Abandoned Plane Wrecks of the (Arctic) North


The Arctic North (northern parts of Canada and Alaska) is a cruel environment for men and machine; for planes it is no different. The weather creates all sorts of hazards, the terrain offers its own variety of opportunities for disaster.
Men are prone to make mistakes and machines are bound to fail at some point. Here are some of the results. I hope we can establish the identities and the locations of these planes, help will be welcomed.



Brad M. sent me this 16Aug20: "Recently I was up in Resolute Bay for work and noticed two different locations of what I was told is a DC-4.
My co-workers are not sure if it is the same plane or not, as the distance is approximately 4 km between both sites.
There are inscriptions/painted marks on dated 1976 and 1968."
The result of research was that it concerns 2 different airframes and the dates are clarified too; read on!

Possible DC-4 wreck near Resolute Bay (Aug.2020)
Plane wreck near Resolute Bay (Aug.2020); four-engined propliner for sure!
Possible DC-4 wreck near Resolute Bay (Aug.2020)
This picture is from the other location, noteworthy is here (too) is an engine mount? So two different planes for sure...


"This is where the wings are located. There are markings on the underneath; see further down.
Near Resolute, NU maps.app.goo.gl/sWNvZuLjcs96kdMc6 "
Possible DC-4 remains (wreck) near Resilute, Nunavut (2020)
This 74°42'28.8"N 94°58'37.2"W is very close to the runway threshold. So maybe pulled aside.
Unidentified plane wreck (wings) at Resolute Bay Airport, Nunavut

Possible DC-4 remains (wreck) near Resilute, Nunavut (2020)
The wings are located aside the runway, just outside the airport.

Possible DC-4 remains (wreck) near Resilute, Nunavut (2020)
CHA-something - it looks like: one last letter missing after the 'A'.

Possible DC-4 remains (wreck) near Resilute, Nunavut (2020)
This is Lancaster FM221/CHA, the wrecksite closed to the airport. Those markings led to the identification.
SOLVED... read on for the reactions by Tony Jarvis & Jerry Vernon for the final identification of the one near the airport!

The wreckage near the airport has been solved!

Tony Jarvis: "That is the wreck of Lancaster FM221 halfway between the Resolute airport terminal and the weather station." And: "CHA is the aircraft's 'VC' registration, when the RCAF was using that code system.
It is my understanding that the other wreck you noted on your site is a C-82 Packet, although I have not been down to look at it..."
Jerry Vernon: "The photo you sent shows a Lancaster tail fin. “
'CH' was the unit code of 103 Rescue Unit, based in Greenwood, Nova Scotia at that time. CH-A was Lancaster FM221, which crashed at Resolute Bay in August of 1950".

Jerry sent this photo from the book 'Seek and Save – The History of 103 Rescue Unit'.
Lancaster FM221 wrecked at Resolute Bay in 1950
"You can see the fuselage code CH-A. The photo caption says '103 RU Lanc 221 was trying to land at Resolute Bay to evacuate six people when it crashed on final.
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. The engines and some usable parts were removed
Lanc 221 was in Resolute Bay to evacuate six Eskimos when it too crashed on final approach to landing. Miraculously, no one was injured.”
(Everybody called them 'Eskimos' for many decades, but this is now a 'bad word').

Jerry continues: "There is nothing on the Aviation Safety Network data base, but there are lots of hits on a Google Search for “Lancaster Resolute Bay”, incl. many more photos of FM221 at: www.google.com/search (images)

Here is a link that suggests that a 2nd Lanc (FM216) also crashed at Resolute in 1950….
See www.key.aero/forum/historic-aviation/91017-lancaster-remains-resolute-bay
The RCAF Record Card for FM216 shows a SOS date of 17 Aug 50.
Recommended links heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_t12338/2275?r=0&s=3 'FM216 crashed on takeoff at Resolute Bay on 07Aug50. Was part of 408 Sqn., on a photo assignment.'
And heritage.canadiana.ca/view/..
[Update: Brad wrote:"After going through some of the links we were hell bent on finding the Avro York wreckage as discussed in the one Key Aero website/page, but no luck."]

The card for FM221 shows 14Sep50, crossed out and corrected to 23Sep60. But a caution, the official SoS dates were often not the accident date but rather the date of the administrative writeoff by the Stores people following an investigation...
Several websites claim that FM221 crashed on 23Sep50, but a lot of these people have no idea how to read or interpret the cards!
I found both Court of Inquiry files!
FM221 crashed on landing at Resolute Bay on 19Aug50, due to "gross mismanagement of the fuel system by the Flight Engineer".
The pilot was the late F/O Al Hawkshaw, who I knew locally as one of our Members of the Air Force Officers’ Association (I have been Secretary for over 20 years).

The other one will require more searching. It can't be FM216 as the other Resolute Bay wreckage photos you received from Brad show an aircraft with round engines, so that rules it out as a Lancaster, York or North Star, all of which used Merlins!

Jerry followed this up with more details on FM221, under scrutiny here: "In the case of FM221, Both Pilot Al Hawkshaw and the LAC, who was acting as Flight Engineer, had their knuckles rapped for poor procedures.
Al Hawkshaw passed away in 2005 and I recall that I did chat with him about some of his adventures, but I don’t think I was aware of his Lancaster crash.
He had very low time on the Lanc at that time. Al had flown a lot of years as a Canso water bomber pilot after getting out of the RCAF. His brother, Knox Hawkshaw, worked at Field Aviation and was the inventor of the 'scooper'-system used on Canso water bombers! Fun fact!

Most of the RCAF Lancasters, apart perhaps for some used specifically for dual instruction, one had only one set of flight controls, so the co-pilot couldn’t do a heck of a lot except manage the throttles, radio and other switches!!
Both inquiries are signed off by Group Captain 'Pete' West, who was Director of Flight Safety at that time.
I knew Pete West when I was a Flight Cadet training at Camp Borden, in 1956."

Jerry followed up with more photos!
Lancaster FM221 wrecked at Resolute Bay in 1950

Lancaster FM221 wrecked at Resolute Bay in 1950
These photos are also from 103 RU history book; 103 Rescue Unit currently flies out of Gander,NFL as 103 Search & Rescue Squadron.

Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)
This 'V' ('VC') is from FM221/CHA, identified earlier and explained by Jerry in more detail-
'Early postwar RCAF markings and call signs followed the 1947 ICAO scheme, but very few countries adopted it
and the RCAF dropped it in November of 1951. So the call sign, painted under the wings, was 'VC – CHA'. Spread
over both wings it would been CH - A on the upper wing surface and 'VC - CHA' on the lower surface.
The ICAO scheme called for RCAF = VC, RCN = VG and Canadian civil = CF."

Tony Jarvis sent me a series of photos, taken in 2016, at the crashsite of Lancaster FM221
Tony Jarvis at site of Lancaster FM221, Resolute Bay 2016
Tony Jarvis at site of Lancaster FM221, Resolute Bay 2016
Tony Jarvis at site of Lancaster FM221, Resolute Bay 2016

Tony Jarvis at site of Lancaster FM221, Resolute Bay 2016
Tony Jarvis at site of Lancaster FM221, Resolute Bay 2016

Tony Jarvis at site of Lancaster FM221, Resolute Bay 2016
Tony Jarvis at the site of Lancaster FM221, @Resolute Bay 2016
A photo by James Knox (Kenting Aviation), he wrote: "Lancaster at Resolute Bay, 1970 - 71.
C-54 and other aircraft remains beside pond, 1/2 way between village and airport"
Lancaster FM221 at Resolute Bay, by James Knox (1970-71)

Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)

Brad sent me more photos, but I could not make out for certain which this one belongs to.
Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)
Regarding the observation: 'There are inscriptions/painted marks on dated 1968 and 1976.'
So we get here the significance of those dates: graffiti!
Painted on: both the remote site?

Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)
Partnumber I think: xx/0/2510

Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)
Another partnumber 7F4597/ Those three above are from the Lancaster?

Most likely this one is from the 2nd wrecksite Brad visited:

American-built part 1532-2-A, a de-icer distributor valve manufactured by Bendix Aviation Corp.
How likely is it that a British-built Lancaster has a part by Bendix in it?


Initialy the search focussed on a USAF C-54 or a RCAF North Star...

ASN gave results for 'Resolute Bay', one of which is of interest¬
Thursday 15 March 1951 - Canadair C-54GM North Star of Royal Canadian Air Force - RCAF registration 17523 (c/n 107), damaged beyond repair after take off from Resolute Bay.
'On takeoff in crosswind from Resolute Airport, Canada, the aircraft started to swing. The pilot ordered "pull it off" and rotated, while the flight engineer misunderstood and closed throttles at same time. No injuries.'
The North Star was a DC-4 version, built by Canadair. This may cause the common referral to a 'DC-4'.
From: www.rwrwalker.ca/North_Star.html
"Built as DC-4M-1, loaned to Trans Canada Airlines from 28 March 1047. Their registration CF-TEQ, fleet number 89/189. Converted to C-54GM before delivery to RCAF. [This part does not quite compute with the info further down that this C-54 was on loan from the USAF to the RCAF]
Returned to RCAF on 25 June 1949. Operated by No. 426 (T) Squadron. Destroyed in crash while taking off from Resolute NWT on 15 March 1951. Aircraft started to swing on icy runway in crosswinds, pilot ordered "pull it off" and rotated, flight engineer misunderstood and closed throttles at same time. No injuries."

Wikipedia on Resolute Bay Airport has these remarks:
  • On 15 March 1951, an RCAF C-54 crashed on approach. There were no fatalities.' Mentioned above.
  • On 12 June 1968, a Fairchild F-27J operated by Great Northern Airways crashed on approach to the airport.
    1968 matches, is near Resolute Bay, but a different location (and F.27 is a four-bladed turbo prop).
    Plus on 20Aug2011, First Air Flight 6560, a Boeing 737-200 C-GNWN.

    None of these were found relative to Brad's wrecks.

    This from www.spottingmode.com/wro/nunavut/
    Plane wrecks Nunavut Province, Canada None of these are likely candidates. We can forget about these too.
    The dates 1968 and 1976 are explained further down and has no bearing on the dates of crashes.

  • Round engine, from the remote site near the shore, at the small lake (south of Resolute Lake).
    Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)
    From the remote site near the shore, between the small lake and the open water.

    Brad: "This where the engine and what appears to be fuselage or tail parts are located. Near Resolute,NU" maps.app.goo.gl/qsUnAe7KHLWhtdQM7 "
    Possible DC-4 remains (wreck) near Resilute, Nunavut (2020)
    This is quite a distance from the airport, but in the axis of the runway.
    Unidentified plane wreck near Resolute Bay; not the F.27
    The wreck site south of Resolute Lake, near the open water.

    Jerry sent me a link "I found this photo, recently posted. It looks like the item that was sent to you recently by Brad."
    See andrew-a-bryant-services.com/- - -/1979-my-days-as-an-arctic-explorer
    C-8245-57798 at Resolute Bay, by Andrew Bryant
    'U.S. Air Force Fairchild C-82A wreckage at Resolute Bay, 1979. It only took me 41 years to pin down the identity.
    This is 45-57798/CQ-798, which crashed on 11 April 1950 after an engine failed on take-off. No fatalities.'
    Initially the caption offered another aircraft (type), but a lengthy research led to this identification.

    Andrew wrote: "When I was in Resolute (at age 19) I already knew a fair bit about types and markings.
    While working at the airport there I was told by the 'old-timers' that the aircraft was a B-24 Liberator, but I didn't think that was accurate (because the engines didn't look right).
    It was only recently that I started digitizing my old slides and making some internet searches about what it could have been. Remember: I had no information about when the crash occured.
    There were no obvious national markings.
    What I remember distinctly is the hundreds of scratched autographs and initials on the wing panel. And that much of the airframe was missing."

    "It was a very long hike. I wish I could remember the person in my 1979 image, but can't (Greg comes to mind but I can't be sure). I do recall that we walked all day and circumnavigated what I later learned is "Resolute Lake".
    On Google Earth it plots out to be about 10 kms. not hard for a couple of 19 year-olds.
    That's why I think it was 'late in my stay'. We were experienced arctic explorers by then . And you could easily hitch-hike back with any of the service vehicles running back and forth between Resolute Airport and the Inuit village at Resolute Bay."

    Mike DeZeeuw joined the research. "That C-82 is down by the dump, closer to town, well south of the airport"
    Mike sent photos-->
    C-82 Boxcar carsh site near Resolute - Photos Mike DeZeeuw
    These images match the second wreck, 'at the end' identified as 45-57798, from another angle.
    (The narrative of the research was revised after the C-82 was positively identified; initially I posted the
    developing clues chronologically, getting closer to the identification after first thinking the wreck was a DC-4/C-54).
    Many thanks to all who contributed thoughts, links and photos for this thread.

    Mike wrote it definitely was a twin boom design; I thought it was a C-119 but the main single wheels was throwing me off until I found out about the C-82. These pics are from June 2008."
    This was an important clue, continued to focus on a C-82.

    Mike also added this image to his info on FB's Aviation Wrecks and Relics (but did not state its provenance)->
    C-82 dataplate, c/n 10168, serial 45-57798
    Fairchild C-82A Packet dataplate, c/n 10168, serial 45-57798. Post by Lorence R Fizia, source unknown.
    Joe Baugher on C-82 45-57798: '(msn 10168) w/o 11 Apr 1950 Cornwallis Isle, NWT'

    C-82 Boxcar carsh site near Resolute - Photos Mike DeZeeuw
    Close up of this wreckage also helped to identify it as a Fairchild C-82 Packet.
    Mike DeZeeuw shared this C-82 cabin interior with me:
    C-82 cabin
    That underside certainly fits perfectly!

    C-82 Boxcar carsh site near Resolute - Photos Mike DeZeeuw
    'Steven' I can make out, the 2nd word (ending on 'q') maybe something in Inuit? Just more graffiti.
    Yellow fintip, more probable degraded green zinc chromate primer. That prop ties in with photos below.

    More by Brad:
    Plane wreck near Resolute Bay: C-82 or C-54?

    You may find this travelogue Keith Cowing's Devon Island Journal - 11 July 2007: Heading North of interest!
    It also has a picture of this crashsite.

    Flashback to shortly after (no date) the actual crash!
    Crashed gear up?

    Plane wreck near Resolute Bay: C-82 or C-54?
    I can see exhausts (& firewall?) and what could be a gear bay: of a single wheel?
    Did it crash gear up?

    The 'Q' on Brad's photo obviously held a significant clue, but it took a while to find its significance.
    Plane wrecks near Resolute Bay; photo by Brad M (2020)
    Thought to be some kind of American 'buzznumber'. The small round window is also a clue.
    The yellow may be bleached black to yellow zinc chromate primer.

    Graffiti: I can make out 'June', not the rest. Next step was to identify which part this is of the aircraft.

    Jerry found buzznumber CQ was carried on Fairchild C-82 and Fairchild C-119 ¬AeroFiles Buzz Numbers & Tail Codes.
    Photo of Fairchild C-82 CQ585 (Wikipedia)
    Photo of Fairchild C-82 with buzznumber CQ585 (Wikipedia): that could fit!
    I see small windows near the 'CQ', but no door (may just been sheetmetal torn off on the wreck photo)
    A NMUSAF photo:
    C-82 CQ581 (NMUSAF Photo)
    This side compares well with the wreck photos, notably the 'Q' and the small window.

    Plane wreck near Resolute Bay: C-82 or C-54?

    C-82 Boxcar carsh site near Resolute - Photos Mike DeZeeuw
    The way that prop has been cut was also used for identification, though it is sad to note it has been sawn off by vandals.

    Possible DC-4 wreck near Resolute Bay (Aug.2020)
    Clearly a three-bladed piston engine, such as the DC-4/C-54/R5D but also the C-82 were equipped with.
    The way these propblades are cut they confirm they're are all identical for the 2nd site Brad visited!

    Well, Andrew Bryant sent a comparison which shows it to be a (drumroll) .. C-82!
    Comparison of P&W radial engines
    Andrew (02Nov20): "According to Wikipedia the C-54E had Pratt & Whitney R-2000-9 Twin Wasp radials and
    the C-82 had Pratt & Whitney R-2800-85 radials. Note the differences (arrowed)."
    SOLVED! (but then the tailnumber still needed verifying).
    Tony Jarvis: "I knew a C-82 was there because a Borek crew hauled out one of the main gear (with tire) and had it sitting outside our Yellowknife hangar (NWT Air), saying it was a Lancaster main wheel. I knew it wasn't and did some research
    (no internet then) to determine it was from a Packet. "
    C-82 main wheel
    "Here is the wheel as recovered by Borek aircrew from Resolute Bay, in the Yellowknife hangar compound, 1995.
    They stated that it was their intent to donate it to the Calgary Aerospace Museum. I do not know if that ever occurred."

    The only reservation I had (!) in identification of this C-82A as 45-57798 at this location was crash details on ASN, '798 ended up a long way away: over 500kms! But that's rather a lot for getting lost, isn't it?
    Date: Thursday 24 March 1949
    Type: Fairchild C-82A Packet
    Operator: USAF Serial: 45-57798
    C/n: 10168
    Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
    Location: 510 km (318.8 mls) NW of Resolute Bay,NU
    Departure airport: Frobisher Bay Airport, NU (YFB/CYFB)
    Destination airport: Resolute Airport, NU (YRB/CYRB)
    Crash-landed on ice of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut after the flight crew became lost. The Packet operated on a supply flight from Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island to Resolute Bay. Crew rescued by ski-equipped C-47, 28 March 1949.

    'Back in the days', decades ago, while working in aviation, we had a globe in the office with a piece of string.. This was so we could see the flight routing A to B over which countries a direct flight would fly and we could telex to these countries for overflight permit(s) in case required. Much better than looking at a map.
    We still have that old globe as a souvenir!
    So I took that string and pointed it between Frobisher Bay and Ellesmere Island. It was still a long way off from Resolute Bay, but the magnetic north sits between Cornwallis Island and Ellesmere Island. Could that have been a factor?
    Then again, the coastlines are very distinct and going off course for such a seperation should have started almost immediately after departure from Forbisher Bay!

    During further research I noted that ASN had a photograph of 45-57798, taken at the crashsite by Tim Purcell in 1950: aviation-safety.net/photo/10781/Fairchild-C-82A-Packet-45-57798
    The text stated: "Taken at: Cornwallis Island, NT".
    When I pointed this out to Harro Ranter of ASN, he revised the ASN info about the lost course and crashite at Ellesmere Island to Resolute Bay (Cownwallis Island).
    Harro wrote (translation by Webmaster, RL): "On http://accident-report.com/ 45-57798 has 2 accidentreports: 490324 MURRAY, HAROLD B C-82A 45-57798 ELLISMERE ISLAND, NWT
    Considering the photographic evidence the crash of 11Apr1950 must have been 45-57798. But maybe the first crash in March 1949 was repairable? So we could still be looking at the same aircraft... Read on!

    [Another northerly C-82A crashsite, of 48-572 which crashed on 20May49, is at the Isachsen airstrip at a weather station and well documented. So 48-572 is not a candidate here.

    Then Andrew wrote: "Now that I was convinced that 'my' crash was a C-82, I spent $36 CDN and bought an e-book. This one: play.google.com/store/books/details
    And yes, there's the full history of 45-57798!"
    History of C-82A 45-57798
    So we see here confirmed both the 'out of fuel' mishap as well as 'the end' on Cornwallis Island!


    Brad M. sent me more pictures in Oct.2020, wreckage at another location, most likely salvaged from Resolute Bay
    Plane wreckage near Resolute Bay, by Firedrake14
    Very close to the water's edge

    Brad wrote:"After going through some of the links we were hell bent on finding the Avro York wreckage as discussed in the one Key Aero website/page, but no luck.
    There is also an easily found US Navy C-54 Skymaster, I believe, near one of the lakes in Resolute.
    It is mentioned briefly here-
    http://navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/assets/NAVY_Internet/docs/en/crowsnest/Crowsnest_Volume-5_Issue-3.pdf Seems what was left was raised.
    I can't recall where now, but I thought I had found some other info saying that the fuselage was pulled and used as part of a movie theatre at one point..?"

    Plane wreckage near Resolute Bay
    The insert is part of the article in the above link 'Crowsnest_Volume-5_Issue-3.pdf'
    So we have our job cut out for us: looking for a US Navy DC-4/C-54 which sank in Resolute Bay in 1951!

    Plane wreckage near Resolute Bay, by Firedrake14
    No doubt that this is a US military transport. Or was it..?

    I found this in the reactions to the posting on Flickr.com mentioned earlier:
    "Multiple contacts were found and after confirmation dives a wing and three engines were located. Engine tally plates were recovered and after further investigation through Boeing and Pratt & Whitney it was found that the aircraft was a DC-4 US Navy C54 M-1 Skymaster loaned to the RCAF (RCAF 17523) that crashed in the winter of 1951 while taking off from Resolute airport.
    No fuselage was found and after further investigation it was found that it was common at the time to use aircraft fuselages as buildings and this one was recovered before the ice melted and used as the local movie theatre with another fuselage, the Arctic’s first Cineplex.

    C-54 being salvaged from the water of Resolute Bay
    C-54 being salvaged from the water of Resolute Bay, 2010/11
    C-54 being salvaged from the water of Resolute Bay

    Plane wreckage near Resolute Bay, by Firedrake14
    Damaged by cables, getting it to the surface?
    So by the information in the articles we can draw the conclusion that in spite of the US markings, this could well be
    RCAF 17523, on (temporary) loan by the U.S.

    Plane wreckage near Resolute Bay, by Google Earth
    All three sites, of Lancaster FM221, allegedly C-54 44-9044 (or C-82) and this one, can all be seen on Google Earth.

    Brad wrote: "We are aware of the F27, from our supervisor mentioning it to us (Env Canada Atmospheric
    Monitoring Branch is our line of work). We just can't hike out there due to restrictions.

    Webmaster: I may have found the the F-27..
    James Knox wrote "F 27 is up on the hill, ridge parallel to the runway."
    Elsewhere I found information it was ca. 10km from the airport.
    F-27 crashsite near Resolute Bay airport



    F.27 wreck at Resolute Bay I came across this photo by Erik Charlton on Flickr.com

    So which aircraft is this? It looks like a Fokker F.27 Friendship, but of which airline and which tailnumber?

    Jan F.Homma wrote: "This is Fairchild F-27 (c/n 114) of Great Northern Airways (CF-GNG), which crashed on 20 Dec.1969.

    Then Aad van der Voet (www.oldwings.nl) responded: "Most sources claim that CF-GNG ran off an icy runway at Inuvik, NWT on 20Dec69. But this photo was not taken at Inuvik. The caption mentions "Arctic tundra", and the tags say Resolute Bay on Cornwallis Island, which is 1500 km from Inuvik...
    Some sources also mention a different accident date for CF-GNG: 14Feb70.
    Was CF-GNG perhaps repaired after its mishap at Inuvik, only to crash again almost 2 months later? Or was there only one accident, which then obviously did not occur at Inuvik at all?
    Or does this photo perhaps show a different aircraft?"

    Dave Brosha seems to have photos of this aircraft too in his Arctic folder www.flickr.com/photos/brosha

    Frans van Zelm responded to above email exchange: "This is Fairchild F-27J CF-GND (c/n 113) which crashlanded at Resolute Bay 12Jun68 (afaik; conflicting data is reported: also 15Jun68 is mentioned...).
    F-27J CF-GNG (114) crashed at Inuvik 20Dec69. Registration was cancelled 14Feb70."

    Also visible in Google Earth/Maps at 74.67265N  94.5879W

    Kalman Feher wrote (in Nov.2010):
    "It had Lorne Christiansen as one of the pilots, I believe they'd run out of fuel. He told me
    the story himself but I forgot the details..."

    Bob Cameron wrote me in Feb.2011:
    "To clarify a little bit the confusion about the F-27 wreck at Resolute Bay: Great Northern Airways did have
    TWO F-27 accidents!
    I do not know the details of the Resolute Bay one, but Danny Bereza in his book 'the Big Dipper Route' describes the Inuvik accident in minute detail, as he was the co-pilot on it..." 

    Tom Frook wrote in March 2011 (back on GNG, though that's not the one we are discussing here):
    "CF-GNG was operating a crewchange charter on behalf of PanArctic Oils Ltd. The aircraft had departed Edmonton, then to Yellowknife for refuel then on to Rea Point on Melville Island.
    After departure from Yellowknife, the weather at Rea Point went to minimums, the aircraft continued as planned and attempted a landing at Rea Point. Weather was severe enough that a decision was made to divert to the alternate airport, namely Resolute Bay.
    The Resolute Bay weather was just at minimums, and after missing the first approach, the crew were attempting a second try and exhausted their fuel on the downwind leg...
    The aircraft impacted just to the East of runway 35, where it sits today.
    The Captain was Ernest George Adolphe, don't know the First Officer. Ernie was a wonderful man, a terrific friend and a great pilot. "

    Peter C. Hill sent me this in May 2017 on the location of the F.27 CF-GNG of Great Northern, near Resolute Bay:
    F-27 CF-GNG near Resolute, crashsite (GE)

    Daniel Bourque wrote me in Feb.2018 on Fairchild F-27J CF-GND and he included this picture:
    Crashsite of CF-GND, by Daniel Bourque
    Daniel wrote: 'Here a bad quality picture (sorry) of the crashed plane CF-GND. I took it in august 1975 while on training in the Artic with the Canadian army. Years later, I talked to a friend (a plane mechanic) of one of my sisters who was teaching in Nunavik in the 70s. He knew the story of the plane landing, but I can’t remember details. At that time I visited the site, people were removing wiring and stuff inside the airplane, but it was in one piece.
    As far as I remember, the were no crash markings on the ground so they probably landed on the snow.'

    'The flight originated in Calgary (YYZ) to Yellowknife (YZF) and continued to Sherrard Bay but diverted to Resolute Airport (YRB) due to headwinds being much stronger than forecast. A forced landing was carried out near Resolute Airport.'
    Aviation Safety Network (ASN) database





    'ETTW' posted on the AvCanada forum 2 images of wrecks, suitable of unclusion on this page, I think...

    When I asked who made these photos, and when, I was replied: "Cannot remember which copilot took them, but I believe they were both taken in the summer of 2006."
    Above is CF-IHQ, a Curtiss C-46A Commando, which while operating for Wheeler Airlines on the DEW Line project, was written off on 25Mar60.
    The report on Aviation Safety Network states- "Location: DEW Site 28, NU (Canada), Curtiss CF-IHQ took off from a dewline airstrip at 00:27 for a flight to another airstrip. The aircraft was on the downwind leg when it struck the ground at 780 feet asl."
    Also on www.baaa-acro.com

    Jeremy Hamburg sent me this shot of a partly obscured plane wreck, photo dated 13Jan13:
    "Near Hall Beach" is all he wrote (no reply to my request for more information: EMAIL).
    Planewreck 2013 near Hall Beach

    Peter C. Hill responded to this (may 2017): "On careful review, I'm pretty sure it is a photo of snow covered C-46 CF-IHQ; the tail markings appear the same and the angle of the propeller on the LH engine.
    All the windows obviously line up for a similar aircraft type. No guarantees, but something to think about."
    -Peter Hill former (First Air/Bradley Air Services DHC-6 captain)

    Another sad C-46 Commando: CF-HEI.

    C/n 22419 was written off 09Aug61 at Scapa Sarcpa Lake,NU.
    On ABPic is an image of when it was in use by Dorval Air Transport.
    Here is a link to Google Maps to see how remote Hall Beach (bySarcpa Lake), Nunavut really is...
    'ETTW' added to these images: CF-IHQ is still there, it is on the opposite side of the lake from the site, while CF-HEI is now in a hole in the ground covered by gravel during the cleanup of the site..."

    Peter C. Hill wrote me (may 2017): "I had the opportunity to visit CF-HEI when I was the base manager
    in nearby Hall Beach, in 1978. I will also take the opportunity to correct the name of the lake: it is
    Sarcpa Lake. You have two spellings 'Scapa' and 'Scarpa', but it is in fact 'Sarcpa'.

    Peter Hill sent me another batch of fine photos dating back to that visit of 05Sep1978:
    C-46 CF-HEI by Peter C. Hill
    Bradley Air Service pilot Doug Mcleod walking to C-46 CF-HEI wreck at the old DEW site at Sarcpa Lake.
    Notice the relative flatness of the Arctic in this area, formerly called Keewatin region.

    C-46 CF-HEI by Peter C. Hill
    ASN's database has it as 'The C-46 struck the ground short of the runway with its main wheels. The airplane landed but the starboard landing gear collapsed and the C-46 went off the runway. The airplane was arriving at
    Intermediate DEW line Site 29, CAM-F, Sarcpa Lake. Two crew, 7 passengers: non fatal.'
    More on the event see the contribution by Paul Kelley further down!

    C-46 CF-HEI by Peter C. Hill
    Curtiss C-46C Commando CF-HEI (c/n 22419) crashed on approach to Sarcpa Lake, NWT on 09Aug1961.
    I read somewhere that the remains of the C-46 were dumped in a hole and covered with rubble.

    Sarcpa Lake airstrip by Peter C. Hill
    Peter wrote (May 2017): "Our BAS Twin Otter C-GNDO on the airstrip at Sarcpa Lake."

    Peter added: " I was a base manager for First Air in Hall Beach for a 6 week tour in 1978.This was a charter
    trip I hopped on that particular day (05Sep1978). I don't recall the exact circumstances of the charter and am
    a little uncertain about the exact period I worked at Hall Beach. My job as base manager was co-ordinating First
    Air's scheduled flights to nearby Igloolik several times a week, as well as coördinating freight that was taken off
    the Nordair and Transair flights. We also supported lateral flights to several DEW stations, where we swapped
    crews and brought in freight and mail."

    Abandoned DEW site at Sarcpa Lake, by Peter C. Hill
    Picture of the abandoned DEW site at Sarcpa Lake, taken from the airstrip.

    The 'Distant Early Warning Line', also known as the 'DEW Line' or 'Early Warning Line', was a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska, in addition to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. It was set up to detect incoming
    Soviet bombers during the Cold War, and provide early warning of any sea-and-land invasion. -Wikipedia

    Paul Kelley wrote me in Dec.2018, also in reference to Curtiss C-46 Commando CF-HEI...
    Paul wrote: "During the last week of July 1961 (I don’t recall the exact date) I had occasion to fly in HEI
    W from FOX Main (Hall Beach) to CAM5 (Mackar Inlet) and CAM4 (Pelly Bay).
    On that occasion I took the following photos (Paul also provided the captions).
    C-46 CF-HEI at Hall Beach, prior departure
    "Nordair's C-46 CF-HEI (c/n 22419) on the apron at FOX Main, prior to departure".

    CF-HEI on the apron at CAM5 (Captain John Smith with hands in pockets)
    "C-46 CF-HEI on the apron at CAM5 (Mackar Inlet). Captain John Smith seen walking with hands in pockets".

    "Curtiss C-46 Commando CF-HEI taxiing to the apron at CAM4 having just returned from
    CAM Main (Cambridge Bay) to pick me up for the return flight to FOX Main (Hall Beach)."

    Saturday, 05th of August – "I was wandering about the apron at FOX Main taking photos and, quite by chance, the following may well be the last one of CF-HEI while still operational!"
    Hall Beach, 1960s
    "Photo of the apron and hangar at FOX Main (Hall Beach) with C-46 CF-HEI parked to the right of shot with
    the terminal building further to the right off shot – more or less in the same place it was on the day I flew West."
    "CF-HEI was the only C-46 I ever had occasion to fly in and it was the only aircraft that I did fly in that
    met its untimely fate while I was on the Line..!"

    CF-HEI wrecked
    Photo of CF-HEI at rest taken by Brian Jeffrey, (FOX Sector Radician).
    "I have dated it as on the day of the incident although Brian may have taken the photo a day or so later. He is no
    longer sure how much time elapsed before he could get over from the site with his camera. Note the Doppler
    tower in the background – the only such shot of CAM-F’s tower."

    "09Aug1961 - "This day Lyall LaLonde (FOX Sector Mechanic) was working at DEWLine Site 29, CAM-F
    (Sarcpa Lake), District of Franklin, NWT (ca.50mls WSW of FOX Main-Hall Beach)."

    Comments by Lyall LaLonde forwarded to me by Paul Kelley about events on that fateful day:
    "Captain John Smith was flying her that day and just prior to touchdown a heavy gust of wind tipped her and the starboard undercarriage hit the end of the runway and buckled it.  She landed but when the starboard side
    went down she ran off the runway.

    Among the passengers that day was André LaBelle, the Sector Electrician.  As the aircraft came to a stop they already had the passenger door open.  As the starboard wing was on the ground and the passenger door was on the port side it was a fair drop to the ground.  LaBelle got out of his seat and went running for the door and keep [sic] on running in mid air till he hit the ground and got clear of everything.

    Two months later, when patching up CF-CZL (C-46) at CAM4 (Pelly Bay) there was a discussion about possibly using the starboard wing of HEI as a replacement on CZL but, in the event, they managed the job without it."

    Paul's final word on CF-HEI: "My understanding is that, after the Site Remediation work done during 2005-2007,
    the remains of CF-HEI now lies buried in a hole where she last came to rest."


    Wayne Trylinski shared this on Facebook's 'Aviation Wrecks and relics' in Dec.2019; he added: 'C-46 crash at DEWLINE Station CAM 5, Mackar Inlet, NWT 1961.' No date of photo. No credit to photographer.
    And above all: incorrect information!
    Curtiss C-46 Commando, crashsite (1961). CF-IHR?
    One can make out the name of the operator: World-Wide Airways Inc., Don McVivar's outfit.
    McVicar operated a number of aircraft types on DEWline contracts. For the tailnumber I could make out the 2nd
    and last digit and concluded this is CF-IHR, Curtiss C-46D c/n 32866. ATDB.aero has "Destroyed (Sarcpa Lake,
    DEW Site 28), NWT (wreck remains at 68 30 41 N 83 12 19 W)."
    ASN Aviation Safety Network has no 1961 record of CF-IHR being written off but I found in its database with the
    correct date & information: CF-IHR overran the runway (while landing) at Distant Early Warning (DEW) radar
    line site 28, dateSunday 23Sep1956. Also on ASN page that same photo (so incorrect info AND stolen!).

    Another C-46 wreck is N9995F (C-46F c/n22409), at Kugaaruk, Nunavut;
    photo taken by Jason Pineau in Sep.2011.

    C-46F N9995F at Kugaaruk, Nunavut
    The Curtiss freighter was on a night-time VFR approach to Pelly Bay when the left wing struck rising terrain at 1000 feet msl. Date: 18MAR1956 [Source: Aviation Safety Network]

    Larger image at Jason's Flickr.com account

    Peter C. Hill elaborated on N9995F's position, with help from Google Earth (may 2017) :
    C-46 N9995F Flying Tigers crashsite
    Flying Tigers' Curtiss C-46 Commando N9995F near Kugaaruk.


    Patrick Nagle made me aware of the wreck of C-FOOY (CF-OOY) near Iqaluit. This is Douglas C-47A c/n 12411 CF-OOY. Information from the website polarpilots.ca:
    On November 3, 1975, C-FOOY, a 1944 Douglas C47A 10DK Dakota 3 (DC-3) belonging to Kenting Atlas Aviation was carrying a group of Inuit on a charter from a meeting in Pond Inlet back to Iqaluit (or Frobisher Bay as it was then known).
    Bad weather forced it to miss refuelling in Pangnirtung or Broughton Island (now Qikiqtarjuaq).
    It ran out of fuel and landed on the tundra about 45 nm north east of Iqaluit.
    The passengers included many of the original Inuit group that worked to develop the idea of Nunavut, which became a territory on April 1, 1999.
    Note- Kenting lost 2 C-47s near Frobisher Bay( Iqaluit) - see the item on CF-OOV further down!
    And Kenting Aviation DC-3C CF-DXO (c/n 12437) was damaged beyond repiar but no-none-nil details on where & when
    Check: aviation-safety.net/database/operator
    Abandoned wreck DC-3 CF-OOY

    Search and Rescue in Nunavut volunteers use the wreck as a target for spotter training. The winter photo (upper left) was taken by Kenn Borek pilot Marcel Siegenthaler during a training run in January 2012.
    The engines have been removed and much of the useful material stripped.
    And it now serves as a shelter for hunters, as you can see in this summer photo (below) taken by Patrick Nagle.

    Abandoned wreck DC-3 CF-OOY

    2014 UPDATE !!!
    Nigel Hitchman wrote in dec.2014: "A friend of a friend, Eddie McCallum, flew his CTSW from Northumberland to Oshkosh and back this summer and came across this DC-3 on the way! It is close to CYFB on Baffin Island."
    CF-OOY abandoned, on Baffin Island. Photo by Eddie McCallum

    CF-OOY abandoned, on Baffin Island. Photo by Eddie McCallum
    Seems nicely preserved!

    This was shared on Facebook as CG-OOY, the Kenting titles are obvious but the registration incorrect.
    Kenting DC-3 / C-47 wreck
    The damage is much different from C-FOOY above and I think C-47A CF-OOV (c/n 13300) might be a
    candidate: (ATDB.aero) 'Destroyed (nr Frobisher Bay,NWT) 12 February 1973'.
    Aviation Safety Network (ASN) has 'Engine power was lost after takeoff. The pilot tried to return, but
    crash-landed short of the airport. The DC-3 was returning from major overhaul in Toronto.'


    Lodestar CF-CPA
    This photo was grabbed from the AvCanada forum (topic), posted by 'HotShots21' (alias for Alex St-Gelais) with comments "CF-CPA a Lockheed Lodestar forced landed in the 60's."
    [Date of photo: August 2007]

    CF-CPA is Lodestar c/n 18-2177 and the subject of serious intentions to recover it. Its location is near Weeks Lake or Schefferville,QUE and it found this resting spot when it was forced down by fuel starvation.

    "This Lockheed 18 Lodestar was one of those slated to join the Dutch East Indies Air Force in Java in 1940 where it was to have been given the serial number LT-926. However, when the Japanese overran Java, the Lodestar was diverted (seized, might be a better term) by the U.S. Government to the Army Air Corps as a C-60-LO and given the serial number 42-108787. The Army Air Corps never used the plane and released it to Canadian Pacific Air Lines in the early 1940s...." MORE: www.cf-cpa.ca/en/history.shtml


    That same thread provided also these 2 photos of a Bristol Freighter... A sad sight!
    Klimman123 provided these photos and also this clarification:
    The Bristol Freighter is laying on the shore of Beaver Lodge Lake in NWT; about 150nm northwest of Yellowknife.
    From what I could find out, it seems it went through the ice one year while servicing a uranium mine in the 1960s. It was hauled on shore and salvaged.

    Heard it belonged to Max Ward back in the ol'days. I didn't get a chance to poke around her or find out it's registration. Found it just 3 weeks (July 2006) ago."

    I would welcome the name of the photographer for a proper credit.

    Aad van de Voet provided the following details: "This is Bristol 170 Freighter Mk.31 CF-TFZ, c/n 13139, which was flying for Pacific Western Airlines at the time. It crashed there on 30 May 1956, only two months after PWA had acquired it..."
    Thanks Aad!

    Dirk Septer added the following:
    "It was one of the three originally purchased by Trans Canada Airlines (later Air Canada). These aircraft were totally unsuited for this airline's requirements and were soon sold off to smaller Canadian operators.
    CF-TFZ crashed on May 30, 1956 after only flying with Pacific Western Airlines for 2 months. It was damaged beyond repair after the undercarriage sank through the ice. Upon landing the port landing gear broke through the ice and the aircraft fell on its wing, bending the spars and crushing the sides of the fuselage....
    The remains were later hauled onto the shore and stripped for parts. It was then left there on the shore.
    Many off these Bristols had short careers with Canadian operators, mostly lost during landing accidents. For example Lambair, quoting Jack Lamb in his book 'My life in the North' (p. 151 ): "We operated four Bristol Freighters, and crashed four!" It seems one was in service with them for only two months, while the second was lost after flying only 35 hours for them!"
    Dirk Septer

    Sean Barry zoomed past and sent me these photos, which I believe were taken in Feb.2007

    CF-TFZ taking a gulp
    CF-TFZ holding out

    In July 2007 Dean Steer sent me photos of the 1956 accident, taken by his father Keith Steer at the time!
    And Jason Pineau has photos taken on 12OCT2010: www.flickr.com/photos/jspitfire/

    Ken Lubinski sent me these photos in Sep.2007; he recalled those days as follows:
    The Biffo, as found by Ken Lubinski "The Bristol was probably photographed late 1970's. The one pic shows the old mine cabin. Fellow on the left was the cook (Henry) and on the right my helper (Rick). I cannot recall their last names.
    We spent the month of Feb at that camp. It was very cold... At night water would freeze in the cabin. All the packing between the logs had fallen out, so the wind would blow right between the logs. Every morning we would have little snow drifts on our sleeping bags!
    The crewI was doing exploration drilling at the old uranium mine for a company out of BC. I believe the company name was Noranda. Could be wrong on that one.
    Of all the years of working the Arctic, Baffin Island included, I have never witnessed Northern Lights as intense as they were there! For two nights the sky was literally alive from one horizon to the other. The colors were so vibrant, and the movement of the lights was scarry! They seemed like they were just above the tree tops."
    Copyright Ken Lubinski
    Pedal of the Biffo
    Andreas sent me this link www.flickr.com/photos/yellowknifesilke

    In Dec.2007 I received following email:
    "The salvage rights for the Beaverlodge Bristol 170 have been secured from Air Canada (AC is the successor firm to Pacific Western Airlines). I am trying to find a museum or preservation group who would be willing to recover and restore the plane.
    Unfortunately, several Canadian museums have begged off due to the anticipated high costs.
    I also reached out to the people at the Bristol Aero Collection but that may not fly as they were already finalizing arrangements for a Bristol fuselage in Australia.
    If you know any museum people..???

    Anyone with any sightings (or fate) after Dec.1970 of Lambair's Bristol Freighter CF-WAC:
    Bill of sale recorded 20Nov70 from Wardair to Lambair Ltd, The Pas,MB, and registered to them that date. Lasted only 37 flying hours with them before being lost in a non-fatal landing accident when it crashed 19Dec70 at Trout Lake, Manitoba, (95.50 N 94.00 W) on landing in muddy conditions.
    Swung off runway and substantially damaged fuselage and wings. WFU with TT 11,707 hrs. Canx 7 Apr 71.

    Jerry Vernon added to this: 90° West is not in Manitoba,, it runs up through Northwestern Ontario... Big Trout Lake, Ontario is bisected by the 90° West meridian, at just below 54° North;  Big Trout Lake is the village of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation!! They were formerly known simply as the Big Trout Lake First Nation.
    But..... there is also a Trout Lake and a Little Trout Lake adjacent to it elsewhere in Northwestern Ontario, near the famous mining town of Red Lake, at about 93° West/51° North;  Lambair could have been flying in there too!!

    Note that Lambair operated four Bristol Freighters in all, as follows, but the Lambair website gives no further details:
    • CF-YDP (freighter, short nosed)
    • CF-YDO (short nosed)
    • CF-WAC (short nosed)
    • CF-QWJ

    Dirk Septer added the following:
    "Lambair’s 3rd Bristol crash took place on the dirt strip at Trout Lake,Ont.
    It was a carbon copy of the landing accident (of Bristol ‘YDO) at Repulse Bay. Bob Shinnie, the Captain, wandered off the centerline during the landing rollout, hit a pile of frozen mud, and collapsed the gear of the Bristol.
    His load of 25 drums of diesel fuel went scooting out the nose doors of the aircraft! We had just bought this particular Bristol from Max Ward. It was only in our service for 35 hours... ouch!"

    Dirk added the following information he found on the 'long-nosed' CF-QWJ:
    "By acquiring long-nosed CF-QWJ, Lambair became the only non-European operator of this Superfreighter. On May 31, 1974, QWJ crashed while en route from Churchill to Rankin Inlet with a load of insulated sewer pipe and empty fuel tanks. Turning final to land at Rankin, the Bristol kept on rolling, striking the sea ice inverted. The crew of two were killed but the actual cause of accident was never determined.
    Bristol CF-QWJ would also become the last flying long nosed Freighter in commercial service, and possibly the last one flying in any configuration... The other two remaining Superfreighters had not flown since the demise of Midland Air Cargo and were derelict by then. G-APAU was at Lasham and ‘AV was withdrawn at Coventry. When no buyers were found, after some considerable time, G-APAV made one last flight.... to Lasham for scrapping."



    Beech 18 at Sawmill Bay,NWT by Jason Pineau
    Jason Pineau got a glimpse from this Beech 18, off the end of the runway at Sawmill Bay, NWT.
    Jason Pineau wrote me on 23Jul11:
    "With regards to the Beech 18 crash in Sawmill Bay, NWT, I have some more detailed photos. I had a chance to walk right up to the wreck, but could not find any registration or serial number info.
    It does have titles on the side for "Great Bear Lodge," which is a fishing lodge that operated at that location until 1987. On the one photo you can see a steel cable wraped around the wing spar just inboard of the engine nacelle, which suggests it was dragged or slung to it's present location. Maybe with the extra info and photos someone can figure out what happened to it."


    A response on the AvCanada forum solved this mystery:
    "I believe I can solve the mystery of the Sawmill Bay wreck!
    I flew Great Bear Lodge's Beech 18 CF-GXI during the summer of 1972. The aircraft was at Bristol in Winnipeg being converted from wheeled format to a float plane. New Pontoons and mounts were installed, an escape hatch built in the cockpit roof, new radios seats, etc. The outside still looked standard RCAF but she was a sweet flying bird with very low time.
    I ferried the plane along with members of the lodges staff from the river just noth of Winnipeg to Great Bear Lake on July 4th 1972 with fuel stops in Flin Flon, Uranium City, and Yellowknife. 11.9 hrs of flight not counting the time for fuel stops.
    Spent until September taking guests to Minto Inlet for char, Coppermine for char, Holman Isand for fuel and Blackwater lake for grayling.
    Returned south to Winnipeg on September 3rd with stops in Yellowknife, Uranium City and Lynn
    Lake for fuel Stuck there by weather for 2 days and finally arrived at the base on the Winnipeg River where the aircraft was stored for the winter.
    In the spring of 1973 Great bear Lodge offered me the position again wanting me to be chief pilot of Minto Airways, (their company based in Canada) but I decided to not go back.
    They had painted the aircraft and refurbished everything over the winter and it was with regret that I opted no to go north for the summer.
    They hired another pilot (and I use the term pilot in jest!) who got lost on the way north and finally figured out where he was when he landed in Hay River. Got his bearings straight and headed for Sawmill Bay on Great Bear Lake. On his first landing there he had glassy water and decided to land heading into the bay towards shore. He was still on the step when he hit the shallows and shoreline and flipped CF-GXI over, basically destroying it...
    The company hired some mechanics to come in and salvage what was left and later that season barged the engines, wings, pontoons etc. out of there. I imagine the hull of the aircraft was pulled up deeper into the trees so later guests would not want to get scared of flying...

    Great Bear Lodge was owned by a group of doctors in Sioux Falls S.D. where they also had their corporate offices. Jack Bauer was their manager in Sioux Falls and arranged all bookings of trips etc. Guests were picked up once a week in a DC-4 in Minneapolis and flown north with a stop in Winnipeg for customs. They landed on the 7.000 ft sand strip at Sawmill Bay, and picked up the departing guests for their flight back to Minneapolis.
    We used the Beechcraft, CF-GXI and another one that was leased, to move the guests, their luggage and all fresh supplies that came in on the DC-4 to either of the lodges to camps, Bear Island or Nealand Bay. Bob Ostrom, Corpus Christi, TX"



    The above discussion on the identity of the Beech 18 remains, seen from the air & photographed by Jason Pineau, initially also led to other candidates.
    Mick Butt offered the following candidates as a start to find the identity of this mystery wreck-
    "Aviation Databases gives a couple of possible candidates for the Beech 18. They are both recorded as W/O... no details known, and were both based in the Northern Territories.
    C-FMBO of Air Sahtu Ltd, c/n 7751 type Beech C18S
    C-FYQB of Arctic Wings & Rotors Ltd, c/n A-0753/CA-153 type Beech Expeditor 3N
    The latter aircraft was with Arctic Wings & Rotors Ltd from 27 November 1991, until it was deleted from the register on 19 July 1994, according to the Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers website.
    Of course, if the crashed example wasn’t based in the Northern Territories then it could be one of many other examples!"
    [Update: C-FYQB A-753/CA-153 (Beech 3NM). Manufactured Apr52 - was reported in Air-Britain News (Oct94) as registration cancelled Jul94, as destroyed by fire. -Robert Parmerter]

    Sep.2016 I received an email plus photo from Brian Lowe:
    "I was browsing your website and came across the article on the possible identity of the wreck off near Sawmill Bay, possibly being a Beech 18 of Air Sahtu. 
    I can verify for you that is not that wreck..! 
    I lived up there in Ft Franklin in 1987;  the pilot of C-FMBO was close family friend and my father worked with Air Sahtu.  I remember the story,  it all came back to me when I read the article documenting loss of right engine oil pressure, 9 aboard and so on..
    I was just a child when that happened. I know a bit about the story as we were living up there, the pilot was a dear friend of my father's. I remember they all headed out on snowmobiles to get everyone off the plane! I beliove there was one broken arm or a simular minor injury. I grew up in those planes doing deliveries all over the North with them. Ed was well known for loading these birds right to their max.
    Here is a pic of C-FMBO sitting on the ice in 1987."

    Beech18 C-FMBO at Ft Franklin 1987 by Brian Lowe
    Beech 18 C-FMBO at Fort Franklin, 1987 - photo provided by Brian Lowe

    History of CF-MBO, as compiled by Bob Parmerter.
    C/n 7751 Beech C-45F
    44-47361 USAAF deliv 21st FG Palm Springs, CA 29Sep44.
    Accid 25Nov44 Palm Springs, CA grnd collision (assg to 560 Base Unit). 501 Base Unit Langley Fld, DC.
    Accid 12Jun46 Langley Fld, DC while landing (assg 501 BU). Maxwell Flt Svc, MATS Maxwell AFB.
    Accid 18May53 Corinth Munic, MS while landing (assg Maxwell Flt Svc).
    Reclam compl Hill AFB 6Oct54. Delogra Avn Corp, Ft Lauderdale, FL (CAR Nov61) as C18S N6799C.
    Joe G. Marrs, Avon Park, FL (CAR Jun63) modif for floats.
    William H. Magie (Wilderness Wings Airways), Ely, MN (CAR Jul64, Jan71).
    Export certif 27May71 (Wilderness Wings) to Taber Lake Airways, Prince George, BC  as CF-MBO.
    Lsd to Columbia Airlines Ltd, Prince George, BC 4Jun71.
    Wolverine Airlines, BC reg’d 7Jul75.
    Parsons Airways Northern, Man reg’d 8Aug75.
    Wildwood Airlines Inc, St James, BC (CCAR Sep76)
    Photog May79 orange overall with white fuselage stripe & trim with Wildwood titles and large Playboy Bunny on tail.
    Sale reported (CCAR Sep81).
    Lsd by Turn Air Ltd, Yellowknife, NWT 17May82.
    Spur Avn, Yellowknife, NWT (CCAR Jun84).
    Air Sahtu, Ft Franklin, NWT.
    Accid 7May87 Ft Franklin, NWT (17 mi ENE) when rt engine lost oil pressure & severely vibrating-shut it down & emergency landing on ice of Great Bear Lake. 9 aboard (1 seriously inj) rescued 3 hrs later by snowmobiles. It was over gross wt & reg’d as C-FMBO.
    Regis canx Aug93.


    Sean Barry sent me these photos, of York CF-HMX at Hall Lake,Nunavut; taken on 23may09:
    York CF-HMX
    Aviation Safety Network has the following:
    Avro 685 York C1 CF-HMX (c/n ?) of Arctic Wings struck a snow bank at Hall Lake,NU on 12APR1955.
    (Arctic Wings apparently was a sub-company of Spartan Airways, details welcomed).

    Avro York CF-HMX of Arctic Wings
    The Avro York had a somewhat unlucky career in Canada's Arctic North; 3 Yorks crashed in 6 weeks in the spring of '55, 7 in 18 months, 2 on the same day 13 Sept 56...

    The Avro York was a British transport aircraft that was derived from the WW2 Lancaster heavy bomber, and used in both military and airliner roles between 1943 and 1964.
    Production orders included 50 civilian Yorks and 208 military versions to the RAF – many of which subsequently passed into civilian hands. During the Berlin Airlift, Yorks flew over 58,000 sorties – close to half of the British contribution, alongside the Douglas Dakota and Handley Page Hastings. During wartime years they also served as VIP transport aircraft.
    In the postwar years, BOAC used Yorks on their Cairo to Durban service, which had previously been worked by Shorts flying-boats. They were also used by British South American Airways and by many independent airlines on both passenger and freight flights.
    When the Distant Early Warning Line (Dew Line) was being constructed in Canada in the late 1950s, the Avro York was introduced as a freighter by Associated Airways. At least one of the Yorks, CF-HAS, was retained, and was in service with Transair as late as 1961. [Wikipedia]

    Lee Cormie sent me these images of CF-HMX at Hall Lake, and sent me his shots, which he took in 1972 when it was in slightly better shape...

    Avro York CF-HMX at Hall Lake

    CF-HMX in 1972, at Hall Beach

    Peter C. Hill flew over the crashsite on 05Sep1978 and sent me this image of the Avro York at Hall Lake.
    Peter C. Hill recorded York CF-HMX in 1978

    Peter had been visiting Sarcpa Lake (C-46 CF-HEI, pics further down) and flying back to Hall Beach airport:
    Nunavut: Sarcpa Lake and Hall Beach

    Here's some more by Google Earth, in part sent by Peter C. Hill, to indicate the current location of CF-HMX
    Avro York CF-HMX, location at Hall Lake
    So CF-HMX is rather on the shores of Hall Lake than nearby Hall Beach, as some sources have it.


    Jay Ladell wrote me in April 2010:
    "My grandfather, Captain Josef Cermak (RAF), died in a York (CF-HMV) during the same time running the DEW Line flights as CF-HMX.
    He crashed at Thoa River on 29Sep1955. The plane CF-HMV sank, but the co-pilot survived on the aircraft wing, which broke-off and remained at the surface.
    I imagine the plane is still there in shallow waters?
    We would love to find-out the actual location of the crash, but the Thoa River seems fairly long.
    Here are two links about the crash:
    If you happen to come across anything, please let me know..?"

    Jay himself came up with this:
    "I just found this account and sketch (www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/s,fm159york.html) of the crash from one of the people involved in the rescue effort.
    While his account is missing specifics, the date, location and details of the crash definitely line-up with those of my grandfather's crash!"

    See below newspaper clippings, sent by Robin Weber!


    UPDATE Dec.2018, newspaper clippings from 1955 kindly sent to me by Robin Weber:
    York CF-MHV 1955 crash

    York CF-MHV 1955 crash

    'Search for York and crew continues', newspaper clipping from News of the North, 07Oct1955.
    Note the name of the co-pilot is misspelled: Lossie instead of Lozie (see article below)

    York CF-MHV 1955 crash
    'Co-pilot Gerhardt Lozie of crashed York CF-HMV survives on the wing of the aircraft'

    York CF-MHV 1955 crash
    'Associated Airways gives up its DEW Line contract'


    Sean Keating made me aware of the images of a Pacific Western Airlines Avro York C.1 on Henry Tenby's 'Photo & Video Mega Port' www.AirlineFan.com:

    Avro York CF-HFP "CF-HFP. Syd Burrows was an F/L with the RCAF at Cape Perry (PIN Main) overseeing the contruction of the DEW Line in 1956/1957.
    During his time in the North he took a number of slides. Syd was fortunate enough to be on hand when PWA York CF-HFP overshot the runway while landing at Cape Perry, NWT on April 13, 1956. The colour slide was one of several he took within a few hours of the incident."

    Prints of these images can be obtained through the link above.


    Dr. Stéphane Guevremont, Aviation Historian of Mount Royal University / University of Calgary, Vice-President, CAHS YYC sent me the following update on 06Jul11:

    "These photos were taken last week by a pilot from Abitibi Helicopters based in Springbank, Calgary. You are welcomed to add them to your website. "

    York CF-HMX wreck on Hall Beach
    Photos by Jack Crawshaw

    Two images sent by Pat Donaghy in Jan.2014 (below), he wrote "..a couple pictures of CF-HAS that were taken by Hugh F. Bunn, one in 1968 and another some years later. 
    HAS was used by TransAir of Winnipeg in the 50s and 60s on DEW Line resupply operations and was abandoned by them at The Pas airport in Manitoba. 
    Later it was towed down the road and parked at the intersection of Highway #10 where it was eventually destroyed by vandalism and fire."

    York CF-HAS
    York CF-HAS wrecked


    C-FNJE Tanker 702Came across this photo of Buffalo's C-FNJE Tanker 702 (PBY-5A c/n CV-437) at the AvCanada website.

    It flipped over while scooping water Sitidgi Lake, NWT 24Jul2001. It was recovered from the seabed and brought ashore for repairs.

    Curtis voluteered the following on the CV-Canso Yahoo forum:
    "The Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton is trying to recover it as Buffalo Airways donated 'NJE to the museum about one year ago.
    But the local native people in the area of Inuvik have been giving Buffalo (and now the museum) a hard time about the aircraft being on their land and about crossing their land to bring CF-NJE to Inuvik for further transportation south...
    There are no heavy lift helecopters in the NWT, so the only way to get NJE to Inuvik is to tow her in the winter on ski's across the native land."

    In March 2008 I was informed 'NJE had been sold by Buffalo A/W to a private party: Don Wieben of Alberta.
    During April he and his son Greg went over to have a look; this resulted in a move (after almost 7 years of desolate storage) on 20Apr08, when transport reached Dempster Highway and headed for Inuvik that day. On 10Oct08 C-FNJE was loaded on a barge and headed for Hay River., a 7-10 day trip; At Hay River Don and his crew removed the wings and on 04Nov08 moved it from Hay River to Fairview Alberta;
    the wing was put on a Redstar Farms 48 foot long high boy trailor, mounted high with lots of overhang.
    The airframe we was put on a Capstan Hauling out of Grand Prairie long double drop trailor.
    The roads were terrible much of the way with freezing rain and snow much of the way, but the crew got things done.
    The ultimate goal is to restore 'NJE to flying condition, tour the western Canada air shows and do one epic journey with it... Go for it!

    See the website www.savethecanso.com

    Here is a 2012 photo by Nigel Hitchman who visited the farm at Fairview in 2012:
    C-FNJE in restoration at Fairview (20212, by N.Hitchman)Canso PBY-5A C-FNJE (CV-437) under restoration of the Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society (FARS). This Canso was flown as RCAF 11094 on anti-submarine missions during WW2 and remained in military service until 1961. The aircraft was then, reg'd as CF-NJE, converted by Field Aviation into a pestcontrol sprayer.
    After the bugs had gone, several companies used the amphibian (now reg'd C-FNJE) as a waterbomber, fighting forest fires. While in use with Buffalo Airways, as Tanker 702, it was damaged and went down in the waters of Sitidgi Lake near Inuvik (NWT) on 24Jul2001. (Source- Scramble magazine, #454, march 2017 issue).

    I understand that the correct designation of C-FNJE is Consolidated 28-5AMC Canso, as it is an ex/ RCAF aircraft and not a former US Navy aircraft.

    UPDATE Feb.2017 'First flight after restoration fast approaching!'
    On the WIX (Warbirds) forum I read an update on the process of restoration of C-FNJE.
    "One of Buffalo's former Waterbombers that crashed in 2001 is set to fly once again after a 9 year restoration: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/canso-airplane-fairview-1.3976241 ¬Nola Keeler · CBC News · Posted: 12Feb17.
    Someone replied: 'According to the Canadian Military Aircraft Serial Numbers website, it was RCAF 11094.'
    "It's a Canso A as opposed to a Canso. It was built by Canadian Vickers but not all built there were Canso As. They built a large number of OA-10A Catalinas for the USAAF too."

    I learned that on 18Jun2017 C-FNJE made '1st post-restoration flight'. Congratulations!


    "I have searched your site mostly off airport and friends & guests photos and found many photos and much great detail on arctic wrecks but have not found any on the various Avro York hulks dotted about the Canadian landscape... Have I missed them ?
    These are the ones I have traced so far. More digging to be done !
    Odd that two show the same date 'HFP and 'HFQ 13th September 1956.

    CF-HFP Cape Perry, Northwest Territories .........................13/9/56
    CF-HFQ Fox, Northwest Territories .....................................13/9/56
    CF-HIQ 33Kms South of Rankin Inlet, Hudson Bay ...........8/1/57
    CF-HMU Fort Chimo, Quebec .................................................24/1/56
    CF-HMV Thoa River S.E. of YellowKnife .............................29/9/55
    CF-HMW 44kms N. of Chimo Quebec ...................................26/9/56
    CF-HMX Hall Lake, Northwest Territories ........................12/4/55
    CF-HMY Edmonton ....................................................................26/5/55
    CF-HMZ YellowKnife ................................................................11/4/55

    David S. Truman



    Crash C-54 42-72616

    Charles P. O'Dale shared these images on Facebook (published with permission), of the remains of the crashed Douglas C-54D (military DC-4 variant) 272616 (USAAF 42-72616); googling I found a crash date: 500410, which I would presume to be 10Apr1950. See www.accident-report.com/Serials/1942z.htm
    This website www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1950s/1950Apr.htm confirms the date, states it belonged to 1227ABG based at Goose Bay, Labrador. This website mentions the crash site at Prince Patrick Island, of which Wikipedia has this to say: "Prince Patrick Island is uninhabited. A High Arctic Weather Station ("HAWS") and associated airstrip called Mould Bay were opened in 1948 as part of a joint Canada-US military effort to support a weather station network."
    Alan Sim pointed out to me (oct.2015) that the 2nd website has two different C-54s (2nd: 43-17245) listed as having crashed there on that very same date, which looks a bit odd...
    But www.accident-report.com/world/namerica/canada/canada.html confirms this. What tragedy happened there that date?

    But Craig Fuller, webmaster of www.AviationArchaeology.com, wrote me that C-54D 42-72616 was actually involved in 3 crashes! And it was 10Oct1952, when it was finally destroyed.
    Charles confirms year 1952 for the cras=h date, if you read on.

    This is what Craig Fuller contributed (2013):
    "... if you search the master database by serial number at www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbaf.htm
    you get both accidents, plus a third this plane was in:
    Crash data C-54 42-72616
    Looks like the 10 OCT 1952 accident is the one where it was actually written off and the accident you have photos of.
    A damage of 4 in the D column means write-off damage for this time period. LACGL in Action is Landing Accident Ground Loop (GC is Ground Collision)."
    Craig Fuller
    AAIR Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research

    Charles P O'Dale wrote:
    ALERT, Nunavut Canada - "A good landing is one in which everyone can walk away from the aircraft; this was a GOOD landing. Unfortunately, it was not an excellent landing as the aircraft was not re-usable...
    Date: October 1952 - DC4 - USAF"
    (Note the date is incorrect as compared to both websites above -Webmaster)

    I (webmaster) also found this on C-54 272616:
    Msn (c/n) 10721:
    194? The aircraft was ordered for the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as 42-72616.
    194? The aircraft was allocated to Task Force 1.5.4 to Support the Crossroads Atomic Bomb Tests.
    On: www.cnapg.net/dc4.htm

    He also wrote: "On 31st July 1950 a RCAF Lancaster crashed here, due to a parachute entanglement during a supply drop. All nine crew perished and are buried at the northern approach of the Alert airport.
    Rest in peace, gentlemen."
    Lancaster wreck at Alert,Nunavut



    An item on Facebook (Feb.2016) quoted a link to the Urban Ghosts website, showing a stranded C-47 at Isachsen. The website quoted the photographer as Derrick Midwinter who displayed the images on Flickr.com.
    C-47 at Isachsen
    The above image clearly shows the identity: 316062 (which translates to 43-16062, c/n 20528).
    I found a thorough description of this abandoned plane wreck on Aad van der Voet's website: LINK
    It includes the coördinates of the location, should one be interested in a visit!
    Amazing to note that this Douglas C-47 at Isachsen featured in an episode op BBC's Top Gear!

    Derrick replied me: "Happy to provide these images for your website!"
    "The shots were from our helicopter, just got lucky on the angle and time of day for it to turn out nice."

    Someone responded on that same Facebook post a screendump from BBC's Top Gear.

    "The old Isachsen airstrip is at coordinates 78°47' N and 103°22'W, about 2 km east of the Isachsen weather station, adjacent to the eastern shoreline of Station Bay (part of Deer Bay).
    Don't confuse this old airstrip with the new one that was constructed in 1954 at the opposite side of the weather station!
    The wreck itself is located about 1 km past the southeast end of the strip." ¬www.oldwings.nl



    Don Todd shared these memories with me in June 2016:
    "I am a Canadian Metis pilot from Western/Northern Canada.
    Started flying in the 1970's and am still holding a CDN ATPL. I was an accident investigator in CASB in 80's and overseas in the CAA of PNG, Namibia and Botswana.
    I have investigated over 35 aircraft & rotary types in many remote locations.
    I was interested in your site because I started flying as crew in NWT based out of Ft Smith in 1973 on a single otter on floats belonging to Buffalo Airways.
    It was with a pilot named Walter Harms who I lost track of as years passed. He was from B.C. and taught school in the off season.

    That summer we took accident investigators to a tragic accident when 2 Canso water bombers collided not that far from Fort Smith near a lake; possibly it was near Pilot Lake, just north along a river and another lake...
    Have you ever heard of that accident or have any photos sent to you referring to it?
    This was mid-summer 1973.
    I have photos of other crashed types, but not of those that crashed in NWT; it still interests me to view the north and the aircraft that did not make it!
    I flew once for Reindeer Airways from Inuvik on a DC-3 with an Inuit pilot named Tommy Gordon.
    Also few for Northward, on Twin Otter, from Inuvik and later on the Do.228 out of same location with a good man named Bob Heath; he sadly crashed in Antarctica few years ago.

    Around 1974, when I was in Red Deer, a man named Gordon Magnuson, whom I worked for (as a load master on a
    DC-3), was killed in a crash of his spray plane in the summer season; somewhere in in central Alberta.
    Magnuson owned a company called Candel Aviation and they owned Lockheed 18 and DC-3's, flying oil field supplies to Inuvik and Norman Wells.
    Also, when we flew with Northward, we often passed an aircraft that crashed into the rocky out crops cliffs within 20 miles north of Norman Wells.

    I share these points and persons named above in case you have come across any of them over the years and can share any news that would mean a lot to me.

    I am now 64 and only a few more years to work in Aviation except to instruct PPL's because I hold a instructors rating still. I often work in Africa now in humanitarian programs; we see so many crash sites of Russian planes, they are scattered all over the region of Kenya, Sudan, DRC and Uganda. That's another story!

    Kind regards
    Aviaton Safety & Quality Mgr.


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    Created 25-Nov-2020
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