December 3, 2012
By Jill W. Tallman
More than 100 Globe/Temco Swifts—including one piloted by a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force—filled the skies of the United States, Brazil, Canada, and France during an international fly-out on Nov. 4. The event was called “World Domination: The Day of the Swift.”
Fort Myers, Fla., Swift owner Perry Sisson thought it would be fun to see how many pilots of the low-wing, retractable-gear airplanes would be interested in flying on a single day. He said he got the idea one morning while looking at a photo of a Swift on Facebook, and “wondered whether I was flying my Swift at that same moment in time.”
Sisson used Facebook as well as phone calls and emails to invite the entire Swift community to fly on Nov. 4, and to send him data and photos on where and how long they had flown. The final tally: 101 Swifts took flight, and 32 Swifts were in the air at the same time around the world. The airplanes flew an estimated 136.2 hours.
Sisson said Joseph Armand Gerard Fernand “Fern” Villeneuve also flew on that day. Villeneuve, born July 2, 1927, is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and, according to Sisson, is widely considered in Canada to be one of the nation’s finest RCAF pilots.
Around the World Flight,
History abounds at San Marcos, Texas, where the Commemorative Air Force has a hangar full of warbirds and a museum with Doolittle Raider artifacts.
Alaska seaplane pilots will gather at Lake Hood April 26 for a day of free seminars, briefings, and conversation to kick off the season.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
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