Visitors departing Comox Valley Airport can now view an exciting new addition soaring overhead.
A replica World War I aircraft has recently been installed above the departures lounge. The plane
is a 7/8th scale Nieuport 11, built and flown by local aviation enthusiast Captain David Freeman,
prior to the 100th Anniversary of the historic battle of Vimy Ridge.
Captain Freeman started his career flying to local coastal communities, and asked that the
Comox Base unit badge, featuring the Kwakiutl Thunderbird, and motto bestowed by local First
Nations, “Ai Quanesut”, from the Pentlatch language meaning “By Vigilance Prepared” be
emblazoned on the plane. The original design was created in consultation with K’ómoks Chief
Andy Frank, and Chief Mungo Martin in the early 1960’s, a few years before Captain Freeman
was born.
Sadly, David passed away in October, but his wish to see the contributions of First Nations, and
those of all Canadian Veterans honoured lives on through the installation. The design was recreated by Chief Mungo Martin’s great-grandson, Hereditary Chief “walas `Namugwis” David
Mungo Knox, and now embellishes the aircraft, along with a dedication to Captain David
“Although we are saddened by his loss, we are grateful for the gift of this beautiful aircraft. His
wish to showcase both Canadian aviation history and the contributions of the K’ómoks First
Nation in a collaborative effort is commendable.” says acting airport CEO Alex Robertson.
To celebrate David’s contribution, and that of dozens of volunteers, a dedication event featuring a
K’ómoks First Nation Welcome and Blessing Ceremony followed by presentations by local
dignitaries will be held at the airport on Wednesday evening.
A storyboard display detailing the project will be created and installed for public display at a future

Erin Neely

Media Contacts, Comox Valley Airport