Arnold Begeman has an F28 Fokker jet on his farm near Innisfail
By Diego Flammini
Top photo: Gary Vincent
An Alberta farmer purchased a plane that may be a little too big for crop spraying.
Over the course of two years, Arnold Begeman, who raises beef and cash crops, purchased and transported, by road, and in pieces, a full-size Fokker F28-1000C jet from the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum to his property near Innisfail.
The drive from the museum to Innisfail is 584 km and takes about six hours.
The F28 “was created specifically to take off and land at minor regional airports and travel either short or medium ranges,” according to Monarch Air Group, which allows customers to charter an F28 for about $6,000 per hour.
Begeman’s plane is one of eight F28-1000Cs remaining in the world.
Begeman’s love for aircraft started in his native Netherlands, where Fokker had its manufacturing plant.
He inherited his passion for airplanes from his father.
“My dad was already an aviation enthusiast too, so we went to the airport and watched airplanes together and listened to the scanner,” he told CTV News.
Begeman’s plane has seen the skies of the Ivory Coast and was part of the fleet of Canadian Regional Airlines, which operated between 1993 and 2002.
Begeman’s aircraft also has its own Facebook group, “Friends of Tizzy.”
The plane got that nickname partly due to mishaps it’s experienced during its lifetime.
“It ran off the runway in Africa (and) it had a little mishap in St. John’s,” Begeman told CTV.
The trouble in St. John’s, Nfld. happened in August 1999.
The plane overshot its landing after construction on the runway.
The landing gear snapped as soon as the plane hit the rocky, bumpy field, a CBC article says.
With the plane firmly parked on his farm, Begeman has plans to use the aircraft to help sell farm products.
“We may or may not use it actually as the store,” his wife Colleen told the Albertan. “We’ll have to see as time goes by.”