ATL.98 Carvair C-GAAH


Photo © R.Leeuw

Yes, this one started as a DC-4 Skymaster...! In fact it operated with some well-known airliners: Scandinavian Airlines System (LN-IAE), Japan Air Lines (JA6012), Korean Airlines (HL4003) and Ansett Australia (VH-INK). It was bought by Aviation Traders (England) and rebuilt to ATL-98 Carvair. On this photo you can see quite easily that it was reconfigured to a nose-loading freighter. A unique and impressive job, originally designed for cross-Channel vehicle ferry services. As such, this particular aircraft (DC-4 c/n 42994, ATL-98 c/n 20) went to interesting places. As N5459X it operated with Hawaii Pacific Air from Honolulu and it was reregistered to C-GAAH for Hawkair in 1997.
Hawkair operates from Terrace in British Columbia, Canada (quite a remote place). The Carvair was used on a contract with Homestake Canada Inc to transport gold ore mined from the Snip Mine, picking up the cargo from Bronson Creek airstrip and making a 25 mins. airtrip to Wrangell, where the cargo was shipped to Japan for processing. When the mine shut down in may 1999, it was the end for the Carvair (and almost for Hawkair, for that matter) and it was put up for sale, for usd 350.000.
An article by Peter F.Peyer in Propliner magazine (no.79, 1999) included the remark that this Carvair had flown 42.204 hours and had made 2.129 cycles (take offs and landings), by 06Jul99.
The photo above was taken on 15Aug99 at Terrace,BC.
During 2002 Brooks Fuel from Fairbanks,Alaska bought C-GAAH and by December it arrived in Fairbanks. Hawkair did not get as much as they had wanted for this classic and unique aircraft, but were pleased that after several years in storage they had still been able to sell it. Hopefully Roger Brooks will be able to put it to some good use.
In restoration with Brooks (2003)

There are only 3 (of a total 21 converted) airworthy Carvairs left in this world, one (N5459M, c/n 21) last reported in South Africa and one (N89FA, c/n 9) at Griffin, Georgia, USA.

Carvair of Hawk Air on YouTube...

Follow this link to learn more about the Douglas DC-4 background
Credits: the above historical information has been found in Piston Engine Airliner Production List (1991) by A.B Eastwood & J.Roach (published by TAHS).

Click here to go to: "Deep South 2001"
Or follow this link to have a look at N89FA

The Carvair on dvd!!
Bronson Creek - Snip Mine
See Avion Videos, this dvd was released in 2008


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