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Canadian Museum Vows to Rebuild Pilot/Tiger Moth After Crash

Tiger Moth
The damaged Tiger Moth being hauled into the hangar.

Howard Cook
Pilot Howard Cook is recovering from injuries sustained in the crash.

September 3, 2009 — A de Havilland Tiger Moth from the Vintage Wings of Canada museum crashed during a maintenance test flight last week, seriously injuring its pilot and causing substantial damage to the aircraft. Museum pilot Howard Cook was flying the WWII-era Canadian primary trainer to test a recently repaired tail-wheel when it crashed shortly after take-off from Ottawa/Gatineau Airport in Quebec, Canada. Cook, a British Pilot, sustained multiple injuries including a broken back, ankle, wrist and ribs.

Dave O’Malley, with Vintage Wings of Canada, which is based at Ottawa/Gatineau, says Cook is out of intensive care and soon will leave the hospital to begin his initial recuperation at O’Malley’s home near Gatineau. The accident is currently under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, and according to O’Malley no preliminary cause has been released. O’Malley says it has been amazing how many well-wishers have contacted him and that Vintage Wings is focused on “rebuilding both the pilot and the airplane and putting them in the air again.”

Cook, a civilian pilot, is based at Duxford, England, which is known as the epicenter of vintage warbirds, and is home to the Imperial War Museum. In Duxford, Cook flies the Hawker Nimrod for the Little Diamond demonstration team, and flies lead in the de Havilland Chipmunk for the Red Sparrows. For Vintage Wings, Cook flies their Harvard Texan and the Tiger Moth. For the first time, Vintage Wings of Canada brought four aircraft to EAA AirVenture 2009. On display were a Royal Australian Air Force P-40, RCAF Supermarine Spitfire XVI, Royal Navy Corsair, and a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver. Several of the aircraft won awards including Best Fighter, Silver Wrench, and a Judge’s choice.

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