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Visiting Pickering, Ontario, and its apparently crashed trainer aircraft: an old de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk?

Updated on July 2, 2012
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Crashed aircraft at Bayly Street, Pickering
Crashed aircraft at Bayly Street, Pickering | Source
De Havilland Canada Chipmunk
De Havilland Canada Chipmunk | Source

Some aviation history (or fiction)

From when I first saw it, I always knew that the conspicuous, crashed aircraft at 1610 Bayly Street, in Ontario's Pickering, was artificially posed amidst a mini-golf facility. But without doubt, very many young people and others have been immensely curious about this unavoidable, yellow aircraft.

Posed in a position to indicate a crash resulting from a nose-dive, the discerning observer will doubtless conclude that in real life the aircraft would not have survived intact from a crash, at a velocity suggested by the angle of the airframe.

The aircraft resembles a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk trainer. Many aircraft of this type are still flying. First flown in 1946, a total of 1283 airframes of this type were built. Designed in Canada, many of this type were produced at Downsview, Ontario. The de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk was in fact the first aircraft of Canadian design to be built also under licence in other countries, including in England and Portugal. The Royal Canadian Air Force was a major user of the type; indeed, the type was its standard trainer. The DHC-1 was also used by Canadian flying clubs, including a number of airframes periodically set aside for training purposes for the RCAF Reserve.

Only when the untrained eye closely compares photographs of the crashed aircraft and of a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk does it become apparent that the differences in proportions between the two are such that the aircraft at 1610 Bayly Street cannot be of this type. The fact that some of the DHC-1 Chipmunks, out of production now for many years, were customarily painted yellow makes the resemblance between the DHC-1 Chipmunk and the crashed airframe at Bayly Street all the more realistic. However realistic it may at first seem, not only is the crash position posed, but the airframe itself seems more clearly to be ... a fake!

May 7, 2012

Also worth seeing

In Pickering itself, the Waterfront and the Barrier Beach attract many visitors. The Erskine Church and Pioneer Cairn give strong evidence of Pickering as a well-established community. Rouge Park is North America's largest urban park.

At Trenton , Ontario (distance: 132.3 kilometres) is based the National Air Force Museum of Canada / Musée National de la Force aérienne du Canada


How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to Pickering : approx. 50.6 kilometres). GO Train operates a service between Union Station, Toronto and the GO station at Pickering. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


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    • MJFenn profile image

      MJFenn 5 years ago

      Spitfire07: The crashed 'plane on Bayly is certainly a conspicuous, Pickering landmark. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Spitfire07 profile image

      Spitfire07 5 years ago from Calgary

      Pickering playing fields is a great little place to visit. Had to read this hub as I'm both a local and an Aviation enthusiast. Keep up the good hubs!