Ruth Steward was almost speechless with delight.
On Sunday, the six-year-old from Aldergrove got to go through the pre-flight checklist for the Sopwith Pup replica at the Canadian Museum of Flight, eyes wide as pilot Gord Fraser walked her through the various steps required before the biplane could take to the air over Langley airport.
She followed Fraser around the World War one replica as he tested the flaps, the prop and inspected the fabric covering for rips.
When they were done, and Fraser was preparing to roll the Pup out to the runway with the assistance of some museum volunteers, Steward simply nodded, enthusiastically, when she was asked if she had fun.
Then, the Sopwith motor coughed to life and the plane taxied out to wait in line while flight school prop planes finished their takeoff and landing practices.
It took off at a less aggressive angle than the modern plane did, then made a some gentle fly-pasts over the airport.
It was “pop and props” the first Father’s Day event held at the museum. About 300 people visited.
Dads got in free with one other admission, and had the option of having their picture taken in the cockpit of a genuine Snowbird, a retired jet from the famed Canadian flight team.
There was also a paper airplane challenge and a “Dad’s Cookies” biscuit and beverage bar.
The museum was founded in the 1970s, in Surrey, moved to the Langley airport in 1996 and in 1998, legally changed its name to the Canadian Museum of Flight Association.
It is closed during some public holidays and over the Christmas-New Year break.
The collection of vintage aircraft is currently crammed into a hangar with many aircraft displayed outdoors, which is why the museum has been fund-raising to build a new facility nearby on a 1.6-acre site in the 21300 block of Fraser Highway, next to the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.