PBS Crew Films Doc in the Sault

"Admiral Byrd"
“Admiral Byrd”

The Canadian Heritage Bushplane Centre was a fitting place for a crew of eight from a Columbus Ohio PBS station to film scenes for a documentary on Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the first pilot to reach the North Pole.

On 9 May 1926, Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett attempted a flight over the North Pole in a Fokker F-VII Tri-motor monoplane named Josephine Ford, after the daughter of Ford Motor Company president Edsel Ford, who helped finance the expedition.

” we were looking for a tri-motor fokker and we couldn’t find one anywhere” Ben Bays, executive producer told Saultonline.com, “luckily we found a replica of the Amelia Earhart plane, which was the same model, here at the Canadian Bushplane Centre, and they have been so great to let us come here to film”

The cast and crew were filing an re-enactment of Admiral Byrd’s flight over the North Pole.

“The plane is fabulous, the aircraft they have here is just amazing” Bays said.

Preparing for a scene
Preparing for a scene

The hanger turned into a soundstage Monday for the one day shoot. Using green screen, scenes from the cockpit were filmed with the actors.

The PBS station in Ohio is owned by the Ohio State University that houses Admiral Byrd’s papers along with a Bryd Polar research centre, “so there’s a huge legacy at the Ohio State University and we’re telling his story”

Bays said they have been working on the documentary for about a year and a half and hope to have the film completed by Spring 2015.

“It’s pretty exciting watching them set up and film” Edie Collins-Suriano. The Fokker plane on display at the Bushplane centre was used in the motion picture “Amelia” that starred Richard Gere and Hillary Swank in 2009.

“Our volunteers have been working hard to get the cockpit in so the filming can begin. This has not been an easy job as original pictures of the inside have been hard to locate. Our engineer, John Lalonde along with Jim Beckerson and Floor Ranger, Mitch Carter have it just about ready using their vast knowledge of planes.” Collins-Suriano said.


Cast and Crew from PBS Columbus Ohio
Cast and Crew from PBS Columbus Ohio
Filming a cockpit scene
Filming a cockpit scene