarded you were handed cotton balls to stuff in your ears because of the noise from the engines along with a barf bag just in case you, well, you know, barfed. The first time I ever flew commercially was on Trans Canada Airlines, the forerunner to Air Canada. The aircraft was a Viscount turbo-prop. I thought I was in heaven because it was quiet and had regular seats in the pressurized cabin. They have a Viscount in an aviation museum in Victoria, B.C. I know you’re not supposed to live in the past but I have to say flying was fun when I was a kid. There was always that moment of excitement when you took off and the whole experience was an adventure. Today, not so much. It’s just a way to get somewhere faster than driving.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.