Just in time for the 2019 Calgary Stampede, The Hangar Flight Museum is paying tribute to one of the most dazzling feats ever seen at the Stampede: a pilot making an emergency landing on top of a merry-go-round.
The exhibit: “At the Intersection of McCall & McKnight” comes 100 years after the famous landing.
The name comes from the northeast Calgary corner where the museum is located, on roadways honouring two of the city’s pioneer pilots.
“Very well-known flying aces from Calgary,” museum executive director Brian Desjardins said. “World War One with Freddie McCall and World War Two with Willie McKnight.”
The exhibit features McKnight’s Air Force jacket, boots and medals, as well as photos and placards outlining his distinguished military service.
There are also photos and placards on McCall.
“After serving in the Air Force, he did demonstrations at multiple airshows,” Desjardins said. “He was doing a demonstration (at the Stampede) on July 5, 1919 and he lost power of his aircraft. In order to land it, he actually landed it on top of a merry-go-round.”
Museum visitors along for a quick tour of the exhibit with Desjardins were impressed by McCall’s midway landing.
“That’s just cool!” seven-year-old Caius Chiu said.
“It is very cool,” Desjardins replied. “I’m not sure how he did it, but nobody was hurt.”
“It’s pretty amazing to pinpoint your landing on the merry-go-round,” Jennifer Davidson said. “It’s great for us to learn about our history.”
Visitors will get a chance to learn more about Canadian aviation history when the museum marks the 100th anniversary of the daredevil landing, offering a ‘buy one, get one free’ ticket deal on July 5.
“Are you going to go on a merry-go-round at the Stampede this year?” Desjardin asked his small tour group. “Don’t worry, I don’t think there are going to be aircraft landing on it this year.”
Watch below: Global News coverage leading up to the 2019 Calgary Stampede