BDA : Winter Migration !
Text & Pictures : Pierre Gillard © sbap 2012

Saint-Hubert Airport, Quebec, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. This morning, the ceiling is low and light drizzle occurs at times. The Boeing 720-023B, registration C-FETB was pushed out of its hangar for the last time. In fact, today he was scheduled to makes its very last flight after serving faithfully for many years as a flying test bed the Pratt & Whitney Canada Company. Dressed up with different turbine installed in the nose of the aircraft (hence its nickname "Pinocchio") or jet engines on its right side. Withdrawn from service in late September 2010, the first rumors was that it would be scrapped in the U.S., but few months later, more reassuring news reached us and the aircraft was foreseen to be transferred to the Aviation and space Museum of Canada in Ottawa, Finally this historic aircraft will be preserved at the National Canadian Air Force Museum in Trenton. Liftoff was scheduled between 11:30 and 12:00. At the appointed hour, the weather is far from being the most favorable and the departure was postponed to 14:00 local. Being invited by a friend to the control tower to witness this unique event.  Around 13:30, the weather has improved significantly. The flight plan "Pratt 720" was confirmed and arrives at the tower. On the ground frequency, the pilot of the aircraft requested the clearance to the controller. The departure is at hand. Authorization is requested to perform the start up. The characteristic sound of JT3D is heard and the aircraft began the taxi to the threshold of runway 24 right. Then, the takeoff at 14:24 with the traditional plume of black smoke that has always characterized this Boeing in the Montreal sky. We were even given a good thinning and some sunshine at times. The aircraft completed a circuit from the right to appear in the final for a low pass first time, then a second time. The show was awesome as watched from the control tower. My friend Robert and I are watching the "Pinocchio" get away for one last time with a hint of nostalgia. It is certain that one day we will go visit him in Trenton and we will remember the past and the fact that we could observe “Pinocchio” sometimes several times a week.


More to read on Pierre Gillard site :

Flight plan is confirmed On taxi after the start up
At holding point... ...on runway 24R
Go....VR ! And liftoff
Leaving Saint Hubert for Trenton air force base Again an historic page is turned off
A first low level pass to say goodbye With his carateristic black smoke
And finaly a second pass before leaving Bye bye "Pinocchio" !

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