Propliners at Anchorage, 13Jun06

Photos © Ruud Leeuw
Everts and Transnorthern On this vacation I had only one (!) day to revisit some friends and do my rounds here at Ted Stevens IAP, much too short I know: Anchorage is very much the focuspoint of Propliner action in the World these days (with Fairbanks taking a good 2nd place, but unfortunately I could not fit FAI in this time).
The photo depicts an Everts Cargo DC-6, the C-117 and DC-3 of Transnorthern and the tail of a Curtis C-46 Commando (also from Everts). All in airworthy condition, how about that!

N30TN Transnorthern Transnorthern has a special place in my heart, they do their business with special dedication for Propliners and I have always been met with warm enthusiasm; this time I was very much in luck as my chance visit at this time on this day coincided with some testrunning of C-117 N30TN's both engines. Great sounds and joy!

I was given the opportunity to have a look inside and so I share some photos of the cabin and the cockpit.

DC-3 start up procedure on a YouTube video, courtesy

N30TN, a working lady's environment
A deluxe interior!
N30TN C-117 cockpit
Cockpit detail C-117 N30TN
Cockpit details N30TN
Cabin interior N30TN
N30TN and N50CM N30TN is a C-117D Super Dakota, c/n 43159, registered to DES LLC (Wilmington,DE) 17Aug04.
It was modified from c/n 4122 and registered N15579 for Douglas Aircraft, reregistered (much nicer!) N30000 in about 1951.
Mick West clarified: "...according to the Putnam book this was the second prototype DC-3S converted by Douglas about 1949 , retaining its reg N(C)15579; but when the first DC-3S N30000 was transferred to the USAF (as YC-129 51-3817 in 1951), this DC-3S was reallocated the reg N30000 (in 1951), eventually being sold to a construction company."
At some point (date?) it became N222HC for the Harbet Construction Company, moving on to Raytheon Corporation (date?) and Bolger Corporation and reregistered to N223R (for whom? date?).
Things become a little more clearer from here...
N6811 became the new tailnumber for Burdish Grain Company of Minneapolis,MN in March 1964.
Things become a little more adventurous, when registered as XB-NIW for Banco Mercantil & Supermercado SA (named "Ave Fenix") on 13Aug66
In Oct.1972 it was reregsitered as N567M for K R McDonald of Great Falls. The next owner was Air Travel Associates (Dallas,TX) on 23Aug76 and Air Line Service Company (date?) was next again... I am assuming it still transported passenger in VIP-configuration.
Aero Union Corporation of Chico,CA bought it on 27Oct82, but sold it to World Air Mechanics Inc of Bridgeton,MO in Nov83.
Air Center Inc (Chattanooga,TN) was registered as owner in Jan. 1984 (broker? operator?).
From VIP-transport to ??? Well, on 29May86 the County Council of Beaufort,SC bought (or actually seized it because of outstanding parking fees...) it and deployed it on mosquito control! So it was turned into a sprayer of insecticide.
And in 2004 it was bought by Transnorthern, to replace N32TN (which had been claimed by Nick Oppergard in their bitter "business seperation").
Here is N30TN c/n 43159 on
N50CMC-47A N50CM (c/n 13445) is operated by Bush Air Cargo (but is included on the AoC of Transnorthern).
N50CM The history of N50CM has been sufficiently written out on my Alaska 1995-page.
I am glad to wirness history still in the making for this survivor!

N50CM (c/n 13445) was registered to Bush Air Cargo on 11Apr05 and seemed ready to go, earn some money.

I thought it was a nice touch to see the Douglas DC-3 and the Boeing 747 together.

Everts' DC-6 loking over the competition Propliner competition? No, not really. Transnorthern seems to operate ia dufferent market (catering to the lodges, flying passengers and supplies) while Everts is very busy with its cargo- and fuelhauling network throughout Alaska.
This website has a lot of details on N30TN.

Time to have a closer look at Everts Air Cargo; again, I enjoyed the hospitality to roam among the aircraft, after I had left a copy of my passport for airport security purposes (plus a few copies of Propliner magazine!).

N555SQ prepares for departure I found the ramp of Everts Air Cargo teeming with activity!
Here we can see N555SQ (DC-6B, c/n45137) preparing for departure, no.1 is billowing the traditional puff of smoke and soon the crew will be requesting the tower permission to taxi.

This photo made it to Everts' 2007 calender...
Everts 2007 calender Everts routemap

N151 N151 has some cargo ready and waiting, awaiting its turn to be loaded.

N151 is a Douglas DC-6B (c/n 45496, line no. 992) and was first owned by Cathay Pacific Airways (delivered on 09Jun58 and registered VR-HFK). Its next identity was LN-SUB for Braathens SAFE, which bought it on 08Nov62.
Belgian Int'l Air Services leased it in May65, for a year.
In 1966 it became LN-MTV for SAGA/Norsk Flytjeneste which purchased 'Tango Victor' in May 1971.
Troll-Air bought it at some date.
In Jan72 Bangladesh Biman leased it very briefly: it was returned in Feb72 to Troll-Air.
June 1972 saw it registered as OO-LVG for Delta Air Transport from Belgium, but for some reason saw the need to reregister it to OO-VGL.
In 1974 big changes were ahead: Conair Aviation bought it and registered it as C-GICD; what's more, they converted it to airtanker ("447").
Over 20 years later, in June 1996, it was issued its present tailnumber: N151 for Everts Air Fuel (from fighting fires to transporting fuel...).
But in June 1996 it was registered to Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd, when Cliff Everts' son Robert decided to start his own business: Air Cargo Express (which was changed to Everts Air Cargo 01Sep02). And Robert continues to do very well with Everts Air Cargo!!
By the end of the 2019 season N151 was approaching the end of its useful life and you can check my Photos by Friends & Guests #58 for details of its preservation in Norway!

N151 on
N151 and N1105G

N1105G Both Everts Air Cargo as well as Northern Air Cargo are experimenting with more modern equipment: N1105G is an Embraer EMB-120FC Brasilia (c/n 120.105), and was manufactured in 1988!

N1105G is registered since 19May04 to Arctic One LLC of Fairbanks,AK; the previous owner/operator can still be identified by the United Airlines colourscheme.

We continue with N9056R, which is a Douglas DC-6A (modified to -B, converted to freighter) and has construction number 45498 (1005).
Its first identity was CF-CZZ for Canadian Pacific Airlines to which it was delivered on 11Jul58. Wardair Canada (another famous name in Canada's rich aviation culture) leased it in May 1962, returning it in May 1968.
Pacific Western Airlines had its ownership registered on 14Feb69 and NWT Air bought this Six in 1971.
For a while it was stored at Edmonton, temporarily without proper use.
N646DG became its new tailnumber for Jet Way Inc, which bought it in Jan79. It was reregistered as N555JW on 05Mar79.
It returned to Canada as C-GBZC for Conifair Aviation and became Tanker 65 (purchased in May88).
It actually made it to France in Europe to perform its airtanker duties as F-ZBAP for the Securite Civile in 1985. But Conair Aviation bought it back in May88 and it continued as Tanker 52, registered as C-FCZZ.
It moved further up north when it was registered as N9056R for Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd on 18Aug00, languishing at Fairbanks,AK for a while before it was restored for active duty, for Everts Air Cargo, hauling freight as we can see on the next few photos below.
The load on board
Fully loaded !
cockpit N9056R
Left-hand seat cockpit N9056R
LH-side cockpit DC-6B N9056R
Avionics compartment

Pete overseeing work Round engines.., what more can I say!

N9056R on

N555SQ Everts N555SQ taxies back to the Everts Cargo ramp, at the end of the afternoon, after another mission completed.

Here is some history on N555SQ (c/n 45137, line 830): this DC-6B was delivered as N37585 to United Airlines (which named it "Mainliner Tacoma") on 22Jun57.
Mars Aviation Inc bought it in Nov68, but United Airlines repossessed it again in Dec. 1968.
Frank V Amaral took ownership on 25Feb69, but this Six was stored at Ryan Field,AZ Rosenbalm Aviation held fate in a future for this plane and bought it in May72.
Its present tailnumber, N555SQ, had Sis-Q Flying Service assigned to it, which bought it in March 1975 and converted it to Tanker "45".
Macavia Int’l Corp became the next owner in May85 and in Feb91 it moved on to T&G Aviation.
Again a period of storage overcame this Propliner, at Chandler,AZ.
Pacific Harbor Capital Inc bought N555SQ in Feb93 and Barron Thomas Aviation Inc took ownership.
in Nov93. Tthis Six moved to Alaska, for Everts Air Fuel when it was picked up in Feb94, registering to Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd in Apr96 and Air Cargo Express leased it Apr96. And these days it is certainly pulling its weight for Everts Air Cargo.
See N555SQ on
N7848B is a Curtiss C-46A-55-CK with c/n 273.
It saw the world first as 43-47201 for the United States Army Air Force upon its delivery on 24Feb45. The Indian Government “bought” it on 10Apr46, but its immediate use beyond WW2 is vague.
During a period of storage it was picked up by Caribbean Aircraft & Supply in Jan57 and soon after registered as N7848B for L&J Trading Company Inc upon its purchase on 29Mar57.
It was converted to C-46R.
N7848B C-46 Everts YV-C-ERF became it snew tailnumber when RANSA (of Venezuela) bought this "skytruck" in Oct59. Its South American career continued as HP-238 for Aerovias Panama Airways in 1960 and COPA Panama leased or bought it in 1964, though Aerovias Alianza SA saw its return in 1966.
Its Latin American adventure over, it started a trek north when being registered as N7848B (o5Jul68) for Carolina Aircraft Corporation, which sold it to Interior Airways on 18Sep68.
We now find ourselves in Alaska, of course.
Fairbanks Air Service became owner on 10May72, but a year later it went on to Alaska Rental & Sales Inc (14Jun73), but Fairbanks Air Service leased it back from that same date. Nenana Fuel Company leased in Oct78, but for how long ? Air North leased it too, starting in 1982. Everts Air Fuel leased it from 1985, named it Dumbo, but returned it to Alaska Rental & Sales Inc in June 2000. Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd bought it in August that same year, which started the use by Air Cargo Express and ACE was renamed Everts Air cargo on 01Sep02.
Curtiss C-46: a remarkable plane!

Very few places in the world where the Curtiss C-46 Commando can still be seen flying! In fact at the moment, Alaska is the only place…

I love the way Everts applies nose art to these planes!

N7848B on

C-46R Demonstrator on 1957

See the 2016 update Tom Singfield
sent me on
Photo by Friends & Guests 49!

N6174C and N2907F Equal friendly hospitality I found with Northern Air Cargo and when I got to the their ramp I found N6174C and N2907F present.

N6174C is a Douglas DC-6A with c/n 44075 and line nbr 451.
It rolled off the production line as N34959 for the Flying Tiger Line upon delivery on 09Mar54.
Lockheed Aircraft Corp bought it back on 30Apr56 for Main-Elford Corporation (registered that same date), but its actual operator (again by that same date) became Flying Tiger Line (a lease agreement).
US Overseas Airlines leased it too, from 15May58, registering as N402US US Overseas Airlines on 17Oct58. Trans-Pacific Investment Corporation bought N402US on 22Jan60, but the lease to US Overseas Airlines continued. The latter even bought it, on 30Aug61. This was altered for Overseas Holdings Inc on 16Oct63.
Int'l Airlines started a lease on 16Oct63. Its tailnumber changed to N1281 for Int’l Airlines a few days later: 23Oct63. A sale was recorded on 31Dec64, to Foreign Air Transport Development, operating from that date.
Next was Aaxico Airlines, with a purchase recorded on 01Sep65. Saturn Airways merged with this company in 1965?
Associates Capital Corporation bought it on 19Jun70. N1281 became stored at Tucson,AZ but only for a short while fortunately: Carolina Aircraft Corp became the next owner on 31Mar71 and found a lease customer in Zantop Int’l Airlines (starting April 1972). Zantop Int’l Airlines seemed pleased with its use as they purchased it on 19May75.
After a considerable period, considering the frequent changes described above, C-GBYN became its new identity upon purchase by Conifair Aviation in March 1990. However, it was parked at Quebec City, Quebec in Oct96 (demise of Conifair?).
Ah, at last we see registration as N6174C for Northern Air Cargo on 04Jun02.

Update in Aug.2009 by Ralph Pettersen:

"Other than DC-6A N6174C, none of the DC-6/C-118 aircraft recently sold to Everts by NAC will fly again...
They are all time-expired Part 121 aircraft and the deal stipulated that they would not be flown as Part 125 aircraft.
N6174C is in the Everts north hangar being inspected prior to being place back in service. It still has about 3,000 hours left and will be flown by Everts Air Cargo under their Part 121 certificate."

Later that afternoon I found it in maintenance.

Northern Air Cargo retired its last 2 DC-6 cargo aircraft on 26Sep08 with a ceremony at Ted Stevens Int'l AP (ANC). N6174C operated the final revenue flight, flying mail to Emmonak and returning with a load of fresh fishto ANC. The crew consisted of Capt Becky Wilbur, F/O Jim Foss and F/E Ron Valentine.
The DC-6 has been the backbone of the NAC fleet for 39 years and has played a significant role in the development of rural Alaska. NAC added its first DC-6 in 1969 and ended up acquiring 15 Sixes over a period of 25 years. One DC-6 will be donated to the Alaska Heritage Museum.

N2907FThe history of N2907F has been written out on my Alaska 2003 page.
It is a former military Douglas C-118A (c/n 44636) which started its career on 21Apr55 as 53-3265.
N2907F with cargo
Getting unhooked
Round engines
Next load out is waiting to be loaded
The cockpit
Cockpit, lh-side
Avionics rack

N779TA N779TA was parked in the maintenance area of NAC but looked operational.

This is DC-6A/C c/n 45529/1035

Delivered as PP-LFC to Loide Aereo Nacional del on 10Dec59, it was also operated by Panair do Brasil (named "Garcia de Avila" (leased from 1959, returned to Loide Aereo Nacional (renaming it "Rio Grande do Sul" in March 1961).
The company merged to/with VASP in Jan62.
History notes it stored at Saso Paulo-Congonhas, Brasil in 1975.
Atlas Aircraft Corp bought it on 27Jan78 and registered its present tailnumber N779TA. It was transferred to Trans Air Link Corp during Feb81 and Northern Air Cargo bought it in August 1989.

N779TA and stored N4213X

N779TA on
N779TA and --

On the left is N779TA (nose) and frontview of N4213X...

...on the right is N99330, stored or halfway operational?

Martin Prince Jr sent me some photos of N99330 at Bethel,AK on 01Mar07, very operational fortunately!

N99330 is former military C-118A with cn 43576 / 275.
It rolled of the production line as C-118A serial 51-3829 for the USAF on 11Oct52.
At the end of that military career it was stored in Arizona's desert at Davis Monthan AFB on Jan75.
A civil career was in the making when Aero Industrial Inc bought it on 12May76. Tailnumber N99330 was assigned for Custom Air Ltd upon its purchase in May78, soon moving on to Hamilton Aviation (Jul78).
This Six crossed the border into Canada when tailnumber C-GPEG was assigned for Arnie Carnegie Holding that same July 1978.
G-O Enterprise LTD bought it the next year, Sep79, but a few years later I have it parked and stored at Yellowknife,NWT (in 1981).
Northern Air Cargo picked it up and registered it as N99330 during May 1987.

N99330 on

N4213X C-118A N4213X (c/n 44605/518), history: started as 53-3234 in USAF's service, upon delivery on 01Nov54.
After a long and fruitful career it was stored at D.Monthan AFB,AZ in June 1975.
It looked like it had a false start with its civil career, for one Gary Larkins who bought it on 05Jun80... but kept it stored at Tucson,AZ.
Along came Robert G.Sholton, who bought it 21jan81, had it registered it as N4213X and transferred to NAC's ownership on 15May81. And here it is stored again!

Northern Air Cargo announced in 2008 that by 30Sep08 the last of their remaining operational Sixes (C-118A N2907F & DC-6A N6174C) were to be retired from active duty; N2907F is almost out of 'airframe hours' before its next major check so it will
probably be scrapped, while N6174C has some 3.500 hrs before its major check so it a good candidate for continued service with another owner.

N4213X N4213X is used for spare parts supply by NAC.

Sad to say this year N4213X was 'terminated'...
Scott wrote me in Sep06:
"N4213X has been scrapped about a month ago, not sure of the exact date. Say nice things to your next can of Budweiser, it might be an old '6'! "

N42NC Ahh.. an experiment! NAC tried this Aerospatiale ATR.42-300 N42NC (c/n 067), but apparently was not pleased with it.
It seems to have been leased from RNS Leasing LLC (Anchorage,AK) but tailnumber N42NC was deregistered 22Aug06 as exported to Sweden (to West Air Sweden, well known for its Hs.748s). When I photographed it on 14Jun06 it gave me the impression of being stored, the trail period terminated before that.

Northern Air Cargo has acquired 3 ex/Delta Airlines 737-200's, which will be converted to freighters. A new era lies ahead, but I do hope (in spite of discouraging signals) the Sixes will find use by NAC in this new era.

NAC on

Tribute to its heritage...The stairway to the offices has a tribute to its heritage, but recent events seem to indicate a change of course: propliners to jets?

Early Feb.2006 NAC was taken over by Saltchuk Resources (a holding company, owner of various other companies). NAC will continue under its own brand, under 'new' management.
NAC is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and all those years the company was run by the family Sholton (founded by Robert "Bobby" Sholton and Maurice "Morrie" Carlson in 1956; Bobby ran the company since his death in 1982, after which his wife and daughter took over).

Fairchild C-119 "Packet" (a.k.a. Flying Boxcar) N9027K (c/n 176) has been stored here for a long time.

See my Alaska 2003 page for another photo and details of its history.

C-119F N9027K stored
N9027 ANC 13Jun06

N67588 Douglas C-47A N67588 (c/n 20536), for which all hope seems to have been lost ever to move again under its own power...

The (chequered) history of this plane can be found on Alaska 2003. database has it as 'destroyed' (date ???).

C-133 A true dinosaur from the past: Douglas C-133A Cargomaster N199AB (c/n 45164) of Cargomaster Corporation has been reported many times as "stored", but is in fact not retired at all !. It is only allowed to operate flights for the government (and restricted to intra-Alaskan routes).
Apparently the present owner got it cheap, for something like usd 1.000,- but parking fees to Anchorage IAP (PANC) are reported to amount to some 16.000 a year !!
Here is proof for its operational status: C-133 in flight .

N19906 N19906 is Douglas C-47 with the appropriate c/n: 4747 ! Once it served the USAAF as 41-38644, operating with the 11th AF in Alaska in 1943. It continued in Alaska when bought by Reeve Aleutian in Jan46 (NC19906) and Reeve's DC-3 spent more than 20 years flying in the Aleutian Chain. One can still recognise the colourscheme.
In Sep78 it was registered to R.G. Sholton (of trading as Northern Air Cargo); it was reregistered a few times: to R G Sholton, trustees (Jun79) and R D Gerhardt of Seattle, WA (05Feb80). It was leased for a while to Small Aero Transit (Jul80) and by Salair. It was present at Abbotsford's (British Columbia) Fly in 1986.
It was registered at some point to Majestic Airlines of Salt Lake City and seen stored, with its wings removed in Sep96. It was seen again in Dayton, OH on 24Nov2001, stored again, but at some point moved back up again to home...
It seems to be part of Desert Air's inventory (2 DC-3's), but is for sale.
Here is how I saw it in 2003.

In 2016 it even looked much worse, engines gone but also some serious damage to the tailsection; see Ian Ellington's photo:

N19906 has a rich history and sad to see it in such a state! Lest we forget: 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.

N44587 at Bethel,AK I missed N44587 during this day at Anchorage, no doubt away on business...
But by sheer coincidence Martin Prince Jr sent me some photos, including these of N44587 !

Martin wrote in Sep 2006:
"I live in Bethel, Alaska (about 400 miles west of Anchorage). Here are some pictures I took last week of some planes landing and taking off here. I was looking at your website and saw some planes in there that I had photographed and thought you might like! Here is a Desert Air DC-3.
Martin also included a fine shot of a DHC-2 Beaver, operated by Ptarmigan Air, which I included on my Photo by Friends & Other (page 3).

N44587 by Martin Prince Jr at Bethel N44587 is a Douglas C-47A (c/n 12857), a very fine looking vintage transport and the "money-maker" for this company.
Dennis Gladwin is the owner of Desert Air Alaska and he started hauling cargo to Alaska's remote sites in the Spring of 2001.

More can be read on my Alaska 2003 page.

Many thanks Martin!

In May 2007 I contacted Desert Air, with disappointing results.. My first call came at an incovenient time (I picked up a clear signal he did not want to talk to me) and when I tried 2 weeks later I was told "...not interested to talk about my business with you" and he hung up on me!
Who is this: a struggling small-time operator, frustrated with fighting the odds against economic tide or just an obnoxious asshole..?

N281F Anchorage I had seen this Lockeed L.188 Electra N281F in use as a firetrainer here at Anchorage on my visit in 2003. But on this visit I noticed it had been replaced by a Boeing 727 and N281F was nowhere in sight.
Michael Blank proved to be a better spotter and took this photo as it is now more or less dumped on a very remote spot on this airport.
I suggested to the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum here was an opportunity to obtain it (donated by the ANC Airport?) and restore it in colours of Reeve Aleutian: a name in Aviation History, deserving of tribute.... However the reply was:
"I am not sure about the status of the Electra, your ideas are good but the museum at present does not enjoy the resources to retrieve, restore and exhibit the aircraft." Hopefully that will change at some point, things do get started with an idea...
Photo: courtesy Michael Blank, ANC 29Sep05.

I am grateful for the hospitality I once again enjoyed and esspecially would like to thank Andrea, Pete and Marty. Hope to see you all again on a next visitMany, many thanks for your time and enthusiasm !!!

Sources for the information above :
Piston Engine Airliner Production List by TAHS (2002)
Douglas DC-3 and its Predecessors by Air-Britain (1984)

Helpful external links:
Everts Air Cargo
Northern Air Cargo

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