The Norseman Festival Committee and The Hwy 105 Tourism & Marketing Board (formerly the Red Lake Publicity Board) have joined together to start a campaign to save Red Lake's aviation monument: CF-DRD.
On July 31, 2017, a severe hailstorm went through Red Lake and caused severe damage to homes, vehicles and aircraft. The monument, which has been Red Lake’s bright yellow icon on a huge pedestal for decades, is covered in fabric. The aircraft looks overlooks Howey Bay on Red Lake at the Norseman Heritage Park. The hail created holes throughout the body and wings of DRD severe enough to pierce through the tough fabric. As a result, any moisture caused by rain or melting snow will rot the interior and eventually, the entire structure will literally fall apart.
Floatplane flying has played a key role in the community's development. The Norseman aircraft was one of the pioneering aircraft to open the region to the population during the gold rush. The monument was built from the frame of a Norseman aircraft that had flown in Red Lake. It was restored to "almost flying condition and put on a pedestal in the park in the town, which is known as the Norseman Capital of the World.
Urgent action was needed to Save DRD and a group of concerned volunteers spearheaded by the Norseman Festival Committee and Hwy 105 Tourism Committee have been formed. The monument needed to be removed and re-covered as soon as possible in order to ensure the integrity of the monument and the safety of the public. A crane was needed to lift DRD down, the wings were taken off, and she was transported to a various shelters where the maintenance can be done. The airplane mount has been without DRD for quite some time....at this time of updating, it has been over 3 years....but we are almost there.
Fortunately there is some insurance coverage that the Municipality of Red Lake has claimed; however, initial quotes for restoration of the aircraft have come in at over twice the approved claim leaving us short thousands and thousands of dollars.