New, seasoned air gymnasts barrel-rolled in Vanderhoof skies

It’s what flying cadets may have experienced 70 years ago, fluttering over forests and farm fields — not including the ooh-ing crowd.

Pilot Geoff Latter of Abbotsford partnered with Nancy

Pilot Geoff Latter of Abbotsford partnered with Nancy

It’s what flying cadets may have experienced 70 years ago, fluttering over forests and farm fields — not including the ooh-ing crowd.

On Aug. 13, more than 10 first-time and experienced showmen showcased flying aerobatics in vintage training and fighting warbirds at the decades-old Vanderhoof International Airshow.

Pilot Geoff Latter of Abbotsford partnered with Nancy, a fully-restored all-metal Nanchang CJ-6A from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China.

Built in 1958 and mainly used for advanced training in formation flying, aerobatics, and combat tactics, the plane was also flown for border control and agriculture spraying, Latter said.

When armed, Nancy carried 7.62-mm machine guns, bombs, and rockets.

In 2012, Latter acquired Nancy from her previous owners, who purchased the plane from China in 2006 as surplus stock.

“I love this aircraft,” he said. “It’s a real pilot’s aircraft, with nice handling.”

Demonstrating the aircraft’s ability in travelling as slow as 2 km/h and as fast as 370 km/h, Latter has been flying for 18 years — he flew his first plane at the age of 12 and grew up with his grandfather’s stories of World War II airmen. He first flew in Vanderhoof’s show two years ago.

“We’re quite happy here for the second time.”


Boeing small and large, then and now


Hailing from Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island, Kevin Maher usually flies a Boeing 747 with Air Canada, and barrel-rolled through Vanderhoof’s skies in a Boeing Model 75 on Aug. 13.

The aircraft features a steel tube fuselage structure with wooden wings; over 10,000 of the model were built during the Second World War.

Built in 1944, the open-cockpit two-winged aircraft served with the U.S. Army Air Force in Tennessee, training over 50 pilots who went on to fight in the South Pacific region.

After the war, she was converted for crop spraying in Missourri as well as Canada, until 1995 when she restored to its military configuration.

Though new to the airshow world — Vanderhoof was his first — Maher flew similar planes in the past, when he sprayed crops in Alberta for his first job.

“I’ve always wanted to fly and spray crops since I was six years old, working on farms to pay for flying lessons,” Maher said. “I love round-engine vintage planes, being close to the ground.”

He went on to study engineering, flying cargo for work until airlines changed their vision requirements —Maher needed glasses.

“I never envision I would be flying a Boeing 747,” he said. “This is very similar to what I used to fly, takes me back to my youth.”

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read