The first plane featured is a “Thurston T-Tail Teal” – flown is here by the late Paul Butcher, with moral support from his son Grant and daughter Sarah. It may have been built by Art Bondar, from a kit or Art sold him the kit.

The lovely Minni-ha-ha was mine. Its kit was brought from Germany for me by John  Bell (whose name translates into Italian as Nino Campana) an Air Canada pilot. The kit consisted of a fibreglass fuselage and sponsons, two sheet balsa covered wing panels, a balsa hatch cover, four plywood skegs, 8mm balsa rudder, and German instructions. Rudimentary but well done.

I assembled it, waterproofed it (I thought), and doped it chrome yellow. I put on the fictitious registration letters D – ALTE which reads as die alte, the old woman. Water handling was difficult, despite the skegs. It needed a water proofed water rudder. I made one of brass sheet and tubing. It worked well, but may have leaked as there was water in the hull after evry flight. And the radio equipment, though isolated also suffered water invasion.

There was a severe crash that damaged the hull. Paul then passed it through his band saw, front to back, repaired the damage, I repainted the now heavier fuselage and we tried flying it again. It was okay on straight and level flight but not for long. It traded hands two or three times, ending up in Dan Molino’s hands. He never got around to rehabilitating it.

I never saw the kit advertised, nor any reviews of the craft. It may have been a natural aeronautical disaster and was not  long in production. Nonetheless, I had one very fine flight with it on the St Marys River one windless evening.