Photos © Ruud Leeuw
The saturday here gave much the same weather: rain (at first). So instead of going to the airport I talked with the other B&B guests (most seem to stay here as a stepping stone for further travel up north, some on very adventurous trips) and I watched the tv at my cozy accommodation for another World Championship Soccer match: Portugal against England (Portugal -with that Figo creep- won by penalties, much to my dismay).
The weather was warm, humid and cloudy; in the afternoon I walked around part of Frame Lake (got eaten by the bugs...) and saw a Buffalo DC-3 passing overhead... maybe that cancelled flight yesterday delivered its cargo after all.
More of my stay here can be read on my travel account. Sunday morning brought the sunshine I had been hoping for and my camera sprung back in action!
I was told the photo shows a Cessna Caravan (should be C-FATY, but you cannot see that from the photo) and I photographed it because it has a canoo fitted to the side; probably some of my fellow guests at the B&B on their adventurous trip, going north.
The Seaplanebase here in the Old Town is called the Yellowknife Water Aerodrome
The following news was released in April 2007:
Its first registration was supposed to become G-AMRV for the Bristol Aeroplane Company Ltd, but this was not taken up. Instead it became CF-TFX for Trans Canada Air Lines ('501') upon its delivery on 30Sep53.
Robin Weber (Archival Technician, NWT Archives www.nwtarchives.ca) replied to my query for info on since when 'TFX has been preserved here in this way: here is a copy of the article in the YELLOWKNIFER, AUGUST 16, 1996 (pdf format) stating "bought from Wardair in 1970, later hoisted to its current location". I don't see an exact date of month mentioned, though.
Curtiss C-46 C-GTXW has been out of operation for quite a while but 2006 saw it coming back on the line, unfortunately not during my stay here.
DC-3 C-GWZS is parked on the ramp at the back of the hangar.
I found a profile of Buffalo Airways on Wikipedia.org !
Parked next to C-GWZS is C-GJKM.
C-GJKM is c/n 13580 and it was delivered to the USAAF as 42-93645 on 11Jun44, soon transferred as KG713 to RAF Montreal on 08Jul44. It made its way to the UK but returned to Canada in 1946.
On 30Jul76 it was registered to G.Wilson of Calgary.
Four years later it became C-GJKM for Buffalo Air, during Oct80. It also served with Northwestern Air, but this is/was a subsidairy of Buffalo Airways.
Since 1994 it has continuously been in service with Buffalo Aws, apparently at some time it was also decorated with a '6' on its tailfin.
To learn a little more about the area these aircraft operate on, see the Yellowknife article on Wikipedia.org; it also has a map and information on mines and mining in the Northwest Territories.
Let's have a look inside C-GJKM...
In May 2019 C-GJKM had an incident: "Friday 3 May 2019 - Buffalo Airways Flight 169, a Douglas C-47A Skytrain (DC-3), was enroute about 20 minutes into the 55 minutes flight when the right hand engine failed. The crew attempted to return to Hay River, however, had to perform a forced landing in open terrain 9 kilometers from runway 32. Both pilots were not injured." ¬aviation-safety.net (ASN)
Here is a 'regional anecdote, Ken Lubinski wrote me:
Not long after that, I heard the government allowed mining companys to stake claims by dropping stakes out of a helicopter instead of on foot and blazing trails with an axe...
I do not know if Jim is remembered by anyone in Yellowknife, but he really was a legend among mining circles at that time. So that is another of my little stories of the North.
Hope you enjoyed it."
Sure did, Ken! (See also Ken's photos on Abandoned Plane Wrecks of the North and Photos by Friends & Others).
Jim MacAvoy passed away on 21Nov2009.
I love snooping around...! They should give guided tours here: what is that wreck there, another Beech Baron? (Little did I know that the popular tv series Ice Pilots would lead to just that at Yellowknife: guided tours!).
It was delivered as 42-72548 to the USAAF on 03Apr45; the US Army Air Force was renamed US Air Force
(USAF) and its registry was revised acordingly on 18Sep47.
C-GBPA was reported in August 2010 as having been taken out of the storage area, into the hangar, and work was being done on it!
Let's have a look inside C-GBPA...
After a few hours of sunshine the clouds started to roll in again. But I just kept on looking, nothing nicer than unhurriedly stroll among these planes and work that shutter...
So here I was and I had another good look at C-FAVO...
Let us continue down that crooked path of history...
Let's check the innards of this beast...
|In June 2007 Jürgen Scherbarth wrote me:
"Last month a friend of mine and myself made a tour to Western Canada and the Northern Territories (Yellowknife and Hay River). As a result of this trip I've generated a small list on Buffalo Joe's fleet (in ms excel) of aircraft over the last couple of years. There may be still some gaps, especially on smaller aircrafts pre 1976/77. Maybe someone can help with the missing ones in future...?
Please feel free to use this information to update your Buffalo Airways page of your visit in 2006.
The only question we could not solve, was the source (donor) of the new tail section for C-46 C-FAVO after the taxiway accident at YZF, maybe one of the Fairbanks wrecks?
Btw, former Aero Union tanker 13 DC-4 C-FBAK is definitely at Hay River, but without engines an avoid of any registration, just the 13 on the tail..."
The first 2 Canadair CL-215's arrived in April 2004, bought and flown over from Croatia.
Let's have a look inside one of the CL.2015's..
Besides the large SRX titles (if it is an abbreviation I don't know the meaning) it has subtitles www.srx.aero operated by Aeroleasing (which has aircraft based in Florida).
In May 2007 I was able to put good use to knowledge of availability for charters by this An-12...
I saw N404LC also make numerous flights but had no way of checking their destination. As I had no car at my disposal, I did not venture to the ramp near threshold of rwy 09, where the Herc and the An-12 were handled. Next time I will get a car!
This link will also provide much information on Yellowknife Airport
With great interest I read Allan MacNutt's book "Canada's Arctic Sovereignty" (available from Mac's Aviation Books, Abbotsford,BC; fax +1 604 859-3218), describing in detail about Canada's wealth of buried resources, the bloated bureaucracy of the Territories and the culture of the northern aboriginals but also about their deplorable lifestyle.
Meanwhile, back in the hangar... another look at C-FBAJ.
Ron McBryan suffered in patience many a foolish question by me and of course at the end of the day I did try to remember all the bits of news...
Buffalo's Approved Maintenance Organization
Unfortunately the result was, again, not to Ron's satisfaction.
DC-4 C-GCTF of Buffalo Aws
While C-GCTF was towed back in the hangar, the sun appeared briefly and I decided to call it a day too.
I considered my disappointment two days ago when I faced the absence of 'Buffalo Joe', the lousy weather at first, the lack of operations versus the bounty of photographs, my clambering up and down these aeroplanes, the hospitality here... and I found the sun warming my mood and satisfaction too!
This brought my travels through Alaska and Canada almost to an end...
As per 01Jan07 the Transport Canada online database (broken link, may 2014) gave 45 records of Buffalo Airways aircraft currently on the Canadian Register; mind, some aircraft may still be owned by Buffalo Aws but due inactivity taken off the Register: e.g. C-54 C-FBAK was reported at Hay River during May06, but is not on the Register.
|1||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FAVO||Curtiss-Wright||C46D||1995-02-14||33242|
|2||Buffalo Airways Ltd||CF-BAA||Douglas||C54D-DC||2002-05-03||10653|
|3||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FBAJ||Douglas||C54A-DC||2004-04-08||3088|
|4||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FBAM||Douglas||C54G-DC||2006-03-01||36009|
|5||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FBAP||Douglas||C54G-DC||2005-12-15||36089|
|6||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FCGE||Beech||65-A90||2003-04-10||LJ-118|
|7||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FCGH||Beech||65-A90||2000-04-20||LJ-203|
|8||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FCUE||Douglas||C-47A||1995-02-03||12983|
|9||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FDTB||Douglas||DC3C-S1C3G||1995-02-09||12597|
|10||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FDTH||Douglas||DC3C||1998-05-12||12591|
|11||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FFAY||Douglas||DC3C-S1C3G||1995-02-09||4785|
|12||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FIQM||Douglas||C54G-DC||1994-12-08||36088|
|13||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FLFR||Douglas||DC3C-S1C3G||1995-02-09||13155|
|14||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FNJE||Consolidated Vultee||PBY-5A||1996-06-04||CV437|
|15||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FOFI||Consolidated Vultee||PBY-5A||1996-06-04||CV 343|
|16||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FPQM||Consolidated Vultee||PBY-5A||1996-06-20||CV-425|
|17||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FROD||Douglas||C-47A||1995-09-15||13028|
|18||Buffalo Airways Ltd||CF-SAN||Noorduyn||NORSEMAN MK. V||1995-04-03||N2929|
|19||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FTXB||Canadair||CL215 1A10||2004-06-07||1007|
|20||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FUAW||Consolidated Vultee||PBY-5A||1997-05-13||CV 201|
|21||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FULX||Beech||95-C55||2000-11-02||TE 147|
|22||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-FUPT||Cessna||A185E||1995-07-06||185-1075|
|23||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBAJ||Douglas||C54E-DC||2005-12-14||27328|
|24||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBAU||Beech||D55||2000-04-10||TE701|
|25||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBNV||Douglas||C54G-DC||1996-05-12||35988|
|26||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBPA||Douglas||C54D-DC||2003-03-04||10673|
|27||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBPD||Canadair||CL215 1A10||2000-04-11||1084|
|28||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBSK||Douglas||C54G-DC||2002-05-30||36049|
|29||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GBYU||Canadair||CL215 1A10||2000-04-11||1083|
|30||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GCSX||Canadair||CL215 1A10||2000-04-11||1088|
|31||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GCTF||Douglas||C54E-DC||1995-09-15||27281|
|32||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GDHN||Canadair||CL215 1A10||2000-04-11||1089|
|33||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GFNF||Canadair||CL215 1A10||2004-04-16||1027|
|34||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GIWJ||Beech||95||1999-01-06||TD32|
|35||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GJKM||Douglas||DC3C-S1C3G||2006-07-28||13580|
|36||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GPNR||Douglas||DC3C-S1C3G||1994-12-08||13333|
|37||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GPSH||Douglas||C54A-DC||1994-12-08||7458|
|38||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GQIC||Douglas||C54E-DC||2000-11-07||27343|
|39||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GTFC||Consolidated Vultee||240-27||2005-12-09||279|
|40||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GTXW||Curtiss-Wright||C46A-45CU||2001-11-14||30386|
|41||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GWCB||Beech||B95||1994-12-08||TD 369|
|42||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GWIR||Douglas||DC3C||1994-12-08||9371|
|43||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GWZS||Douglas||DC3C-S1C3G||1995-01-16||12327|
|44||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GXKN||Douglas||C54G-DC||2003-03-04||36090|
|45||Buffalo Airways Ltd||C-GYFM||Beech||95||1999-01-06||TD 202|
I am indebted to the unlimited hospitality displayed by the staff of Buffalo Airways and my heartfelt thanks go to Ron McBryan and Mike Handley for their time, patience and generosity !
Besides at Red Deer and Yellowknife, Buffalo Aws also has a base at Hay River,NWT with aeroplanes located there as well. But DC-4 C-GXKN was absent from all three... GXKN (c/n 36090) had an 'extended stay' at Norman Wells, where it crashlanded on 05Jan06:
Registration : C-GXKN Operator : BUFFALO AIRWAYS LTD.
| Buffalo Airways C-46 C-GTXW made a hard emergency landing near Deline, N.W.T. (from CBC News North website)
From www.hayriverhub.com/2016/01/buffalo-airways-cleared-to-resume-flights/ (part):
The company also hired Sol Taboada with DTI Training as a consultant to help address issues raised by Transport Canada.
I am not sure if passenger flights were taken up during 2016 (Inquiries thru email & facebook went unreplied,
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