Vintage Transports, photos by Friends & Guests


On a regular basis people sent me photos, to share their enthusiasm for vintage airliners or to illustrate a question. These photos have been lingering in a scrapbook or a discarded box somewhere and/or probably wouldn't find their way to Online-use or publication.
To prevent them from getting lost, with permission of the sender, I would like to share them on this page.

G-AHPB by Bert van Drunick 1977G-AHPB Autair at Soesterberg, 1977.

Bert van Drunick wrote: "Here are photos of G-AGRW, G-AGRU and G-AHPB at Soesterberg back in May 1977."
G-AGRW Autair at Soesterberg,1997.
Photos © Bert van Drunick.
G-AGRW now resides at Vienna,Austria

G-AGRU at Soesterberg 1977 Bert van Drunick sent me these photos in March 2007. These were taken in 1977, at a children's playground, in Soesterberg (Netherlands).
On the right is Vickers 498 Viking G-AGRU (c/n ?) of Channel Airways; I think it is presently on display at Brooklands Aviation Museum in the UK.

Considering I spent the 1975-1980s looking at military jets at Soesterberg AB and did not give these transports a second glance, I could kick myself!!

In the Dutch magazine 'Vliegende Vleugels' (no.5 sep. 2015) there was an update of sorts on G-AGRU, written by Henk Wadman. Here are some details of that text:
At the Brooklands Museum in the UK they are hard at work with this 1946 manufactured Vickers 498 Viking 1A G-AGRU.
Channel Airways was the last user of 'GRU and as such was frequently to be seen during the 1960s in the Netherlands, mainly at Rotterdam airport 'Zestienhoven'. On 10Jan1964 it made its last flight, from Southend to Soesterberg.
After arrival at Soesterberg AB, the wings were taken off and the aeroplane was transported over the road to a location on the E8, the main from Utrecht to Amersfoort. It was converted to a bar.
In Feb.1964 two more Vickers Viking joined the spot, G-AGRW & G-AHPB. Many a thirsty traveller had a closer look at these vintage planes.
When the owner of 'Mini Airport Avio Resto' died, the museum was closed by end-1979; all three were sold, in a rather deplorable state, to the Cosford Aerospace Museum. The museum sold two to raise funding for transport of G-AGRU to the UK.
And that is where 'Romeo Uniform' is being restored and transformed in the colours of British European Airlines, named 'Vagrant'.

Henk Geerlings wrote me in March 2007 and sent some photos along he had taken of a Martin 404 in Saipan, in July 1992.
Henk added: "the aircraft was located somewhere just outside the airport, beyond the fence, near the runway. According to the book The Martinliners (page 93) this is probably N147S, msn 14161, a Martin 404 of Air Marianas." See reaction by Stef Bailis below.
M404 at Saipan
M404 at Saipan

Survivor 2005? I can add that I found no reference of it still surviving in Roy Blewitt's Survivors 2002 and would welcome any update on the fate of this rather tormented propliner...
Google Earth (2005?) seems to suggest there may be hope, but hardly conclusive if this is the M404 in question (if it is an aircraft at all...)

Stef Bailis responded to this in July 2010:
"I can confirm that it is indeed this aircraft, N147S, msn 14161. I know because I visited Saipan in 1996 and removed the data-plate! I have it in front of me as we speak.
Am thinking of selling it through eBay, but only after letting enough propliner enthusiasts -especially 202/404 enthusiasts- know about it.
The plane was a horribly corroded wreck. I managed to remove the data plate with just my bare hands and a key acting as a lever. The aluminum disintegrated around it!"

N103 at Venetie, by Rob Tracz Rob Tracz sent these photos, he added:
"N103 at Venetie unloading building materials for a water tank. This was 20Jun1997, nine days before it crashed flying from the same strip..."
ATL.98 Carvair N103 (Plain Jane) was the no.7 conversion of a DC-4 (of airframe c/n 10273).

It is photographed here in Alaska, while making a living as a bushfreighter. It crashed shortly after take off from Venetie,AK due to an engine fire, on 28Jun98.
It crashlanded in a river. More details on Aviation-safety Network and here is a photo.

Photos © Rob Tracz
Crew: Frank Moss and Jay Moore
Propliner legend Frank Moss and Jay Moore, in the driving seat
Unloading from the Carvair
Rob wrote: "No roller floor here, only a pallet jack and a lot of pushing.. Plus one squashed toe on my part!"

N4390F DC-6 at McGrath

Douglas DC-6B N4390F (c/n 44898, linenumber 674) of Everts Air Fuel saw its career coming to an abrupt halt when it crashed (actually, the left wing seperated from the aircraft) on landing at McGrath in Alaska on 31Jan01. While the aircraft was beyond recovery, the crew was ok.
I had come across this Six in better times, in 1995, see my report for its history
The site of the crash has been referred to as McGrath and Crooked Creek but was in fact at Donlin Creek Airstrip, 12 miles north of Crooked Creek (according to the report at Aviation Safety Network).
I have Graham Robson to thank for forwarding this photo, though name of the actual photographer, date and details remain as yet unknown.

Ray Flynn wrote me and sent me these photos in Feb.2007:
"Arctic Fox" by Ray Flynn Lockheed RP-3A 150500 "Arctic Fox" (involved in 'Project Birdseye'), belongs to VXN-8 Squadron of the U.S.Naval Oceanographic Office.

Ray shot this photo many years ago, in an air-to-air mission, off the coast of Ireland.
Copyright Ray Flynn Ray sent me this photo because he had recognised C-118A N4213X (c/n 44605) on my Alaska 2003 and 2006 pages: he had photographed it in its former identity as USAF 53-3234 !
The C-118 was photographed in Dublin in May 1963, from the balcony of pier A; it had arrived from Thule,Greenland with embassy people concerning the visit of US President John F.Kennedy the following month.
Sadly, its last operator (Northern Air Cargo) had this propliner scrapped in 2006.

N600NABrian McDonough sent me these photos of N600NA, DC-3A-228D c/n 3291, registered M C Flyers since 07Aug97.
It does seem like someone recently did some work on her.
Brian wrote: "N600NA at New Smyrna Beach,FL, taken on 04Jan.2007, at American Aero Services Co. which is based here."

N600NA on
UPDATE Feb.2017: N600NA was cancelled from the FAA's Registry on 16Nov2016 as 'exported to Russia Federation'. It was observed at New Smyrna,FL on 26Jan2017 being dismantled for shipment as freight... See my page USA 1992

Having noticed the page on my visit last year to Red Deer,Alberta (Canada), Arnold Begeman sent me these photos, set in a definitley enchanting winter setting (for individual histories of the aircraft I refer to my webpage).
DC-3s and a Convair
C-GTFC is former USAF T-29 51-5148, was in 1962 converted to VT-29, but its military career ended in 1975.
C/n 279 (a Convair CV240 variant) became N99376 for Providence Air Charter on 16Feb77, reregistered N152PA on 10Mar78. On 30Jun86 it was registered to Joda Partnership (Saunderstown,RI) and was bought by Transfair of Longue Pointe de Mingan,QUE in March 1989.
On 09Dec05 it was bought by Buffalo Airways and this freighter was finally ferried to Buffalo's facility at Red Deer at the end of Dec.2006 where Arnold found it sitting in the snow. Time will tell more of its use and fate with Buffalo Airways.
I came across this ConvairLiner myself during my visit to Red Deer 24Sep07.

Arnold Begeman encountered these Lockheed L.188 Electra's during a visit to Red Deer (Alberta,Canada) in Jan.2007.
On the left and middle is L.188AF OE-ILB (c/n1039) in overhaul with Buffalo Airways, recently acquired from Amerer Air.
On the right is C-GZCF, L-188CF c/n 1091, operated by Air Spray as airtanker 90 since 2004 or 2005. It still wears the colourscheme of the previous owner: Channel Express.
This Tanker 90 as well as many other Air spray Electra's are featured on my page:
OE-ILB at Red Deer
C-GZCF Air Spray
Arnold came across C-GZCF again, at Edmonton in May 2010: it had been repainted in 'Airspray Yellow' and the tankercode had changed to '490'. HERE..

Andrew Perrott sent me these photos, in response to my page Propliners around Johannesburg, 2004
Douglas C-54D C9-ATS
(c/n 22192),
Lanseria 15Apr96
Carvair N5459M
Carvair N5495M (c/n 21),
Pretoria 06Jan2000
See My S.Africa @Rand 2020
Douglas DC-3 ZS-MRU
(c/n 4363),
Pretoria 09Apr96

Arie van Hees wrote me in Jan.2007 and sent me these photos:

"As Secretary of the Royal Air Forces Association, Amsterdam Branch/Club Limburg, and as an amateur historian, I was one of the organisers of the planning, unveiling and dedication of the 'Arnhem Aircrew Memorial' which was unveiled in the grounds of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein in Arnhem/Oosterbeek on Friday 15 September 2006.
Having corresponded with Paddy Green a few years earlier, we soon agreed that "Drag 'Em Oot" would come over to the Netherlands for the September Airborne Commemoration Weekend in the Arnhem / Oosterbeek region in September 2006. The Royal Netherlands Air Force gave sterling support, offering the Soesterberg military airfield facilities and providing the required aviation fuel."
This wonderful event took place on the Sunday morning of 17Sep06, when the official Church service took place on the Airborne Cemetery at Oosterbeek, excactly 62 years after the starting day of Operation Market Garden (Sunday 17-9-1944)."

N473DC in fly by "I was able to arrange a historic flypast of "Drag 'Em Oot" together with 2 Harvards of the RNLAF Historical Flight."
Photo © credits: Frans Ammerlaan & Sjaak Arts (ground photography). Ad van Oers (aerial photography)

'Arnhem Aircrew Memorial' at Airborne Museum Hartenstein.
Book ceremony
Author and son
Arie van Hees with his son, Jeroen
Air to Air
Arie van Hees wrote 2 books about the involvement of the RAF in the Arnhem battle: "Tugs and Gliders to Arnhem" (published 2000) and "Green On" (published 2004).

Read more on the history of N473DC "Drag 'Em Oot"

17166 USN Jim Ormiston wrote me:
"Here is the photo I promised of USN 17166.
This plane was used by The Fleet Marine Force Pacific Drum & Bugle Team for inter island performances in the Hawaiian Islands.
The FMFPAC D&B Team was the #2 Drum & Bugle Corps in the USMC. Only 8th & I in Washington DC was larger (not necessarily better ). This C-117D flew out of Barber's Point NAS and sometimes from Kaneohe Bay Marine Air Station.
Picture was taken sometime in 1967-1968."
Jim Ormiston

Joe Baugher has the following info: Douglas R4D-5 17166 was converted to R4D-8/C-117D (c/n 43347). Sold to TBM as N8538C.

Bob Reid sent me these photos, of N32MS' ferry flight from the US to the Netherlands in 1997.
This is Douglas C-53C, c/n 4978.
More on this vintage trooper on my page dedicated to my visit to Wings of Liberation Museum, Best, the Netherlands.
The A-team... The team: prior to departure, Wes Steadman (F/E), Bob Reid (Pilot), Steve Wood (F/O), Don Prader (CC&BW) and Ron Kilber (writer).
In flight
"This photo was taken by Bob Shane, on the first flight after restoration for the transatlantic flight by my crew at Royal Aviation.
The mountain in the background is Red Mountain, just north of Falcon field (Arizona)."
N32MS in flight
"About 30 minutes into the flight from Falcon Field,AZ: beginning the journey to the Netherlands."
Media attention
"Our last stop before leaving the US Bangor Maine. We had to wait until the weather cleared to leave, but in the meantime we had this beautiful TV babe come out and interview us!"
The new owner
"This is Jan Driessen with his daughter Dorien.
The UA on the airplane really stands for the University of Arizona: my old Alma Mater... "
The new home; Netherlands
"Our crew plus Ed de Bruijn.
From Left to right. Ed de Bruijn, Ron Kilber, Don Prater, Bob Reid, Coert Munk, Wes Steadman and my co-pilot Steve Wood."
Steve Wood wrote me this in June 2010:
"I happened upon your website and noticed the pictures of my favorite DC-3A/C-53C N32MS, also known as 'Darlin Darien'.
I was the copilot on the flight that brought that plane from Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona to Eindhoven and then to Gilze-Rijen Air Base.
One of the crew, Ron Kilber, put together a website with some excellent pictures of the plane on our journey.
The plane was an absolute dream to fly: very easy to maneuver, stable, and a LOT of fun!
Landing it on the grass strip at Texel was a 'dream come true' for me.
I've flown military jets for 27 years in the US Air Force, but to fly a legendary plane like this...and land it on grass...that was something I will treasure.
Sad to see my favorite plane in the condition it is now in, but I suppose that is fate."
Stephen E. Wood, Col, USAFR
9001st ARS HQ/ARPC

click here
Scott W. sent me these photos in Jan.2007; he added: "My parents had a trading post in Alaska, here are a few photos from there album."
Click here
Click here

ZK-DAK has become NZ3546 Peter Layne wrote me in Jan.2007:
"Here is a photo of ZK-DAK (c/n 15035/26480) in its new scheme on 21 January 2007.
Roll out in its new colourscheme was on 20Jan07, at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton, NZ as RNZAF 3546."

Heinz Rentmeister sent me these photos of Beech E18S N5611D, photographed on 11Jan07, at the former USAF base Clark AB on the Philippines.
Beech 18 N5611D Bob Parmerter, author of 'the Beech 18, a Civil And Military History', provided the following aviation history-
BA-316 E18S N5611D
Completed in Aug57. CofA issued 24Sep57. Flightcraft Inc bought it 25Sep57, but same date transferred to Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. of Tacoma,WA.

N5611D served as test aircraft for certification of Aerojet-General Jr JATO rocket engine installation (19Jan58).
Atlantic Aviation Service Inc, acquired it 18Dec67.
Vercoa Air Service Inc of Danville, IL became owner on 29Feb68, soon changed hands to Sam Vires (dba Mid South Aircraft Sales) of Memphis,TN on 12Oct68.
Modified for 9,800 lbs max weight, 13Oct68.

A few days later Orion Airways Inc of St Louis, MO bought on 16Oct68.
It suffered an accident 06Feb69 at Iron Mtn, MI when it hit some trees on approach... but landed safely.

N5611D was repossessed by Maplewood Bank & Trust Co, MO 03Nov69.
Then to Sisk Aviation Activities Inc, MO (14Jan70).

Next was Skyway Aviation of Ft. Leonardwood, MO: 12Feb70.
It was again modified, for 10,100 lbs max weight (19Feb74).

Beech N5611D at Clark AB

Another accident on 17Nov75 at Lexington,KY when it taxied over an embankment on an executive flight...
Hamilton extended nose installed on 01Jul76.
Then to Pacific Missionary Aviation Inc, of Agana, Guam (24Jul78).
Cargo airstairdoor & cockpit exitdoor installed 5Oct78.
Seen in 1989 with bare metal finish with large shark mouth (!) painted on extended nose and used for Micronesian Island resupply & medivac flts.
Jonathan Rosenberg & Russell D. Large, Ft Lee,NJ registered on 18Dec03.
Seen Clark Airfield, PI 2004 and Jan07.

Ron Mak also sent me a photo, taken in the summer of 2007.

Marty Spinde sent me these photos, of a bear and its cub walking the waterfront, ignoring this Beaver because this one smells of aviation gasoline and oil !

Marty wrote: "That photo was taken in July 2004 and is a very common scene here at Brooks Lodge in Katmai National Park. The various charter and private aircraft (and occasional boats) park along the beach just below the lodge, on Naknek Lake."
"The bears use the beach as their main trail walking along the lake. It is not uncommon for the bears to explore the aircraft by climbing on the floats! This is especially true of the cubs. This is why nobody leaves food in their airplanes."

N99NL is a DHC-2 Beaver with c/n 1597, maufactured by De Havilland Canada and operated since 27May99 by No See Um Lodge (Chugiak,AK), though the FAA website (at time fo writing: 23jan07) has a remark "Undel Tri", indicating the owner can no longer be contacted at the registered adress.

N99NL on DHC-2 for photos and history!


NC18906 by Roger SyrattRoger Syratt sent me this photo he made of NC18906 at the Jacqueline Cochrane Memorial Airshow at Thermal,CA on 04Nov06.

The construction number of this Lockheed L-12A is 1277 and according to FAA's website it was registered to Leslie Whittlesey, (of Coto de Caza,CA) on 08May03.NC18906 by R.Syratt
It won a price, "Antique Grand Champion", at the Oshkosh 2006 Air Venture, so no worries about the condition of this Propliner!

I can recommend Michael Zoeller's website to learn more about the Lockheed twins!

Roger wrote me a few lines detailing the history of this splendid bird-
"Lockheed 12A c/n 1277 was completed in January 1940, registered NC18900 and it was operated by the Nevada Development Company. In Mar42 it was acquired by the USAAF, designated as UC-40D 42-38349, and one month later it was passed by lease-lend to the RAF, taking up the military serial LA621.
In 1945 it was reregistered as G-AGVZ and later, in Nov46, was placed on the US civil register as NC70820. It passed through the hands of a number of owners.
By August 1953 it had lapsed into dereliction at Cannes Airport, but it flew a restoration flight on 30Nov59, registered as F-BFUD to Vital Chapeau in February 1960.
In the early 1960s it was flown in an Air Esterel colour scheme and was noted being used by Air Corse. After a last flight on 16Nov79 a period of storage at Nice ensued until 27Dec82, when it was ferried to La Mole in France. The registration F-BFUD was cancelled in April 1984, following sale to Louis O Hilton in the USA as N4992V. Reregistered N112LH in November 1984, it was sold to David E Swanson in May 1985 and was noted flying in wartime RAF colour scheme at New Smyrna Beach in March 1987.
It is currently owned by Leslie Whittlesey of Coto de Caza, California who had the aircraft beautifully restored by the Lockheed Stink Works at Chino, where it made its first post restoration flight in May 2006. It deservedly scooped the pool at the major airshows during 2006 winning the Gold Lindy at Oshkosh as the Antique Grand Champion, the NAHI Paul E. Garber Trophy in the Classic category at Reno Air Races and was judged Best Antique Airplane at the 2006 Copperstate Fly In."
(With thanks to the Air Britain book "The Lockheed Twins" by Peter Marson for much of the above information).

Douglas DC-4 (C-54) N82FA (c/n 35960, linenumber 354) crashlanded on 17Jan07-
From "An engine fire forced a small (sic) plane down in the tundra about five miles west of Nenana,Alaska. It happened around 4 p.m. yesterday.N82FA crashscene
The Federal Aviation Administration says the two people on board were not seriously injured, but the plane was destroyed. Alaska State Troopers say the plane was on a flight from Fairbanks to the Fort Nixon Mine with 3,000 gallons of heating fuel aboard.
The crew attempted to divert to Nenana, but decided to make an emergency landing instead."
Martin Prince Jr sent me the Alaska State Trooper report
Location: Nenana
Case number: 07-4636
Type: Aircraft Crash
Text: On 17Jan2007 at approximately 1640 hours, AST-Cantwell was notified of a plane crash five miles west of Nenana.
Investigation revealed a DC-4, operated by Brooks Fuel Inc. was on a flight from Fairbanks International Airport to the Nixon Fork Mine (AK40) with 3000 gallons of heating fuel on board.
While in flight, one of the engines caught fire.
N82FA crashThe crew were unable to contain the fire which had spread to the wing. They attempted to divert to Nenana, but due to the spread of fire they elected to crash land.
A M.A.S.T. helicopter from Ft. Wainwright on a training mission in the area rescued the crew and took them to Fairbanks where they declined medical attention.
Received and posted Thursday, January 18, 2007 7:17 AM"

Photos taken by unidentified photographer, relayed to me by someone who prefers to remain anonymous.

Later more info became available; it seems the fire on the left wing continued until all fuel in the wing was consumed. The snow prevented a large forest fire: could have been much different in a dry summer.
Some of the internal tanks broke loose and leaked a small amount of fuel out; when they rolled forward it trapped the copilot for a short time and had the aircraft not turned sideways, to the left, it could have been a lot worse: the tanks would have gone straight forward with the fire moving towards the fuselage...
Soon after the crash a salvage effort was mounted and no doubt the spilled fuel needs to be removed for environmental reasons.

DC/4 N82FA

This airframe served with the US Army Air Force (USAF) with tailnumber 45-0507 after delivery on 26Jun45, until its storage in Jun73. Consolidated Aeronautica Corporation bought it on 04Aug77 and had it registered as N87974, moving on to Aircraft Surplus Company Inc a few months later and to Falcon Airways on 28Dec77.
It was registered N82FA for Falcon 15Jul78 and sold to Bowman Aviation 17Dec79, which had it reregistered N14BA on 18Mar80.
Rio Grande Valley Airfreight bought it on 11Jan85 and they sold it a few months later, to MM Aircraft Company (18Sep85), which had it registered as N82FA again, in Feb86.
Tom Kehmeier became the new owner on 01Apr87 and two years later, on 27Nov89, it was bought by ARDCO Inc. It was registered to Aero Flite in Aug94 and operated as airtanker, fighting forest fires, with airtanker code 161.
[Source: Piston Engine Airliner Production List, by TAHS 2002]
N82FA was ferried to Fairbanks,AK in 2005 and registered to Brooks Fuel on 28Feb06, for hauling cargo and fuel.
Fred Wallis sent me some photos, taken at Nenana where it ended up after recovery.

N82FA on

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