Photo © R.Leeuw
This is a story that may or may not be representative for "Propliner Aviation", but it did struck me as material for someone's novel and that is something we find happening more often in this field of aviation. It has drama, deaths, determination to start again and....
This plane was for sale by Frontier and in fact late 2000 sold to Mr. Jody Pond of Galaxy Air Cargo, who operated a DC-3 under the name of Majestic Air Cargo. As fate would have it, Mr Pond died in the crash of DC-3 N19454 at Unalaska on January 23rd, 2001. Below you will find the NTSB report on this accident.
Galaxy Air Cargo went into bankruptcy after this accident.
Tom Abbe (sr.) had worked for years with Majestic Air Cargo and decided to buy N59314 from the Bankruptcy Court and has registered (sep.2001) his new founded company at Palmer,Alaska as Abbe Air Cargo. He was to serve the local community and was to pick up where Woods Air and Majestic Air Cargo now belong to history.. except by 2002 he had to conclude the business plan could not afford the insurance premiums.
This C-47A started its career, like so many, with a delivery to the United States Army Air Force on Jan.19th, 1944 and transferred to RAF Montreal as KG354 the next month. It made the crossing to the UK in March where it served with 512 and 437 squadrons. On June 17th 1946 it was registered to the Canadian Government, which transferred it to the Royal Canadian Air Force later that year. It had a long service life but all good things come to an end and it was stored at Saskatoon during 1975. It entered the Canadian Civil Aviation Register as C-GABE, but only to be sold to Basler Flight Services in May 1978 and reregistered as N59314. Frontier Flying Service bought it that very same year and it was registered to J.L. Dodson (Trustee) in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 1982 it was registered to J. Hajdukovich of Fairbanks and leased back to Frontier. Its career with Frontier was thus concluded (their fleet now only consisting of Navajo's and Beech 1900s) by the end of 2000 and found a new start with Abbe Air Cargo at Palmer,AK.
C-47A N59312 (cn12363), Frontier Flying Service
Fairbanks,Alaska (August 1995)
Credit: most of the historical information was found in J.M. Gradidge's "Douglas DC-3" (Air-Britain, 1984).
NTSB Identification: ANC01FA033
Nonscheduled 14 CFRPart 135 operation of Air Taxi & Commuter Galaxy Air Cargo Inc. (D.B.A. Majestic Air Cargo)
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 23, 2001 at Unalaska, AK
Aircraft:Douglas DC-3, registration: N19454
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
(Disclaimer: This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed).
On January 23, 2001, about 2135 Alaska standard time, a Douglas DC-3 airplane, N19454, was destroyed by impact and postimpact fire after colliding with mountainous terrain, about 4.5 miles northwest of Unalaska, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) nonscheduled domestic cargo flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by Galaxy Air Cargo Inc., doing business as Majestic Air Cargo, Anchorage, Alaska. The Captain and the First Officer, both airline transport certificated pilots, received fatal injuries. Dark night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan was not filed. The flight originated at the Unalaska Airport, about 2130. (11 October 2001)
More details on Accident report N19454.
UPDATE 2018: N59314 R19Jul2017 to Barton M. Tiernan (former owner of N777YA, which crashed at Nixon Fork Mine Nov2015
and also of N50CM, which was sold to Preferred Airparts).
N59314 had been stored at ANC since May 2011; it was seen undergoing maintenance 23May2017.
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