A 1950s twin-engine plane to mark an event honoring the business of basketball legend Hamilton – Hamilton


A plane from a legendary 1950s airline will be in the spotlight on Saturday when Hamilton business and basketball legend Ron Foxcroft is honored at an event in downtown Hamilton.

The owner of Fluke Transportation and creator of the Fox 40 whistle said a restored Piper twin-engine plane would be the « big gem » revealed at a ceremony marking Mary and Ron Foxcroft Day at the Eva Rothwell Center.

« It was the first-ever twin-engine aircraft to land at Toronto Island Airport, » former NCAA basketball umpire Foxcroft told 900 CHML’s Bill Kelly Show.

Read more:

Hamilton records first case of rare monkeypox virus: public health

“Saturday there will be 16 Central Airways pilots who flew this plane through the airport. It is absolutely a historic day to celebrate that.

The story continues under the ad

The Piper aircraft was originally purchased by Robert and Tommy Wong who ran the family business Central Airways in the early 1950s, which became the largest flight training school in Canada at the time.

Before and after photos of a rebuilt 1956 Piper aircraft originally owned by Central Airways. The aircraft formerly operated from Center Island Airport on Toronto Island.

Central Airways / Don Mac Vicar / Eva Rothwell Center

Foxcroft estimates around 70 people in the form of Wong family members and associates will make the trip to the Eva Rothwell on Wellington Street North for the weekend when the child safety device is discovered.

« Robert and Tommy Wong will be there and this is their home plane, » Foxcroft said.

The story continues under the ad

« They’ve just been nominated for the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, and I can’t imagine how the 16 pilots who’ve actually flown this plane…will feel when they see this. »

The project was the brainchild of Eva Rothwell’s developer, the Reverend Don MacVicar, who often walked past the plane that was no longer wanted, sitting lifeless on a field at Kenneth Gamble Ltd. on Highway 6 for years.

A refitted 1956 Piper twin-engine plane, soon to become a permanent fixture at the Eva Rothwell Center in Hamilton, once belonged to Robert and Tommy Wong who established a flight school in the GTA in the 1950s.

Central Airways / Don Mac Vicar / Eva Rothwell Center

What was left of the plane would be donated for MacVicar’s 2018 display after meeting Cam Harrod, then director of Gamble, who now runs Barn Full of Parts and other aviation businesses.

The story continues under the ad

« Campbell then said I could have this one, » MacVicar said in a statement sent to Global News.

“He was donating it for the kids and I was sold. « Yes, I’ll take it, » I said, with no money or transportation available at the time.

Read more:

Vigil to be held at central Hamilton site of violent assault on sex worker

The Mohawk College School of Flight would ultimately be the one to move the aircraft to its hangar at John C Munro International Airport where, semester after semester, students would devote hundreds of hours to restoring the aircraft between 2018 and 2022.

Central Airways / Don Mac Vicar / Eva Rothwell Center

Before and after shots show the reconstruction of the cockpit of a 1956 Piper aircraft, part of a Mohawk College restoration project for students beginning in 2018.

The story continues under the ad

A number of other donors, including KF Aerospace, will be revealed at the ceremony which is expected to include 200 dignitaries, including Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

In total, contributions to the restoration totaled $100,000.

Foxcroft is also expected to kick off the first annual Tyquan Brown Memorial Basketball Tournament in Eva Rothwell on Saturday afternoon.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Back to top button