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Retired airplane gets new life as underwater attraction for divers in Quebec

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Retired airplane gets new life as underwater attraction for divers in Quebec

TORONTO —
A decommissioned airplane at one in all North The US’s top plane maintenance faculties is getting a new lease on life as an underwater attraction for divers.

For virtually three decades, a twin-engine Piper Aztec plane was a principal teaching tool at École nationale d’aérotechnique (ÉNA) in Saint-Hubert, Que., upright outside Montreal.

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But as ÉNA upgraded its teaching like a flash with n​ewer fashions for the mechanics-to-be, the Aztec had to be retired. 

That’s when ÉNA trainer and former navy mechanic Serge Rancourt came up with the speculation to lower the plane into the depths of a quarry in Thetford Mines, Que. for its final landing.

“I am a diver myself, so I gain seen shipwrecks, some plane wrecks,” Bancourt instructed CTV National News.

Before the plane may perchance be positioned underwater, some 80 ÉNA college students helped strip down the conception to be certain that all contaminants were removed.

“We got a toolbox, given a share of the plane to work on,” said ÉNA student James Alexander Midlash, who labored on the plane’s engine mounts.

Since the plane wasn’t going to coast again anyway, it did no longer topic if college students made errors.

“With this mission, errors were allowed,” said Rancourt. “If they were doing errors, it was acceptable, as a result of the plane was basically going beneath water afterward.”

For first-yr student Lisa Most distinguished, the journey was confirmation of her passion for the male-dominated discipline of aviation maintenance.

“I was involved with taking the wings off the plane and that is something you certainly no longer ought to enact,” she said. “It was something that was a terribly cool journey.”

In the next phase, the group of workers had to determine the finest potential to sink plane, a process identified as scuttling.

“On my facet, it was all about transportation, also putting the plane in the water” said diver and examine engineer Pierre-Olivier Dubois.

To conception for the landing, drones and other high-tech instruments were broken-all the vogue down to plot a 3D mannequin of the plane and the underwater landing situation.

The landing had to be right. In every other case, the plane can even crash on the facet of a cliff, or be misplaced in nine metres of water, Dubois said.

After seven minutes, the plane was efficiently submerged with the assistance of a crane. Or no longer it’s already turn into successfully-appreciated by divers, serving no longer finest as a something for divers to journey, but also as an aviation time pill.​ A plaque with the names of all those who labored on the mission was also added to the fuselage of the plane.

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Retired airplane gets new life as underwater attraction for divers in Quebec