Words by Mike Maskell, photo by David Lipnowski
My association with aviation goes back, way back to when I was a young boy growing up in New Brunswick. My father was a mechanic on various aircraft with the Royal Canadian Air Force and I had plenty of exposure to aviation. On many occasions, I would accompany him to the military airbase and would marvel at the variety of aircraft that I could see beyond the security fence. On one really special occasion I was allowed to go with him into one of the hangars and stared wide-eyed at seeing up close, a CF-101 Voodoo fighter, undergoing some maintenance inside the hangar. I was thrilled.
Years later my dad would accompany me to the Western Canada Aviation Museum at the old location on Ferry road. We would leisurely stroll thru the various exhibits, taking time to read and learn about the many aircraft on display. But it was always the CF-101 Voodoo that he would pause in front of the longest. He claims, and I have no reason to doubt him, that he actually performed maintenance work on that particular FIN #.
Dad passed away in 2014 and while I miss him dearly, I always found time to visit “his” Voodoo, and within the old museum hangar, I am sure I could still hear his voice, telling me stories of his time in the Air Force.
The new hangar location is fantastic, the displays marvelous and beyond my wildest expectation. The Voodoo now stands guard outside and if I listen closely I think my dad still whispers to me, albeit in a softer and quieter tone now.