The Shattered Prop

The yellow airplanes in the museum hangar are all trainers, and all are tail wheel equipped. When pilots taxi too fast and have to brake quickly there is an excellent chance the aircraft nose will contact the ground or tarmac. The outer part of the blades shatters and the ground crew has to install a new prop. 

However, the Harvard has a metal prop. If you put a Harvard on its nose that means a new engine because the prop is metal. The destructive strike forces go into the engine and not into the wood.

If a metal prop strikes the ground the energy of the strike bends the blades and instantly stops and destroys the engine. Wood props are cheap to replace compared to the cost of an engine. 

In the photo room at the entrance to the hangar you will find plenty of photos of prop strike accidents.

Most training schools in BCATP had many wood prop accidents. The rule was that if you were the technician who replaced the prop you could keep the broken wood prop. Many were beautifully trimmed and refinished with a clock or barometer installed in the hub.

Important: Change of Hours & New Entry to Museum

(Oct 1st to Apr 30th)

Open Wed to Sat,  9am to 4pm daily
Closed Sun, Mon & Tues

Pre-arranged Group Tours may be available upon request on closed days.


Effective August 1, 2020, the museum no longer has street-front access. Unfortunately, due to the economic impact of Covid-19, the museum has had to move all its activities to our unit at the rear of Hangar 5. The new entrance to the museum will be via the gate at the north side of the building. Signage with contact and entrance instructions is displayed. Please check back here for updates on our progress as we reorganize the museum. As always, contact us with any questions or to schedule a visit or a flight.