Thursday, 8 June 2017

Museum Highlights: Model Aircraft

In 2015, a new exhibit was opened in the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum by then museum coordinator, Katie Harvey. It seems fitting that I find myself looking at our new exhibit about a plane crash everyday seeing as I have been researching Newfoundland and Labrador's aviation history for the past few years as PlaneCrashGirl. A lot of work went into creating the exhibit, including collecting stories from locals who remember the crash (Mena and Charlie Power, and Mary Roche), searching the field where the Stack House once stood, as well as putting the exhibit together.

The 1956 Outer Cove Plane Crash Exhibit

This post looks to focus on one object in that exhibit: a model of the aircraft.

On a foggy 09 January 1956, Col. Carl Payne of the United States Air Force petitioned his superior officer to let him take off is poor conditions as he was due to be at a conference in St-Hubert, Quebec. The small aircraft took off, and subsequently crashed into the home of Richard and Kitty Stack in Outer Cove. The house caught fire, but luckily no one in the home was injured. Col. Payne was less fortunate. His remains were found still in the aircraft. The majority of the plane was not recovered, and while mechanical failure could not be ruled out, the cause of the incident was ruled as pilot error. More information can be found here.

This model was created by Tony Bowdring of the International Plastic Modellers Society, St. John's Branch. It is an accurate representation of the Lockheed T-33A-1-LO, serial number 53-5143, which was flown by Col. Carl Payne on 09 January 1956. This aircraft was a two seated, training version of the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star which was the first operational jet fighter of the United States Air Force.

A closer look at the model

This model has all of the markings of the aircraft including the fine detail on the tail fin. For a detailed explanation of the model, please visit IPMS St. John's post on their blog.

A closer look at the model

The model is an important part of the exhibit as nothing remains of Richard and Kitty Stack's House, and is currently housed under the stories of Mena Power, Charlie Power and Mary Roche alongside artifacts from 642nd AC&W Squadron 64th Air Division, North East Air Command (NEAC), Red Cliff, Newfoundland.

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