Abandoned Plane Wrecks of the 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.

 

Wreck PBY Catalina near Tofino, BC
Jason Pineau published this beautiful photo on his Flickr account (link) and added following information:
" PBY Canso from World War II. Parked on the side of a hill near Tofino, BC. "
David McIntosh made a video profile and can be seen on YouTube - his photos HERE..
Identity of this plane is: PBY-5A Canso (Catalina) RCAF 11007.
If you intend to hike up there, this may be helpful:
http://www.trailpeak.com/trail-Canso-Crash-Site-near-Tofino-BC-5053

 

Cessna T50 near Ft Yukon, wreckage

Dietmar wrote me in Sept.2012:
"One plane you might want to include is this unidentified Cessna T50 'Bamboo Bomber', near Fort Yukon (north of Fairbanks,AK).
The plane is too small for the ASN database, but what I learned from a pilot out of Fairbanks is this:
'The story I heard about the Bamboo Bomber was that there were two aboard and they made a forced landing when they ran out of gas in the 1960's. It was winter and they weren't injured, so they just walked to Ft. Yukon across the frozen river. I haven't found anyone who can confirm that, except one other pilot who just said there were
no injuries
'.

I am working on photo-series called 'happy end' - abandoned airplanes where all survived the forced landings and were rescued from the remote location. The focus is how these beautiful airplanes (with amazing stories) now rest in vast and beautiful landscapes."
Dietmar Eckell
www.dietmareckell.com CHECK OUT DIETMAR'S BRILLIANT PHOTOGRAPHY !

"A possible candidate for this airplane is c/n 3799/N58558 (ex UC-78, USAAF 42-58308). It was sold to Hawley Evans, dba Fairbanks Air Service, Fairbanks, AK, 31Mar54, and later modified with a right-side oversize cargo door and emergency window exit. Its last recorded annual inspection was 22-5-61.
It was reported 'burned completely and will not be rebuilt, 20May65'.
Its registration was cancelled 21May65.
The aircraft in the photo does not appear to have burned, but this is the only T-50 I have recorded whose history coincides with that of the mystery aircraft. "
Michael McMurtrey (oct.2012)

 


N91016 at Unmak Island

Andreas Morgner wrote me this in Feb.2008 :
"Saw a possible new addition to your Wrecks of the North -section...
Adjacent to the small Unagan village of Nikolski on the southwest end of Unmak Island (way out on the Aleutian chain) is a gravel airstrip once owned and run by the USAF. Off to one side is an old DC-3 that used to belong to Reeve Aleutian Airways (tail number N91016) that had a little mishap in 1965 and has been there ever since!
Accident report: http://aviation-safety.net
The above photo is from 2004 which I found here: http://kiska.giseis.alaska.edu/Input/celso/okmok/photos/2004Okmok62.html
Maybe someone else has a better photo of it?"


A few facts:
In February 1946, Bob Reeve received a call informing him that some ex USAAF C-47s and DC-3s were for sale. Reeve bought his first DC-3, N19906, for $20,000 with $3,000 down and the balance payable over 3 years. The cost of conversion to civilian standard was quoted at $50,000 but Reeve did the work himself at a cost of $5,000.
A strike by sailors on steamships operating between Seattle and Anchorage started on April 6 1946. Reeve, along with Merritt Boyle and Bill Borland began flying between Seattle and Anchorage, with stops at Juneau, Yakutat or Annette Island. Each trip carried a full load of 21 passengers and took and average of 9½ hours. In 53 days, 26 round trips were made.
In July 1946, DC-3 N91016 was purchased from the USAF. In the Winter of 1946/7, Reeve filed with the CAA for a licence to operate on the 1,783 miles (2,869 km) run between Anchorage and Attu, and in the summer of 1947 he was making weekly flights down the chain. Within a year, he was running a twice-weekly service, keeping all four DC-3s busy.
[Source Wikipedia ]

http://www.geocities.com/alaskanheritage/REEVEFLEET.html (dead link) - N91016 w/o Nikolski,AK 29May65

Wikipedia on Nikolski and Umnak Island

Michael Prophet made me aware of the fact the DC-3 actual featured on the photo shown on the Wikipedia page:

Michael Prophet also stumbled on this photo in an Airways magazine (March 2008),
photo by Penn Air's Burke Mees:

 

N91012 Reeve Aleutian
Alexandre Avrane of aerotransport.org pointed me to www.panoramio.com/photo/2598135 for a better picture of DC-3 N91016...
At above link there is also a much larger image to be seen.

 

DC-3 N91016 Reeve Aleutian at Nikolski Alaska
Michael Prophet spotted this August 2009 image of N91016 on a website dedicated to an adventurous and challenging boattrip, in the Arctic North, on www.sailaway.no (alas, the account is not in English).
Jan wrote: "Only two people on board: Katherine Maloney (American) and myself, Jan 
Fr. Mack (Norwegian). We came to the Aleuts from Japan, are presently still in Alaska and will start for Canada in a few weeks. And this is far from the only wrecked aircraft up here."
Photo © Jan Fr. Mack

 

 

B-24 wreckage at Atka Island, Aleuts Jan Fr. Mack made me notice this WW2 B-24 bomber, the wreckage surviving at Atka Island (Aleuts), Alaska.

Jan wrote:
"The B24 is on Atka Island, one of the Aleuts, quite 
far to the west.
It is easily accessible if you come by boat. We know a crew that has been there, but unfortunately they have no blog."

 

Jason Streitmann wrote me in Nov.2011:
'The B-24's identity is: B-24D 40-2367, it force-landed at Bechevin Bay, Atka, Alaska on Dec 9, 1942. Assigned N58426 in 1984, with American Veterans Memorial Museum, CO, but not recovered.'
Source: http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1940.html
Note: see Joe Baugher's note on a second set of reassigned numbers, from 24As to 24Ds.

Jason included these links, providing more details on the story of the crashlanding, its preservation and the background of use of this type of airplane:
www.wreckchasing.com/atkab24.htm
www.nps.gov/nr/travel/aviation/atk.htm
www.adn.com/2008/12/28/636258/wwii-wreck-part-of-new-national.html (click on photo for more)
http://pacificislandparks.com/aleutians/
Also a video on YouTube of the crash site:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYjlOTV0ckU

 

Mike Criss likes hiking. Hiking in remote areas. He lives in Wasilla,Alaska and on his hikes he comes across quite a few crashsites. Here is one he would like to know more about...
Crash site Merrill Pass

He wrote::
"I found some wreckage from a C-46 or C-47 in Merrill Pass, Alaska. Tail number is 348069, see the photo.
No info found on it. I even contacted Joseph Baugher.
http://www.akphotograph.com/Alaska%20Photos/index.html
I have several photos of the wreckage, radios, landing gear, engines and an entire wing.
Any information would be appreciated."

This website identifies it as a Douglas C-47, 43-48069. The crashdate was 21Apr52 but except'Alaska' that website offers no further details.

The website www.aerotransport.org has more details: 43-48069 is a C-47A-DK with msn/ manufacturer's serial number (aka construction number or c/n) 25330. It has a remark; 'ultimate fate obscured', well now we know..

The Air-Britain publication "DC-3, The First Seventy Years" has a detailed history-
C/n 25330 (reserialled from duplicated c/n 13885) was delivered with USAAF serial 43-48069 on 12Jul44. The book lists various units: 1 TC Baer 806 BU - Pope 349 TCG 30Jul44 - 812 BU 05Feb45 - CTC Pope 316 TCG 20Jun45 - ATS Davis Monthan 4105 BU 19Mar46 - AMC Van Nuys AMV CP 26Jan49 - NG Felts 116 FS 22Mar49 - Paine11O RCD 25May49 - Seattle-Paine 15Jul50 - ANG Seattle 110 RCD 21Sep50 - Portland 123 FS 07Nov50 - Seattle 110 RCD 25Dec50 - AMC Norton SBAMA 19May51 - AAC Elemendorf 110 RCD 06Nov51 - Accident 21Apr52 - Scrap 29May54"
No details about the crash itself or fatalities. The route via the Merrill Pass was well known even from the early days of the Alaska aviation pioneers. But this route has a reputation of the weather (visibilty & winds) turning on you, many time with a fatal outcome.
Russel 'Russ' Merrill was an early Alaskan aviation pioneer and he discovered this pass. Merrill disappeared in September 1929 on a flight to Bethel. The first aviation beacon in the Territory of Alaska was located at Merrill Field and was dedicated on September 25, 1932 to the honor of Russ Merrill. 

Scrap indeed...
Miek at the crashsite
Mike is a serious photographer, have a look at his website: www.akphotograph.com


DC-3 at Reindeer Lake, July 2006

DC-3 at Reindeer Lake In July 2006 a very unteresting thread was started by the King of Obsolete on www.avcanada.ca/forums. He published these 2 photos, with a link to the story on his website: http://kingofobsolete.ca/discovery_of_the_dc3_airplane_webpage.htm
The DC-3 crashed when take off failed; it flew for a lodge situated here. The King's website offers the link to the report on Aviation-Safety Network: it concerns here DC-3B-202A N139D (c/n 2027). Photos on the King's report shows Ozark- titles.
Found this website with a map of Reindeer Lake's location, assuming there is only one, in Saskatchewan.

Dirk Septer added to this (Oct.2006):
"The DC-3 at Reindeer Lake: damaged beyond repair July 10, 1969 at Malcolm Island, Saskatchewan.
This must be one of the hundreds of islands in this huge Reindeer Lake in northern Sask. I worked one winter north of there on Walleston Lake. We were flying out every morning on a Beaver on skis. In one of the doors was a metal tag from the Dutch firm of Aviolanda.
Most of the time we had a hard time finding a spot to land: thousands of migrating cariboo everywhere and where there weren't any of them the rough ice surface was often covered with windblown ice ridges, making landing very risky. A couple of mornings we went out on a Cessna 185 on skis: it's amazing how much abuse those landing gears can take!"

Read about how the King is planning to salvage this DC-3,
on www.douglasdc3.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=287

Joey "the King of Obsolete" has also found something written about this crash and the one mentioned further down, on Lynn Lake-
BOOK COVER - PAGE1 - PAGE2

? No Photo, but in Propliner magazine no.111 -Summer 2007- I read about a Douglas EC-47 (42-24304) wreck surviving on Prince of Wales Island. The wreckage is located a little north of Klawock.
It had made a forced landing here on 25Oct68.
See also www.ec47.com/oct2568.htm
Photos welcomed.

DC-3 crash This photo was published on that same forum and thread.
I have a feeling this concerns a DC-3/C-47 I paid a visit, see: C-47 in the Ruby Mountains.

Photo taken by 'Scudrunner'.

click here

Again on that same forum / thread, another contribution by the King of Obsolete:
"This Curtiss C-46 Commando in Churchill,Manitoba is set up with a picnic table and everything. Here is the picture thanks to "Google Earth. it is painted to look good and you walk inside on the plywood floor and sit in the seat for a picture; it is even on the Churchill tourist map."
Must admit I couldn't find it on Google Earth.
Aad van der Voet (Old Wings) identified it as Curtiss Commando C-46 C-GYHT c/n 22375.

This website www.churchillmb.net/~cccomm/pintrest.htm (dead link) provided the following:
"Miss Piggy - this is a crashed C46 aircraft that was operated by Lamb Air. She is found on the scenic route road along Hudson Bay shortly before it ends, close to the Institute of Arctic Ecophysiology. She is called Miss Piggy because she was able to hold so much freight and once did have pigs on board. On Nov 13 (19), 1979 she was flying a cargo of 1 skidoo and many cases of pop for the Arctic Co-op from Churchill to Chesterfield inlet. She lost oil pressure in her left engine shortly after departing Churchill. The crew of 3 tried to return the aircraft to the Churchill airport. They clipped hydro poles with one wing just before the IAEP lab and crash landed on the rocks there. 2 of the 3 crew were seriously injured. Investigation of the failed engine only revealed small metal chips through out. Her oringal paint of white and red with the Lamb Air markings has been painted over with gray for a movie."


Aviation-safety Network report on this C-46 crash.

 

The King sent me this picture, which 'kinda' makes me want to put on my boots, grab the camera and go there...
Lambair C-46 at Churchill

Here is Jack Lamb's book, the story of flying in the great white north:
www.artbookbindery.com/TheBookshelfComplete.htm (dead link by dec.2011)

My Life In The North is a story of Jack Lamb, his father Tom, and his five brothers. They owned and operated Lambair Limited from bases at The Pas, Thompson, and Churchill, Manitoba during the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They lived all their lives flying as bush pilots in Northern Manitoba and the Canadian Arctic. This book highlights some of their adventures while operating scheduled and charter flights. The company motto was "Do Not Ask Us Where We Fly - Tell Us Where You Want To Go". Recommended reading.

The famous Miss Piggy C46 plane crash site:
www.tc.gc.ca/PrairieAndNorthern/churchillairport/menu.htm (dead link)

See also my Page 7 of Photos by Friends and Guests, for 2 more photos of C-GYHT.

Jackie Robinson sent me a photo taken on 16Nov07:

 

Kelly Walker was at the scene, shortly after the Curtiss C-46 Commando crashed...
C-46 wreck at Churchill

Kelly wrote:
"I came across your page of abandoned plane wrecks of the north. I was there, the day it happened...
This photo was taken shortly after the crash.
The wreckage is still there (Feb.2010), most of the paint has eroded away. I've never seen any other pictures taken at the time of the crash.
The people you see walking around the wreckage in the picture, are Ministry of Transport personnel; they wouldn't let us go any closer than where we parked."

 

Ray Stickel sent me this image in July 2007: C-46 crashsite in Manitoba

He wrote me:
"I snapped a picture of this Curtiss C-46 Commando in 1993.
It lies between Thompson and Pikwitonei in Manitoba Province."

 

Brian Maddison followed this up with the following:
"The wreck is C-FCZH, which ran out of fuel and landed in trees as per the description:
aviation-safety.net, which includes the following information:
'Curtiss C-46C CF-CZH (c/n 22515) of North Coast Air Services was written off 24km [15mls] SE of Thompson,MAN on 29Sep77 when it lost height due to engine problems and was force-landed in trees, while trying to return to the airport.' "

CF-CZH

 


In Sep.2007 I received following email:
Allen Barrett sent me this in March 2009; he explains:
"With regards to your picture of C-46 'CZH in the bush by Bryce Bay near Thompson. I remember this well as I was airborne doing circuits at Thompson with a Len’s flying school C-150 as the events unfolded as detailed in other comments."
Just to confirm Brian's story: that is indeed the C-46 out of Thompson, Sep 29, 1977...
I was the Area Manager for Northern Manitoba for Transport Canada Flight Service Stations, based out of Thompson.
I remember that one accident well, as they had just left Thompson (YTH) on a fuel flight (they had bladders of fuel on board), when they declared problems because of an engine failure and were returning to YTH.
We had them on the VHF DF so as to keep a bearing on the flight (no radar them days) and when we could no longer communicate with them, a Transport Inspector (the name I cannot remember now), who was doing some inspecting in YTH, commandeered a chopper which was about to depart and flew the heading of our last bearing on CF-CZH and found the wreck within minutes! They landed and picked up the two pilots and flew them directly to the Thompson hospital. The injuries were fortunately minor.
I believe the time from impact to hospital was within 30 to 45 minutes!! Probably a record for search and rescue!
That afternoon we were treated to beers in the "Trappers" by the crew.
Tom Gibson (ret.).
("Oh, there is a C-46 on Southampton Island, three miles off the end of the runway, I walked out to it in 1964 when I was a Radio Operator in Coral Harbour,NWT)."

 

In Sep.2009 I received an email from the family of the captain flying CF-CZH during that incident:
Martin Bluethner had written the following and Elsa Bluethner forwarded this to me...
"This is what I remember Dad telling me about the crash....
They were doing a fuel run out of Thompson Manitoba when a short time after take off the starboard engine caught fire. They shut the engine off, feathered the prop and turned around. They were still loosing altitude, so the co-pilot went back to dump some fuel out the back door...
Just as Dad was thinking that it was time to switch fuel tanks on the port engine (the fuel gauge was not working) the co-pilot came running back into the cockpit screaming that there was a fire in the belly of the plane. The co-pilot went down into the belly with a fire extinguisher and flashlight looking for a fire. But there was none: it was the smoke from the starboard engine that was snaking its way under the belly of the plane that he saw when he opened the back door.
Shortly after all of that excitement, the port engine died of fuel starvation...
Dad tried to switch tanks and restart it but to no avail. They feathered the props on that engine and prepared themselves for impact. The co-pilot strapped himself in again and covered his face with pillows.
Dad said that it all went in slow motion from there. He said that the tops of the trees were very soft. He passed out on impact. When he came to, he was dangling from his seatbelt, a dozen feet above the ground, where the co-pilot was yelling at him, urging them to get away before the whole thing exploded!
He undid his belt and tumbled to the ground. They hobbled off through swamp, stopping once for Dad to wipe the jet fuel out of his backside, where a chopper came to meet them. The chopper did not actually land, it just hovered a foot above the swampy ground while they got on (Dad was impressed by this).
The co-pilot came out without a scratch. Dad walked away with a few less teeth and a gash on his lower leg. They were very lucky. Pictures of the crash show a large tree between the pilot and co-pilot's seats. The jet fuel must have all gone straight out the front, avoiding the hot engines...
I do remember a reading a write up about it in some aviation journal, but I don't think I ever got a copy of it. I did do a quick search and these web sites seem to correspond to the crash:
aviation-safety.net/database "

 

 

C-46 crash site

Paul Chapman, when revisiting the area on 27Apr09, he took the opportunity of taking a few photos of CF-CZH...
The photo on the left (below) makes it clear that the cockpit has been salvaged.
The photo on the right illustrates how the wreckage is easily overlooked these days, trees encroaching the wreck site.
C-46 crash site
C-46 crash site

Alexandre Avrane (of AeroTransport Data Bank) suggested another crash of a C-46:
"Super C-46C C-GIXZ msn 22453 was lost on 31oct82 near Shamattawa, Manitoba and operated by Ilford Riverton.
Photo of the nose at the bottom of http://members.shaw.ca/navion/cgixz.htm (dead link)

Not to be confused with another (later) C-GIXZ msn 22495, which was destroyed in Kenya!"
See also Aircraft Crashes Record Office.
See Brian Maddison's photo of this C-GIXZ at Vancouver in 1978.

Joe Baugher describes an interesting history:
44-78630 (c/n 22453) to XT-526 Central Air Transport Corp., to N8311C.
To Flying Tiger Line Jan 1953 as N4879V.
To Cubana March 1954 as CU-T558, and to Ultramar April 1955 as N94593.
To Canadian Pacific May 1955 as CF-CZM. To Fairbanks Air Service in May 1974 as N802FA. [Correction see below]
And subsequently back to Canadian ownership as C-GIXZ.


C-46 C-GIXZ Allen Barrett wrote: "I took this photo of the original C-GIXZ, shortly after the 1982 Shamattawa incident referred to by Alexandre Avrane... The starboard maingear ran into the ditch and culvert that ran parallel to the runway, seen under the starboard wingtip and tore the main gear attachments off the spar! 'IXZ came to rest on the taxiway to the Shamattawa apron area. This C-GIXZ was scavenged and scrapped in Shamattawa. The second 'IXZ was wrecked in Kenya, at Lokichoggio."

Allen added: "When CZH crashed by Thompson I was an apprentice AME working for Lambair and taking my private pilot license training.  Lambair acquired YHT (Miss Piggy in Churchill), just before I left Lambair to work for Avalon aviation on PBY,s used for aerial fire suppression.   
I worked on the Ilford Riverton Airways / Air Manitoba fleet from ’79 to ’92 along with Bill Fraser.
Bill was with the C-46s in Kenya and has a better memory than I do, regarding the Air Manitoba C-46 fleet. 
I was in Shamattawa for a couple of weeks shortly after the incident to remove engines, propellers, flight controls and equipment from IXZ. Every couple of days one of our DC-3’s would drop in, whilst returning to Winnipeg empty, and we’d load up all the parts we had removed.  After a few months with several different recovery crews sent in, the aircraft was dragged off the airport back into the bush where the hulk is still today. This would be what one of your contributors saw in the bush close to Shamattawa: "Just to confuse the issue….there was a wrecked C-46 fuselage near the north end of the Shamattawa airport, which is probably GIXZ”.  The aircraft would probably have been repaired, if it was a little more accessible, but economics dictated that the best plan at that time was to scrap it. Once we de-registered the aircraft we thought it would be fun to apply the same registration to a C-46 acquired from the States.   That aircraft was the one that ended up in Loki..   I think secretly somebody wanted to confuse those British aviation buffs who used to visit our facility and keep them on their toes. These guys, I think they called themselves "Friends of the DC-3", used to visit about once a year and if they promised to help unload, at the other end they got free rides on C-46s and DC-3s! They thought they had died and gone to heaven! Seemed a little odd to us as we worked around these aircraft daily. Whatever feathers your prop, I guess" wink


Seems like a veritable Curtiss Commando scrapyard up there in Manitoba..!
Updates and other wreck sightings (not restricted to C-46s, but rather all vintage propellor transports.
EMAIL

"I am writing to you with some information on the following C46: 'Super C-46C C-GIXZ msn 22453 was lost on 31oct82 near Shamattawa, Manitoba and operated by Ilford Riverton'. -LINK-
Brian Tittley on CF-CZM / Dew Line In your historical description of this aircraft the following is mentioned:
To Canadian Pacific May 1955 as CF-CZM and to Fairbanks Air Service in May 1974 as N802FA.
This is slightly incorrect. CF-CZM was operated by Nordair from 1967-1974. I know this because I flew on this aircraft many times between 1969-71 while working for Nordair on the DEW-line.

I have attached some scanned photos taken during 1971, one photo clearly has the call letters while in flight with a DEW-line station in the background. The 2 other photos are of CF-CZM on the ramp at Fox Main, and in much better condition than the accident photo. I was saddened to learn of its demise."
Brian

From the 'Piston Engined Airliner Production List (TAHS, 2007) I quote part of c/n 22453's history (which evidently was not represented in full in the above writing):
Canadian Pacific Airlines bought CF-CZM 04Apr55, it was subsequently converted to Super C-46C in 1957, Pacific Western Airlines bt 7.59, Nordair bought it 31May67 and when Fairbanks Air Service bought it 28May74 it was reregistered N94593, - Webmaster.

 

 


Unidentified
This image was displayed at the AvCanada forum (topic), by 'N181CS'; he added: "this is a DC-3, about 16 miles west of Shamattawa, about 3 miles south of the Winter Road. I was told it was hauling lumber at night and lost an engine. As you can tell its been there for sometime due to the growth around it..."

GPS Co-ordinates for the DC3 near Shamattawa ( also written as Shamathawa) are: N55 58.18 W92 31.65

By consulting the database of Aviation Safety Network I have come to the conclusion that this is C-FBKX, which has C-47B c/n 32813 destroyed at Gillam-Shamattawa on 15Feb1983. At the time it was operated by Ontario Central Airlines. The no. 1 engine backfired and failed while at 700 feet. The crew feathered the propeller but the (overloaded) aircraft descended into trees and came to a halt in deep snow.

 

CF-IHQ


'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."

 

CF-HEI
Another sad C-46 Commando: CF-HEI.

C/n 22419 was written off 09Aug61 at Scapa 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 (by Scarpa 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..."


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



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

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.
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

 

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, NT 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
http://maps.google.com/?q=74.67265N%20%2094.5879W&t=k&z=16

Kalman Feher wrote (in Nov.2010):
"It had Lorne Christensen (name may be misspelled) 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:
"C-FGNG 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. "

 

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

 

Beaver Creek This wreckage lies at Beaver Creek, though I have no specifics of where this is nor the date of the photo. Google Maps link.
In correspondence over the disappearance of Douglas C-54D 42-72469 (c/n 10574) in the area, it was first thought that this wreckage was that DC-4/C-54, but subsequent information and photos have revealed it to be a DC-3/C-47.

The photo was taken by 'scudrunner' who tells his tales on the AvCanada forum.
He wrote me (July 2008): "I am the photographer of the pictures from the Beaver Creek and the Ruby Range DC-3's. All of those pics where taken in 2005/2006. As for the Snag airport, last I saw the strip it was in beautiful condition. Check it out: 62°20'36.09"N 140°24'35.80"W
I am not quite certain but that aircraft lies some distance north of the snag airport."




Location of Snag, according to Google Maps I used Google Maps to search for 'Snag' (right) and 'Beaver Creek' (below).

Beaver Creek, Google Maps

Matt Miller wrote Feb.2008:
"After research into the RCAF Dakota history I came across some details which may be of interest.
In early February 1950, Canadian and US forces were conducting 'Exercise Sweetbriar' in the Yukon. On 16Feb1950, a RCAF Dakota force-landed on a small frozen lake about 8 miles from Snag,YT, about 8 Miles east of the Alaska highway and about 20 miles from the border with Alaska; no fatalities.
Your picture certainly shows a small lake and it is in the correct vicinity. The crash was survivable which is consistent with the data you have. I have still to uncover the identity of the Dakota concerned, possibly 664 or KJ936."
RCAF Dakota KJ936 crashed
Andy Beebe sent me this photo in May 2012, he wrote: "This is a picture of the RCAF Dakota KJ-936 taken from an after action report of 'Exercise Sweetbriar'. I discovered it while researching the loss of C-54 42-72469 in the Yukon." [No source/photographer for the image provided]

Bob Cameron wrote me in Feb.2011:
"The C-47 near Snag, Yukon crashed on Feb. 16, 1950 during 'Operation Sweetbriar'. The aircraft had dropped off some "troops" (practice exercise) on a frozen slough, and during take-off, with a total of six on board, the aircraft assumed a nose-high attitude right after lift-off, and stalled... As it dropped back onto the frozen surface, the landing gear was driven up into the wings, and the fuselage buckled.
When I photographed it in 1975, it was lying sunk in a considerable sized slough, which seems to have dried up, according to Bruce McCallister's photo.
A key factor in the crash of the C-47 near Snag is that it was on skis. The investigation revealed that pilot Durnin had had minimal training on the Dakota on skis, on a hard-packed snow surface north of Edmonton. At the accident site, the surface was 14 inches of snow on top of slush, and Durnin found that the skis seemed to dig when he lifted the tail during take-off. He therefore ended up taking off in the three-point attitude, inadvertently allowing the nose to pitch up excessively after lift-off, resulting in a stall and subsequent crash. This is all written up in RCAF Investigation No.2618." 

 

Richard Mosse went wreck-hunting in recent years, to enlarge his remarkable photography portfolio, and included the wreck at Beaver Creek / Snag (you'll also see images of Churchill's C-46 'Miss Piggy' which is illustrated elswhere on this page and one I hadn't included, remains of a C-47 wreck at Crow's Nest Pass....).
C-47 wreck at Beavers Creek, Yukon
C-47 wreck at Beaver Creek,YT June 2009
DC-3 wreck at Snag, Yukon
DC-3/C-47 wreck at Snag

Richard Mosse was interviewed by ´Leviathan´ on BLDGBLOG, follow this link or read it in the Acrobat Reader .pdf document I saved.

DC-3 wreck at Snag, Yukon

Bruce McAllister's book (DC-3, a 75th Anniversary Photographic Tribute) finally brought a photo showing the full aircraft remains! The photo is by Doug Cote.
The caption reads (slightly abbreviated):
'In WW 2 this USAAF C-47 ditched in a lake near the Snag airstrip, in the Yukon Territory.
By 2005, when this photo was taken, the aircraft was exposed as water levels dropped.
It is rumored that the nose of this aircraft was destroyed so that the Russian lend-lease personnel based in nearby Fairbanks (Alaska) could not examine its radio and navigation equipment.'

Sheldon Rose wrote me in June 2007:
"The DC-4 near Beaver Creek, referred to in top of above search for the wreck at Snag, was actually destined for the airport (military) at Snag, in the 1950s I believe.
Snag no longer exists as a town; but it is still famous for the lowest recorded temperature in North America, -83.5F or something like that!
You can still see the outline of old airstrip in Snag in Google Earth. Beaver Creek is to the west of it.
I flew over the wreck a couple of years ago, but cannot recall exactly where it was."

Sheldon found more details on www.planecrashinfo.com/1950/1950-6.htm, which offers the following information:
January 26, 1950 (Time: ?), near Snag, Yukon Territory
Operator: Military - U.S. Air Force, flight: ?. Route: Elmendorf - Great Falls, MT
AC Type: Douglas C-54D-DC (DC-4), registration: 42-72469 (c/n 10574)
Aboard: 44 (passengers:36 crew:8). Fatalities: 44 (passengers: 36 & crew: 8)
Summary: Disappeared while en route.
This wreckage seem to be related to the DC-3 accident described on Mystery DC-3 in the Yukon, which was described to me as crashed during a search for DC-4, which to this day was never found. Both crashed in the same area on 26Jan50 and 07Feb50...
This wreckage, of the C-54D, has yet to be located...
Craig Fuller (AAIR Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research --www.AviationArchaeology.com ) wrote me in July 2007, and sent me several pages of the accident report.
Dirk Septer wrote a report on AF42-72469 on my website

Perhaps the real answer lies in the archives of the US Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB,Alabama

Craig Fuller, of AAIR Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research, emailed me in May 2012:
"On 26 Jan 50, USAF C-54D 42-72469 failed to arrive at Great Falls MT on a flight from Anchorage AK.
The last known position was over Snag, Yukon Territory, Canada.
A massive joint US-Canadian search was conducted, but the aircraft and its victims were never found.
With 44 people on board this is probably the largest unresolved missing aircraft case in North America.
Family members and interested researchers are spearheading an effort to renew the search for this aircraft. If you have not done so already, please consider joining his facebook page, Operation Mike, at www.facebook.com/operationmike.
This page serves as a place for people interested in this accident to connect, and as new (or forgotten) information is discovered, it is being posted here for all to see and discuss."

I recently (6-2013) found there was a Wikipedia page on this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1950_Douglas_C-54D_disappearance

 

The photos by Richard Mosse, in his 'THE FALL' portfolio, also revealed a C-47 wreck at Crows Nest Pass, Yukon...
Photos I found in a thread on the AvCanada Forum, with photos from 'Bear319':

C-47 wreck at Crowsnest Pass

No mention of identity (serial number) of the aircraft.
Location by Google Maps

The sign reads: DAKOTA PLANE CRASH - 1946
On January 19, 1946 a Royal Canadian Air Force DC-3 (Dakota) with seven crew men on board was reported missing on its flight from Comox, B.C. to Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Search efforts for the twin engine transport plane, last seen near Cranbrook, B.C. were hampered by bad weather. Five days after the flight's disappearance, Crowsnest Pass Forest Rangers made their way on snowshoes to the crash site near North York Creek, guided by smoke from the still smoldering wreckage. The plane had collided with Mount Ptolemy and then plummeted into the valley below.
There were no survivors.
A twelve men rescue team brought the bodies out by toboggan. The remains of the Dakota aircraft are still scattered around the area.
Help protect the memory of the men who lost their lives in this tragic accident. Please leave these pieces of the past for others to discover.

Links-
http://www.planecrashinfo.com/1946/1946-5.htm  No aircraft identity
http://sulako.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-grandfathers-name-was-bill-sealey.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/corey_hallisey/sets/72157600304206705/?page=3
http://pacaeropress.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=2043123
http://www.avcanada.ca/forums2/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=62660

Jeff Rankin-Lowe wrote;
"A quick look through my database:
These are the RCAF's Dakota crashes in 1946...
-- 962   Dakota Mk IIIN   124 (Ferry) Sqdn.   crashed 15.9.46
-- 967   Dakota Mk III   426 (T) Sqdn.   crashed 27.9.46
-- 986   Dakota Mk IV   168 (HT) Sqdn.   crashed 29.3.46
I checked one other reference I've got and the following may help with photo interpretation...
-- 962 crashed near Estevan, Saskatchewan, so no mountains or passes were anywhere near that and it can be ruled out.
-- 168 (Heavy Transport) Sqdn. used QZ codes from 1943 to 1946.
-- 426 (Transport) Sqdn. used BC codes from 1947 to 1951. Previously, it used OLP, OLW, OW, and OWP, but the dates are vague."

 

Images at (dead links) http://rjcharity.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!45A38976DB774CBC!2361.entry and http://rjcharity.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!45A38976DB774CBC!2469.entry showed another surviving wreck: CF-ILQ of Austin Airways.
CF-ILQ


CF-ILQ crashed 09Jan64, flying cargo, near Rupert River,QUE.
A forced landing was made into trees about 1.000 ft from the river with the undercarriage down. Both pilots were severely injured. Examination of the wreckage showed that the front fuel tanks were empty and no fuel had apparently been used from either of the rear tanks. (Aviation Safety Network)

Jeff Rankin-Lowe provided the following history:
- c/n: 12377
- delivered to USAAF as C-47A-10-DK, s/n 42-92563: 22.1.44
- t/o/s by RAF as Dakota Mk III, s/n KG368: 30.1.44
- delivered to U.K.: ?.2.44
- assigned to 512 Sqdn.: 14.2.44
- assigned to 437 (T) Sqdn. (RCAF*): 12.5.46
- transferred to RCAF as Dakota III, s/n KG368: 16.6.46
- t/o/s: 9.9.46
- s/o/s: 22.9.47
- sold to Canadair as ?: 27.10.47
- sold to ? as NC1388N: (date unknown)
- sold to Eldorado Mining and Refining as CF-GEI: 5.12.47
- crashed (?, Saskatchewan): 12.9.52
- sold to and rebuilt by Austin Airways: (date unknown)
- registered as CF-ILQ: 12.1.56
- crashed (near Rupert River, Québec): 9.1.64
- registration cancelled: (date unknown)
- wreckage still at crash site

* The RAF assigned some of its own aircraft to RCAF squadrons. The
personnel were (mostly) RCAF personnel. Some of the aircraft that were
returned to the RAF were later acquired by the RCAF. Others were simply
transferred.


Ron sent me an update on 17June09, writing:
Austin Airways CF-ILQ "I received several pictures of the crash site from Rangers who were there at the CF-ILQ wreck last week."
LINK...


Pascal wrote me about an overland trip he did in 2012 and where he came upon C-46 CF-ILQ:
C-46 CF-ILQ
Pascal wrote:
Two years ago I found the details of C-46 CF-ILQ crash in the north of Quebec on your website.
Last summer I travelled to this place!
Here's the story (sorry, it is in French but you can look at the pics)
www.overlandquebec.com
And... I found another one, a Liberator B-24: maps.google.ca
See for the photos here: http://s584.photobucket.com/albums/ss288/ve2whz/liberator/
Pascal
 

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."
Ken.
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."

 

Unidentified Canso, with sketchy data:
Unidentified Canso
Erik Thingbo wrote in March 2011 on Yahoo's CV-Canso forum

"I have the following from a friend in Canada, Dan Gudmundsson.

That Canso with the broken wingtip, I think it was from Flying Firemen of Edmonton AB, they were on a pickup and lost control of the aircraft and managed to beach it. I heard they made a temporary fix by inserting some 2x4 lumber in the wing and ferrying it to Edmonton. I was on the same fire, but didn’t see the accident happen, they did their pickup with the floats down and that may have contributed to the accident...

I am pretty sure this happened in fall of 1969 or maybe possibly in early summer of 1970.

I flew at the time in CF- IZO from NORCANAIR." 

Have any heard about this accident, and which plane it was ?
EMAIL


Erik followed this up by a theory:
"A friend and I have studied the picture and we are pretty sure that the plane is from Kenting Aviation, Toronto, Ontario.
And that it is Canso CF-NJF, now G-PBYA with The Catalina Society, England.
On that time Kenting flew with CF-NJF, CF-NJB and CF-UAW in a blue colour. We studied the window configuration there are different.
CF-NJF has a round window in the starboard cargo hatch, but covered.
CF-NJB has a round window or observer bobble in stb. Cargo hatch.
CF-UAW has a square window in the stb. Cargo hatch
And on Dan's photo there seems to be no window in the stb. Hatch, so therefor it most is likely CF-NJF there on the water.
David Legg will next time he came to Duxford study the Logbook for G-PBYA and see if he can find something."
=
To be continued!

 

 

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."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jspitfire/sets/72157627855265914/


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"

 


 

 

Sean Barry sent me these photos, of York CF-HMX at Hall Beach,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

 

Jay Ladell wrote me in April 2010:
"My grandfather, Captain Josef Cermak (RAF), died in a York during the same time running DEWline 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:
http://aviation-safety.net
news.google.ca/newspapers
If you happen to come across anything, please let me know..?"

Jay himself cam 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!"

 

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-GFFJ at Sioux Lookout This is a Canso, about 25 mile NE of Sioux Lookout.
Mark Stachowiak had seen and photographed it while flying by, he returned for a closer look and better pictures...
Mark wrote: "the lake is called Jackson Lake, it's about 6 miles S of Adamhay Lake (Top NE corner of the Large Lac Seul); I took these pictures in Oct.2006."

C-GFFJ is a Canso PBY-6A, it has c/n 2066.

Its aviation history is like this:
Operated by Sonora Flying Service, Columbia,CA 1962-1966 with tailnumber N6456C, airtanker no.38.
Jack R. Ulrich of Chiloquin,OR bought it in 1969.
With Hemet Valley Flying Service (Hemet,CA) during 1972-1978.
It flew as tanker E84 (later simply 84).
It was damaged by fire while on the ground at Stockton,CA in 1977.


C-GFFJ N6456C was obtained by Flying Fireman Ltd of Sidney,BC in June 1980; registered as C-GFFJ and flown as tanker 9.

It crashed and was destroyed during water pick-up at Sioux Lookout, Ontario on 12Jul81.
Source: www.warbirdregistry.org

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

N103 at Venetie,AK Sean Keating made me aware of this wreck, he wrote:
"I found this on Google Images…. by typing in “dc-4” it was on the first page… (property of www.warbelows.com, image direct link www.warbelows.com/images/Village Pictures/Venetie/VEE DC4 Wreck.jpg )
This may be good to display on your "abandoned plane wrecks of the north".
I have no idea if the Carvair picture is recent or not, maybe they can tell you."

The story of the crash of N103 (ATL-98 conversion no.7, ex DC-4 cn10273) can be found on Aviation-Safety Network :
(28Jun97) The Carvair took off from Venetie for a VFR positioning flight to Fairbanks. The aircraft was climbing when the number two engine on the left wing began to run rough. Soon thereafter, a fire warning light for the same engine illuminated in the cockpit. Fire was visually confirmed, the engine was shut down, and both banks of fire bottles were discharged. The fire continued to burn, and the number two engine fell off the wing. The captain was forced to carry out an emergency landing on a sand and gravel bar in the Chandalar River.

Andreas forwarded me this link: www.dced.state.ak.us/dca/commdb/images/Venetie_planecrash.jpg which shows the following image:


N103 Carvair

If the photographer makes himself known I would be happy to include proper credit to the photographer here.

Rob Tracz sent me photos of N103 in better days, click here
Andreas Morgner sent me the link to Google Maps, to further facilitate travellers...

N103

Thomas Bouwens from Alaska sent me this image and the question:
"I wonder if anyone has information on these wrecks I found on Google Earth at a mining strip, 4 miles east of Chandalar Lake, Alaska."
Two plane wrecks near Chandalar Lake

Marc Hookerman came up with the identities: "They are C-46 N92853 and (top) C-119 N15509.  That is the Tobin Creek Mine Airstrip (closed)."

C-119G N15509 (c/n 10775) crashed on 21Apr84, while on take off from Venetie Airport with destination Fairbanks. See Aviation Safety Network.
C-46 crashdetails 1983 on
http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/AccidentReports/ubuiegb0gnjk3waoijpvjn451/D05272013120000.pdf

NOTE: James Lumley disagreed (dec.2013) with the identity of this wreck, he wrote in dec.2013: "The C-119 identified as the wreck at the Tobin Creek airstrip is NOT N15509, as that aircraft now sits in a museum.
The statement says the aircraft crashed on take-off at the Venetie airport; but that is quite a ways away from Tobin Creek!"
Remark from Webmaster: The museum referred to is Hill Aerospace Museum, but that's a fake tailnumber. I have seen a photo from c/n 10775's dataplate taken by someone who has been inside the wreck. The only doubt I could share is whether this is a likely location for a plane that got into trouble at take off from Venetie! The runway at Venetie is on a 90 degrees angle to Tobin Creek as the crow flies..

The mystery untangled by contributions sent Dec.2013:
Aad van der Voet: "The aircraft at Tobin Creek is most definitely N15509.
The aircraft at the Hill museum is and always has been N966S, ex RCAF 22107, now falsely painted as USAF '52-2107'.
It is true though that N15509 did not take off from Venetie! It was taking off from the airstrip next to where it is lying now, but it never got off the ground. Here is what my database says about this mishap:
The aircraft attempted a downwind take-off from the snow-covered Tobin Creek Mine airstrip. Nosewheel steering was ineffective due to the snow and the rudder was not responsive due to the tailwind. This caused the pilot to lose directional control, and the aircraft ran off the runway, collided with a snowbank and nosed-over into a gully. It was severely damaged and the wreck was abandoned.
The aircraft's Westinghouse J34 jet pod, still carrying the Tanker number 36, was donated to the Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks, AK. A text on the engine said: "Recovered from a crashsite at Tobin Creek. Donated to the Pioneer Air Museum by Brooks Air."
- Note: the NTSB report incorrectly quotes the location as Venetie, AK." If an accident happens at a small/remote airstrip, the location as mentioned by the NTSB is often totally unreliable. They usually refer to a "nearby" airport instead. This has caused numerous incorrect accident locations to be reported on websites, and also in some books, particularly if it happened in remote locations such as Alaska. Tobin Creek is an example of that problem.

And Marc Hookerman wrote:
"The C119 at TCK is N15509. The C46 is N92853.
Downwind takeoffs or landings at Tobin Creek were often SOP as the airstrip is uni-directional - one way in, opposite way out.
You had to carry a lot of power coming in there to deal with the wind-shear and subsequent grade of the airstrip. Located in a tight, ascending valley within the Chandalar region of the Brooks Range, Tobin Creek was - without a doubt - one of the nastiest places the fuel haulers flew to. Altitude, short, steep grade, dog legged, and the surface was a tire shredder. With peaks on three sides of the airstrip, the wind-shear was awful. CAVU, calm days were favored, but in the Brooks Range of Alaska, that is about as rare as an Iguana...
During the few years leading up the closure of the mine, the only operators that would go in there were Brooks Fuel and occasionally Everts. The mine has been closed since 1996 or so - the runway is now completely washed out.
NTSB dockets no longer allow 'nearby' facility selection during data entry when dealing with an airstrip without a location identifier - unless it happens off airport. That was only a problem prior to the 1990s."

Following photographs (prints) of N15509 were given by Brooks Fuel to Michael Prophet (website), who scanned the images and passed them on to me for use on my website; unfortunately no date nor name of the photographer.
N15509 wreck at Tobin Creek
A photo taken later, again at some unknown date but without snow, showed the wreck without the top-mounted jet engine. I choose not to publish that image as it includes a person and could not credit the photographer.
That jet engine was donated by Brooks Fuel to the Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks: see my visit in 2003.

 

B-36Dirk Septer provided the text and photo:
In 1953 two Convair B-36 Peacemakers went down on Canadian soil. On February 12, 1953, B-36H Serial 51-5729 from the 7th Bomb Wing crashed on a hill near Goose Bay, Labrador. The bomber ran out of fuel while holding for traffic at the SAC base in Goose Bay. Two crewmembers in the rear compartment were killed in the mishap.
Blair Rendall visited the wreck in 1978. "It is in two pieces but you could spend a week there going through the wreckage. At that time there was 5,000 rounds of ammo still on it! I crawled in the tail and there were two boxes there on the fuselage, either side, with printing: 600 rounds 20-mm each. The ammo was still neatly stacked in the boxes as it was 20 years before."
A month later on March 18, RB-36H-25, Serial 51-13721 got off course in bad weather and crashed on Random Island, Newfoundland. This was the B-36 in which Brig. Gen. Richard Ellsworth and a number of others were killed. The aircraft had very nearly cleared the top of the 600-foot hill overlooking Smith Sound. In honour of Gen. Weaver Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City was later renamed Ellsworth AFB.
Today, a surprising amount of wreckage is still visible. The crash site remained virtually undisturbed since the U.S. Air Force salvaged it in 1953. A well-groomed trail, about one kilometre from the road, leads to the wreck.
Sean O’Brien, who visited the site in 2000, gives the following description. "It isn’t quite as remote as it may have been in the '50s. The tail section is intact and perfectly upright. I counted seven engines in the area. There are large sections of wing scattered everywhere. Oddly, there was remarkably little fuselage evident. But maybe local people salvaged some of that. Certainly, most of the armament was. I saw an electrically operated cannon mounted on a workshop wall of a local youth, who had only dragged the gun from the scene years ago. And locals tell me that there are truckloads of bits and pieces sitting in cellars in all nearby towns. "

A few years earlier, on February 13, 1950, U.S. Air Force B-36B strategic bomber 44-92075 ('075) the crashed in northwestern British Columbia. The giant aircraft belonging to 436 Squadron, 8th Air Force, 7th Bomb Wing, 7th Bomb Group (H) of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) was en route from Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) near Fairbanks, Alaska to its home base at Carswell AFB at Forth Worth, Tex.
Besides carrying 252 pounds of 20-mm aircraft cannon ammunition, the aircraft had an 11,000-pound Mk. IV atomic fission bomb on board, similar to the one dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945. "Lost Nuke", a Discovery Channel production, follows three Canadians, Dirk Septer, Jim Laird and John Clearwater to the crashsite in their attempt to unravel this mystery of the U.S. military’s very first "Broken Arrow" or loss of a nuclear bomb.

Neville Webb has something to say about the crashsite too, he lives in the area, CLICK HERE...

Doug Davidge wrote me in May 2012: "Living in the north has made me appreciate the importance of some of the older wrecked aircraft. I noted you mention the B-36 44-92075 crash site in the Nass River Valley of Northern B.C. but no photos were posted...
B-36 bomber 44-92075
B-36 2075 near Goose Bay

I had the opportunity to visit the site in 1997 and was able to gather a number of photos (above). If you wish to use them on your web page please do.
Unfortunately there was not much of it left due to the USAF demolition in the 1950s, but we did document some interesting items.
Since my visit, I understand much of the movable pieces have since been taken away by various interested groups or people with the money and means to access the site. It is possible the site could be snow covered all year so maybe the opportunity to see what we encountered will only be on a periodic basis."

Tina Chadwell Weiss wrote me in feb.2007-
"My father, Col. George T. Chadwell, was one of the survivors of the B-36 crash in 1953 near Goose Bay, Labrador, to which you refer to as occurring on Feb 12 of that year. My father had assumed command of the 7th Bomb Wing just weeks before on 3 Jan. 1953 and was the Wing Commander until June 4 1954.
I was only 5 1/2 yrs. old at the time (I actually do remember the days surrounding the crash) and my Dad died on active duty when I was in my teens, so I never discussed the crash with him more than briefly.
The 7th Bomb Wing website confirms my father's information I mentioned above. Photos which I found clearly show, as you mention, that the plane was in 2 pieces. After viewing all the close up photos, it is hard to imagine how anyone survived the impact.
I hope this email reaches someone who can explain further how people get to these crash sites. It had never occurred to me that these planes still were at their crash scenes."

Mike Charters wrote me in Dec.2007 and sent me the following photo:

Mike added: "Thought I’d send a photo of the B-36 Peacemaker near Goose Bay, taken from a Euorocopter EC-155B Helicopter in the Fall of 2005 or 2004 I believe.
Lee Cormie (who is also on your website, looking for info on the Ft. Ross DC-3) was the pilot of the helicopter, of which I had just assisted on an engine change and we flew out there on a test flight..."

Lew Noble remembered how a rumor told a different version of the cause of the crash:
"I was there at time of the crash as a member of the US Air Force. 'Ran out of gas' might be the official explanation but the rumor factory on base was quite different...
I know almost nothing about flying or GCA landings but here is what was said:
The planes were in line making their approach. Somehow the #2 plane had gotten into the lead or #1 position. The #1 plane was following GCA instructions which were based on the position of the lead plane #2. Oops. CRASH.
Is this true or even possible? I don't know, but this is the explanation that went around the base."
Lew

Michael Prophet (propliner enthusiast) noted this wreckage on
the website www.walter-steinberg.de/Koyukuk/Koyukuk.htm
C-119 on Koyukuk River Click the above link or the thumbnail to the webpage, for a larger image.
Michael suggested: "...it is the Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, survivor N8682 of Hawkins & Powers (Tanker 138)

Location would be some 30 miles south of Bettles Field and near the Koyukuk River, close to the village of Allakaket; about 200 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
Accident details on Aviation-Safety.Net
This would be the C-119 Flying Boxcar, described in the Legend of Dead Dugan.

Phil Schaefer sent me this photo in June 2007, he wrote:
I've got a couple of aerial photos of the B-24 wreck near Wood River Butts, about 30 miles south of Fairbanks if you're interested. According to the great guys at the Pioneer Park museum it crashed shortly after WWII while trying to recreate a 4 engine failure that caused another plane to crash (I believe that is the wreck near the Charlie River). Unfortunately, they succeeded...
Not much left of the wreckage now, a wildfire a couple years ago did a lot of damage.

Tim Berg replied with the following information:
"That picture is of the first B-24 that went in with engine- and prop problems. No one was killed in it. There were some broken bones... B-24 wreckage
The second one, that went out to duplicate the first one, is about 4 miles south of the one you have pictures of and it had no survivors. It is much harder to see.
I do have some pictures of it. Fire never got to either one of them. I have an article from the Air Force Flying Safety Magazine Published June 1990 about the incidents, crashed in 1943."
Craig Bass wrote me in June 2009:
" Just finished reading a story by 'Lieutenant Leon Crane A.C. as told to Gerold Frank and James D. Horan' titled 'Eighty-Four Days in the Arctic' in an old book my father-in-law gave me entitled 'The 100 Best True Stories of World War II' (Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc., 1945).
Lt. Leon Crane was the co-pilot of the B-24 that crashed near Charlie River while doing prop tests.
The story is about his experience as a survivor of the flight. Pretty interesting read, so I decided to see if I could find where Charlie River is, and while I didn’t find a map, I did find your website...
What spurred me to write to you was that Tim Berg quoted on your website from an article from the Air Force Flying Safety Magazine (publ. June 1990) saying that quote/ Fire never got to either one of them /unquote (referring to the two B-24 crashes near Charlie Lake).
Perhaps the article was referring to natural fires over the years; however, Lt. Crane says:
"I had landed on a snow-covered slope. Far above me, I made out the flaming wreck of the plane. It was at least five miles away, a distant, black-red glow with black smoke spreading and twisting above it. I looked into the valley below. There was a small stream threading its way down there, with spruce trees growing on both sides. I had landed in a rather barren area. The only vegetation about me was a few scrub brush pushing through the snow. I was well above time line."
"It was very quiet. Not a sound of anything. I shouted, 'Ho!' at the top of my voice. I yelled again and again. No answer, not so much as an echo in that rarified atmosphere. I must be up pretty high. Now I began to realize that my hands were almost blue with cold: I had left my mittens in the plane. I picked up my chute and wrapped it into a small bundle and set out to climb toward the wreck. We had always been told that if we crashed, the plane was far easier to pick up from the air than a man walking on foot. But I’d no sooner taken half a dozen steps before I was stumbling and floundering. Under the snow the mountainside was a mass of glacial boulders, rounded like cobblestones, ranging in size from pebbles to boulders too heavy to lift. It was next to impossible to walk. I tried struggling on, but after about half an hour I had made less than a few hundred yards, and I was exhausted. I cleared away the snow from a large boulder, sat down on it and as calmly and methodically as I could, took stock of the situation."
"I was in a hell of a fix. On the minus side, (1), I didn’t know where I was, save that I was about an hour’s flight east of Big Delta. That might mean as much as 200 miles from Big Delta. (2) The men at Ladd Field didn’t know where I was. The last time we’d reported was at 11 o’clock. We were then immediately over Big Delta. They had no way of knowing that we had gone far out of our way to find that gap in the overcast. Things had happened so swiftly in the plane that we’d had no chance to radio anyone. (3) Our B-24 carried a heavy load of gasoline. I’d seen such B-24’s, heavy with gas, go up in flame. I knew the chance of any emergency equipment, such as food, guns, sleeping bags, being left in the plane was pretty slight." (p. 857)
He chose to make his way downhill where he encountered a stream he later learned was the Charlie River. Later that night, he says: "I could still make out a distant red glow far above me. The B-24 still burned." (p858)
As the title indicates, it took him 84 days to find civilization and be flown back to Ladd Field, Alaska, where the flight had originated. He makes no mention of any of the other crewmembers ever making it home.
Anyway, as I said, it was a good read, and I found the pictures of the crash site on your website to be interesting, and thought you might find Lt. Crane’s account from immediately following the crash to be interesting. If you can find the book, he details the entire flight through his return to civilization. "
Craig Bass
www.craigsrailroadpages.com

Following I received from Mac McCrimmon, at this time without photos, but interesting all the same:
"I was working in the area when the Malcolm Island DC 3 crashed...
I was working for Calm Air in Lynn Lake, flying a Norseman and Beech 18 on floats and used to come to Arctic Lodge a lot. This DC-3 was one of many airplanes that brought guests to what was then called Arctic Lodge, although it is a long way from the real Arctic. I forget the name of the person who owned the lodge but it was a well run organization that catered to groups of sportsmen, as opposed to many fly in fishing camps that catered to individuals and their friends. These airplanes came up from Minnesota with groups and returned with another on a weekly basis. Since they were able to traverse from Winnipeg to Malcolm Island and return without fuel or stopped for fuel in either Flin Flon or The Pas, we, the floatplane operators, saw very little of them.
If you go to Google Earth and key in Malcolm Island, you will see the airport. Now, if you go west and north from the island about 7 or 8 miles in a small bay between two islands, you will see a settlement. That is Arctic Lodge. It is inhabited only in the summer.
Where I got involved in the incident, other than hearing about it, was when one of our company pilots (Calm Air Ltd., Lynn Lake, Manitoba) dumped a Beech 18 (on wheels) over on its back at the airstrip. We just left the airplane there for the winter.
In early spring, a gentleman by the name of Porky Weiben, owner of Superior Airways (of Thunder Bay Ontario), arrived in Lynn Lake with a DC-3 and he said he was going to Malcolm Island to salvage what was salvagable from the wreck. Later on that spring, we flew in to Malcolm Island with a Twin Otter to salvage our Beech 18, only to find that Porky had beat us to it and took all the radios and instruments out of the airplane!
We then simply haywired the tail section up, chopped the roof off the cockpit and taxied the airplane across the ice to Kinasao or Coop Point. We had a problem getting the airplane off the ice so we taxied around to a bay near the airstrip where there was ice right of shore, but about 100 yards (or meters) from shore, the airplane broke through the ice damaging the propellers... so we just chopped the engines off and let the airplane sink!
I have some pictures of the wrecked Beech 18, but they are on slides and I am attempting to put them on something digital but with poor luck...
When I was on the Island, I never got to the wreckage because it was on the south end and we always worked off the north end of the airstrip."

Arctic Lodge is of course a different location than Arctic Bay, which features in the book "My Life in the North" by Jack Lamb and which has an interesting chapter on a mishap with a Beech 18 at Arctic Bay and the plane's recovery.

Joey 'the King of Obsolete' has also found something written about the crashes mentioned by Marc McCrimmon (and the 'Ozark DC-3' earlier up this page)-
BOOK COVER - PAGE1 - PAGE2
Joey would like to recover the Beech 18 but has no experience in salvaging a plane wreck from the water, advise welcomed !!!

Joey wrote: "I used my magic marker on the computer and showed you where the Beech 18 should be. I have some pilots tell me, on a clear calm day you can see the Beech 18 in the water... The water up here is clear to over 100 feet!
Here is a link to a map that will show you where the malcolm island runway is to Kinoosao:
http://kingofobsolete.ca/rocket_tour_WEBPAGE.htm
He added: "Your website is answering a lot of questions over in the Great White North... I know a fellow that was in Lynn Lake when they were stripping the DC-3 at Malcolm Island. He remembers it well because the crew flew back to Lynn Lake every night and had the parts they took off the plane that day..."

Gord wrote me in May 2008: "Any idea what this crash is?
This is alongside the abandoned rail line between Sioux Lookout, Ontario and Upsala...
Looks like it may have been pulled out of the lake?"
"We came across it on a backroad motorcycle tour last weekend. We all took some pics and your welcome to use them. I also have the gps coordinates on my gps, here they are:
N 49 18.135'
W 90 44.196'.
We were guessing it's a Beech 18... "
Mystery wreck
Someone suggested: "It looks like a Beech 18 for sure. Note the battery box hole, the big gap behind it where the fuel tank goes (that has been obviously removed) and the tubular truss structure spar. "
Mystery wreck
"I remember this wreck from flying over it several times in 1968 and 1969. It was in the trees close to the rail line and at that time was much more intact than shown in the recent photos. It was a Beech 18 that had had engine problems and was put into the trees sometime earlier. I flew for Superior Airways and we made a lot of flights over this area when going between our base in Fort William, (now Thunder Bay) and our Sioux Lookout base. I suspect that at some point someone has done salvage work to retrieve engines etc. from the wreck leaving it in its present condition."
Bob Ostrom
Corpus Christi,TX
The coordinates N 49 18.135' W 90 44.196' would indicate this location
Lorne Brett sent me these images in Sep.2009; they were taken in 1997.
Beech 18 wreck near Upsala


Lorne wrote: "I live in Thunder Bay Ontario and have seen this Beech 18, between Sioux Lookout and Upsala, several times over the years while fishing in the area.
Beech wreck near Upsala When I last visited the sight the plane was in much better condition. I suspect that this airplane has sadly been the victim of high scrap prices for aluminum a couple of years ago, but I may be wrong.
Although somewhat remote, the sight is accessible by vehicle.
I have a short history of the plane, although I can in no way guarantee its accuracy since the information was given to me by a friend, who had talked to somebody, who had lived in the area for many years.
USAF C-45 wreck near Upsala The plane was used by the United States Air Force ( the markings are still on the plane ). It crashed into a small lake, beside the railway tracks, in the 1950's. I was told there were no fatalities. The plane was pulled up on shore, where the engines and other parts were salvaged.
I think that the fact that the railway was used up until about 15 years ago kept the plane in a fairly unvandalised state. Unfortunately this is no longer the case".

Robert K. Parmerter, authority on the Beech 18 subject and author of the 'bible' on this subject "Beech 18: A Civil and Military History" (Twin Beech 18 Society, Tullahoma,TN /2004) offered the following reaction to the above-
"Is it possible that someone (USAF?) used the orange paint after the crash to improve visibility or mark it as found? The reason I ask is that the orange paint seems to be in more places than I've seen it on other C-45s for high-viz.
I believe that the aircraft is a C-45G/H built 1951-55. The clues are the increased area leading edge inboard of the engine eliminating the WWII production C-45Fs. There are too many C-45G/Hs for which I don't have a fate, to make any guesses. Just to confuse matters, is it possible that it was a surplus USAF C-45G/H that crashed in the 1960's and the elements wore off the orange civil paint to expose the USAF markings which were painted over instead of removed?
Hopefully some more information will come to light."
Bob.

A post on the AvCanada forum provided the following response from 'imarai':
"I can't yield any history on the C-45 in question, although I have heard from a retired RCAF Searchmaster that in the past, many known wrecks were painted with a large orange X to reduce re-reporting of a known downed aircraft. Best of luck on your findings."


Another Beech C-45 wreck, also in Ontario, as yet uncertain about the identity and crash background-
Vince Yonemitsu wrote me on Oct.2012: " A guy I know saw this wreck while hunting in Ontario; do you know what kind of plane it is? Its location is north of Thunder Bay, crashed sometime before 1988 as there is a date someone scratched into it. Near a lake, maybe a forced landing on the ice…?"
Twin Beech wreck near Thunder Bay
Beech C-45 wreck north of Thunder Bay
More details were provided:
"The location is acually east of Armstrong Station, in wash lake which is part of the Pikitigushy river.
It is not acessible by vehicle or boat due to rapids. It is about 1km off Mckinley road.
As far as I can tell it has been there since before 1988; it is a Beechcraft model 18 or C 45.
It is in the middle of the wilderness on the bank of a lake with the wheels still on it (not crashed).
Wings and motors have been removed and many souvenirs have been stripped off it.
There is part of a number still on one of the tail fins CF-Z....
the coordinates are:
N 50 28.428'
W 088 40.425' "

 


Scudrunner wrote me in July 2008: "I am the photographer of the pictures from the Beaver Creek and the Ruby Range DC-3's.
Here is a wreck of a BN2 you can add to the collection 63°33'1.49"N 139°54'21.36"W
Crashed while landing at a mining strip called 'Lammers'.

 

Karl Hayes wrote me in January 2009 with a nice challenge...:
"On your website (the bookspage) you mention the book "Triumph over Turbulence" by Jim Magoffin, which is about Interior Airways of Alaska, which was founded by Mr Magoffin. I read this book over the Christmas and it was a great read. He mentions two crashes which may be of interest for your 'Abandoned Aircraft of the North' department. I carried out some more research, and they are as follows."
(The above mentioned research culminated in an excellent article about Interior Airways in Air Britain's quarterly magazine 'Aviation World', issue June 2009).

Fairchild C-82 N208M.
"Mr Magoffin mentions that as he was looking for more aircraft to fly cargo in Alaska, he became aware that an oil company in Guatemala had two C-82s for sale and he bought these, and they became N208M and N209M. In his book he mentions that N208M was on a flight from Northern Alaska back to base at Fairbanks when it had engine failure. It force landed at Yukon Flats about 100 miles north of Fairbanks and was just left there. It landed in the bush and none of the crew were injured. It was just too remote a crash site to retrieve the aircraft. He does not give a date but the crash is on the NTSB site and the date was 16th January 1965. Presumably the C-82 is still lying there out in the bush?" SEE BELOW!!!
(A photo of sistership N209M was sent to me by John Stewart, see Photos by Friends & Guests - page 20)

"He also mentions an incident involving a C-46 in the spring of 1968. The C-46 was landing on "No Luck Lake" in the very remote western arctic region of Alaska. The lake was frozen at the time and the C-46 went through the ice. There is a photograph of it in the book, sitting in the middle of the water after the ice had melted. He doesn't give a registration, but a bit of research shows this to be N67982, a C-46 of Interior. Again, the aircraft was just left there, so may well still be there..?"

EMAIL ME

Chaz Harris wrote me in June 2009: "Just wanted to know I decided to look for the legendary N208M C-82A of Interior Airways today, AND FOUND IT IN 5 MINUTES!
I have a cropped Google Earth picture that I would like you to put up to confirm it's existance:"

C-82A N208M Interior Airways
-->See Samuel Boga's photos below

See also Art Goddard's photo of N208M taken at Fairbanks airport (FAI) by Art in July 1964, a few months before it crashed, 'found' on
http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/580043.html

This is what I found on www.c82packet.com
Date: 16 January, 1965
Operator: Interior Airways Inc. / N208M
s/n / msn: 45-57793 / 10163
Location: near Beaver, Yukon Flats, Alaska
For some reason this crash seems to have slipped past wreck-hunters for many years as it has only just recently come to light. An Interior Airways C-82, N208M was returning to Fairbanks from Northern Alaska when engine trouble forced it down in remote regions about 100 miles north of Fairbanks in the vicinity of a small outpost called Beaver. The crew walked away but the wreck has since been forgotten about.
Google Earth searches have turned up nothing as yet but if anyone out there has any further information please drop me a line via the home-page.
Beaver airstrip: N66 21.44 / W147 24.02 / elev. 106m. (Dave Robertson provided a Google Earth attachment with which one can zoom in on N208M, but I don't expect everybody uses GE, so I made a Google Maps link too.

Report on Aviation Safety Network

Dietmar Eckell has brilliant photos of N208M, amongst many other wrecks.

Report from Thomas Hird, pilot flying in this crash...
"...With no notice the left engine barked once or twice and quit! Remember - no electrical power equals no feathering pump to action. The resultant aerodynamic behavior was something akin to a falling brick The C-82 needed all the power two functioning engine can produce to climb. Now I am flying a C-82 with the gear down and one wind milling propeller. While plummeting towards the earth...." MORE...  


N208M
David Tuttle wrote me in Nov.2010:
"I flew over this wreck of N208M (the C-82A of Interior Airways) many times when I worked for Warbelows Air Ventures. It lies on a straight line from Beaver to the old village strip at Venetie. Thought I'd send you a couple of pictures I snapped one day as I overflew it."
Route Venetie - Beaver
"I noticed on your page Photos by Friends and Guests you have some very nice pictures of my current airplane, tanker 45, a P2V Neptune tanker; I am the co-pilot on T-45 right now, with captain Bob West."

 

On the AvCanada another interesting item appeared: about a B-29 surviving in Northern Greenland. Those with aircraft preservation at heart will understand the drama when an attempt to recover B-29 "Kee Bird" went awfully wrong in the summer of 1995...

B-29 Kee Bird 1988

The above shot was taken during Operation "Boxtop" in 1988 and below was taken during "Boxtop" in 1990

B-29 Kee Bird 1990

"Finally after two years of work they are ready for the flight back to Thule. The plane has frozen into the mud and snow, and it takes maximum power to break the wheels free. The nose wheel can't be controlled, and at slow speeds, Darryl has to adjust the engine power to steer the plane. Finally, it is moving in a wide circle, out onto the lake, on its way toward the end of the runway. The plane is bounced and shaken by the frozen snowdrifts. Suddenly, smoke can be seen pouring from the windows in the cockpit. The auxiliary power unit, a stand-by generator, was thrown from its mounting in the rear fuselage, and caught fire."


See HERE how it sits now (2008).
The failed 'Kee Bird' recovery was discussed on
AvCanada forum. More details here on www.dhc4and5.org

 

"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

 

Ken Ettie wrote me in Feb.2010:
"In my career, as a Canadian Flight Service Specialist, I have been involved in SAR operations many times. This involved co-ordinating with the canadian military Search and Rescue out of Trenton and Victoria.
While talking with one of the officers from the Victoria unit, he informed me that they have a data bank of most of the Canadian crash sites that have been reported and investigated over the years. Have you ever approached them to see if they would share this information?" (No, I have not - Webmaster)
"Additionally, having perused your website, I did not see mention of the DC-3 that is sitting in the Tundra off the end of the Sachs Harbour runway or of the Lancaster bomber that sits in the lake at Watson Lake, Yukon. Apparently there is also a B-17 in a lake north east of Whitehorse (was the subject of a hush-hush recovery attempt about 10 yeras ago, allegedly). It is supposedly quite intact.
There is also a Goose or Gosling at the bottom of a pot hole lake near Beaver Creek and was checked out by divers. It apparently still had all of its contents, including unopened bottles of wine. It is frequently reported during search and rescue ops, as are the two DC-3s that have been mentioned on your web site."
Ken (NAV CANADA retired)

 

Jérôme Gagnon sent me this in Dec.2011:
"Here is a link on an article about a KC-97 wreckage in northern Quebec, near Mistassinni Lake and in the Otish mountains area.
It is written in French but I figured there might be some good info for you.
There's also a picture of the tail ":
52-2686?
Photo: Journal de Montréal/Dany Doucet

Alas, my understanding of French is poor and thus the text of no help.
Joe Bauger's info confirms KC-97 52-2685 'seen lying near Mistassini Lake in Quebec, Canada'
Here is an image of a similar KC-97 (52-2686) on Planepictures.net
I would welcome details as to how KC-97 52-2685 ended up here: a crash or an emergency landing? (See also below deatils provided by Bill Farrell)
EMAIL - pls include the url / link of the webpage you refer to.

Darcy Lafontaine sent me this image in Jan.2012 while he wrote:
"I came across that KC-97 wreckage when I was working for a company exploring the area in 2008. I thought I'd pass you some pictures I took of the wreckage."

KC-97 wreck in Otish Mountains


Bill Farrell wrote me this in Feb.2012, and while it is by no means certain (not impossible either) that the story is about the KC-97 in this crash, it does provide interesting reading!

"Just by chance the other day, I found three (Syracuse, New York) Post Standard Daily News Papers. They were dated Dec. 11th, 12th and 13th, 1962.
The front page news of those three days was about a U.S. Air Force KC-97 that was abandoned on Monday night, December 11th, 1962 while in flight near Watkins Glen, New York. There was in-flight fire that the crew couldn't extinguish, so the auto-pilot was set and they all bailed out just southeast of Watkins Glen.
The plane was left flying a northerly course. It was last sighted near RCAF Bagotville, still flying north. They lost radar contact with it about 100 miles north of Bagotville.
If this is the same plane, it flew more than 700 statute miles with no one in it.
The articles in the Post Standard are quite extensive. However. no serial number or tail number were given in the news paper article. The plane was based at the former Plattsburg (New York) Air Force Base."

 

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
It is NOT listed on this website: www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1950s/1950Apr.htm

Charles himself 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"
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

I 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

 

 

 

PICKING UP THE PIECES | DENNY McCARTNEY

Denny McCartney is not a writer, but that doesn't show! An immensely nice read.
He wrote a book about the period after his career as Chief Engineer for Northland Airlines, turning to an independent adjuster / repair mecanic / salvage teamleader.
The book describes how he single-handedly or with assistance picked broken planes from glaciers, repaired crashed bushplanes from the trees to fly out again and brought floatplanes facing doom in water or ice safely home.

Picking Up The Pieces
Published 2002, Trafford ISBN 1-55369-602-6

Denny McCartney worked on contracts for insurance companies to estimate the costs for salvage and repairs of broken aeroplanes. The types varied from Cessna single engine planes to a giant four-engined Lockheed Hercules... He got them home for final repairs.
The period of time this mostly took place was late-1950s to mid-1960s.
Denny succeeded in "first-aid" repairs to fly most of these crashed planes out under own power, some of them were towed or floated by barge.
It is interesting to read what was acceptable as working circumstances, being mostly out in the Arctic North, 19-hour working days, freezing cold, sleeping in tents...
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!
Pity the insurance companies ceased this patching-up-getting-them-home business, Denny could have written more books!
Most chapters describe one event, I've tried to list the type of aircraft, tailnumber and/or operator/owner:
DHC-3 CF-GBY Wardair (History on 'Otterflogger' by Karl Hayes)
DHC-3 CF-LAP Gateway Aviation
DHC-3 CF-GCV  
DHC-2 CF-GYK* Connelly Dawson Air Service
Cessna 180 CF-LCA* Peterson Air Service
Aero Commander N  
Cessna 180 CF-UQL  
Cessna 182 CF-IAG  
DHC-3 CF-ITS Gateway Aviation ?
DHC-3 CF-ROW Transprovincial Air Carriers
DHC-2 CF-FHZ Terr-Air? See www.DHC-2.com
Grumman Widgeon   Ben Ginter
Helio Courier   Lamb Air?
Avro Anson Mk.5 CF-PAC Pacific Western Airlines
Cessna 180   Branson's Lodge
Cessna 185 CF-GPL Canyon Airways
DHC-2 CF-HGY B.C. Yukon Air Services see DHC-2.com
Helio Courier CF-R.. Perry Linton
Grumman Goose CF-HUY Plummer's Great Bear Lake Lodge
Cessna 310 C-FPPF Whitehorse Flying School
HS.748 C-FMAK Calm Air
DHC-3 C-FSUB Air North
C-130 Hercules CF-PWN Pacific Western Airlines
Curtiss C-46 CF-PWD Pacific Western Airlines REPORT
Cessna 180 CF-VGM? Triway Air
Piper PA.18 CF-JGI  
  *=information provided by Bob cameron (Feb.2011):
"In the list of accidents covered in Denny McCartney's book 'Picking up the Pieces', the Connelly-Dawson Beaver was CF-GYK and the Peterson Air Service Cessna 180 was CF-LCA. My Dad was on both those jobs with Denny, and flew both those aircraft out after bush repairs were completed.
I later flew both those aircraft on commercial operations. I also owned the Beaver CF-FHZ (in that list) in later years."

 

Crash site of Royal Canadian Air Force Canso A 11007 revisited by © Dirk Septer 2009 in .PDF format

 

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