Propliner photos by Martin Prince Jr - Page 2

Martin "Joe Joe" Prince Jr lives in Bethel,AK and in 2006 he started to send me some photos for use on my website.
Since they also an offer an insight in the planes that visit such a remote community in Alaska, I like to share them here for other propliner enthusiasts to enjoy.

Martin's introduction:
"I live in Bethel, Alaska (about 400 miles west of Anchorage). Here are some pictures of mine, mainly taken here at Bethel. I was looking at your website and saw some planes in there that I had photographed and thought you might like!"

This is page 2, look for more of Martin's photos on PAGE 1

 

 

Winter 2017 in Bethel,AK!

C-46 N1822M Everts Fuel, at Bethel
JoeJoe wrote on 07Mar17: "A couple days ago in Bethel Alaska, hauling diesel to Pilot Station."

History of N1822M has been described on my page Alaska 1995, when I first came across it

 

Martin 'JoeJoe' Prince Jr shared this Noorduyn Norseman in Sep.2016. Joejoe wrote:"The owner of DHC-2 Beaver N77KZ also has a Norseman in Bethel!"
Noorduyn Norseman N.. at Bethel,AK 2016
The owner is Michael W. Renfro, both of DHC-2 Beaver N77KZ (c/n 950, see DHC-2.com) and Norseman N78691
Norseman UC-64A N78691 (c/n 637) was registered to Mr Renfro of Bethel,AK on 02Aug16 (FAA N-inquiry website)
My files show N78691 was previously owned by N78691 Forrest L. Klies of Basin,MT (Reg'd 17Oct01).
This fabulous bushplane was manufactured in 1944, designed by Robert Noorduyn who originated from the Netherlands.

Have a look at Renfro's Alaskan Adventures: www.renfroalaskanadventures.com

Martin 'JoeJoe' Prince Jr published this fine image of deHavilland DHC-2 N39303 (c/n 1221) on Facebook's 'Bush Planes Alaska'.
DHC-2 N39303 at Bethel
Taken on 22 or 23Apr2016 at Bethel, Alaska.

May 2015 saw JoeJoe visiting Lake Hood again; one of the many DHC-2 Beavers he noticed included
N343WB (DHC-2 c/n 1644), on wheels.
N343WB at Lake Hood
N343WB was registered on 25Jul14 to Sportsman Leasing LLC here at Anchorage,AK.

Here is another one:
N9260Z at Lake Hood, Alaska (2015) by JoeJoe Prince
This DHC-2 (c/n ..) was registered to Brown Helicopter Inc on 01Jul2014. That firm is reg's Pensacola, Florida!

October 2014 saw JoeJoe at Fairbanks, at the Everts storage yard:
Everts C-46s storage Fairbanks
See my 2012 report on an extensive visit to the propliners & skytrucks of Fairbanks

May 2014 saw Joe Joe driving along Palmer and noticed the recent 'new guys on the block', Alaska Air Fuel, and some airtanker reinforcements from Alberta; he was able to record C-GFSK.
DC-4 N3054V at Palmer, Alaska
Douglas C-54Q N3054V (c/n 10547/278)

Canadair C-GFSK at Palmer, Alaska
Canadair CL-215 C-GFSK, Tanker 201 (c/n 1085), recently converted to turbine engines and dressed in a new coat of paint.

Everts Air dropped into Bethel, Alaska 14May2014 and Joe Joe was there to record it!
C-46 N1822M Everts Air in Alaska
Curtiss C-46F Commando N1822M (c/n 22521) "Salmon Ella" of Everts Air Fuel.

Martin 'JoJo' Prince Jr visited Lake Hood last summer (2013) and photographed deHavilland DHC-2 N68073 (c/n 1005) sitting pretty at the dock:

DHC-2 Beaver N68073

More photos by 'Jojo' HERE and HERE

During 2012 N68073 underwent modifications, which you can see on the authorative DHC-2.com website

Jojo sent me these images in June 2013 and wrote: "We had a Centennial of Flight here in Bethel last month; they had a couple of AT-6 Texans and a Stinson L-13."
Stinson L-13

Stinson L-13 in Bethel, Alaska


The Stinson L-13 (sometimes known as 'the Grasshopper') was a U.S. military utility aircraft, first flown in 1945. Developed when Stinson was a subsidiary of Consolidated Vultee, rights to it were not included in the 1948 sale of Stinson to Piper.
Mass production was therefore undertaken by Convair, which built some 300 of them.
Wikipedia..

Martin 'JoeJoe' Prince Jr sent me this, dated 22Apr13: DHC-2 N2749 at Lake Hood.
N2749, a Beaver waiting to get in the water

N39303 in May 2011 at Bethel,AK


N39303 is back in Bethel hauling bypass mail for Alaska Hovercraft this spring, with new Alaskan Doors / extended baggage compartment.
Photo taken May 19th, 2011.

Listen to the Beaver Song

Martin sent me this update from Lake Hood; photos were all taken on 25JUL2010.
DHC-2 N1785R
Beaver N9877R
Beaver N2740X Rust's
various Bushplanes at Lake Hood
  • N1785R DHC-2 c/n 83 - registered Sportsmans Lesing LLC 18Sep09
  • N9877R DHC-2 c/n 1180 - registered Laughlin Acquisitions LLC 15Aug05 (operated by Regal Air)
  • N2740X DHC-2 c/n 579 - registered Rust's Flying Service 26Mar90

  • Clockwise:
  • N777T DHC-2 c/n 859 - registered Thomas Henry Wilson III 20Jun07
  • N93E DHC-2 c/n 1149 - registered Timothy I. Cohen 03Oct2000
  • NC13822 Stinson SM-2 Junior c/n 8774 - registered Frederick W. Walatka 19Jan81 (see HERE..)
  • N424KT DHC-3T (Turbo) Otter c/n 338 - registered Rust's Air Service 30Jun08 (Rustair Inc)
  • N30PL DHC-2 c/n 1554 - registered Madura Family LLC 04Aug04
  • N10JX DHC-2 c/n 1036 - registered NLC 25Nov03 (for sale)
  • Martin Prince Jr wrote me in June 2010:
    "They painted the DHC-2 Beaver N720 last summer into the original colors of the first Fish & Wildlife paintscheme."
    The FAA N-inquiry website shows this DHC-2 MK.1 (c/n 247) was registered as N720 to US Dept of the Interior on 19Nov2007."
    I think it is a heck of a colourscheme, well done!

    Before 2007 it was registered N5146G, and as such I saw it at Lake Hood in 2006.
    DHC-2 N720
    DHC-2 N720

    Martin wrote me in March 2010 and sent me these images:
    N233H

    "Bethel's newest old plane...Renfro Alaskan Adventures!"

    N233H is a Beech G18S c/n BA-481, registered for Michael W. Renfro of Bethel,Alaska on 12Feb2010.

    From www.renfrosalaskanadventures.com
    "If you’re thinking of planning a dream wilderness adventure, forget about the rest of Alaska, plan a trip with Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures and you WILL experience what a true wilderness hunting and fishing trip really is."
     
    "With access only by plane, we offer a variety of guided and unguided hunting packages, including brown bear, sheep, trophy caribou, Alaskan moose or black bear and we strive to tailor each hunt to our client’s individual needs. We also offer exceptional remote fishing adventures for Rainbow Trout, Arctic Char, Lake Trout, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling and 5 species of salmon on the world famous Wood Tik Chik Lake and the numerous drainages of the Kilbuck Mountains."
     
    "If you are planning a dream hunting or fishing adventure – think Alaska; and before you book your trip do your research. We are confident that you will find our pricing, trip packages and overall experience far exceeds everything else you’ve looked at or experienced in the past."

    N95DG

    Martin wrote: "Bethel received a new Beaver this past fall, I finally got a shot of it this evening near sunset.
    N95DG belongs to JP Air and is seen landing Runway 18R, 12Nov09."
    N95DG was registered 09Apr2009 to Aircraft Marketing and Leasing LLC (Fairbanks,AK).

    N9877R deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver N9877R (c/n 1180) of Regal Air in take off, scaring the waterfowl away, with an external load.
    [28Oct09].

    DHC-2.com

    N2740X
    Rust's Beaver N2740X (c/n 579) at rest... [27Oct09]

    See also Neil Aird's comprehensive DHC-2.com
    N68083
    Beaver on the dry... DHC-2 N68083 (c/n 1253) [27Oct09]. See also DHC-2.com

    N734Q
    When a Beaver hits the water, waterfowl make way!
    Martin caught DHC-2 N734Q (c/n 1395, for its history see DHC-2.com) while landing at H-Marker Lake (Bethel,AK) on 23Aug09, carrying an external load.

    N102SY
    Beaver N102SY
    "Here is a sequence of DHC-2 N102SY taking off from H-Marker Lake in july (2009). And caught N102SY again, landing on H-Marker Lake, on 10Aug09."
    "Also shot N151 of Everts last night, 22Jul08, at the airport."
    DC-6 N151

    DHC-2 N6LU Lake Hood James M Jensen is the owner of DHC-2 Beaver N6LU, registered 13Apr1999.
    DHC-2 N111EB Lake Hood
    Making its departure from Lake Hood is de Havilland U-6A Beaver N111EB (c/n 1173), registered to Wolf Trail Lodge on 27Aug1990.
    DHC-2 N9877R Lake Hood
    DHC-2 Mk.1 Beaver N9878R (c/n 1180) was registered to Laughlin Acquisitions LLC on 15Aug2005.
    The company actually flying them from Lake Hood is Regal Air.
    See also my visit to Lake Hood in 2006

    DHC-2 N9878R Lake Hood
    This de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver N9878R (c/n 1135, former L-20A designation) was registered to Laughlin Acquisitions LLC on 15Aug2005.

    The best website on the venerable de Havilland Beaver is DHC-2.com

    Stinso N957C Lake Hood
    This Stinson 108-3 N957C was registered to 'Stinson 957 LLC' (Anchorage,AK) on 15Apr09.
    C/n 108-3957 was manufactured in 1947.

    N39303 DHC-2 Beaver Beaver N39303 on final for the gravel runway at Bethel (AK), 13dec08. Note the protection against gravel damage to the fuselage, fixed to the maingear.

    DHC-2 N39303 (c/n 1221) was registered to DHC2 LLC of Chugiak,AK on 27Aug08.

    C-46 N1822M
    Martin Prince Jr sent me this photo, taken at Bethel,Alaska on 08Nov08, he wrote:
    "I'm glad I went to the airport during sunset this evening! Turbo Otter N361TT took off to the north this evening, I'll go find out what they are doing here tomorrow at some point. Everts is out here hauling fuel with the Curtiss C-46 Commando to the villages that are low on supplies from a early freeze up."


    I had come across N1822M myself in 1995, see HERE..


    N361TT is a turbine-configured DHC-3 Otter; its history is described on PAGE 1 of Martin's photos.

    Unfortunately it suffered a fatal crash on 23Sep11, from Aviation Safety Network (ASN) the following: "DHC-3 Otter (Garrett TPE-331 powered Texas Turbine conversion) N361TT crashed near Heitman Lake, near Mile 14 of the Chiniak Highway, Kalsin Bay, AK, six miles south of Kodiak, AK, when approaching Kodiak Aiport (PADQ).
    The pilot was killed and the two passengers suffered serious injuries."

    N361TT Turbine Otter

    Martin sent me in Oct.2008: "Civil Air Patrol Beaver landing on the Lake Hood gravel strip on 30Oct08" N31522
    N31522 c/n 535
    N93E
    DHC-2 N93E. Owner: Timothy I Cohen of Anchorage
    Reg'd 03Oct200. More: www.dhc-2.com
    N67112 DHC-2 Beaver
    N67112 Alaska Safari Inc of Anchorage
    Reg'd 11Apr97. More: www.dhc-2.com/id532.htm

    N310NR airborne...
    Zooming past on take off from Anchorage's Lake Hood, is deHavilland DHC-2 N310NR (c/n 396).
    This 1952-vintage Beaver operates for Trail Ridge Air and has been registered to
    James M. Jensen since 07Jun99 as a co-owner.
    Martin took this photo in Sep.2008.
    N995SP Beaver
    Martin also witnessed N995SP in take off here; this DHC-2 (c/n 995) has been registered to Joseph S. Schuster of Anchorage,AK since 27Jan97. This 1956-vintage bushplane is one of many that can be found at Lake Hood.
    More info and photos of this former CF-JMQ can be found on DHC-2.com

    N225BL
    Martin wrote: "Caught the Norseman in action today (16Aug08) on the river strip in front of town.  It was a dark overcast windy day. The plane now belongs to Renfro Alaskan Adventures who also has a couple of Maule aircraft, one on wheels and the other on floats. "
    Glad this Noorduyn Norseman (c/n 542) is operational again; saw it myself in 2003 at Lake Hood.
    N225BL

    N102SY
    deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver N102SY (c/n 1367)
    "Ruud, I biked up to the lake today (04Aug08) and snapped a few shots of the Ptarmigan Air Beavers..."
    N734Q
    deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver N734Q (c/n 1395)

    Alaska may be bleak (?) and white in winter, but in summer it is blue and green!
    N734Q (c/n 1395) Martin wrote about these photos: "DHC-2 N734Q was out this morning [25Jun08] doing touch and goes on Hangar Lake. Here are a few shots showing the new extended baggage area."

    Most recently it was registered 22Nov04 to the bros. Powers.
    Check out their website: Pa Pa Bear Adventures. They are based in Bethel (aprox. 400 miles west of Anchorage) and their website tells all about hunting- and fishing trips and all kind of other adventures they can help you with.

    Someone wrote me it is normally seen operating from "H" Marker Lake or from the river.

    Past few years Martin sent me photos of N734Q too: HERE...

    In this shot (taken in 2006) you can see it has only one cabinwindow, while since its restoration from the flip-over on 08Aug07 it now has two..
    N734Q in Sep06
    Alaska Door"You can see the extra windows behind the passenger doors. If you look at the cover photo or old photos of the Beaver, it has two extra window's in the back. They put "Alaskan Doors" in to make loading easier.
    Look at the this photo, and notice the two extra windows above the star now in the top photos.."

    Nice! Martin Prince took these photos on a visit to Lake Hood, Anchorage in May08.

    N98EL has been registered to Alaska Enchanted Lake Lodge (King Salmon,AK) since 30Mar90; that is what I call a faithful service!
    N1785R and N900NL
    Left: N1785R Sak Air LLC, Anchorage,AK R02May07
    Right: N900NL NewHalen Lodge Inc, Anchorage,AK R21Oct97.
    Aviation Letter (no.516, nov.2009) reported N900NL's doom when on 03Oct09 it flipped over and sank on take off near Kokhanok,AK. Both occupants were reported ok.

    Martin wrote me on 05may08: "I went over to the Alaska Airmen's Association Trade Show today and snapped a few pictures of some of our favorite planes...
    I also stopped by Lake Hood for a couple of shots."
    Move you rmouse over the image for info on the aircraft shown (some I have not been able to identify, help appreciated).
    N777YA Bush Air Cargo
    Top: Douglas C-47A N777YA (c/n 14189/25634) of Bush Air Cargo
    Below: A Beech 17 Staggerwing! Beech D17S N9885H is detailed HERE, seen arriving (no date) in Girdwood, AK from Heritage Aviation in Alberta, after a complete rebuild. N9885H has c/n 3091 and was registered to P K Livingston Alaska Inc (Girdwood,AK) on 02oct96; it was originally manufactured in 1942. Information on the Beech Staggerwing can be found on WIKIPEDIA.
    The owner, Phil Livingston, sent me an email and more photos, which can be seen HERE..
    Unidentified

    Harvard Mk-IV N421QB of the CAF - ALaska Wing

    N754 "Ugly Duckling". See DHC-2.com
    Grumman Duck J2F-6 serial 8583
    The Grumman J2F-6 Duck '8583' has been reported for sale; it sure is a unique survivor.
    Everts Air Cargo naturally!
    N205RC c/n 201 - Rapid Camps Lodge
    Above: N205RC c/n 201
    Karl E.Hayes, authority on the DHC-3 Otter and writer of an excellent monograph on the DHC-3, offers the following info (reproduced in part)-
    Ex/ C-FAPQ. Arrived at Vernon, BC on a truck on 30Mar05, having made the long road journey from Hemet, California. The previous day its Canadian registration had been cancelled. It was still in the all-white colour scheme and showed evidence of its long period of storage, with birds nests visible in the engine cowling. At Vernon it received a major refurbish by Kal Air, was converted to a Texas Turbine (conversion no. 17), was put on Wipline floats and received a new paint scheme.
    On 11May05 marks N205RC were reserved for Rapids Camp Lodge Inc with an address in Dallas,TX and these marks were painted on the aircraft. The fishing lodge itself is situated on the Naknek River Rapids, 7 miles up river from King Salmon,AK.
    The Otter was registered N205RC on 23Jun05 and left Vernon,BC 2 days later for Alaska, for the next phase of this aircraft’s long career.
    It services the fishing lodge, flying guests in from Anchorage and also from the lodge to remote fishing sites in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska.
    Unidentified
    Boeing A75NI Stearman/Kaydet,
    owner Dr Trygg Ramstad, tailnumber?
    DHC-2 N104RL Rainbow Bay Resort
    DHC-2 N104RL c/n 498,
    Rainbow Bay Resort

    Noorduyn Norseman N225BL

    This is N225BL (c/n 542) and I saw it at Anchorage in June 2006, parked and for sale at that time; this photo shows it has found a buyer!

    The FAA Registry had at time the following info on this UC-64A Norseman: "Registered 27Jan04 to Thomas J.Gayer & Steve L.Ingram, Cooper Landing,AK; manufactured 1943". This was still current when Martin sent me this image (June 2008), but....
    I sent a message on 11Jun08 and immediately received a reply from Barbara Gayer (of Ingram’s Base Camp) which read:
    "We recently sold the Norseman to a company in Bethel. That is why your friend saw it flying around. I think it arrived in Bethel only a couple of weeks ago."
    Martin caught N225BL, while on wheels, on 02Jun09; it was inbound into Bethel during the evening.. HERE...

    A nice website for the Noorduyn Norseman is www.norsemanfestival.on.ca

    N225BL suffered substantial damage on 11Jul09 when its engine failed and a forced landing needed to be executed at Akiachuck Village (near Bethel,AK); the pilot did not suffer any serious injuries.

    In 2016 I came across a note that it was being rebuilt by Jeff Brooks.

    N151 Here is Everts' N151 (Douglas DC-6B c/n 45496/992) on a snowy/foggy/freezing drizzle day getting ready for an offload in Bethel.
    Note the angle of the nosewheel while makeing the tight turn..
    Taken 09Dec07.

    N351CE at Bethel 11Nov07

    Martin Prince Jr sent me these photos in October 2007, showing DC-6A N7780B a victim of vandalism... of a good-natured kind:
    "These were taken October 3rd: it is what mechanics do when they want to mess with the pilot's head!"
    Martin was here at Bethel to record this jest for posterity..
    No worries about the 'artwork': the mechanics used black electric tape on Mr Howard Hughes...
    N7780B
    Shocking...?
    Fellow enthusiasts, on the Classic Propliner forum, added the following information:
    "I worked at Hughes Aircraft during the 1980s and ran into a lot of old timers who worked with and even flew with HH himself. They had lots of stories, and who knows what were myths and what were based on facts?
    I was told that HH had the cockpit of that low time DC-6 reworked for better ergonomics, then just forgot about it.
    They said he had sort of abandoned other planes too including a reworked Douglas Havoc. He did want the Flying Boat (Spruce Goose to others) maintained in flight-ready condition long after its useful days were past. They spent a fortune maintaining it and fighting moisture incursion into the laminated structure.
    Some who claimed to have flown with HH said he was a superb stick-and-rudder man, but ignored flight manuals and thorough checklists. They said he often put flaps or gear down at way above the max airspeeds indicated in the manuals."
    'Boeing377'
    N7780B "The Aviator"
    As it should be..
    During my visit to Anchorage in 1995 I saw this DC-6A N7780B with Northern Air Cargo; it flew as a fuelhauler. Later it was reported also to carry titles "Northern Air Fuel".
    During my visit I was told this Douglas Six was formerly owned by Howard Hughes, but he stored it with only 9hrs.50 min. on the airframe! As such it was bought by NAC in 1973.
    Northern Air Fuel was taken over by Everts Air Fuel during 2005 and the deal included N7780B and N7919C (which was doomed to be scrapped for spares). Everts put the Howard Hughes artwork on it, a tribute to a remarkable figure in US aviation and well played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2004 movie The Aviator (see IMDB).

    Fellow enthusiast Dave, on the Classic Propliner forum, added the following information:
    "The story about the Howard Hughes DC-6 that had been stored for many years is in fact true.
    The story was that it had been stored, almost new, in a hangar at Opa Locka Airport in Miami, FL. It really had NOT been stored -- it was put in the hangar and simply forgotten about for years while the Hughes Estate was in probate, et al, in the Florida courts... Hughes empire was large, and records, paperwork, and so on, were scattered across the US at the time Hughes died.
    The DC-6 was only 'found' when the hangar was needed for other purposes!
    The hangar at the time, was leased by the folks who put the DC-6 in it. The lease had long expired, but no one came to claim the DC-6 inside. For whatever reason, the DC-6 never showed up on Huges Estate inventory either, so there were no formal ownership records (at least not readily available locally).
    The DC-6s ownership had to be traced back to Douglas Aircraft sales records, which is how they eventually found out that Hughes was its owner. Hughes flew it one time. FAA registry records also confirmed expired registration info, and the FAA had long written the original registration off the books.
    This story appeared in the Miami Herald newspaper long ago, probably in the late-1970s, complete with a photo of the DC-6. It had been stored well, stored 'dry', and the only damage was that its tires had dry-rotted in place in some spots. All fuels, oils, lubricants and battery had been removed at the time of parking in the hangar. The fuel tanks had also been fogged (to prevent drying, cracking and having to be condemned. Aircraft windows were sealed and covered, as were all doors (to prevent mildew, rodents, and other forms of deterioration). Tire rot could have been prevented if the DC-6 had been on jacks.
    Who ever placed this plane in storage did so with the intent of long-term storage, and knew what they were doing. It was not parked haphazardly."
    Dave F

    N1906 Here is a foggy shot of Arctic Circle Air's Skyvan N1906, on a misty morning October 10th, 2007.
    N1906 is a Short Brothers SC7 Skyvan Series 3, c/n SH.1906. It was registered to Arctic Air Group 20Mar98. This ugly-duckling was manufacured in 1972.

    Arctic Circle Air Service recently made -sad- headlines when their SC7 Skyvan N2088Z (c/n SH.1963) failed to climb and hit trees on departure from a gravel strip at Mystic Lake Lodge, Amos Lake,AK... N2088Z was being ferried to Anchorage for repairs, after sustaining damage on landing there on 01Sep07. On that fateful 20Sep07 it crashed through trees and came to rest in the lake, with considerable nose damage, writing off the aircraft and one person fatally injured.

    N39303 On that same foggy morning, Martin went out to make this superb shot of DHC-2 Beaver N39303 (c/n 1221).
    It is a good thing Martin is not easily discouraged by the weather...
    Click on the image for a large photo, which could serve as a nice decoration to someones desktop! [size 1024 x 768].

    It was registered to DHC2 LLC of Chugiak,AK on 27Aug08.

    Martin sent me these in Sep.2007:
    "Turbo Otter N87AW is here in Bethel to back haul mining supplies that were shipped up this spring."
    N87AW in a beautiful sunset

    From the Karl Hayes DHC-3 Otter CD:
    Otter 52 was delivered to the RCAF on 16th November 1954 with serial 3686. After delivery it was initially retained by No.6 Repair Depot, Trenton as a reserve aircraft and it returned to DHC at Downsview in January 1956 for incorporation of All Up Weight modifications. On completion of this work in August 1956 it was allocated to 121 Communications & Rescue Unit, and crossed the country to join the unit at its Sea Island, Vancouver, BC base.
    With this busy unit, 3686 was heavily tasked on marine searches and rescues along the Pacific coast, as well as on medevacs. On 01May59 it escorted the Flight's H-21 Vertol helicopter 9611 to the Norwegian cargo vessel 'Ferngulf' which was on fire after an explosion. The helicopter could not winch down a doctor as its rotors fanned the flames, so the Otter landed alongside the vessel and transferred the doctor to the ship...
    N87AW
    3686 was also involved in a number of aircraft rescues, on 16Jan60 searching for a Piper PA22 missing over the Strait of Juan de Fuca; on 05Jun60 investigating the forced landing of Tri-Pacer CF-HMF at Nanaimo and a week later searching for crashed Sea Bee CF-EJN.
    This Otter was one of a number of aircraft in the search and rescue effort for Martin Mars CF-LYJ, which crashed near Parksville on 23rd June '61 while fighting a forest fire. On 12Jul61, during a maximum performance take-off and climb in the course of a proficiency flight, the check pilot retarded the throttle at 100 feet to simulate engine failure. At that point, the Otter was in a maximum climb attitude, with take-off flaps and an indicated airspeed of 56 knots. A steep dive was established, resulting in the airspeed rising to 62 knots. On roundout, the aircraft fell through and landed hard. The lower fuselage skin, ribs and stringers were buckled. The Otter was taken to the Canadian Pacific Airlines repair depot at the Lincoln Park, Calgary RCAF base and fixed, returning to its unit at Sea Island that same month.
    N87AW
    On 20th September 1961 3686 was involved in the rescue of a vessel which broke up at sea, as were Canso 11015, Dakota 485 and Albatross 9306. On 13Feb62 the Otter flew to Hanson's Lagoon to pick up an injured hiker, but became grounded on a sandbar by a receding tide... It was refloated the next day and returned to base. On 21Feb62 it transported a mine disposal team to deal with a mine and on 24Jun62 was engaged in the search for Cessna 180 CF-FWF of Trans Provincial Airlines, which had crashed near Terrace.
    The Otter continued to fly with 121 Communications & Rescue Unit until Oct62 when Otter operations by the Unit came to an end. It returned to the Canadian Pacific Airlines depot at Calgary, as did the other Unit's other Otter 3680, and was placed into storage as a reserve aircraft. The amphibious floats which 3686 had used were removed and transported back to Sea Island for use by the Otters of 443 Squadron.
    In Feb64 the Otter was ferried from Calgary to Saskatoon and put into storage there, pending disposal.
    The Otter was transferred to the RCMP, to whom it was registered as CF-MPO in October 1964. At that stage, it had 1,691 hours on the airframe. For the first ten years of its police service it was based at The Pas, Manitoba. On 30Oct72 it suffered an accident at Kawinaw Lake,Manitoba, summarised as: “Engine failure; fatigue fracture; substantial damage”.
    It was repaired and then based at Thompson, Manitoba from 1974 to 1976, and then at Ottawa from 1976 to 1978. It arrived at its new base at the RCMP's hangar at the Edmonton Municipal Airport, Alberta in 1978 where it would be based for the next 14 years, although it was deployed to Inuvik from time to time.
    While based at Edmonton as C-FMPO the Otter suffered a number of minor incidents. On 15Mar85 at St.Paul, Alberta while taxying after landing the tail wheel assembly failed. On 24Apr85 at High Prairie,Alberta the propeller tip touched the runway on take-off. At Edmonton Municipal Airport, its base, on 13Nov87 the pilot lost control on take-off from runway 16 and the Otter skidded across the grass onto the apron. Finally, on 13Feb90 at Steen Tower airstrip, Alberta during a touch-and-go on a snow-covered runway, the engine hesitated and during the initial climb the Otter struck some trees. Damage was not great and the Otter was repaired and continued in service until September 1992.
    Note the effect at the prop
    After nearly 30 (!) years of service with the RCMP, the last Otter in police service in Canada, MPO was flown from Edmonton to Yellowknife,NWT where it arrived on 1st Oct92, on delivery to 825 Elks Air Cadet Squadron, by which stage it had some 18,000 hours on the airframe. The Otter was acquired to provide enhanced training to the cadets and for use by Yellowknife schools and community organisations. According to a local report at the time: “When the Otter is finally retired, it will be donated along with its logs to the Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, where it will be permanently displayed”. This proposal somewhat overlooked the value of an aircraft such as the Otter, and having sat at Yellowknife for three years, during which time it was little used, C-FMPO was sold.

    It was registered to its new owners, Alaska West Air Service Inc of Kenai, Alaska in Jan96 as N87AW. They purchased it from Direct North Airways, Yellowknife, who had somehow managed to acquire title to the aircraft. With Alaska West Air Service it replaced Otter N8510T (307) which they had flown up to then.
    The Otter was flown from Yellowknife to Vancouver, arriving 16Jan96, where it was converted to a Vazar DHC-3T turbine Otter by Aeroflite Industries. It was rolled out of their hangar as a turbine on 05Mar96 and delivered to its new base at Kenai - Island Lake from where it operates on floats.
    Alaska West Air Service is the aircraft operating part of Alaska West Guides & Outfitters and as well as the turbo Otter flies two Beavers, a turbo Beaver and two Piper Super Cubs. The aircraft are used on a variety of fly-out fishing and bear viewing packages as well as flightseeing trips over the Kenai Peninsula and Lake Clark National Park. The Otter is used for the larger groups as it seats ten passengers. The company is active during the summer months only, with N87AW going into storage during the winter.
    On 04Nov04 the Otter was registered to Summit Leasing LLC, Kenai, Alaska but leased to and operated by Alaska West Air Service, as before.

    Martin sent me this photo of Douglas DC-6A N6174C (c/n 44075), taken on 10Oct07.

    "NAC came out this morning with a DC-6, pretty rare thing nowadays. I got N6174C while on short approach to Runway 18 of Bethel this morning. This is a 1954 DC-6, on a foggy 35 degree morning."
    I have written an extensive history on my page Propliners at Anchorage, 2006.

    Northern Air Cargo retired its last 2 DC-6 cargo aircraft on 26Sep08 with a ceremony at Ted Stevens Int'l AP (ANC). N6174C operated the final revenue flight, flying mail to Emmonak and returning with a load of fresh fishto ANC. The crew consisted of Capt Becky Wilbur, F/O Jim Foss and F/E Ron Valentine. <br>
    The DC-6 has been the backbone of the NAC fleet for 39 years and has played a significant role in the development of rural Alaska. NAC added its first DC-6 in 1969 and ended up acquiring 15 Sixes over a period of 25 years. One DC-6 will be donated to the Alaska Heritage Museum.

     

    N9056R DC-6 Everts Air
    JoeJoe Prince Jr caught N9056R (c/n 45498) on finals into Bethel Airport on 01Jan2016

     

    Links:
    Bethel airport (PABE) on Airnav.com
    Bethel Seaplane Base (Z59) on Airnav.com
    Bethel Hangar Lake Seaplane Base (Z58) on Airnav.com
    Location of Bethel,Alaska
    Martin's photos of Bethel,Alaska: www.bethelak.com/photos look for joejoe prince or jojo.


    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.