Photo Info

RCAF Today: Turbine to Tiger Moth

By Edward P. Soye

Published on: March 21, 2024
Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 31 seconds.

Two RCAF instructor pilots wind back the clock to 1944, with the help of a Leading Aircraftsman’s logbook.

On the evening of July 7, 2023, I arrived at Saskatoon International Airport (CYXE) from Moose Jaw in a CT-156 Harvard II, along with fellow aviator Captain Pete Musters, who made the trip in a Bell 412 from Portage la Prairie, Man. Both Pete and I use these machines day in and day out to help new Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots earn their wings. But the flight we were about to take together was different. We had traded turbine engines and modern avionics for a fabric-covered biplane. 

Capt Soye and Capt Musters immediately after their flight together in the Tiger Moth. Colin Kunkel Photo

In the early hours the following morning, we taxied for departure at CYXE. The Tiger Moth we were about to fly had also trained new air force pilots — at the height of the Second World War. One of its students, Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Claude Gougeon, just happened to be Pete’s grandfather. Together, Pete and I were about to wind back the clock to 1944 — and Claude’s logbook was coming with us. 

A remarkable number of things had to come together for this flight to take place. 

Pete and I joined the Regular RCAF later in life than most members — me being in my mid-30s and Pete in his late 20s. Many years earlier, we met one another while flying and towing gliders in Southern Ontario. Thanks to these prior interactions, Pete knew that I had flown and displayed a variety of old aeroplanes — ranging from the Fokker Triplane to the North American Harvard. 

Continue reading this feature article in the latest issue of RCAF Today magazine.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notice a spelling mistake or typo?

Click on the button below to send an email to our team and we will get to it as soon as possible.

Report an error or typo

Have a story idea you would like to suggest?

Click on the button below to send an email to our team and we will get to it as soon as possible.

Suggest a story