There was a good crowd on hand at the Eva Rothwell Centre Sunday for the unveiling of a fully restored 1950’s era Piper Apache—the twin engine airplane that made aviation affordable to a wider section of the population. Rev. Don McVicar of the Eva Rothwell centre spotted the plane along with many other derelict aircraft in a field at the farm of Campbell Harrod and thought if it were fixed up a bit it could be an attraction for kids in the North End Neighbourhood along with the restored CNR coach that serves as a place for literacy instruction. Mr. Harrod donated the aircraft for that purpose.
That was the beginning of a four-year odyssey for the plane as it was taken to the Mohawk College Saltfleet Campus where students in the Aircraft maintenance program restored the plane over the next few semesters, the project was transferred for finishing to KF Flightcraft at Hamilton Airport who are partners with Mohawk in the program.
The plane has an interesting history. CF-KFX (Serial No.529) was one of Canada’s first Apaches, perhaps the first. In 1955 it was sold to Central Airways, a busy flight school and charter company run by legendary aviators Bob and Tom Wong—“The Kings” of Toronto Island Airport. Members of the Wong family were on hand for the unveiling. It also saw duty ferrying loggers into the BC interior. The place was in active service until at least 1982.