Ketchikan (Alaska), 2006
We arrived here by a short flight with Alaska Airlines from Sitka; as you will see by this MAP that the actual airport is on an island and one has to (pay and) travel on a 3 minute ferry to cross to the main island. I did notice floatplanes land here at the airport (PAKT) sometimes too, but the actual floatplane action is on a long stretch of docks, at the seaplane base (5KE).
I started my photography along the Ketchikan waterfront at the Seaplane Base of Taquan Air Service; I asked for permission to do some photography and they did not mind at all. Plenty of action to enjoy here!
This is N37756, which is a DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver with c/n 1456.
After reading my webpage, Wendy Walden (Tour Manager of Taquan Air) offered the follwing comment:
With cruise ships in town it is a constant coming and going here with floatplanes (a.k.a. seaplanes).
Taquan Air is one of the operators here who provide a local delicatesse: the Misty Fjords flightseeing; but they also do bear viewing trips, charters and scheduled services to Prince of Wales, Metlakatla, and Hyder. Flights over the lush wilderness of the Tongass National Forest is indeed a pleasure to enjoy.
We see here DHC-2 N67673 (c/n 1284) depart for such a trip. C/n 1284 was delivered on 25Nov58 as 57-2586 to the USAF (type L-20 / U-6A-DH). Its military career ended upon its storage at Davis Monthan 28Mar72 to 06Feb76.
It became N67673 for Hillcreast Aircraft of Lewiston,ID but I don't know when exactly.
It has been registered to Taquan Air (Metlakatla,AK) / S & S Leasing Inc. of Ketchikan,AK since 19Jul00.
This info and more on DHC-2.com
When I walked up here first N68010 was firmly tied to the dock; it was Sunday June 18th and no ships in town. The next day (the weather a little less sunny but one has to count the days it doesn't rain here). The next day (my only full day at Ketchikan) business was better and N68010 was back in action.
was delivered on 18Jul58
as 57-6150 to the US Army.
Both c/n 847 (fate unknown) and c/n 809 (no.2) have been issued tailnumber N67676.
C/n 809 was delivered on 18May55 with serial 54-1676 to the US Army.
| So how do they get on the dry..? This is quite spectacular, as we see it demonstrated by N67673: coming at moderate speed and going full bore on this ramp, which will tilt forward and gets secured by the ground staff. One of my better photos of this trip I think.
This DeHavilland Beaver has c/n 1284 and was delivered on 25Nov58 as 57-2586 to the USAF.
It suffered a period of storage at Davis Monthan AFB from 28Mar72 to 06Feb76.
its commercial career took of as N67673 for Hillcreast Aircraft,Lewiston,ID but I fear I have no date for this.
Taquan Air Service Inc. (Metlakatla, AK) / S & S Leasing Inc. (Ketchikan,AK) entered the scene with its registration on 19Jul00.
I was busy like a little Beaver myself with planes sailing left and right...
On 22Sep08 it was registered to Blue Aircraft LLC of Ketchikan,AK.
N1018A sits here securely moored.
was delivered on 29May52, but I am not sure to whom as I have tailnumber N52409 for Air Carrier Service Corporation, but no date of this registration.
It went to South America and became registered HP-375 for Turismo Aero S.A. (noted 1970 in register).
It returned to these colder climates, as N1018A for Westflight of Ketchikan,AK (date?). It received a new Airworthiness Certificate (upon reintroduction to FAA Register?) on 16Jun83.
During Aug87 it was registered to Kenmore Air Harbor Inc. of Kenmore,WA.
And Taquan Air Service Inc. (Metlakatla,AK) / S & S Aircraft Leasing Inc. (Ketchikan,AK) have ownership since 19Jul00.
Info & photos: www.dhc-2.com
was delivered on 13Feb61.
|This c/n 236
coming towards the docks, with a nice coastal backdrop.
It was delivered on 22Apr52 as 51-16483 to the USAF.
As N5160G it was registered to the Civil Air Patrol Inc. in May71.
At some point Oscar A.Fontaine of Westport,ME took ownership (but no details).
DHC-2.com has it down as a Kenmore conversion, but I don't know what that entails exactly (civilian conversion?).
Next we have Robert C. Warren (Sr.) of Portland,OR as an owner (no date).
Scudero Inc. of Ketchikan,AK had it registered during Jan95.
S & S Aircraft Leasing Inc. / Taquan Air was listed as owner/operator on 19Jul00.
|And we see N5160G being lifted into the hangar, which involves quite a bit of manhandling in the process.|
The Ketchikan waterfront offers a wide range of DHC Beavers…
C/n 1306 was delivered on 05Feb59 as 58-1984 to the US Army.
Davis Monthan AFB was its temporary home upon its storage from 30Jun72 to 06Feb76.
N67678 was its earliest civilian identity, for Hillcrest Aircraft of Lewiston,ID, date unknown.
Kenmore Air Harbor Inc. of Kenmore,WA also took ownership, but again no date.
N345KA became its tailnumber for Ketchum Air Service Inc. of Anchorage,AK On 09Oct97 it was registered to Ketchum Aircraft Leasing Inc. (again of Anchorage,AK).
Present operator Sea Wind Aviation Inc. (Ketchikan,AK) had its ownership registered on 30Jun05.
Fate struck a blow on 16Aug07, the anniversary of the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, as that day N345KA was involved in a deadly accident... Nine people were on board, 5 perished while the remaining 4 were injured.
This brightly coloured Beaver has c/n 1041.
Its history saw delivery on 24May57, perhaps as CF-JXP for K. J. Springer (who has been at least an owner) but I am not sure how to read this on DHC-2.com
The tailnumber was revised to C-FJXP on 10Apr90 for Hauleminn Air Service Inc. (Air Hauleminn; I think you have to voice this to fully appreciate the name…) of Kipawa,ONT.
Southern Interior Flight Centre of Kelowna,BC had its ownership registered on 05Jun91 and a new Airworthiness Certificate was issued on 18Aug91.
Tailnumber N930TG was registered for Ted Gerken of Illiamna,AK during Jul91.
RDM Pilot/Guide Ltd. brought it to Ketchikan with its recent registration on 10Jan06.
Info and more photos: www.dhc-2.com
All these DeHavilland Beavers are more or less operated by commercial companies; but many also survive in privat ownership. There was a discussion on that fine and informative forum DHC2 Beaver (on Yahoo) and one of the members painted a clear picture of the costs of ownership and operating a DHC-2-
"Many pilots over the years have discussed what it would take to do
some kind of group ownership. Here is a formula that we came up with
that my not be the most accurate but works great for comparing
aircraft to aircraft.
DHC-2 N9290Z with the beautiful Tongass Narrows as a backdrop.
Fatal news on 23JUL2010:
"Pacific Airways DHC-2 Beaver crashed on the former Ketchikan Pulp Company landfill site early Friday morning, killing the only occupant, pilot Josh Murdock."
|C/n 1366 Is presently registered as N471PM and enjoys some peace and quiet here. |
This L-20 (U-6) Beaver was delivered on 08Jul59 as 58-2034 to the US Army. It was reported at Prestwick,UK on 26May62.
At some point it was registered as N55235 but no details have surfaced.
Its next identity was N471PM for Pro Mech Air here at Ketchikan,AK.
Thomas I. Carlin of Carlin Air (again, here at Ketchikan) had it registered during Feb92.
It is presently registered to Jeffrey J.Carlin (family?), since 10Apr00.
| Another fine looking specimen… And this one may even be for sale ?!
N96DG has c/n 702 and its career started on 28Sep54 with it sdelivery as 53-7894 to the US Army; it was stored in Arizona’s desert, at Davis Monthan AFB, from 09Nov75 to 28Feb77.
First it went to Corps d'Aviation d'Haiti / Haitian Air Corps.
Its career took another turn when it was registered as N99132 for Summit Aviation of Middletown,DE but I have no date for this event.
In Feb77 it was registered to W. R. Perry / Etal and as C-FBDR it was registered on 29Feb88. Whis was cancelled in Aug90. As N96DG it was noted at Kenmore,WA. on 06Aug90.
On 08Aug90 it was registered to Aircraft Marketing & Leasing of Fairbanks,AK but FAA’s database has a remark "undeliverable triennial" so this company probably does not exist anymore; so who owns N96DG now, the titles suggest active operations by Southeast Aviation..?
Info and more photos on: http://www.dhc-2.com/id163.htm
Martin Prince Jr saw it in Bethel,AK in Aug07, replacing the unfortunate DHC-2 N734Q.
Since the salmon had not started their run when we intended to do a bear viewing trip from Homer, I had hoped to do a trip from Ketchikan. So I was easily convinced to accept a deal from Southeast Aviation, even though I had heard the salmon run still hadn’t started here either.
We had a nice flightseeing trip which included a landing on a remote lake, but no bears of course.
So that is some history of mine; now about c/n 345…
It was delivered on 05Sep52 with serial 51-16821 to the US Army. Its military career ended with storage at Davis Monthan AFB from 07Mar72 to 09Feb76.
Tailnumber N9279Z was assigned for Cal Vada Aircraft Inc. of Homewood,CA.
No date. An Airworthiness Certificate was issued on 08Apr76.
Michael A. Brown, Kings Beach,CA appeared on the list of owners or maybe leased it as it went back to Cal Vada Aircraft Inc.
Registration was revised on 20Feb02 for Snow Mountain Enterprises LLC., Ketchikan,AK.
On 04Jun04 it went to Southeast Aviation here at Ketchikan,AK.
|Actually this was the DHC-2 we had out "bearviewing" trip with...
This is c/n 839 and these days it is registered as N82SF; but wasn't always so...
It was delivered on 13Jul55 as 54-1697 to the US Army.
Maybe it was stored as well, I don't know. I do know a new Airworthiness Certificate was issued on 18Jan79. Maybe this coincided with the purchase by Rodney F.McLean of Kalispell,MT who had tailnumber N44CD assigned to it.
Rodney F. McLean also had something to do with Airlease Inc. of Renton,WA.
Tailnumber N82SF was reserved 01May93 but at that time it was still owned by Airlease Inc.
In Oct93 it was registered to Sound Flight Inc. of Renton,WA. from there it went to Snow Mountain Enterprises LLC., Ketchikan, AK (registered on 05Jul01), which seems to operate as Southeast Aviation, here at Ketchikan,AK (because when I checked in Nov06 the FAA database still had it as Snow Mountain Enterprises).
Info & more photos at: http://www.dhc-2.com/id175.htm
|Maybe not as classic as the DeHavilland Beavers on this page but a remarkable floatplane nonetheless: N8350J Cessna 152G (serial no. 15066250), registered to Ellis Law Offices of Ketchikan,AK (since 03Jan89; manufactured in 1967).|
We see DHC-2 N64397 being prepared for it spassengers and a speedy departure.
this is c/n 760
and it was delivered on 31Jan55
as 53-7943 to the US Army.
You'll find a nice online video to watch at this link:
Update nov.2014: Promech Air (Z3, Ketchikan Int'l) ceased offering scheduled services with effect from October 1 ch-aviation has learned. Airline sources state that the carrier may revisit the decision again in May 2015 but for the meantime, has chosen to focus on sightseeing flights to Misty Fjords National Monument and Neets Bay Salmon Hatchery as well as air taxi and charter operations.
|N959PA is another modified DHC-3; it has c/n 159 and is with Pantechnicon Aviation Ltd since 25Nov97. It was built in 1956.|
|I had Otis Redding on my mind: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay I felt very relaxed aiming my camera on all the seaplane action going on around me!
This stylish departure is done by c/n 416
Since 07Oct05 N1108Q has been with Promech (PM Holding LLC).
Another take off, but camera at the ready...
Source and photos: www.dhc-2.com
The light was going, but things only became more captivating, so I just kept on shooting... |
This is N68010 which we already discussed.
It seems fitting to end this page with a DeHavilland Beaver (N471PM) docking, done for the day ..