Vintage Transports, photos by Friends & Guests

» INDEX PAGE «

 

On a regular basis people sent me photos, to share their enthusiasm for vintage airliners or to illustrate a question. These photos have been lingering in a scrapbook or a discarded box somewhere and/or probably wouldn't find their way to Online-use or publication.
To prevent them from getting lost, with permission of the sender, I would like to share them on this page.
Photos already online (personal websites, airliners.net, jetphotos.net, etc) are not meant to be included here.

 

Hawkins & Powers, PB4Y - Tanker 125

Ed Brewer sent me, alongside some photos, a request for information on Campbell Airstrip, in Anchorage, Alaska:
"We are greatly interested in any information on Campbell Airstrip, in Anchorage, Alaska, that your readers may have.
The strip was built as a supplemental airstrip during WW2 and had a fairly large tent city during those years. We don't know what if any aircraft were actual on site (rather than at Elmendorf AFB).
The tract now has a recreational trail, named P38, on the old east side taxiway, as a memorial to the war years. It is used exclusively by dog mushers during the winter.
The tract was transferred to BLM who had support aircraft and water bombers on site during the 1960's - 1980's, until these functions were moved to Fairbanks.
Smoke jumpers were based here for a while and the Campbell Creek Science Center is built in one of their Drop Zones.
The airstrip proper is still active."
All photos copyright: Credit Bureau of Land Management, Campbell Tract.All rights reserved.

EMAIL

N640, smokejumpers prepare to board
Smokejumpers prepare to board Grumman Goose N640

N640 features on several pages, start on Photos by Friends and Guests (49) and follow the links!

CL-215: smoky start no.1
This Canadair CL215 has a smoky no.1 start
Smokejumper, explained on Wikipedia...

A26 Invader firebomber, N6026EA-26 Invader N6026E, Tanker 55.
Taken elsewhere in Alaska, but T55 was supposedly based at Campbell at that time.

Any help for Ed to collect information and/or memories about the use of this airstrip, would be greatly welcomed!

Ed is doing this as volunteer work, at Campbell Creek Science Center, on this 'Campbell Tract' project, It is a former BLM facility in Anchorage.
Ed has 2 immediate priorities: 1. is to develop a list of possible names for a trail at the science center (an old taxi way), and 2. to collect any information / photos on the years the strip was used as a fire fighting base
Please send any information that would be of help!

My Links-page has several links for subjects concerning 'aerial firefighting'.
List of current Alaska airport data

 

The Venturacountystar.com ran a news item, on 01Mar08, on the final flight of the Martin 404 N636X:
martin 404 N636
Frank Mormillo, 66, of Duarte takes a picture of Camarillo residents Doug Whitesell, 21, and his father Jeff, 53, in front of Jeff's twin-engine Martin 404 airplane. The two were preparing to fly the plane, which was chartered by Mohammed Ali and other celebrities to a museum in Arizona.
Photo by James Glover II


The article included the following:
"The day was bittersweet for dozens of people who came to say goodbye to a piece of aviation history. The plane had been stationed at the Camarillo Airport for 11 years before Friday's departure.
In all, 103 Martins were manufactured, starting in the late 1940s and ending in the early 1950s. This one is said to be the last airworthy Martin 4-0-4 in the nation.
This particular Martin 404 went into passenger service with TWA. Then it was sold in 1960 to the E.F. MacDonald Corp., an Ohio company.
The plane's passenger seats were removed and replaced with large, luxurious seats during its conversion into a corporate aircraft. The renovated cabin looked like a large, comfortable living room, a place to while the hours away in red velvet chairs during long flights.
Owner Jeff Whitesell of Camarillo said his father, William, bought the Martin in 1969 and trained him to be an airline pilot.
The family then started a charter flying service. The Martin carried such notables as boxer Muhammad Ali and sports announcers Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford.
But with the economy stalling in the 1970s, Whitesell's family decided to close the flying service and sell the plane.
Whitesell, who went on to fly for commercial airlines, founded Airliners of America in 1993 to preserve and show classic airliners. He wanted a flagship aircraft for the nonprofit organization. A year later, he chanced upon a Martin 4-0-4, the same aircraft his dad had owned years earlier.
The plane was in poor shape when Whitesell bought it in 1994, but he devoted cash and countless hours to restore it to its former grandeur.
Unfortunately, maintaining and operating such an aircraft became too costly over the years.
Rather than spend hundreds of thousands more dollars on the plane, Whitesell is now giving it to the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Valle, Ariz., south of the Grand Canyon National Park.
"It will have a good home there," said Whitesell, as he stood next to the Martin that Friday (29feb08) afternoon.
Minutes later, Whitesell got into the cockpit, fired up the aircraft's engines and took off. "

N636X on Airliners.net
Planes of Fame Museum

N'Djamena's survivors Sigurjón Valsson sent me this photo, taken on 29Feb08:
"Here is my latest catch, taken Friday morning in N´Djamena, Chad.
Parked in the bush are two Douglas DC-4s and two DC-3/C-47s.
Clearly visible are only one DC-4 and one DC-3/C47. The other DC-3/C-47 is parked behind the DC-4 visible and the second DC-4 is behind.
Unfourtunately, I could not get another angle for this shot, it was shot very quickly, as we were lining up for departure on runway 05.
I do fear the days of these airframes are numbered, as the the French army/airforce has begun a significant construction program on the airfield. Earthmoving equipment was working very close to the aircraft. If they get in the way of whatever they are doing, the airframes may well be destroyed..."

Google Maps screendump, date 09Mar08Roy Blewitt's indispensable guidebook "Survivors" (www.gatwickaviationsociety.org.uk) offers possible identities for the DC-4s: TT-EAF (which I have on record as c/n 10307, reported in derelict condition Nov06 with Air Tchad titles, so that should be the one hidden from view) and 10409 (c/n 10409, Chad Air Force, reported to have 'AB'-markings, Survivors has a last sighting of April 2001).
But no mention of DC-3/C-47s.....
The screendump, courtesy Google Maps, clearly shows the 4 aircraft though I have no date of this situation. Obviously they have been moved around, which offers some hope they will not be destroyed merely because they are in the way of heavy equipment.


Alexandre Avrane of AeroTransport Data Base (ATDB) managed through his network to come up with the identities of the DC-3's here:
MSN 9036 and 9802 have been confirmed by someone sent on-site! They were the last C-47s in the local inventory and earlier reported as being transferred back to the French Government in 1991. Here are images of TT-LAC (9036) and TT-LAJ (9802), both photographers wished to be credited as "Agent X / aerotransport.org" !

TT-LAC TT-LAJ

I came across this Consolidated-Vultee PBY-6A Catalina in the UK, during a trip I'd made in 2003. It had been stored at North Weald for a number of years.
An air museum in Israel bought it, but preparation for its ferry flight was marred by disagreement and some left this initiative. Still, during 2004 an attempt was made to fly the aircraft to Israel but engine trouble made it strand at Beauvais,France where it remained until now.
Carl Gootzen intercepted its transport on 27Feb08 in Belgium, destination Antwerp, for transport by sea.
More history on this PBY-6 on my UK 2003 report.
N285RA finally on the move
Cat N285RA
Various identities

PP-YPU

Photos and history of DC3 PP-YPU (c/n 12303) as kindly provided by Jones Cesar Dalazen:

The Douglas DC-3, type C-47-5-DK, from Canarana Aviation – VACA, was produced in January 11 of 1944, during the second war, with number 42-92496. First, this aircraft was delivered to USAAF – United States Air Force, later to British Air Force and to Canadian Ltda of Montreal – Canada (FZ697).
In Brasil, it was flown by Natal Airlines, Real Air Transports, Varig, Caraiba Metais S.A.
Then, on 21May1976 PP-YPU was acquired by Coop of Colonization 31 de Marco Ltda-COOPERCOL.

After ownership by COOPERCOL, it was lend to pioneer company, Conagro. In May of 1977, the Coopercol's headquarters had PP-YPU returned. An attempt was made to start a new transport airline of Canarana, Barra do Garças. However, the expenses to keep this aircraft working, (e.g. fuel, maintenance parts and labor) were deemed to high.

Selling this aircraft did not work either, as nobody was interested in making any deal. They left the Douglas DC-3 out in the open and it got worn out because of weather conditions and vandalism. Sad.

In 1981, Coopercol suggested that this aircraft was donated to Canarana County, to be put on display on the local square downtown. In may of 1981, the mayor agreed with that and helped to haul this aircraft from the airport (Avenue São Paulo) to the square.
YPU was hauled by a small tractor and for this it was necessary to chop down some trees to pass through avenues and streets. At first the DC-3 was put on its own gear, in 1990 it was stacked on concrete posts at the same height which we see now.

Douglas DC-3 PP-YPU became one of the biggest attractions for tourists and is celebrated by many postcards sold here in Canarana. Nobody can resist to take some photos close the monument.

See my photos from Canarana, located 255 nautic miles from 050º Cuiába – SBCY.

Jones Avião's photos on Flickr.com
PP-YPU at Canarana
PP-YPU
PP-YPU monument CooperCol

John Olafson sent me these images in Feb.2008:
N60154
John added the following information: "Whilst at Palm Springs on vacation I visited the Palm Springs Aviation Museum in Feb08 and was rewarded with many beautiful sights there and to make things even better, most of the aircraft were outside.
Douglas C-47B N60154 (16007/32755) is an ex-Israeli aircraft. It still flies, as do most of the aircraft here.
They were doing some very messy engine maintenance as you can see..."
N60154 West Palm Beach
Close up tail(number)
N31235 Catalina

PBY-5A Catalina N31235 / 48426 looks splendid!
At the time of writing -03Mar08- it was still registered with Carmacks Commercial Corp. of Anchorage,AK since 03Nov03. This may have been a deal that never passed, when N31235 had been stored at Moses Lake,WA for many years (see also Airliners.net). N31235 arrived here late July 2007 and was soon repainted in these colours.
The FAA website also provides the year of manufacture of this Consolidated Vultee 28-5ACF (serial no. 48426): 1944. Its manufacturer's serial number is 1788. More of its history can be read on www.warbirdregistry.org
John added: "I read that it has the Wright R2600 engines and cowlings on it. When it was repainted last fall in its new Navy colourscheme, they decided to re-apply the 'Aluminum Falcon'-nose art." I came across it myself in May 2008.

A selection of photographs by John Olafson can be seen on Airliners.net

Catalina at Palm Springs air museum
Close up front N31235
N31235 tailnumber close up

3C-JJO at Evora
Convair CV440 at Evora,Portugal
Stefan Kuna sent me these images of Convair CV440 3C-JJO, stored at Evora,Portugal. The one on the left was taken on 27Nov07 and the one on the right on 30Nov07.
3C-JJO has c/n 401 and I have the following details on its history:
Delivered as EC-WMR (EC-AMR) to Iberia in 1957, became T.14-1 with the Spanish Air Force (coded 911-01 at first, later 911-21) in 1972.
Was registered XA-LUS for Instatl de Aviacion in August 1981, reportedly sold in USA on 02Apr82.
It was reported in May97 at Evora,Portugal. Registered during Apr97 in the Equatorial Guyana register as 3C-JJO but was ferried and stored at Evora. During 1997 it was reported to be sold to a Iberia 747 pilot (no name), but it never got to fly.
3C-JJO at Airliners.net

Dr Petér Moys sent me a batch of interesting vintage An-2 photos (see also bottom page) .
HA-YHF 1988
Antonov An-2 HA-YHF.
1988 at Budapest-Ferihegy
An-2 Weather Observation
AN-2 at Mátyásföld, date and photographer unknown.
Note the cabin modification for aerial weather observation
HA-ANO
Antonov An-2 HA-ANO present at Taszár in 1991

Tanker 160DC-4 / C-54E N96358 (c/n 27284), Tanker 160 of Aero Flite Inc.
It was registered to Brooks Fuel in Jan.2007 and migrated to Fairbanks,AK for its new employer.

Frits klinkhamer came across this Douglas DC4’s on an airstrip near Chester, CA (south of Lassen Vulcanic Park, on Hwy 36).
Photo was taken on 23Oct99.

More photos by Frits Klinkamer, click HERE...

Brian McDonough (left) and Nigel Aylmer (right) sent me these images in Feb.2008.
Brian: "This Convair CV580 is operated by Allied Signals/Garrett/Honeywell Int'l. It is N580AS msn 2.
It was shot at Washington-IAD on arrival from baltimore-BWI by me this morning, 11Feb08."

As Nigel pointed out, note the change of colour of the tailfin's leading edge...!
"N580AS Departed BWI 11Feb08 08.48 EST - Arrived IAD 09.08 EST
Departed IAD 12Feb08 11.24 EST - arrived SAV 16.45 EST, as per Flightaware.com
So there was at most 26 hours for the change ?"

N580AS
N580AS

Nigel wrote: "Surprise visitor at Savannah,GA (KSAV) late this afternoon (13feb08) 16.45 local was Honeywell's CV580 N580AS, in from KIAD with thunder storm closing in...
I drove round to try and get a picture. It had parked at Signatures, who dont like you taking pictures on their ramp... So a quick stop was made, jump out, snapped two shots....
Here's the best one, as it was almost dark because of the approaching storm."

Some history: CV340 c/n 2 was first flown on 18jan52, and delivered to United Air Lines on 02Sep52, with tailnumber N73102.
It was bought in 1966 by Frontier Airlines and subsequently reconfigured to CV580 in Dec66. Next owner was Gem State Airlines (later Golden Gate A/L) in May79 and reregistered to N116GS.
Bought by Aspen Airlines in Feb84, it was reregistered to N113AP in Aug84. Next was Renown Airlines, but only from Mar91 - Dec91.
Next was Allied Signal in Jan92, reregistered N580AS in Nov92.
[Source: The ConvairLiners by J.M.Gradidge -Air-Britain]


It would seem a Canadair CL-44 survives at Brazzaville (Dem. Rep. of Congo)! This photo was taken on 08Feb08 and published on the Planetalk forum.
General consensus seems to be that this is CL-44D4-2 TN-235 (c/n 37, formerly N1001T - G-AZKJ - G-BRED - N106BB - EL-AMC - 7Q-YMS - 9U-BHI - TN-AFS). The hinges indicate this is a Canadair Swingtail, not a Canadair Yukon.
But TN-235 was 'written off' as 'damaged beyond economic repair' by explosions on the airport of Kinshasa on 14Apr2000.
Kinshasa (formerly Léopoldville) is the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is located on the Congo River. And the city of Brazzaville is the capital of the Republic of Congo, which lies just across the Congo River from Kinshasa.
Was TN-235 flown across the border to Brazzaville for repairs?
Confirmation of its identity and details about its fate (and future) for the past years would be welcomed!
And while you're at it: that Antonov An-8 is worthy of interest and identification too!!

More plane mysteries: Search For...

Richard Huisman sent me this photo in Feb.2008 (taken August 2007) of a Lockheed P-2 Neptune, now derelict at Curacao's Hato airport.
Neptune at Hato

Aad van der Voet provided the following detail:
Former Dutch Navy SP-2H Neptune 203/H c/n 726-7248. It was withdrawn from use in Mar-1982 and has been stored at Curaçao-Hato ever since. It is in use by the airport fire services since at least 1989, probably longer.

Frits Klinkhamer provided an informative link: www.aircraft.co.za/Gallery/Photo265.php

EK-11660

25Jan2008 was a day of mayhem at the airport of Congo Pointe Noire (PNR), when An-12 9L-LEF / EK-11660 of Canadian Airways Congo / Aéro-Service smashed into a Boeing 727-200 of Canadian Airways Congo.
Following problems with its landing gear the Anotonov An-12 of Aéro-Service came off the runway at Pointe Noire and collided on the near-by tarmac with the 727 jet (painted in basic Iraqi livery). The nose smashed through the forward fuselage of the luckily empty Boeing 727.
The 2 pilots of the An-12 were sent to hospital as the only wounded people in this accident.
Details on AviationSafety Network
Source of the photo unknown to me, as it was forwarded by various people (thanks Monique!) without proper credit to the photographer.

OO-SDQ SABENA Dr. Péter Moys sent me this fine study of DC-6B OO-SDQ; he wrote:
"This is the last scheduled douglas DC-6 of SABENA, at Budapest, leaving for BRU. The Caravelle came next time on! I took this photo in 1963 or 1964."

OO-SQD c/n 44695/582 went on to Jean-Claude Bergey (TR-LOX, dba Apollo, operated in Biafra) and onto Gabonair as TR-LQE, Trans Gabon, Air Gabon and the trail went cold after that (probably scrapped by now or a wreck somewhere in the jungle, overgrown).

Larry Kraus shares some pictures from Ft.Huachuca in 1983, from a trip there in Tanker 22.
The overhead shots show that the long runway hadn't been built yet.
N96358 Tanker 160

Larry Kraus shared some "oil stained memories" on the Warbird Information Exchange (WIX) forum in Jan. 2008 (see also below for more):
N207EV

Larry wrote: "I ended up flying Tanker 22 in 1983 for Evergreen while they tried to find a replacement pilot (when theirs failed his flight physical at the last minute) . It had a fantastic instrument panel left over from it's "Operation Skyhook" days."

Larry Kraus wrote a hairraising account on the Warbird Information Exchange (WIX) forum in Jan. 2008:

"I ran across some pictures that I took 'the morning after' at Williams AFB just after refuelling from T&G's fuel truck. You might notice that all of the props except for #4 are still feathered. The last 12 miles was on #4 engine only...
I don't want to try THAT again!!

Okay, I ran out of usable fuel and to this day can't explain why I didn't have at least 40 minutes fuel left in the mains, but I did learn several lessons. For instance, just because the systems on one B-17 work in a particular way, don't count on the all working that way. Also, there are important bits of information in maintenance manuals that aren't in the flight manuals. I already knew not to put much faith in fuel gauges, but I thought that at least one of them might be remotely accurate.
Click to enlarge:

Note all props feathered

As I mentioned earlier, I was dispatched from Alamogordo to a fire north of Phoenix and ended up in Coolidge to refuel and reload. The lowest reading in the main tanks, according to our dipstick, was 105 gallons. The others ranged between 110 and 120 gallons. We used to use, as a rule of thumb for the B-17, a gallon per minute per engine and throw in 10 gallons for the climb. Tanker 68 had been having erratic fuel consumption all fire season. Three engines would have normal (expected) fuel consumption and one would burn up to 25% more. Also, it varied on which engine burned more fuel.

The fire that I was supposed to initial attack was less than 20 miles from Coolidge and I should be able to get there size up the situation, drop and be back in 40 minutes, tops. The first problem was that there were thunderstorms moving through the area, which is why fires were starting. The ringer being that the thunderstorms, which had been dry, were turning wet. Just as I got to the fire, a heavy shower moved over it and put it out. I had to call dispatch and get a divert to another new start. Of course, it was a little farther out than the first one. Navigation in those days before GPS, or even Loran took more time with just a radial and distance from a tanker base or VOR (that you couldn't recieve because of terrain or altitude). Also, in a B-17,you go around terrain instead of over it, especially on short trips.

Click to enlarge:
Tanker 68
T68 in the Alamagordo loading pit,
looking south

By the time I got to the second fire, it was washed away as well. So, I ended up going back to the original fire by Roosevelt Lake. The lead plane had gone in for fuel,but the air attack was there. It only took a few minutes to figure out the plan, which was to drop one door at a time on hot spots. The B-17 had 4 retardant tank compartments, each one with a door. I made three drops and the lead plane came back to the fire and decided to have me hold off dropping the last door until he made a few passes. He finally decided that the run that he'd called me off was as good as any, but I should follow him.

So, we were on final behind the leadplane with throttled back to about 20" when Bill Rhodes (my co-pilot) said that he thought that #2 just quit. I know that sounds like an odd statement, but, with the power below barometric, it's hard to tell that an engine, especially an inboard, has died. The RPM doesn't change and the manifold pressure will follow the others on throttle changes as long as you stay below barometric. The only way that he knew was because we suddenly had zero fuel pressure on #2. I made the drop and headed out of the area toward Coolidge trying to figure out what was going on. We were only 40 minutes into the flight, so we should still have plenty of fuel.

The first thing that we did was to open the valve for the Tokyo tank on #2. There was 75 gallons of fuel in that tank. This might be a good time to describe the fuel system on a B-17, which is unique, to say the least... For one thing,there are no fuel selectors (only an electic shutoff valve on the firewall) and there is no cross-feed. You can transfer fuel across the airplane with an electric pump at 12 1/2 gallons per minute, but you can't use fuel from #1 engine in #2 without first transferring it to #3 or #4 and back to #2. Also, you can't run multiple engines off of a single fuel tank. The bottom line being that the transfer system works, but takes time. Even so, when #2 didn't immediately refire, I considered transferring some fuel from #3 to it.

Each engine has 425 gallons available with the mains topped. The outboards are easy with one self sealing 425 gal tank. With the inboards there's a problem because of the main landing gear being in the way of where the turbo is mounted in the outboards. So, the inboard turbo had to be moved aft and there wasn't room for a large enough fuel tank. The solution being an interconnected 212 and 213 gallon tanks. That brought up the capacity, but created problems in accurately sticking the inboard tanks (among other things).

Part way through production of the B-17F series,Tokyo tanks were introduced. These were interconnected self sealing tanks that were squeezed between the wing ribs outboard of the outboard engines. They got progressively smaller as they got closer to the wingtip.As a result,to add up to an additional 270 gallons per engine,the inboards had 4 interconnected tanks and the outboards had 5.These are like the wing tanks on a Cub.There are no boost pumps in the Tokyos,or fuel gauges,for that matter.All that you can do it wait for the main tanks to get down to around 100 gals and open the valve to the Tokyo tank.Originally,these were manually operated from the radio room.Ours had rotary electric valves.

Click to enlarge:
The B-17 cockpit

I'd flown in Tanker 65, another B-17G (actually a PB-1W) for 4 years prior to the 1980 season. We routinely carried only 50 gals in each Tokyo tank and had occassionally drained it into the mains with no problem, other than it taking a little while because of the lack of head pressure in the Tokyos. I'd tested the Tokyo tanks in Fresno before heading for Alamogordo by adding 150 gals to each and opening the Tokyo tank valves. There was less than 100 gals in each main at the time. They fed a little unevenly, but all of the fuel transferred to the mains withing about 10-15 minutes.

Back to my story. Since #2 didn't restart, rather than transfer fuel across the wing, I had another plan .I feathered #2 once we were out of sight of the leadplane and air attack. We tried the #2 main boost pump every minute or two to see if we'd get fuel pressure, but decided that we'd be okay, except for figuring out why #2 apparently had no fuel available. Since you taxi a B-17 on the outboards and all that we had to do was climb another 1500 feet and we'd be 10 minutes from Coolidge, I'd unfeather #2 when we got within sight of the airport and nobody would ever know that it wasn't running.

That plan went to heck when the #1 fuel pressure gauge fluctuated a couple of times and went to zero. The lowest main fuel gauge showed 40 gallons remaining. We opened all of the Tokyo tank valves and called the air attack to let him know that we had what appeared to be a fuel starvation situation. Then we called Phoenix Approach and decared an emergecy. The first thing that the controller did was to give me a vector for Coolidge. I couldn't go that direction because of terrain. The next closest airport was Falcon Field,which was about 4000 ft long uncontrolled and usually had a pattern full of Cessna 150's. Since this was probably going to be a one shot approach/landing,we opted for Williams AFB (now Williams Gateway). They had three 10,000 ft runways and crash and rescue available.

We got pointed in the right direction and I had a little time to think. My first thought was "This can't be happening to me! I checked the fuel and there's plenty of gas in the Tokyo tanks". I was watching the terrain, which was rolling desert with sand,rocks and lots of cactus plants. There was a resonably straight dirt road going close to the same direction that we were,except that it seemed to have a steel cattle guard with posts at the edges about every 1500 ft. I tried to figure out how I was going to dead stick the airplane onto the road and stop between the cattle guards.

The next thought was "How am I going to explain this to the boss?" I'd made a copy of the B-17 pilot's manual and sent it to my brother a few days before. I reread the manual while making the copy and it recommended a little less than 1/4 flap as being the best configuration for flying with multiple engines out. I tried it for 3-4 minutes and all that happened was a 50 fpm increase in our rate of descent. I went back to zero flaps. Not too long after that,#3 fuel pressure fluctuated a couple of times and #3 quit. We still couldn't get any fuel pressure on #2 or on #1.

I asked the controller how far we were from the end of the runway at Williams. He said that it was 12 nautical miles. We had 1500 ft of altitude above field elevation and at climb power on #4 were losing 200 fpm. I don't remember exactly, but I think that we were indicating about 120 mph. I could see the runway and Williams Tower had cleared the area of other traffic,so we were cleared to land on any runway in any direction. Wind wasn't an issue,but there was only one path to the end of the runway.

When we were about 5 miles out, I could see that we'd make it as long as #4 kept running. If not, there was what looked like an auto test track a mile or so short of the runway and off to the side. If all else failed, I'd try for that. As it turned out, we dropped the landing gear at a mile final and crossed the end of the runway with a couple of hundred feet of altitude to spare and #4 still running. It was the quietest landing that I've ever made in a B-17 when I closed the #4 throttle all that I could hear was the rush of the wind!!

Click to enlarge:
Work on the engine
No.1 gets some oil

We turned off at mid-field and the tower told me to taxi to the base of the tower. I told him that if I could taxi to the base of the tower, I wouldn't have landed at Williams. It took a while to convince him that I couldn't just taxi on one engine, esspecially an outboard. They finally sent out a big fire truck and a few hundred feet of heavy rope and towed the airplane to the ramp. My co-pilot stayed with the airplane to ride the brakes, while I went to Base Ops to start making phone calls and filling out paperwork.
I filled out paperwork on that little incident for 3 years... Nobody from any agency tried to give me a hard time in any way. I mentioned my plan to land on the auto track to somebody in Base Ops. He said that it's a good thing that I didn't do that. It turns out that it's an auto torture track that's all speed bumps! Apparently a Skyraider took off from Williams in the 60's and landed on that track when his engine barked a few times. By the time he stopped, all of the engine mounts had broken and the engine fell off from running over the speed bumps.

We spent the night at Williams while my boss (Hank Moore) made arrangements with Woody Grantham to bring 750 gals of 100/130 to Williams in his gas truck from Chandler. We fueled up,turned on the boost pumps and had fuel pressure all around.That day was supposed to be our scheduled day off. The Forest Service allowed us to ferry the airplane to Coolidge and still count it as a day off. This was mainly because Williams wanted us out of there asap.

When I got to Coolidge, Gary Packard was there in Evergreen's B-17 Tanker 22. I figured that my dipstick must be faulty, so I compared it to his. There wasn't 1/16 inch difference at any of the markings. My immediate solution to the problem was to carry the same amount of fuel (250 gpe) and flight plan for 45 minutes less than I had been. I also decided to figure that any fuel in the Tokyos was useless for anything except ballast.

Once I got back to Sequioa Field (TBM Inc's maintenance base), I found out a few things. First,there were 3 different manufacturers of B-17 self sealing main tanks and they varied slightly in capacity. I checked the markings on the tanks in T65 and T68. It turned out that T65 had the largest tanks and T68 had the smallest. It made a difference of 15 gpe. This was in the B-17 Erection and Maintenance Manual, but there's no mention of it in the flight manual. When I spoke with Kenny Stubbs (TBM's Director of Maintenance),I learned the reason for the Tokyo tank fiasco.

T68 had a problem with the Tokyo tanks deteriorating internally and contaminating the fuel (to a very minor degree) with rubber flakes.The Forest Service maintenance inspector had made TBM install gascolators in the fuel supply lines between the Tokyo tanks and the mains. I knew about this because we sumped the gascolators while draining the main fuel sumps.Tanker 65 didn't have gascolators because it didn't have a problem with deterioration. The revalation from Kenny was "Didn't I tell you? You need to have 150 gals in the Tokyo tanks on T68 to get enough head pressure to get past the gascolators when the valve is opened." That, coincidentally, was exactly the amount that I randomly chose when I tested the Tokyo tanks for flow in Fresno.

As to where the rest of the fuel went from the mains? Your guess is as good as mine. One thing that happened a few years later (1983, I think) was that I happened to see Andy Anderson (who was the leadplane pilot from Wenatchee,WA) in a restaurant at Reno. He'd had a few drinks. I was leaving with Dave Kelly as we'd finished eating. Andy called me over and said that my running out of fuel/single engine landing was the best thing that I ever did because before that nobody knew that I existed and now everybody knew me.
I suppose that it's nice to be known for something?!

All of these pictures were taken sometime between April and July 1980."

Larry also described why aerial firefighting is no bed of roses...
C-119s at Ramona

"I have here a few pictures that I took in 1982. I was flying Tanker 65 that season out of Porterville on a CDF contract. I also ended up in Ramona and took some Boxcar pictures at the tanker base there. I didn't like flying out of Ramona because it had a short runway and is in a bit of a bowl.Also, it's usually hot there, which the airplane doesn't like. Every time that I'd get a dispatch south of Fox Field, the guys at Porterville would tell me that I had to reload Ramona. I'd grumble and be irritated all the way to the fire. Then, more often than not, it would turn out that the fire would actually be closer to Fox or Hemet and I'd be told to reload at one of those places instead!! I always felt tremendously relieved, but I knew that the guys at PTV were getting a good laugh over it.

The last time that I had to fly out of Ramona, the wind was blowing down the runway at 20 kts. We always downloaded on retardant from 1800 to 1600 gallons at Ramona and often carried a lower than normal fuel load to reduce the take off weight. I'd just loaded and had a dispatch to a fire as we were fuelling,With the wind conditions, I brought the fuel up to our normal load. As we taxied out, Larry Hill overflew us with a load of mud from Hemet in his Boxcar and my flight was cancelled.

The next day, I was released back to Porterville at the hottest part of the day. It was 105 degrees with no wind when we taxied out. Normally, we'd rotate on a loaded take off at 115 mph. I got my B-17 Type Rating from Don Ornbaum. He really made me earn it. He also told me that there were a few things that he wasn't going to tell me about flying B-17's until he was through flying them. He didn't want some whippersnapper flying a B-17 as well as he did and trying to take his job (As if that could ever happen).One thing that he did tell me, however, was that, if you REALLY needed to, you could coax a loaded B-17 into the air at 105 mph. You just needed to immediately lower the nose and retract the gear and stay in ground effect until you were actually flying.

We got to the end of the runway and stuck the tail in the dirt at the very end and locked the tailwheel. Then we went to full power (46"/2500 rpm) and released the brakes. Tanker 65 sedately waddled down the runway and as we passed the CDF tower, which was maybe 1/4 of the way down the runway, I looked down at the airspeed indicator. It read 45 mph. That's when I flipped up the guard on the drop button in case we needed to jettison the load at the end of the runway.

We continued accellerating (if you could call it that), but were still firmly planted on the runway when we passed the numbers near the end of the runway. Off to the side of the runway and a few hundred feet out, I could see the remains of Tanker 122, which was a PB4Y that was destroyed (without injuries) a couple of months before when it 'Failed to become airborne'... Just as we came to the end of the pavement, the airspeed hit 105 mph. I horsed the airplane off the runway, called for gear up and lowered the nose. As we staggered around the valley, I watched the airplane shadow trying to touch the airplane until we finally got aimed back toward the airport from a left 270 degree turn and came back to climb power. It looked to me like we'd just cleared the tanker base flagpole as we crossed over and turned toward Porterville..."

N13744 Tanker 86 at Ramona


Hugo Ruiz sent me some 1950s photos of C-119s, which were added onto the C-119 Information Page.

Nigel Aylmer sent me this image and he added: "I just returned from England to the US , with me I brought some photo's I had taken prior to 2003. In this group was a picture of the ATL-98 cockpit [not nose] taken on 21May2001 at Griffin,GA and I have compared it with other pictures on the web . It has the right aerials for N55243 cn 17.
I did not see any sign of the cockpit at Griffin in 2003 nor on my visit during late 2007."
Rob Tracz wrote:"Those remains of N55243 were at Griffin,GA in January 1996, but had been a long time resident of Naples Airport in Florida."

Nigel added:"I also photographed a complete Carvair, N89FA, at Tara Field in 2003."
Webmaster update: I came across Carvair N89FA "Fat Annie" in nov.2015, see TEXAS 2015.
Carvair cockpit

Jason Pineau sent me some photos in Jan.2008:
C-GUWFThis is a close up of DHC-2 C-GUWF, taken at Fort Langley on 29Apr07.
The tires are 'tundra tires'. A tundra tire is a large low-pressure tire used on airplanes to accommodate rough terrain when landing or taxiing. These tires are recently becoming popular with non-bush pilots as a fashion statement!
[Source: Wikipedia]
In North America, Canadian World War II veteran Welland Wilford "Weldy" Phipps is generally credited with being the first. Using a Piper Super Cub equipped with oversized balloon tires he crafted himself, Phipps opened much of Canada’s high arctic to air transportation. Later, operating a fleet of 19-seat de Havilland Twin Otters also furnished with balloon tires, Phipps brought airline service to Resolute Bay, Grise Fiord and numerous other remote Inuit communities. Read more...

In here book "Flying the Frontier", Shirlee Smith Matheson dedicated a chapter to Weldy Phipps.
1996 Weldy Phipps Obituary and HERE..

C-GUWF
DHC-2 C-GUWF (c/n 287) was registered to Martini Transport Ltd on 22Sep98
and is based at Fort Langley, B.C.

Jason wrote: "C-GWUF is owned by Ron Martini, who is also the owner of the Fort Langley airport and a company called Starline Windows. The airport was once a 1800' grass strip, but it is now a 4000' paved runway to accommodate his new PC-12".
Found CF-WFN
Found CF-WFN
Jason wrote: "Fort Langley has many float planes based here and the above Found Centennial 100 is a rare one! Registered CF-WFN, it is the first of 3 built commemmorating Canada's Centennial, back in 1967. (these photos were taken Sept 2006.) It was in rather poor condition back in 1993, according to this photo: www.airliners.net "
C-GPCD
C-GPCD
I have a few shots of various Grumman Goose aircraft in Pacific Coastal Airlines' fleet. They come down to Vancouver from Port Hardy whenever they need a complete rebuild.C-FPCK

"Coming in for its overhaul (right) was C-FPCK, certainly looking rather worn out, as seen by the many dents and scratches on the fuselage and engines.

Pacific Coastal also acquired another Goose (the white "Caribbean Clipper" above), now registered C-GPCD (was N93GS and CF-BAE), in March (Photo March 15, 2007). Sorry I don't have a photo of it in its Pasco colours."

[C-GPCD crashed on 03Aug08, 20 miles west of Port Hardy en route to Chamiss Bay near Kyuquot Inlet, 5 fatal, 2 injured.
Pilot Simon Lawrence, 36, died in the crash along with five employees of Seaspan International Inc. who were being flown to Chamiss Bay to load a log barge. ]

C-FUAZ

On the left is C-FUAZ after being stripped to the bare metal. (taken April 1, 2007.)
C-FUAZ It emerged about 6 months later looking like a brand new aircraft! (right, photo taken Sept 28, 2007.)
"We had one Goose operating out of Vancouver during the winter, and I always found it amazing how the pilot gets around his aircraft... When arriving he climbs out his side window in the front, and then opens the passenger door from the outside; he then climbs back up on the nose to unload the baggage from the very large cargo compartment in the nose. And after that he is up on top of the wing to refuel and check the oil!

Pacific Coastal Airlines operates 6 Grumman Goose aircraft (out of 7 registered in Canada) out of Port Hardy for charters into fishing and logging camps, as well as scheduled flights to small coastal communities."

Jason Pineau has a selection of his images on Airliners.net

 


'Pacific Coastal Airlines Parks Grumman Goose'
"Over the past 25 years, the Grumman Goose has been the flagship aircraft of the Pacific Coastal Airlines Seaplane division based in Port Hardy. During this time, the 'Goose' has proven to be a reliable effective workhorse for the fleet and has done a great job doing the type of work needed to serve the many communities, logging camps and fishing resorts on the rugged Central Coast.

As the aircraft age, our inability to acquire certified parts has made it impossible for us to continue to maintain and operate the Grumman Goose to Pacific Coastal Airlines and Transport Canada standards. This obstacle puts the ongoing, long-term viability of operating the Grumman Goose into question.

With this in mind, we have made the decision to park the Grumman fleet while we determine the options before us in relation to accessing certified parts, as well, we will be evaluating the ongoing sustainability of the aircraft. In the meantime, we are working at providing short-term alternative solutions with a goal of having a clearly defined long-term plan in the near future."
Quentin Smith
President

[Dec.2012]

Viscount G-AZNA

G-AZNA preserved
Arnold Begeman sent me these photos in Jan.2008. He wrote: "I was driving in Belgium (nearby Eeklo) and noticed this Viscount near the side of the road; so I stopped and took some photographs. The date was 06Jan08."

The Census on OldProps website identifies G-AZNA as c/n 350 (and describes its location as "Mounted on poles next to N9 road at Waarschoot, Belgium").
The TAHS book on 'Turbo Prop Airliner Production List' (2005) has G-AZNA c/n 350 as "WFU & stored Southend, Essex 1.91; Broken up". Clearly not so!
That same book also lists the following previous identity of this Vickers Viscount 813:
ZS-CDX for South African A/w, delivered on 20Dec58; registration of ZS-SBX was reserved but not taken up; The same for tailnumber G-AZLU. British Midlands A/w bought it in Feb72, reregistered as G-AZNA; after 1982 it was leased by several operators and at times it was stored.

It seems to be in use by disco Kokorico (www.kokorico.be but no photo on the website). Thanks Alexandre!

C/n 350 - Viscount V.813
First flight 07Dec58 - delivered to South African Airways on 20Dec58 as ZS-CDX (intended registration ZS-SBX was not taken up), entering service 06Jan59.
Registered to BMI as G-AZNA on 08Feb72 and delivered on 09Mar72 (initially mispainted as G-AZLU).
On 12Mar74 it made a fast, steep approach into RAF St.Mawgan and landed heavily some 4.800 ft beyond the runway threshold. On touchdown the nosegear collapsed and the aircraft stopped 3.200 ft further down the runway. No injuries reported.
Withdrawn from use and stored at EMA on 31Jan82, but reactivated Sep82.
Leased to Manx Airlines 01Nov82 - 06Oct84 and Oct85 - 16Nov85. Sold to British Aerospace on 07May86. Leased to BMA on 07May86. Subleased to Manx AL 20Feb88 - 27Feb88, then returned to British Aerospace.
Stored at EMA on 05Mar88.
Sold to Baltic Airlines / Hot Air on 01Aug88. Nosewheel collapsed 01Oct88 at Gatwick.
Leased to Gambia Air Shuttle between 11Nov88 - 16Apr90. Returned for service at Southend a number of times. Baltic Airlines/Hot Air was merged into BAF during spring 1989.
Stored at Southend Jan91. Registration cancelled by CAA on 17Jun92, CoA had expired on 24Aug90. Departed Southend by road on 15Sep92 to Waarschoot,Belgium to be preserved alongside a discotheque, called 'Kokorico'.
Source: "The Vickers Viscount" (- by Rayner G C Kittle; Air-Britain Historians Ltd, 2008)

YS-11 RP-C3592
Asian Spirit aims to have this aircraft fully repaired by end of February!
See below for the accident details.
Ron Mak sent me these photos and he added: "Asian Spirit uses this aircraft as a backup on routes from Manila; the 2nd aircraft operates from Zamboanga City (in the south of the Philippines) on routes to 2 islands Tawi Tawi & Sulo; and another route is to Sandakan in Malaysia (3x a week).
More of Ron's photos can be seen on a webpage dedicated to: Ron Mak's Propliners

Crash RP-C3592 RP-C3592 (c/n 2108) sustained substantial damage on 02Jan08 when it overshot the runway on landing at Masbate Airport in windy conditions.
It originated from Manilla with 43 passengers onboard. The aircraft is understood to have touched down with one set of wheels off the edge of the runway.

This NAMC YS-11-500 of Asian Spirit overshot the runway and came to rest against a concrete perimeter fence, damaging its nose and the right propellor on impact. The right main landinggear collapsed and there was also fuel spillage. No injuries were reported.
[Source: World Airline Fleet News,Jan.2008]

John Cormie sent me this excellent action short of a Catalina / Canso at work over a fire.
He wrote: "I was flying a helicopter on this fire, which was in Eastern Manitoba in the summer of 1974. The fire was actually in piles of cordwood which was intense enough to call in the water bombers. The pink colour is the retardant mixed with the water."


Every so often the name "CANSO" comes up, while many of us would be more accustomed to the name "CATALINA" for this amphibious aircraft. Is it short for something or derived from something ?
The jury is still out on clear cut source or written evidence on this matter, but most adhere to the following theory. Types of aircraft have been given names, by the manufacturer or the users of the aircraft, and geographical locations is one of the sources of inspiration. 'Canso' seems to stem from a bay in Canada, the Canso Straight between Cape Breton and the mainland of Nova Scotia. And it seems to be restricted to the aircraft which have been in use by the Canadian air forces.

So for the photo above: if it has been in use by the RCAF at some point it can be referred to as a Canso, but if previous ownership was the USAF it can be adressed as a Catalina.

CP-1419

Rolf Larsson sent me this photo in Jan.2008 and he added: I recall a visit to La Paz in 1981 when I got full access to all ramps through a friend of mine, working for ICAO at the time. On 08Jan81 I took this picture of c/n 32988 CP-1419, which was in operated at that time by Aerolineas La Paz, but no titles as you can see.
Airliners.net has 2 more photos but no later than 1997, so one may fear for its fate...

Dr Péter Moys sent me this welcome selection of Hungarian registered Antonov An-2's.
HA-ANB I have come across in 2005 in the Sinsheim Museum (see also for additional An-2 information).
HA-ABD is still around in 2007, see photos on Airliners.net
HA-ANM still roams the airways too: photos on Airliners.net
HA-MHG I found only one other photo of: on Air-Britain's Photographic Images Collection
HA-ANO would be c/n 1G188-33 and was reregistered N1011G in 2005 [source www.cnapg.org]
HA-YHE would be 1G18737 [source www.jetfly.hu and this photo on Planepictures.net shows her in not so good condition..

Antonov An-2 on Wikipedia.
HA-ANB
An-2 HA-ANB at Budapest-Ferihegyen 1961
HA-ABD
An-2 HA-ABD at Farkashegy 1992
HA-ANM

Anotonov An-2 HA-ANM leading the way...
HA-MHG
An-2 HA-MHG at Farkashegy, May 1989
HA-ANO
HA-ANO & HA-YHE at Börs, 24jun90

 

back to top...


To email me, click on the image and write the correct adress as given below
(replace -AT- by the @ symbol).

Sorry for the inconvenience, but this is because spam has increasingly become a problem.