The Camel was another Royal kit. I flew the plane for only a short while, less than a month. I liked it coming toward me. As I goosed the engine the sudden torque dropped the left wing panels which required rapid correction.
Herman Thiffault was enchanted with it, and when I handed him the tx to try it, he insisted I sell it to him. I liked his offer so he owned it. I understand he “lost it” on take off while flying alone. Herman was a very likeable and generous club member. One of my Unforgettables.
The Tiger Moth was from a British Practical scale it. It spanned six feet. It went together well and it flew like my previous seven Tiggies; the first had been a small Veron rubber free flight jobbie. I flew this one at the Nats where it placed second in static behind Al “Pappy” de Bolt. The flight is best forgotten. Nonetheless, I fitted it with a new (first in North America) Italian brown head Ursus .60. I broke it in gently with a home brew glow fuel using too much Castrol oil. The Tigger flew marginally in the Soo.
A local flight instructor who went by the name of Smith as a CKCY disk jockey offered to fly us to London for the Nats in a rented PA-24 Comanche. We had to dismantle the bipe and its struts and rigging to fit into the Comanche. I got to pilot it for two hours. In London it took hours to reassemble Tiggy. When it came my turn to fly the model, my pit man was Warren Hitchcock – expert pilot and MAAC president at that time.
Underpowered as it was with the Ursus and its fuel, along with hasty reassembly, I stalled almost immediately on take off, with Warren shouting “Give it down! Give it down!” It dropped on the grassy part of the field buckling the right side of the landing gear. An elderly gent said to me, “It serves ya right! That CF- AGI registration belongs to a Gypsy Moth back home in Halifax!” I was at a loss for words. Flying home we ran into a gale and were ordered to land in Gore Bay for the night, before proceeding to the Soo.
The dealer replaced my Ursus with an updated Testa Rossa Ursus. It was marginally better. I eventually installed a Webra .90 and that solved my engine problems.
At a local event, I had just landed the Tiger when an American visitor flying a Top Flite P-39 Airacobra took off into the side of my still-rolling plane, just aft of the port wing. It was a long repair. John Meadows bought it from me and later sold it to Hugh Harrison in Sudbury.
I also built the Tiger Moth on display in the Bushplane museum. I sold it to Steve Daily who took prizes with it despite straining it through high tension lines at an older field. As always Steve did a perfect rebuild.