Replica Vimy biplane damaged during takeoff attempt in New Brunswick
Allan Snowie from Vimy Flight
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 7, 2017 3:33PM EDT
WOODSTOCK, N.B. -- One of the First World War replica biplanes that took part in commemorative ceremonies in Vimy, France, in April has been damaged while attempting a take-off in New Brunswick.
The replica Nieuport 11 was set to take off on a flight to Gatineau, Que., when it veered to one side and tipped forward -- damaging its landing gear, propeller and nose.
A small group of former military pilots are flying the four biplanes in the Vimy Flight -- Birth of a Nation cross-Canada tour, and are scheduled to be in Ottawa on Canada Day.
Spokeswoman Bernada Bilic says pilot Tom Sabean was not injured.
"The pilot is fine but the plane unfortunately is not," she said.
Bilic said they don't believe the 7/8 scale airplane will be able to continue the tour.
"It just looks like it would take too much work to get it airworthy in time for Ottawa," she said.
Bilic said the pilots are getting a taste of what it was like to fly daily missions 100 years ago in the wood and fabric aircraft.
She said during the First World War, one in five Canadians piloting Nieuports were killed in action.
In recent weeks the planes have made stops across the Maritimes and have been heading west.
"The one thing that we have felt as we have been bringing Vimy home across Canada, is Canadians have come out with open arms, welcoming us so warmly that it has been an emotional journey for us," Bilic said.
Vimy Flight UPDATE— VIMY Flight (@VimyFlight) June 7, 2017
1 Vimy Flight biplane involved in minor takeoff incident this morning at Woodstock airport. Pilot unharmed and safe.