On a calm, crisp autumn morning you hear the distinct whistle and hum of an aircraft approaching fast from the southwest. With throttle advanced and eyes scanning the horizon ahead, another student pilot feels the exhilaration of flying at speeds nearly five times greater than the highway traffic below as they set forth to follow a carefully planned route to their first target, alone.
Since the early days of World War II, the century-old market town of Tuxford has played a silent but vital role in training military pilots in the skills of low-level navigation. Named in honour of founding pioneer resident and First World War hero, Brigadier General George Tuxford, the town’s distinct combination of grain elevators, highway intersections and railroad crossings has made it an easily recognized and favorite choice as a Navigational “Hack” – the point from which pilot’s stopwatches are started and all tactical navigation routes begin.
In this gripping image, artist Yvette Moore has captured a pivotal moment in a new Air Force pilot’s career. For Military Aviators the low-level Navigation solo marks the first time a student is granted the responsibility of commanding an aircraft alone on a mission that emulates their future roles as operational Air Force pilots. Since the year 2000, students from ten Allied countries around the world have enjoyed this privilege in the Harvard II aircraft, based at nearby 15 Wing Moose Jaw, home of the NFTC pilot training program.
The next time you’re traveling on Highway 2 near Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, look up! You just may catch a glimpse of another fledgling RCAF pilot flying low, fast and alone for the first time over the “Tuxford Hack”.
– Captain J.M. Vincent, RCAF
495 S/N Limited Edition Print $60.00 each
Image Size: H 12″ x W 12″
Framed beginning at $150.00 each
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