January 30, 1997
Avro Arrow replica wrecked
To hype last week's somnolent series on the demise of the Avro Arrow, CBC television cobbled together a documentary on the "marking-of" the two-part drama which revealed the special effects secrets used to recreate the flight of the fabled jet.
Amazingly, the half-hour wank made no mention of the tragic fate of the life-sized Arrow replica used in the film. The 78- foot model was borrowed from Allan Jackson, an Arrow enthusiast from Wataskiwan, Alberta.
A welding supplies salesman, the 60-year-old Jackson devoted nine years of evenings and weekends building the replica. He intended to donate it to the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in Wataskiwan when completed.
Jackson was thrilled when, in March 1996, representatives of Film Works, producers of the series, contacted him and asked to use his replica for the hambone scene in which the aircraft is wheeled out of the hanger for the first time. The replica was painstakingly disassembled, loaded onto three trucks, then shipped from Jackson's home to the Winnipeg location. Jackson travelled to the set to assists with the reassembly.
Months later, when Film Works finally returned his replica Arrow to Wataskiwan, Jackson discovered it had been butchered. It seems that film crew sluggos used welding torches to hack the model's steel frame into box-sized chunks before shipping it back.
Nine ears of loving work up the spout.
Jackson says he's in discussion with the film-makers about compensation, but hasn't yet launched legal action.
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