Saturday, May 18, 2024

55 years later: Langford names new park after waterbomber plane pilots who died in crash


A new community park has opened in Langford, in memory of Flying Fireman Alex Davison and Robert Moore whose waterbomber plane crashed into Skirt Mountain in Langford while fighting a fire.

55 years ago, on the afternoon of July 16th 1967, a forest fire ignited on the southwest face of the mountain, quickly growing. 

The Flying Fireman responded, but tragically, as Davison and Moore fought the fire, the left wing of their Canso clipped a tree, and the plane crashed into the steep southwest slope of the mountain. 

Both men were killed instantly. 

The Flying Firemen went on to grow into the largest amphibious waterbombing unit in the world, with nearly 40 planes. The unit dissolved in 1996.

Now, the Flying Fireman Park, located at 1851 Bear Mountain Parkway, has opened in their memory. 

“On behalf of the family of Alex Davidson, we would like to thank the City of Langford for the recognition bestowed upon our father and Paddy Moore, two brave men who perished fighting a blaze a very short distance from Flying Firemen Park,” said Craig Davidson, son of Alex Davidson.

Situated on dedicated parkland acquired by the City of Langford, the Flying Firemen Park features open greenspace, outdoor exercise equipment, and an off-leash dog area.

“On behalf of Langford Council, we are honoured to commemorate the history of the Flying Firemen and acknowledge their bravery, sacrifice and dedication to public safety,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. 

“This memorial park will serve as a reminder to all of the sacrifices made by the Flying Firemen and our local first responders.”

This dedicated parkland and open space is in addition to the 75-acres of parkland being dedicated to the city from South Point and Westview. 

The 75-acres represents 41% of the development lands. 65-acres will be dedicated by year’s end, the remaining 10-acres will be dedicated in 2023.

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