Avro Arrow model found in Lake Ontario

A test model of Canada's most famous aircraft has been discovered on the bottom of Lake Ontario.

The first flight of the Avro Arrow prototype took place on March 25, 1958. Less than a year later, the entire project was scrapped by the Diefenbaker government. Its development was viewed as too costly. The government ordered the prototypes destroyed.

Aviation conservation groups such as the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada have been scouring the bottom of Lake Ontario looking for the models ever since.

Dave Gartshore found one of the nine scale models that was fired into the lake some 40 years ago. But a permit is required to search for the Avro models, something Gartshore does not have.

Bob Saunders found a second model a few days after Gartshore. He says a permit should be required for such a search.

"The fact that someone was doing it improperly is a fact the ministry has to address," Saunders says.

Despite his lack of permit, Gartshore feels that he has accomplished something worthy of recognition.

"I feel I do deserve a bit of recognition for finding the first confirmed Avro Arrow model," Gartshore says, "I don't want it. I said all along it's going to the Trenton Museum."

In the eyes of many Canadians like Gartshore, a museum is an ideal location for the models. The Avro Arrow was more than just a plane. It became a symbol of Canadian excellence long after its demise because of its advanced technical innovations.

Nine test models of the fighter jet have endured, and there are seven left to be found on the bottom of Lake Ontario.