August 29, 2023
If you’ve been to our museum this summer, you’ve probably noticed our pedal and push planes in Aviation Plaza. But did you know that they were built by two of our volunteers?
Dave Mork and Shawn Romas are two of the talented volunteers on our team. Together, they’ve built us a fleet of nearly 20 ride-on planes for our young visitors.
Dave has volunteered with RAMWC for more than 40 years. For the past 20, he’s been part of our photo archive team. To date, this team has digitized and catalogued 40,000 of the photos in our collection. Dave’s expertise is identifying people and planes from black-and-white photos donated to our collection.
Growing up in the remote community of Red Lake in Northern Ontario, Dave learned to be resourceful and has always kept busy with projects. Inspired by the bush planes of his youth, he decided to get his private pilot’s license at age 48 and flew for 20 years.
Dave also supports our museum by building amazing wooden ride-on planes, perfect for kiddos aged two through four. These push planes are designed after the Starfighter, Mustang, Canadair Tutor, F-18, and the Space Shuttle.
Shawn, a CPR-trained sheet metal fabricator has been putting his skills to good use since retiring. Over the course of a year, he contributed 1,000 hours to building a fleet of ten pedal planes from wood and metal.
The yellow pedal planes, ideal for pilots under three feet tall, are impressive miniatures of the RCAF Tiger Moth suspended at the entrance of our museum. You really have to see these planes up close to appreciate Shawn’s attention to detail. He even went so far as to create a call sign for each plane in honour of RAMWC volunteers who have passed away:
CF-GEB: Gary E. Boggs
CF-THB: Thomas H. Baldwin
CF-BBJ: Bert B. Jolly
CF-REK: Roy E. (Ed) Kubar
CF-WWK: Wilfred W. Keith
CF-BMC: Bob McCreedy
CF-ALN : Alan L. Nelson
CF-RDM: Robert (Bob) D. Moore
CF-JZL: Heinz Lampe
CF-AFM: Antonio (Tony) F. Morien
These planes have provided countless hours of fun for our young visitors and we greatly appreciate the time and passion Dave and Shawn invested in this project. Our heartfelt thanks also extend to the Carolyn Sifton Foundation for allowing us to create a safe and inviting space in Aviation Plaza where kids can use these planes.
Our pedal planes will be available this weekend (including Monday, September 4) and next (September 9-10). After that, we’ll ground them until next summer!