Road Trip! Part 1 of 2 – Hangar Flying

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By John Wyman, EAA 462533; EAA Chapter 266 Montreal.

This past spring, i traveled to Saskatoon for the second time in 15 years (literally, to the same week) to get a vintage two-seat training glider and bring it back to Montreal, by highway! You might first ask, why? Well, this trip came about both out of necessity to obtain a spare (serviceable) wing for my current Ka-7 glider, and it also happened to be a “project” aircraft that had the potential to be restored. The trip was inspired, in part, from my first glider i purchased in 2007 from the same club, Prince Albert Gliding, and also from listening to a podcast about Wally Soplata’s life, which aired on EAA’s The Green Dot podcast in the doldrums of winter.

The interview is officially about a book that his son, Wally, published about his dad, Walter, on his life of saving numerous precious World War II aircraft destined for the scrap heap. Little did I know then that I’d have a need for a wing that was hopefully interchangeable with the one that was soon damaged when transporting it to a new home in April. If it sounds convoluted and was destined to come about, it was. My reasoning was if he could save numerous World War II airplanes, then I could maybe do something similar (again) with another old glider and give it a new life. (Note: I don’t equate any of my gallivanting around looking for airplanes to that of Walter’s, but listening to that interview was in the back of my head when the phone later rang). The glider looked in bad shape from a distance, but with lots of TLC and some luck, it seemed like there was (is) a chance for it to fly again. As a bonus, this time around, I’d have some help and company with my daughter joining me for the adventure! I thought too, that this would be an opportune moment to reconnect with her since she had left the nest and started her own life in Ottawa several years ago…

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