Second Flying Mosquito Takes Off

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Photo: Bill Ehman

Photo: Bill Ehman

The only two flying examples of the De Havilland Mosquito flew on the same day in the same country last week, albeit 2,500 miles apart. A newly restored Mosquito took its first flight, with Reno race pilot Steve Hinton at the controls, June 16 at Victoria International Airport. The same day a Mosquito owned by Jerry Yagen's Fighter Factory in Virginia Beach took off for home from Hamilton International Airport in Ontario after performing at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's night airshow the previous weekend. Ironically, both aircraft were recovered from the same British Columbia boneyard owned by Ed Zalesky before taking divergent routes back to the air.

The newest Mosquito, a bomber-only variant, was built in England after the Second World War and went straight to storage before being purchased by Spartan Air Services and modified as an aerial survey plane. It flew grid patterns over Canada's North for 20 years before being retired in excellent condition. It ended up at Zalesky's Vancouver-area facility before being purchased in 1995 by current owner Bob Jens. Yagen's Mosquito was rotten beyond repair when he found it at Zalesky's and he essentially had a new airframe built in New Zealand around the metal parts salvaged from the British Columbia wreck. The British Columbia Mosquito was test flown at Victoria and delivered to Jens' hangar in Vancouver, where its flying future is not known.