Avro/HS.748 (Series 2A/273) C-FYDU (c/n 1694) of Air North Charter (of Whitehorse, Yukon Territories), here at the day of my visit to Fairbanks IAP, 31Jul03. on a scheduled service from Whitehorse.|
Air North has 2 operational Avro 748s and another one they keep for spares. I was told that Air North' 2 Boeing 737s were not meant to replace them and I hope so, as I like these sturdy transports a lot.
Firts flight of this aircraft took place on 04Nov70 (as AMB-110, the painter had made a mistake which was corrected to AMDB-110 before its 2nd flight). It was delivered on 20Jan71 to the Brunei Government and was used as a VIP transport for the Brunei Malay Regiment. Brunei Airlines took ownership on 26Aug81 and registered it as VR-UEH (it was converted for civil use by the Singapore General Aviation Services). It was stored on 11Aug82 but resumed its active life as VS-UEH during 1983. On 01Jan84 it was again reregistered as V8-UEH for Royal Brunei Airlines.
C-FYDY HS.748-233 Srs.2A (1661) sits at Whitehorse on 04Aug03, without some vital spare parts... Dark clouds loom in the distance, we fled for the rain pouring down on us but there seems to be no escaping for this 748....
But you cannot keep a good plane down! Captain Dan Tonner updated me in Aug.2005:
Air North now operates 2 HS.748s (plus one for spare parts) and has entered the jet age with the addition of 2 Boeing 737s. However, I was told that these 2 HS.748s will soldier on for years to come.
When one approaches Whitehorse IAP, one is confronted with a unique sight: Douglas C-47 CF-CPY acts as world's largest weathervane at this airport.
We arrived late in the afternoon and in spite of being tired by a long drive, with the sun out like it was, I just had to take some photos without delay of this extraordinary landmark ! The next day, upon my visit to Air North, the weather proved to be as changeable as reputed for these northern parts....
It had been a wish of mine for many years to visit Whitehorse, unfortunately the days when Air North operated DC-3s were long over.
Some historic details on CF-CPY (c/n 4665):
There has been some controversy regarding the identity of this airframe. Air-Britain's 1984 monograph on "the Douglas DC-3 and it Predecessors" stated that 41-18541 was quoted as the serial of CF-CPY, not 41-18540. Update 1 of this book provided a statement that a photo of CF-CPY in camouflage showed 41-18541 on the aircraft's fin, thus concluding c/n 4666 would fit this airframe. However, c/n 4665 seems widely accepted and c/n 4666 is still around as HB-ISB (Update 2 -of 1993- stated that construction plate of HS-ISB with 4666 must be incorrect and should read 4667).
In July 2009 I was alerted by Sean Keating to an article on Whitehorsestar.com, which featured a photo showing CF-CPY been taken off the pole and was to be taken to the Yukon Transportation Museum as its new home...
In Shirlee Matheson’s book ‘Flying the Frontiers Vol.III’ (subtitled 'Aviation Adventures Around the World’ - published Detselig Enterprises, 1999) I came across some remarkable history of DC-3 CF-CPY.
C-47B 45-1037 (17040/34306) at Haines Junction in the Ruby Mountains, 06Aug03.
The history leading to the crash of this aircraft is fully described on my page:
When I travelled the area I made it a point to visit the wreck. Unfortunately, I found the helicopter of Trans North Air unavailable. So we walked over to Sifton Air and found them willing to put a Cessna 205 to our disposal. Though this charter was cheaper, it proved to be more difficult to take photos of the wreckage, as it is located under the rim of a mountain. The fly-by cannot be made in a straight line, so Kate (our pilot) flew in the direction of the DC-3 and had to make a hard break to the right to avoid crashing against the mountain.... It left me with only a split second to make a picture.
An unexpected bonus: Boeing C-97G N1365N (16729) of Hawkins & Powers at Palmer,AK on 07Aug03.|
I had come across this former USAF transport (52-2698) in 1995, upon a visit to Ft.Wainwright. This year the US Army had puckered up, suffering from a fear for terrorists bordering on paranoia (felt everywhere in the USA) and they had boosted their security, preventing a visit to the air tanker base on this military installation. A far cry from the situation in 1995, when there was no guard at the gate and one could drive up to the fire fighters.
Tanker 97 had replaced the Conair DC-6 here, moving down from Ft.Wainwright to Palmer. Earlier this year the aircraft returned from a firefighting mission with an engine failure, resulting in an engine change.
No one was around on this tranquil evening at Palmer,AK.
N43872 is a Douglas C-118A of Northern Air Cargo with c/n 44665. Photo taken at Anchorage, 08Aug03.
This aircraft served the US Air Force from 03Nov55 until Sep74, when it was stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. Time Aviation Services bought it on 12May76 and when Int'l Shoe Machine Corporation bought it Feb78, it was registered as N43872, the tailnumber it is still wearing.
Ralph Pettersen wrote the following update in Aug.2009: "Other than DC-6A N6174C, none of
the DC-6/C-118 aircraft recently sold to Everts by NAC will fly again.
They are all time-expired Part 121 aircraft and the deal stipulated that
they would not be flown as Part 125 aircraft.
Pieter Taris wrote me in Sep.2010, reporting N43872 was seen at the Lake Hood air museum, parked outside between the main hall and the annex, against the fence seperating the museum with the road/taxi track, next to the Boeing 737-200.
Douglas C-118A N2907F (c/n 44636) at ANC, 08Aug03.|
This is another former USAF transport, having been delivered on 21Apr55 as 53-3265, it was finally retired during 1975 at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. Retirement did not last long as Cryderman Air Services took possession on 12May76. Two years later it was bought by Time Aviation Services and registered as N2907F.
At some date it returned to desert storage in Arizona and during Mar91 it was purchased by NAC.
Check my Alaska 2006 page for some more photos of N2907F
N1377K is another Douglas C-118A, with c/n 44596. It was photographed that same day when it was towed from the maintenance hangar to the ramp, ready for commercial duties. One notices the difference in titles, compared to the titles on the C-118s shown above.
When NAC ceased operating DC-6s, most were bought by Everts Air; read about their situation on my FAIRBANKS 2012 REPORT
N6204U (c/n 43549) is a DC-6BF, a former Conifair Six and a recent addition to Northern Air Cargo's fleet. When NAC bought this Six (and another former Conifair DC-6A, N6174C, away at Victoria,TX for extensive maintenance) the fans of these vintage transports breathed a heavy sigh of relief as NAC had shocked the community when 3 Boeing 727s were added to the fleet. Meanwhile also a modern ATR.42 has joined the fleet, but I was assured by Bob Russell, NAC's Chief Pilot, that the Douglas DC-6 would be the mainstay of NAC's fleet for many more years to come.Unfortunately, NAC's policy changed, as can be read on my 2006 report...
Historic brief on this airframe: delivered as LN-LML to Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) on 04Jul52, it was leased to Thai Int'as HS-TGB from Apr60 until Jun63. Upon its return it was reregistered as SE-XBO for SAS. Icelandair bought it on 04Jan64, named it "Solfaxi" and changed the tailnumber to TF-FIP.
Well, upon my June 2012 visit I carried information N6204U had been stored at Palmer, but it was nowhere to be seen. Scrapped?
Following is a summary of Douglas DC-6 propliners with Northern Air Cargo (Aug.2003):
|REG.||Type of Aircraft||C/n||Status|
|N434TA||DC-6BF/ST||44434 / 515||Stored, Swingtail|
|N1027N||C-118A||43580 / 294||Stored, no props|
|N1036F||C-118A||43581 / 295||Stored, no engines|
|N4206L||C-118B||43709 / 355||Stored, no engines|
|N4213X||C-118A||44605 / 518||Stored, engineparts removed|
|N6174C||DC-6A||44075 / 451||In maintenance at Victoria,TX|
|N6204U||DC-6BF||43549 / 245||Stored, in Conifair c/s|
|N779TA||DC-6A/C||45529 / 1035||Operational|
|N1377K||C-118A||44596 / 499||Operational|
|N7780B||DC-6C||45372 / 875||Operational ?|
|N7919C||DC-6B||43554 / 247||Operational|
|N2907F||C-118A||44636 / 574||Operational|
|N43872||C-118A||44665 / 632||Operational|
|N99330||C-118A||43576 / 275||Operational (in overhaul 08Aug03)|
Many of NAC's stored Sixes can be seen at Stored at Fairbanks, 2003
Ralph Petersen visited NAC in June 2008 and reported the sad tidings that NAC had only 2 active Sixes in operation and this would cease altogether on 30Sep08...
Nb: N2907F is just about out of hours before its next major check so it will probably be scrapped. N6174C has about 3,500 hrs before its major check so it is a good candidate for continued service.
N138D DC-3-277C, Boeing Museum of Flight, 12Aug03.|
It was the second time I visited this museum and the pleasure was no less. To my surprise I found this DC-3 repainted in another livery compared to my visit in 1995.
The history of this airframe (c/n 2245) is as follows:
This is the original 'NC91008' (but still a fake id, read below...), lying elsewhere on Boeing Field (out of view from the museum...).
Its history reads as follows: c/n 6337 is a Douglas DC-3-455 and delivered as NC30035 to Eastern Airlines and was committed to the war effort with USAAF serial 43-2013 and redesignated a C-49K on 27Jan43.
Photos shown on Warbird Information Exchange (WIX) forum in July 2010 showed it sitting on its fuselage, without wings and rudder, and without markings in a state of growing dilapidation...
UPDATE by Ian Wison from his logs:
UPDATE: lying derelict in the grass, offered on eBay in august 2015, with a starting bid for... usd 8.000
This is how N138D (c/n 2245) looked in 1995; later it would be repainted as 'NC91008'.|
All a bit confusing as another fake 'NC91008' was outside on the ramp, still in one piece and decorated with Alaska A/L titles - later to be moved further away.
That one c/n 6337, has its history described above.
The start was at Anchorage, 2003
After having taken in Anchorage, there was the Road North
Join me on a DC-4 flight from Fairbanks: Bliss with Brooks !
Cultural stuff at: Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum at Lake Hood (Anchorage), 2003
Museums at Fairbanks too: Pioneer Air Museum (Fairbanks), 2003
Piston Engined Airliner Production List, by A.B.Eastwood and J.Roach (TAHS, 2002).
Douglas DC-3 by J.M.G. Gradidge (Air-Britain, 1984)