Take a flight of a lifetime

Avatar for Eric DumiganBy Eric Dumigan | August 4, 2020

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

Time to support local aviation museums and have a little fun since most thrill attractions are closed across Ontario. Flights can be purchased in a wide variety of aircraft ranging from a tail-skid equipped de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth to a Cold War Era MiG 17 fighter jet, an Avro Lancaster bomber or a jet aerial combat flight over Ottawa.

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association is offering rides aboard one of the most prolific trainers of the Second World War. Eric Dumigan Photo

Dominating the scene is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) in Hamilton. Almost all of its flying fleet of aircraft are available for the museum’s ride program with stringent COVID-19 rules in place. The CWHM offers membership upgrade rides in aircraft not available anywhere else in the world. The Avro Lancaster bomber returned to the skies on July 1 and has been busy every weekend flying passengers. The hour-long flight usually includes orbits over Niagara Falls and Toronto adding value to the experience. Other aircraft available for rides include the Norseman, Dakota, B-25 Mitchell and most of the museum’s BCATP aircraft.

In the past few years, several groups have appeared in Ontario offering vintage jet aircraft flight experiences. Most notable, with the largest fleet of aircraft, is Waterloo Warbirds based in the Waterloo/Kitchener area, an hour west of Toronto. Waterloo Warbirds most popular aircraft is a T-33, known as “Mako Shark”, which is marked to represent VU-32 Squadron’s Silver Shark from 1992. Other Waterloo Warbird aircraft available for flights include a de Havilland Vampire and MiG 15, both rare aircraft on the flight experience market.


The chance to go up in a historic aircraft is an exciting proposition as a number of entertainment attractions remain closed throughout the country. Eric Dumigan Photo

The Jet Aircraft Museum in London currently offers flight experiences in its Canadair T-33 Silver Star marked as the RCAF Red Knight, a Canadian display aircraft that operated from 1958-1969.

Starting Aug. 15 at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport, you can be a fighter pilot for a day and experience air-to-air combat at ACM Warbirds. You and an adversary will fly in two Aero L-29 jet trainers and perform combat manoeuvres over the Gatineau hills.

Tillsonburg is home to the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association. The group is dedicated to preserving aircraft from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and operate several North American Harvard trainers. Pilots recently resumed flying and CHAA is offering rides in the most famous of all Second World War trainers.

Ninety minutes north of Toronto, near the scenic shores of Georgian Bay, is the Edenvale Aerodrome, home of the Edenvale Classic Aircraft Association. The group offers some great grass roots flying and its feature aircraft is a tail-skid equipped DH-82A Tiger Moth built in 1943 by Morris Motors in Cowley, England. As well, the group offers rides in a 1943 Fairchild PT-26A Cornell, a Second World War-era trainer.

All of the above organizations follow current local COVID-19 regulations. Follow the links below for more information and flight booking.

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  1. I am interested in a flight in a historical aircraft and would like a booking!

    1. Thank you! Please directly contact any of the museums/organizations listed in this story to make a booking.

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