Photos © Ruud Leeuw
In celebration of my 25th anniversary of employment, my employer (Martinair) issued me tickets for a destination of choice; I decided to revisit a favourite corner of the world: Western Canada & Alaska. And I decided to aim for a few places I had not been before.
On June 20th we flew Ketchikan to Seattle and onward with flight AS2174 (Horizon Air), deHavilland Canada DHC-8 N365PH to Vancouver IAP,BC.
C-GKFG is a Convair CV580 (c/n 22), a converted CV340/440. |
It was built in 1952 and operated with Continental Airlines (N90852), North Central Airlines (N90852), Republic Airlines (N90852), Tigerair Inc (reregistered N32KA in 1981), Key Airlnes (N32KA), Air Florida Commuter (N32KA), Westates (N32KA, Richmor Aviation trading as Sundance Air (N32KA), Transworld Express (N32KA) and Westates Airlines (N32KA).
It was sighted at Kelowna,BC in June 1995 in Gray Lines colours. In Apr97 it was registered to Int'l Trading Company (Yukon) and on 01May97 it was registered as C-GKFG for Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter.
C-FKFZ is Convair CV580 c/n 151.
C-FKFZ was assigned for Kelowna Flight Charter on 06Feb92, leased to Trans Provincial in 1992 and since March 1993 with Kelowna Flightcraft again.
The Type Certificate of the Convair (short for: Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft) series is held by Kelowna Flightcraft of Canada these days and they have done wonderful things with it: they developed the stretched CV5800 and the airtanker CV580, a success in present aerial firefighting equipment.
I returned to Vancouver IAP in 2010 and once more came across C-FKFZ, see MY 2010 REPORT
Skyliner magazine ran a Convair special in their Sep/Oct.2006 issue and included a table of active ConvairLiners in North America as of July 2006; here I reproduce the Canadian operators-
|Environment Emergency Science||CV580||C-GRSC||72|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-GKFG||22|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-GKFU||82|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-GKFQ||86|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-FKFA||100|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-FIWN||126|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-FKFZ||151|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-GKFF||160|
|Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter||CV580||C-FKFS||343|
|National Aeronautic Establishment||CV580||C-FNRC||473|
|Province of Saskatchewan||CV580F||C-GSKR||509|
Driving around Vancouver Int'l Airport I found a spot I could take a photo of N582P, which just finished unloading.
My records show it is in use with Air Tahoma and "N582P Inc" is a construction within Air Tahoma.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revoked Air Tahomas AOC effective January 14, 2009. A recent audit resulted in 30 findings related to "systemic problems" involving record-keeping, maintenance and operations.
From the same source, here is a table of ConvairLiners active in/from the USA-
|American Airpower Heritage||VC-131D||N131CW||205|
|Beaufort County Mosquito Control||C-131F||N8149H||291|
|Beaufort County Mosquito Control||C-131F||N8149P||292|
|Beaufort County Mosquito Control||C-131F||N4444F||301|
|Coastal Air Transport||CV340||N154JR||47|
|Dodita Air Cargo||CV440||N912AL||353|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air
ex/ Contract Air Cargo)
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV580F||N151FL||51|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV580F||N141FL||111|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV580F||N131FL||155|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV5800||N381FL||276|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV5800||N391FL||278|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV5800||N371FL||309|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air;||CV580F||N171FL||318|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV580F||N191FL||326|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV580F||N181FL||387|
|Gulf & Caribbean Air||CV580F||N991FL||508|
|Miami Air Lease||CV440||N41527||346|
A Grumman Tracker, no doubt "struck off charge" from the military but it still shows '148' as identification.
Sean Keating and Karl Hayes replied to my question as to what fate has fallen on this (re?)tired Tracker...
Sean: "the Tracker is owned by BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) as a training device… I think it was given to them by the government upon retirement, but it hasn't been used very much; I don’t know anyone who has seen it running…
You can see the BCIT logo on the hangar door in the background."
Karl: "About the Tracker 148 at Vancouver, there is (or certainly was) quite a large school for aviation mechanics at the Vancouver International Airport. I don't know if it is still active there, but it was one of their instructional airframes on which the student mechanics learned their trade.
It was called the Pacific Vocational Institute or something like that. In years past, they also had an ex Air Canada Viscount and a Jetstar. At one stage they also had an ex canadian military Otter, until it was made flyable again and sold."
C-FGQZ in take off. |
This smart DHC-2 Beaver is c/n 118 and was first delivered on 30Apr51 as CF-GQZ for McNamara Construction Co Ltd.
Alkan-Air Ltd. of Whitehorse,YT became the next owner, reportedly in service during 1979.
Some dark fate befell this Beaver as it was noted as a wreck at Vancouver,BC. on 17Jan81, ex Alkan-Air, but I have no details on what may have caused this.
Pacific Aircraft Salvage Inc. (Vancouver,BC) took good care of it and saw registration after full restoration on 18Jan91 for Gateway Aviation (Richmond,BC).
C-FGQZ became assigned on 25Sep91 to Port Sidney Aviation Corp. And on 17Nov95 it was registered to Inland Air Charters Ltd. of Prince Rupert,BC (but found itself based at Seal Cove,BC).
On 17Nov95 registration was altered for a lease to Waglisla Air Inc. of Bella Bella,BC until 21May96. Somewhere along the line the proud Beaver was named "Haida Princess".
West Coast Air (Vancouver,BC) took ownership on 01Jun99.
More photos of mine at:
At the end of a day which saw only some touristical activity, I decided to have a teenie weenie look at Vancouver Coal Harbour Seaplane Base, but problems with parking the car and mounting frustration in traffic jams in Vancouver City made me decide to cut it short; I stayed less than 30 minutes..
For more photos see:
Vancouver - Coal Harbour SPB
This place I had trouble finding; even had to buy a more detailed map at a gasstation.
This residential air park was set up in 1995 in reply to the Greater Vancouver Regional Council's plans to close the airfield and transform it into a municipal park. We had hoped to buy lunch here, but the airfield was smaller than I had thought and although a shack housed a sort of coffeeshop, we found it unattended.
While the book North American Survivors (Roy Blewitt, 2005) stated this airfield housed some 50 vintage aircraft, I found little evidence of this; a few single props were parked, but nothing much else and no one around.
|However, my actual reason for visiting was to see this Lockheed L.18-08 Lodestar CF-TCY (18-2064) on display and it was a brilliant day, so no worries!|
|In August 2007 this was published in the The Vancouver Province
Sunday, August 26, 2007
"In its earliest days in the late 1930s, the twin-engine Lockheed Lodestar represented state-of-the-art aviation -- and made headlines on a number of fronts.
Millionaire aviator Howard Hughes used it to set an around-the-world flying record of three days, 19 hours in the summer of 1938. Soon after, it figured prominently in newsreels of British prime minister Neville Chamberlain flying home from Germany to announce his "peace in our time" agreement with Hitler.
This 14-passenger, transcontinental "airliner" was also the flagship of Trans-Canada Airlines' fleet between 1941 and 1947.
Today, very few of these magnificent flying machines remain, but one of them -- CF-TCY -- has been sitting for over a decade in Delta's Heritage Air Park at the foot of 104th Street beside Boundary Bay.
This particular aircraft was part of TCA's fleet and was once Canada's version of Air Force One in the U.S. when it served as the official carrier of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, other dignitaries and visiting heads of state in the early 1950s.
However, this historic aircraft, which is owned by the Langley-based Canadian Museum of Flight, won't be at the Heritage Air Park much longer.
It's getting a much-needed cosmetic overhaul, thanks primarily to the University College of the Fraser Valley's aircraft structures technician program, which runs out of the UCFV's Aerospace Centre at Abbotsford International Airport.
The museum is currently working on the logistics of moving the Lodestar from Delta to Abbotsford. Since its flying days are long past, the Lodestar's wings may have to be removed, given its 13-metre wingspan.
This aircraft was discovered at Chicago's Midway Airport in the 1960s, where it was about to be sold for scrap. The buyer, who owned an Illinois air museum, had to remove the Lodestar quickly so he hacked off its wings with a chainsaw...
When the Illinois museum closed in the late 1980s, the Lodestar was sold to the Canadian Museum of Flight, which at that time was located at Crescent Beach.
Once the work is done, the Lodestar will be placed on permanent display at the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley."
CF-CKT served with RCAF 401 (Aux) Sqn (Montreal), 403 (Aux) Sqn (Calgary), plus RCAF Stations Rivers, Portage la Prairie and Summerside, and sold surplus in the 1960's.
See my full report on
This DC-3 was manufactured on February 24th, 1940 for American Airlines as "Flagship Texas". Since that date she also served in the USAF, under the colours of Trans Alaska Airlines, Queen Charlotte Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines, Great Northern Airways and Trans Provincial Airlines.
In 1972 her "flying career" ended when Trans Provincial utilized her as a "spare" parts ship for other DC-3's in their fleet. After removal of all serviceable parts, CF-PWH was pushed into the bush adjacent to the Terrace, B.C. airport and abandoned as "derelict". Thankfully, a founding member of the "Friends of the DC-3 - Canada" recognized her long contribution to the people of British Columbia and through last minute negotiations with the scrap man, was able to purchase her remains for future restoration. In 1987, CF-PWH was moved from Terrace to the then Transportation Museum in Cloverdale. Upon the closure of this facility, the Township of Langley invited the Friends of the DC-3, North America to relocate at the Langley Municipal Airport.
This Douglas DC-3 in fact, was the first DC-3 to be owned and operated by a "home grown" B.C. airline, -- Queen Charlotte Airlines. She became Pacific Western Airlines first DC-3 and as such was assigned the fleet number of 301.
Today, CF-PWH is the oldest surviving DC-3 in Canada.
Information from: Canadian Museum of Flight
Next stop: Conair at Abbotsford,BC.
This is Airtanker 55, registered C-FHKF for Conair. But it hasn't always been so...
|C-FKFM is Conair's Airtanker 54 and has c/n 70.
Since I had been less sure of my itinerary at this stage of my travel, I had made no confrmed arrangement for a visit here; I was much relieved and very happy when someone did make time available to show me around! Thanks Dennis!
T54 is obviously receiving a maintenance inspection in the spotless hangar of Conair.
C/n 70 was produced in 1953 as a CV340 for United Airlines ("Seattle") with tailnumber N73133. Its aviation history traces its next owner to Tex Johnston Inc in 1968; that same year it was converted to CV580.
In 1969 it was registered to Aero Spacelines and stored at Marana,AZ. On 11Sep72 it was bought by Farmer's Union Travel Club of Denver,CO and Aspen Airways bought it on 11Oct75.
It went to the Alaska Historical & Transportation Museum of Palmer,AK on 14Jun85 but it was much too soon to retire to a museum...
On 16Jan92 it became C-FKFM for Kelowna Flightcraft (operating a short lease that year for Trans Provincial Airlines) and was reregistered to Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter Ltd on 02May95.
It was subsequently reconfigured to Airtanker and bought by Conair on 07Sep00.
Information from The ConvairLiners Story, by J.M.Gradidge (Air-Britain, 1997) and my own records.
Across the airfield, near the airtanker base, sits a fair number of airframes in storage (all Grumman Trackers, except 1 Douglas DC-6.
More photos on my ABBOTSFORD 2006 page
Spotting the Air Spray Airtanker 89 C-FVFH must be attributed to my wife, who eagle-eyed this Lockheed L.188C Electra (c/n 1006) when we were descending by winding road on Castlegar,BC (24Jun06).
The small airport was fully deserted, even the terminal had its doors closed.
C/n 1006 was manufactured in 1958 and was operated by General Motors (N5501V) as demonstrator and engine test bed; it was sold to the Los Angeles Dodgers (N1R, 22Nov61), traded with American Airlines (N1432, 17Dec70), sold to Intermountain Aviation (28Jan72, rereg'd N90700 01Mar72) of CIA fame if I am not mistaken, reregistered for Intermountain N1006T on 07Apr72, sold to Johnson Int'l (01Mar75), which merged into Evergreen Int'l (31Oct75) and subsequently sold to Air California in Mar77 (rereg'd N125AC 14Apr77; seen stored in 1979).
It was bought by Mandala Airlines of Indonesia (1980's?) and registered PK-RLF. During 1995 it was ferried to Red Deer,Alberta for Air Spray who converted it to an airtanker and registered it C-FVFH (first on 19Jun95 but again on 08Nov00, probably after its tanker conversion).
I came across Tanker 89 again on a visit to Air Spray at Red Deer on 24Sep07. As well as most of Air Spray's other aircraft .
CF-BZI was the main interest which attracted me to visit this museum at Calgary Int'l Airport, but there is much of interest to explore in the Aero Space Museum.
See my page dedicated to my visit to:
N4AX (c/n 1) has been stored here at Calgary IAP for a number of years now. |
Ten Canadair CL-66B (CV540) Cosmopolitan's were bought by the Canadian Air Force, designated CC-109. Eight, including this RCAF 109151, were converted to CV580 (engines). It has been stored here since July 1994...
I saw it stored at Calgary in Aug99 but it was stored showing tailnumber C-FNCI then.
Las Vegas Aircraft Leasing bought it on 23jun00 from North Canada Corp (owners since Oct96) and rereg'd it N4AX.
There is a special story to the Canadair CL-66B's: see my Saskatoon 2007 page.
UPDATE: CL-66B N4AX (ex RCAF 11151) was issued special marks C-GULQ on behalf of Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. on 26 Nov 2012 and under preparation for a ferry flight.
|Next stop is Red Deer,ALB where Air Spray (specialist in Forest Fire Suppression) is located. The days of their Invaders being used as Airtankers are over...|
This magnificent A26B Invader is C-GHZM (c/n 27400); the props are removed, the engines well-wrapped and also the rudder has been removed (only showing the 5 of its former Airtanker number 58).
Flickr has images that showed it still present during late-2015.
| Air Spray has converted to the Lockheed L.188 Electra for its airtankers.
We see here c/n 1124, its tailnumber C-GZYH applied with tape, which is fast loosing its adhesive capacity. It is also stored here at Red Deer, purchased for spare parts supply or future reconfiguration.
This L.188A first flew on 19Feb60 and was delivered to American Airlines (named "Flagship Baltimore") with tailnumber N6133A.
In 1968 it was sold to VARIG, receiving tailnumber PP-VJW.
At some point it was sold again and registered HR-AMM for Commercial Link Trading and leased to Interlink of Brazzaville, but I have no further details; it was reported stored at Lanseria,S.Africa in 1995. In Nov99 J.A.M. Air of Swartkop,SA bought it, but on 20Nov02 it departed from Johannesburg for Red Deer, arriving here on the 27th.
Air Spray registered it C-GZYH on 25Oct02.
See my webpage dedicated to my visit to
Air Spray at Red Deer,ALB.
The other major company here at Red Deer Industrial Airport is Buffalo Airways, who have a large maintenance hangar here; the aircraft here are stored, awaiting maintenance or for sale.
See my page dedicated to my visit to
Buffalo Airways at Red Deer .
This rather uncommon looking plane was the main reason for me to visit the Reynolds-Alberta Museum; this is Bristol 170 Freighter, registered C-GYQS and many years ago I had just missed it visiting Terrace,BC, off to a mine on a contract flight while operated by Hawkair.
The Reynolds-Alberta Museum is located between Edmonton and Red Deer in Alberta, Canada, 65 kilometres south of Edmonton. It is located off Highway 2 or 2A, one kilometre west of the city of Wetaskiwin on Highway 13, or east from Highway 2, near the Wetaskiwin airport.
More on the Bristol Freighter on my page dedicated to the
Reynolds-Alberta Transportation Museum .
An excellent DVD was released by Avion Videos in 2008, showing Hawk Air's 'Biffo' and Carvair in operations during the Bronson Creek / Snip Mine Airlift. Excellent footage !!!
I had several targets here in the area of Edmonton; the first one was Villeneuve Airport (near St.Albert), where Global Industries have 3 former Israelian Airforce stored and for sale.
Global Aircraft Industries is a specialist aircraft parts and salvage company and apparently one of the largest in the world. They imported 6 C-47s from Israel and 3 have been sold to museum in the USA: N15SJ (ex/4X-FNK, c/n 33049, to Farmingdale-Republic Field,NY), N155JM (ex/4X-FNX, c/n 25869, to Chesterfield-Spirit of St.Louis,MO) and N751A (ex/4X-FNT, c/n 12060, to McAlester,OK)
I drove up here, a pleasant drive through a countryside I am sure Vincent van Gogh would have found inspiration in with many of the canola fields in full bloom, to get the remaining 3 on camera...
Quite a sight, eh?
The airfield is small, these C-47 Skytrains were by far the largest aircraft around. And very quiet, hardly a sound to be heard. After a brief introduction I was allowed to take pictures of these 3 old soldiers.
N47SJ is the first on the line up.
This C-47B has c/n 14424/25869 and had the following previous identities: 43-48608, K-11 (Belgian AF), also served with the French AF and 4X-FNN/016 for the air force of Israel.
It has a total of 9.420 flighthours.
A telephone call to Global Aircraft Industries in May07 told me 2 things: they were moving to another location (off-airport) and N47SJ had been sold to an air museum in California (various offers were considered for the other two, but they would remain at Villeneuve until sold).
Andy Marden was able to reveal the buyer in California: "N47SJ will be going to the Estrella Warbirds Museum at Paso Robles". It arrived there, flying, on 27Jun07.
|A nice line up and I hope these will find a new owner too as the climate here cannot be good for storing aeroplanes out in the open, me thinks...|
Its aviation history reveals the following previous identities: 43-48793 USAAF, HB-IRD, to Israel AF as 1408/4X-FAH, reserialled 4X-ACW, later 4X-FNI/008.
Several years ago the asking price was around usd 100.000 excluding annual check and CofA.
While N215CM (below) was to be rescued in Feb.2008, there was to be no such fortune for N269LM! It will be parted out and no DC-3s will remain at Villeneuve (Global Aircraft Industries have abandoned their offices here and moved elsewhere). Parts were used for restoration of N215CM.
This is N215CM, Douglas C-47B Skytrain c/n 15347/26792.
It is also for sale for around usd 100.000 last time I heard a figure mentioned (minus the annual check and CofA) and has 17.595 hours on the airframe.
The book I carried with me for such details was North American Survivors, by Roy Blewitt (Gatwick Aviation Society, 2005) and it showed the following previous identities:
43-49531, NC63186, 4X-ADA, 1407 and 4X-FNA/007.
However, the photo below also shows, underneath the N215CM number, a former Canadian tailnumber: C-GFHP...
As of 22Feb08, the American Aeronautical Foundation (already proud owner of a B-25J bomber and based at Camarillo,CA) became the new owner this Douglas C-47B-15-DK!
It has a background serving with the 15th AF and 12th AF in Italy, from Dec1944 to Sep45. This C-47 also brought troops home to the US from the Italian front, during late-1945. The American Aeronautical Foundation obtained her original WWII records card and service records from the Smithsonian.
The American Aeronautical Foundation intends to sell plane rides on it to help support the foundation and the rest of their aircraft.
And indeed, on 22Sep08, it left Villeneuve for the USA!!
|Next on the list was Westlock (located north, a one hour drive) as in aforementioned book I had read a Beech D18S C-FDSV was based there, serving the Edmonton Skydive Centre. But alas this proved to be outdated and I saw nothing of interest on this deserted airfield (being a wednesday, things may be more lively in the weekend).
So I continued, driving in easterly direction passing oilrigs and Ukraine orthodox churches, searching for Chipman Gliderport where C-47A CF-IQR (c/n 11876) should await me...
Unfortunately, this information was no longer current and no one to talk to here either. At the local gasstation I was told it had been moved into town years ago and departed later without leaving a forwarding adress...
This link shows it gutted and stored in Chipman: www.douglasdc3.com/borek/borek.htm by 2002.
So where did it go to ???
ATDB.Org has it listed as destroyed... I hope not!
All was not lost on this 28Jun06, as I still had a visit to the Alberta Aviation Museum scheduled. This museum is located on Edmonton Municipal Airport.
See my dedicated to my visit of the
On thursday June 29th I boarded Canadian North flight 5T450 for my flight to the Arctic North.
I had a stay of 3 full days at Yellowknife and although it was not without disappointment and complications, I am pleased to present the follow report on my page: