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.
Photos already online (personal websites,,, etc) are not meant to be included here.

N777YA and Bart Tiernan This is C-47A N777YA of Bush Air Cargo (registered 14Apr05) with Bart Tiernan, who owns and operates Bush Air Cargo.
When in April 2007 I saw a photo of N777YA landing at Anchorage with the skis in place, I asked him if he actually operated to destinations requiring skis.... And YES indeed, he send some photos to prove this, picturing N777YA in a very pictorial setting, on Trinity Lake,Alaska.

In Nov.2008 I received some more photos, HAVE A LOOK!!

N777YA ay Trinity Lake
N777YA on skis
Cargo being unloaded on the ice

N777YA at Judd Lake N777YA (c/n 14189/25634) is seen here at Judd Lake, but this seems to be a pleasure trip instead of delivering cargo, as the guys seem to be sitting on a couch... Doing what: ice fishing?

The history of this Douglas DC-3 can be read on my Alaska 2003 page.

N777YA was seriously damaged, perhaps beyond repair, on a landing incident at Nixon Fork Mine,AK 22Nov2015.



Henk Geerlings sent me these photos (© Henk Geerlings Collection); on the left is C-54 N6702 and on the right C-54 N67024 and he was wondering whether these 2 aircraft were the same ?
Yes indeed! N6702 has the last digit painted over, but the remains of the US Navy tailnumber can be read: 50871.
Henk bought these slides at auctions, without information on the photographer and date/location.
The full history of c/n 10550 reads:
delivered to the USAAF in 1045 as 42-72445 and transferred to the US Navy that same date, 08Feb45, becoming 50871; it was converted from C-54D to C-54Q in 1962 and saw its military career end in 1970 when it was stored at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona.
It became N67024 for Aircraft Specialties Inc in 1975, was bought by Globe Air on 02Apr81 and moved on to Environmental Aviation Services inc on 05Nov85, where it still operates for, see my Deep South report.
So it never actually was registered N6702, as the left photo would suggest.
(Source: Piston Engine Airliner Production List, TAHS 2002)

Graham Robson wrote me (Jan.2012):
"Looking at the the National Jets hangar in the background, I would suspect the left hand picture is on the Hill Air ramp, or possibly the USCS ‘impound’ ramp, at Fort Lauderdale (KFLL).
The C-123 could very well be the fated N4410F that was shot down in 1985?!!
As the C-54 had moved onto Environmental Aviation Services, in 1985, makes me think the C-123 cannot be the other example that lingered at FLL for many years in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s (C-123 54-0681 / N681DG…) as the dates are not correct...
Hope this might stir up some confirmation!"


Alaskan Deep Freeze Lynn Alexander wrote me in April 2007 and included this fine Deep Freeze study of one Everts Air DC-6s N400UA...
She wrote: "Eielson AFB was hosting a Red Flag exercise and we had some Mirages from the French Air Force stop in at Fairbanks International."

"We live in a small community, just outside the gates of Eielson AFB, so we do see a lot of military aircraft.
And it always amazes me when I catch the jets and the old guys in the same picture!
The Everts aircraft are all true work horses, they are busy and working to move the supplies to the Alaskan villages."

Jets and vintage transports
Jets kept waiting
N54514 "Maid of Japan"
DC-6BF N19CA Henk Geerlings sent me these photos and added following details: "This is Douglas DC-6BF N19CA (cn 44744), taken at Larnaca,Cyprus in Feb83."

C/n 43744 started its career as OY-KME with Scandinavian Air System ('Arild Viking') with a delivery date of 18Nov52.
In 1960 it was leased by Thai Int'l as HS-TGA, from 14Apr60 to 04Jan61. Icelanndair leased it too ('Skyfaxi'), as TF-ISC from 25Feb61 to its purchase on 23Jun61.
Then it became N19CA, for Concare Aircraft Leasing Corp, purchased in Mar73 and the DC-6B was converted to DC-6BF; New World Air Charter bought it in Jul75, but it was stored at Larnaca in 1978 and became damaged beyond repair in Jul79; N19CA was broken up at some later date.
(Source: Piston Engine Airliner Production List, TAHS 2002)

N90703 About this DC-6 Henk wrote:
"Douglas DC-6 N90703 (cn 42856) was taken at Malta in Nov87."

C/n 42856 is a very early production model of the Douglas Six, line number 6!
Its first tailnumber was NX90703 for the Douglas Aircraft Company and delivered to American Airlines as N90703 on 30Nov46, subsequently named 'Flagship of District of Columbia'.
Field Aircraft Services bought it on 31Oct60, registering it as G-ARFU. Air Jordan bought it on 30Dec60 and so it became JY-ACF.
N90703 became its new identity for Foreign Air Transport Development on 13Sep61; International Airlines leased it in Aug62, Diamond Leasing Corporation bought it in Oct64.
Then Malta Intl'l Airways leased it in Oct64, LAVCO subleased it in 1966, returning it to Diamond Leasing in Jul70.
N90703 was stored at Malta and although it was bought by ATC Inc in Dec76, the end was near..: N90703 was stored again in 1980 and at some later date broken up at Malta, but not before Henk caught it on camera in 1987.
(Source: Piston Engine Airliner Production List, TAHS 2002)


NX18973 Hughes Phil Smith sent me these vintage pictures, of Howard Hughes arriving in his Lockheed L.14 Super Electra at Fairbanks,Alaska in 1938. The tailnumber is clear on one of these photos: NX18973.
Phil wrote: "Check the tail number, it is him; Howard Hughes!
My Dad worked for PAA (Pan Am) in Fairbanks, starting in 1938.
Hughes' plane was stuffed with ping pong balls for flotation and when Dad opened a cargo door some fell out... He was putting them back in and Hughes started yelling at him saying not to take any samples!"

See also my webpage Aviation History by Phil Smith.

howard hughes Howard Hughes is seen here in the middle. If you have doubts please check the image on Everts Air DC-6

I found this on "Howard Hughes flew a Super Electra (NX18973) on a global circumnavigation flight. With four crewmates (Harry Connor, copilot and navigator; Tom Thurlow, navigator; Richard Stoddart, radio operator; and Ed Lund, flight engineer), the plane took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York on July 10, 1938. The flight, which circled the narrower northern latitudes, passed through Paris, Moscow, Omsk, Yakutsk, Fairbanks, Alaska, and Minneapolis, before returning to New York on July 14.
The total distance flown was 14,672 mi (23,612 km)."

C-GYHT Phil Gies sent me these photos in April 2007, both of Curtiss C-46F Commando C-GYHT (c/n 22375).
Phil wrote: "Here are 2 C-46 snaps. I lived in Northern Manitoba for 15 years."
"During the winter of 1964-65 I worked at Thompson Airport, pumping gas – most fun job I ever had! Met two of the Lamb brothers (Lambair) and had lots of funny experiences."

How this Curtiss Commando of Lambair ended up in this sad condition, can be read on my page Wrecks of the North.

This C-46F was delivered to the USAF as 44-78548 and was at one time based at Manilla.
Riddle Airlines leased it in 1951 as N3925C; Argonaut Airways bought it in 1959, Capitol Airways leased it in 1960 and it was bought by J.Logan of New York in 1962, becoming N239JL; C-GYHT it continued in ownership by Coastal Aviation (1963), Miami Aircraft Ventues (1974?), Caribbean Air Services leased it in 1976, so did Carib West in 1977 and was returned to Miami Aircraft Ventures in Dec.1977; Fred W.Rhea bought N239JL in 1978 but sold it to Lambair that same year, where it became C-GYHT.
C-GYHT crashed 13Nov79 6.5 kms from runway of Churchill,Man. after losing power.
[Source: Curtiss C-46 by Lundkvist Aviation Research, 1981]

PP-VCP by Vito Cedrini Vito Cedrini, from Brazil, sent me this photo in April 2007; he took this photo of Convair CV240 PP-VCP (c/n 24) at Rio de Janeiro Int'l Airport, at some unspecified date.
The Convairliners Story (by J.M.Gradidge / Air-Britain 1997) told me this aircraft was delivered to Pan Am as NC90658 on 30Apr48 and bought by VARIG on 15Oct54. It met its fate by the scrapman at Sao Paulo and the registration was formally cancelled on 15May70.
Viacao Aerea Rio Grandense, more commonly known as VARIG, bought 13 CV240s from PanAm to replace the DC-3s on passenger services between 1954 and 1959; 2 were lost in accidents, one was donated to a museum, the rest was scrapped in 1970. CV340s and CV440s were acquired in Aug61 when REAL was taken over, but these were sold by early 1963 (the CV340s went to Sweden and the CV440s to Spain).

Gerben Groothuis sent me this photo taken during his visit to Maurice Roundy's place at Lewiston,Maine on 25Aug06.
The photo shows the impressive Lockheed L.1649A Starliner N7316C (c/n 1018). Starliner N7316C

In June 1957 this aircraft was delivered to TWA as L1649A N7316C and named "Star of Tigris"; service with TWA ended in Sep60.
While the Starliner appeared on the airline scene with the peak of propliner technology, this coincided with the start of the jetliner era and use of these capable aircraft was short-lived.
So it was converted to freighter by Lockheed Air Service and returned to TWA on 21Nov60; it was leased to Alaska Airlines in Jan62 and they decided to buy the plane in Dec62; it was subsequently converted to a bulk fuel oil carrier in 1968.
New owners came in rapid succession: Red Dodge Aviation on 16Nov68, Prudhoe Oil Distributing Company 02Dec68 (possibly leased to Interior Airways in 1969), Westair 09Sep74 (after storage at Anchorage for at least 2 years and flown to Kenai,AK: again for storage during winter 1974-75).
Next owner became Onyx Aviation 14Nov75 and to Burns Aviation on 17Jan76.
Sadly, it was abondoned that same year at Stewart Airport,NY after arriving from Le Bourget on 26Jul76.
A better future seemed to appear on the horizon when Maurice Roundy of Maine Coast Airways decided to buy 3 (!) Starliners; N7316C was registered to Maine Coast Aws on 23May83, restored and flown to Auburn-Lewiston Airport,ME on 09Nov83. It was his intentions to use them either commercially (still a capable airplane!), but this changed to flying the Starliner on the US airshow circuit
Meanwhile, 2 Starliners were stored at Auburn-Lewiston Airport adjacent to Maurice Roundy's home, one of which N7316C.
Things started happening in 2006 when a Florida land developer decided to buy the Starliners and support Mr Roundy's effort to put one or more Starliners back in the air (19Apr06).
But the aircraft remained at Auburn-Lewiston Airport in August 2006 and by early 2007 the aircraft was returned to Maurice in early 2007 due to non-payment...

Source: Ralph Pettersen's comprehensive website on Constellation Survivors:

One can also read here how all 3 Starliners (N974R, N7316C & N8083H) of Maurice Roundy were sold to Lufthansa Technics at an auction in Dec.2007
Previous to the auction Stefan Bailis wrote, after talking to Mr Roundy, on Classic-Propliners forum the following-
"N7316C is in best condition structurally. It has two good engines, but is missing two. The other two were installed on N974R to enable it to fly from Sanford to Polk City.
N8083H has an area of severe corrosion in a tank (Tank no.3, I think, Maurice said). It is at the lowest point in the tank, due to a manufacturing error in failing to put the water drain at the lowest point. The repair will require removal of the landing gear, removal of the corrosion and installation of doublers on both sides. I am not sure about the engine status. Incidentally, I had the privilege of flying N8083H from Anchorage to Seattle in November 1980. I was co-pilot. Captain was John Marshall, F/E was Bernie Watson.
N974R, despite the good cosmetic appearance, has extensive corrosion in the wings. Not irreparable, but not an easy fix either. This I know personally, having worked on the plane when it was parked in Fort Lauderdale. Many of the parts will need to be replaced or re-fabricated. I think Maurice said the engines are sound, however.
In addition to the planes, Maurice said he has 4 engines stored in Maine, some are failures. He said there were enough engines up there to enable one plane to fly. He also has a trailer load of spare parts, manuals, etc."

See my visit to this location at Auburn,ME in 2009 and 2011 (an update on that same webpage).

N63354 John Olafson sent me the following report in April 2007:
"de Havilland Otter N63354 (c/n 30) is now back in Juneau. It left Vernon on 07Apr07 after having been being converted to the Texas Turbine and being fitted with amphibian floats.
It was interesting to watch the crew at Kal Air Repair remove the wheel gear and install the floats. They are experts at what they do, the job went very smoothly.

Ed Kiesel Ed Kiesel, the Ward Air owner, is seen with his beautiful Otter and he flew it home to Alaska with Otter N337AK (see below).

It sure has been great for me to see these Otters come to Vernon and meet their friendly pilots before they take them back to Alaska after their turbine transformation.

Here is a link to Ward Air’s website:

Next out of the hangar is Max Ward's Otter C-FMAU, in June...."
This DHC-3 Otter c/n 30 was built in 1953 and registered to Red Leasing LLC on 26Feb03.
For what happened in between there is no better source than to consult Karl E.Hayes research on the DHC-3 Otter; I reproduce some of his information (photos by © John Olafson, 07Apr07)-
Otter number 30 was one of the first six of ten DHC-3 delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The batch of six were delivered in crates by ship and formally handed over on 02Mar54. The Otter took serial 5330 and code 0-AF. On 16Jul54 it joined the Communications Flight at Jarlsberg Air Base, which in Nov54 moved to Gardermoen Air Base.
Otter number 30 was one of two Norwegian Air Force Otters (the other was number 31) selected to support a Norwegian scientific expedition to the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year of 1958/59. One of the Expedition's tasks was to map large sections of Queen Maud Land, for which the Otters were to be used. The aircraft unit was given the designation Support Flight 7070.
In March 1958 the Otter deployed to Tyin for winter training for the Antarctic mission. It had to undergo some modifications to equip them for the mission. Additional fuel tanks were installed in the cabin to increase range. A radio compass, gyrosyn remote compass, sun-compass, directional gyro, radio altimeter, periscope drift measuring equipment, HF radio and camera equipment were all installed. The two Otters were shipped and unloaded on the ice and re-assembled. An automatic radio beacon was positioned at the base as a navigation aid. For five weeks missions were flown for photographic purposes in the area 70 to 74 degrees South, 0 to 15 degrees East. When the mission was finished, the aircraft were disassembled and shipped back to Oslo, arriving home on 05Mar59 after a successful job.
On 30May67 its military career came to an end when it was struck off charge, having flown 5,293 hours in Air Force service. As with all the other Royal Norwegian Air Force Otters, it was handed over to Halle & Peterson, Oslo: the DHC agents in Norway for disposal.
The Otter was sold to Varangfly A/S of Kirkenes, to whom it was registered LN-IKI, the registration date being 31May67. The Otter was to serve this operator for the next 15 years, although the company underwent several changes of name, becoming Varangfly-Norwings A/S on 01Apr71 and Norving A/S on 04Jul75. The company specialised in passenger and cargo and air ambulance work in northern Norway. During its years of service with Norving, LN-IKI was used for air taxi and ambulance work. It suffered a taxying accident at Varanger on 11Jul70, but was repaired.
A somewhat more serious accident occurred at Ornes on 25Oct72 when the Otter landed on the water on amphibious floats with the wheels down...., but despite substantial damage it was repaired and returned to service.
Being reassembledBy 1980 this hard-working Otter had put up more than 10,000 flying hours, and by that stage was the last active Otter in Norway and indeed the only active Otter in all of Europe!
Norving continued to fly LN-IKI until Jul82, when it was sold to another Norwegian operator, Sirdalsfly A/S of Tjorhom, along with two Beavers. LN-IKI was registered to its new owners, who traded as Transit Air, on 26Jul82 and was based at Stavangar-Sola. It was re-painted in an attractive colour scheme of white undersides, red cheat line and blue upper fuselage with "Transit Air Inter City Sky Taxi" on the tail, indicating its use. The Otter remained in service with Transit Air for nearly a year, until the operation went bankrupt. On 11Apr83, the Otter was put up for sale by auction in the course of the bankruptcy, but a bid of 105,000 crowns was rejected by the bank who had a charge on the aircraft. On 02Jun83 it was registered to the Oslo Handelsbank, the main creditor.
There was a 2nd auction on 20Jun83 and it was sold to Norronafly A/S of Rakkestad and on 04Jul83 it was registered to its new owners. During July it was transported from Norway to Stockholm, from where it sailed to the United States.
The purchaser of Otter c/n 30 was Dodson Aviation Inc of Ottawa, Kansas who reserved registration N4683K on 07Feb84 and registered the Otter with these marks the following month.
In Sep86 it was sold to Newcal Aviation Inc of Little Ferry, NJ.
Newcal Aviation are a major supplier of parts and equipment for DHC aircraft.
In Jul88 the Otter was bought by a Mr Eugene Q.Weiler of Anchorage,AK, who was well familiar with Otters, being an Instructor Pilot on the type with the Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. He leased the aircraft to Diamond Aviation, based out of Wrangell,AK.
N4683K was noted at Vancouver on 10Aug88.
Diamond Aviation supported a gold mine in the mountains of northern British Columbia, flying in fuel and supplies and flying out the gold concentrate. Their first Otter was N61LC (393) operated from Aug87 until it crashed in Nov87. This was replaced by N55CX (139) operated from Dec87 until it crashed in July 1988...
N4683K was acquired as the replacement and remained in service with Diamond Aviation from Aug88 until Jun92, when support of the mine was taken over by another operator. N4683K was sold on to Waglisla Air Inc, trading as Wagair of Bella Bella, BC. It arrived at Vancouver on 15Jun92 on delivery to Wagair, to whom it was registered as C-FWAF on 20Jul93, after overhaul and repaint into their colours.
Wagair were one of several Canadian native-owned First Nations operators which were formed during the 1980s. C-FWAF joined their fleet, painted in their striking yellow and green colour scheme and for 2 years provided charter services along the BC Pacific coast from its base at Bella Bella, flying alongside the company's other Otter C-FMPY (324) and also C-FRHW (445), which flew out of Prince Rupert.
N63354 on its way home to AlaskaSadly, things did not work out for Wagair, which ceased trading during 1995. The fleet was disposed of, Otter WAF being sold to Edward K.Kiesel, trading as Ward Air, based at Juneau,AK to whom the Otter was registered N63354 on 26Apr96.
Ward Air was a business which had been formed in 1974 by Ken Ward to provide a bush charter service out of Juneau, serving the Alaskan panhandle, and had previously operated Otter N62355 (262). Mr Kiesel took over the business in 1993 and added Otter N63354 to the fleet of Beavers and single Cessnas in April 1996.

N337AK John Olafson sent me also the following report in April 2007:
"April 7 was a busy day here and the weather was perfect for two Otters to depart for Juneau, Alaska.
This update is regarding N337AK (c/n 418) which is one of several owned by Wings Airways of Juneau. Here is a link to their website:

3 happy guys!I met up with Tom Bach (left), Tim Ralston of Kal Air Repair and Mike Stedman (right), Vice President of Flight Ops. All look very happy with the job very well done."

Code..."I have often wondered at the code painted on the side of the Wings Airways aircraft and Mike told me that it is required by FAA that in the absence of titles on the aircraft you have to display the company operating license.
This Otter had previously been converted to turbine and came to Vernon for new interior and paint and some TLC...
The pictures do not show it, but the yellow is a beautiful metallic paint expertly applied by the Kal Air Repair painters.
After takeoff, Mike was kind enough to come around and give me a beautiful low pass and a last look at his beautiful Otter before it flew to Alaska."
This DHC-3 Otter c/n 418 was built in 1961 and registered to Alaska Coastal Airlines dba Wings Airways on 25Apr200. For what happened in between there is no better source than Karl E.Hayes work on the DHC-3 Otter.
A somewhat abbreviated text is copied from his work (photos © by John Olafson, taken on above event)-

Otter 418 was delivered to the Ghana Air Force on 08May61 with serial G303. It was the fourth of an order for 12 Otters.
During 1970, Lambair of Manitoba negotiated with the Ghana Air Force with a view to purchasing a number of their Otters, including 418 and marks CF-ZFJ were reserved but no deal was concluded and G303 remained in the service of the Ghana Air Force. The Otters were withdrawn from service in 1973 and put up for sale.
Eight of the Ghana Air Force Otters were acquired by brokers Masin Aircraft of Cologne, Germany. They were put up for sale in March 1974 by Masin Aircraft, advertised as “priced to sell, single or in lot”.
Otter 418 was registered to Joseph V.Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany as N17680. All nine Otters were sold by Masin Aircraft to Air Craftsmen Ltd of St.John, New Brunswick, a company which specialised in buying, refurbishing and selling on ex-military Otters.
On 26Apr74 marks C-GLCN were reserved, but in the event were not taken up, and it was arranged that the aircraft would be flown to Canada using its American registration.
By September 1975 the Otter was ready and Air Craftsmen Ltd agreed to sell this Otter, as well as Otter 431, another of the former Ghana Air Force aircraft to a Mr Peter Pess of San Diego, CA, who was involved with a Mexican airline known as Aerosierra de Durango. The two Otters were registered to Aerosierra de Durango in Oct75, 418 becoming XA-FEV and 431 becoming XA-FEU, and they set off from St.John crossing the North American continent to Brown Field, San Diego and then further south to their new base at Durango in Mexico.
N337AKThe two Otters were acquired for a specific contract, to transport personnel to lumber camps high in the Sierra Madre mountains. Their base at Durango was at an altitude of 8,000 feet, and some of the dirt strips they flew into were over 13,500 feet up in the mountains. Both Otters were fitted with larger than usual propellers, to help them with these high altitudes. The Otters replaced a Ford Tri-Motor, which the company had used for years on this task. The Otters were operated in 'high density' configuration - 8 rows of three-place benches. Despite these arduous conditions, both XA-FEU and 'FEV operated these services without mishap, and survived their adventures in the Mexican mountains.
Otter 418 was the first of the two to leave Mexico. On 06Aug76 a ferry permit was issued for XA-FEV to leave Mexico via Tijuana, with an ultimate destination of Edmonton. First however the Otter was flown to Brown Field, San Diego where it was to be overhauled before its next assignment. From San Diego the Otter continued on to Edmonton where on arrival it was registered C-GMAT to Mackenzie Air Ltd, based at Edmonton Municipal Airport.
This company was a subsidiary of La Ronge Aviation Services Ltd and on 31Aug76, MAT flew on to La Ronge, Saskatchewan. On 02Sep76 it was registered to La Ronge Aviation Services Ltd and entered service with them, based at La Ronge. It continued in service until a crash at Neultin Lake, Northwest Territories on 23Aug80. The pilot was engaged in transporting six passengers from Lynn Lake, Manitoba to a tourist camp at Neultin Lake. He attempted to take off from Neultin Lake in 3 to 4 foot waves but shortly before lift off the left float dug in and the Otter nosed over. The pilot had earlier landed on a sheltered bay near the camp but felt that this was too short for take off, so he used the main lake which was exposed to thirty knot winds. That crash marked the end of the Otter's career with La Ronge Aviation Services.
It was fished out of Neultin Lake by helicopter and transported by road to Calgary, where it arrived 11Jun81. It was sold by La Ronge to Kimba Air Ltd on 22nd June, and rebuilt by Kimba Air and on 16Nov82 it was sold to Harold J. Hansen/General Aircraft Supplies of Boeing Field, Seattle and registered N2783J. He sold it on and in April 1983 the Otter was registered to Tyee Airlines Inc of Ketchikan, Alaska, joining their existing Otters N9895B (194) and N68086 (288). Cockpit N337AK
In January 1985, Temsco Helicopters, another Ketchikan-based operator, purchased Tyee Airlines and its aircraft. N2783J was registered to Temsco Helicopters Inc in March 1985 and was noted on overhaul at Vancouver during May prior to entering service with Temsco Airlines, as it became known. By 1989 Temsco Airlines were operating a fleet of 9 Otters. All however was not going well and in November 1991, Temsco's fixed wing division was closed down, although the helicopter division continued in business.
After a period 'at rest', N2783J was purchased by Wings Airline Services Inc, trading as Wings of Alaska, and registered to them in March 1993, flying from their base at Juneau. In April 1994 it was re-registered N337AK to Alaska Juneau Aeronautics Inc, trading as Wings of Alaska, and continued flying as part of their fleet.
In April 2002 there was a change of registered owner to Alaska Coastal Airlines Inc of Juneau, but all the time remaining part of the Wings of Alaska by N337AK
During the winter of 2003/04 N337AK was converted to a Texas Turbine Otter at Juneau. A minor incident was recorded on 12May04 when N337AK ran into sister ship N336AK (333), while docking in Juneau Harbour... Only superficial damage was caused and both Otters were soon back in service. The Otters are used by Wings of Alaska mostly to fly cruise ship passengers on scenic flights.

Gerben Groothuis wrote me in April 2007:
"The past few weeks I was travelling in Asia and made again good use of my camera...
I was impressed by the EC-46A 91-1143 outside the museum in Tokorozawa, nearby Tokyo (01Apr07). I found myself lucky to see the cherryblossom in full bloom!"
EC-46 91-1143 Tokorozawa My records show this Curtiss Commando to have been built as C-46A with USAAF serial 43-47222.

The Tokorozawa Aviation Museum has a chapter on
C-46 looking pretty!
"This is Y5 SVS-003, nearby the former airfield of Longhua in Shanghai (18Mar07).
The registration is fake and I have no idea what the original serial ever was.
There was also a Y7 (SVS-001) and an IL-14 (SVS-002)."

Aad van der Voet (of kindly provided the following information:
"The following information from the Soviet Transports team:
SVS-003 is Y5 ex B-8100 c/n 232008. It was noted wfu at Longhua in Oct-1999 and Apr-2000. First noted as "SVS-003" in June-2005."
And on the other aircraft reported present:
"SVS-002 is IL-14P ex 674 c/n 14803052. Also noted wfu at Longhua in Oct-1999 and Apr-2000, then as SVS-002 in Jun-2005.
SVS-001 is probably An-24B (not Y7) ex B-3406 c/n 17307105, but this is unconfirmed. Noted wfu as B-3406 at Longhua Apr-2000. SVS-001 was first noted there May-2005, and is probably the same aircraft."
Alexandre Avrane added: SVS stands for Shanghai Vocational School
A further update by Aad: "I just heard from the Soviet Transports team that all three aircraft were noted again on 17-Apr-2007. And the identity of Antonov An-24 SVS-001 now has been confirmed: it is indeed c/n 17307105 ex B-3406."

Dornier Wal Heinz Rentmeister wrote me in March 2007:
"I was made aware of your interest in the Dornier Wal flying boat.
In late 2005 I was able to make a little trip to Lujan in Argentina, where the only original Wal survives in a nice but dark museum.
Here are a few photos that you are welcome to use."

To learn more of this unique flying boat, I would recommend following external links:
Dornier Wal Ducumentation Center
Wikipedia - the Free Encyclopedia
Below photos: © Heinz Rentmeister
Click here
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VH-CWS at Perth Christian E. from Sweden came across VH-CWS sitting in the blistering sun, in Perth,Australia. The photo was taken 11Mar07, outside Terminal 2 (QANTAS) at Perth Domestic Airport.
Notice the swirling dust in the background...
VH-CWS is a Douglas C-47A WW2 veteran and held the previous identities: 42-23424, A65-9, VH-EAM, VH-EWR, VH-EWF, VH-PWN, ZK-AMS. Its construction number is 9286.

As ZK-AMS it flew from Sydney-Bankstown for Pionair, on scenic- and wine trail flights. It left BWU on 26Aug06 for Western Australia for Classic Wings ("Western Australia's DC-3 Company"); it had been reregistered VH-CWS as early as 14Mar06.
Unfortunately, their website offered the following information in April 2007:
"Unfortunately, we must advise that Classic Wings has had to suspend our flying operations indefinitely.
We are endeavouring to contact all those who are booked to fly with us to make alternative arrangements.
To all those who have supported us during our operations, thank you for your support."
David Carter wrote me the following in April 2007:
"The chief pilot of Classic Wings, Bill Gray, has been a friend of mine for 40 years. We grew up hanging around Sydney airport. He was always a propliner enthusiast, with a particular passion for the Douglas DC-4. Fortunately there were plenty around in those days. Bill went on to become an airline pilot. I looked at the world through the bottom of Coke bottles, so flying was never an option for me and I took a non-aviation career path.
It is a terrible shame that Classic Wings has ceased flying after such a short time. Bill and his son David invested everything in this plane, both financially and spiritually.
We at one stage were talking about buying and restoring a DC-3, one which had the double doors. Bill and David's DC-3, which started life as a C-47, had its side-swinging double doors replaced with a DC-3 style drop-down passenger door, probably by Qantas (when it was VH-EAM). The lack of cargo doors stopped the Grays taking advantage of the profitable cargo work connected to Western Australia's booming mining industry.
VH-EAM became VH-EWA and was the flagship of the East West Airlines fleet until it came down in a golfcourse lake, in 1957, a few kilometers from the end of Sydney's runway 07...
No one was injured.
It was rebuilt and became VH-EWF, the registration -EWA being applied to the new flagship: a Fokker F.27"

This prompted a response from David Gray (Managing Director, Classic Wings), in May 2007:
VH-CWS is not up for sale (fortunately!) and the company is not defunct, merely in suspension as said on the website, while we sort out a few items of red tape that generally seem to pop up with operating an old airliner. And we have taken advantage of the downtime to make a number of changes to ensure that the company can return to flying VH-CWS as unhindered as possible.
As soon as everything is finalized and in place, CWS will fly once again!
Also, the aircraft is not the East-West DC-3 which crashed at the golf course at Eastlakes. C/n 9286 (VH-CWS) was actually the second VH-EWF, only getting the registration changed with the arrival of the first Fokker Friendship, which East-West management believed was more appropriate to hold the "flagship" registration of VH-EWA. She was converted to a civilian in 1947 by Qantas which did include the replacement of the double doors with the single passenger door as fitted to her now."

My Guestphotos page 20 has a June 2009 image, while awaiting auction at Rutherford.

Update Feb.2016:
Last noted at SYD-Bankstown 02Jan2016, being dismantled, and gone by 29Jan16; VH-CWS is being shipped to a military museum in S.Korea.

Tico Belle in continued restoration
These photos were sent by Chris Horst upon his visit on 22Feb07 to the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville,FL.
The photos show "Tico Belle", steadily improving under restoration.
C-47A N3239T (c/n 19054) was former USAAF 42-100591, Norwegian AF 2100591 and via Danish AF (68-684 & K-684) went back to the USA.
N3239T was damaged in a landing incident on 09Jul01 and has been under repairs ever since, with parts being used from the slowly evaporating N8040L...
Sad remains of N8040L

One has to be a true aviation enthusiast to take photos in Canada's Deep Freeze! Or the wife of an aviation nut...

Winter at Air North
Cold, cold, sunny but cooooold...!

My 2003 report has impressions of a visit to Whitehorse and Air North.

Update Feb.2021:
'Air North retired its last 2 HS748s, C-FAGI & C-FCSE, as too expensive to maintain its RR Dart engines; both sold to Wasaya Aws (HS748s in Canada now only operated by Wasaya Aws, Air Creebec, Air Inuit). C-FCSE operated its last flight for Air North on 22Jan21.' ¬Scramble #501.

C-FCSE: New colours in the snow John Olafson tells more:
"These photos were taken by my wife, Peggy, in Feb07 while she was in Whitehorse. The Canada Winter Games were held there this winter and she was there as an official with Speed Skating. One day she had some free time and went to the airport with a friend and had a ramp tour which was greatly abbveviated due to the severe temperature outside....; when she took these photos it was minus 46 degrees!!!! Bare hands on the camera do not allow for much time outside in those conditions.
Air North operate four HS 748 2A from Whitehorse; they are in the process of painting them in new colors (but certainly not in winter).
They are C-FAGI C-FCSE C-FYDU and C-FYDY; they are used mainly for charter in the North. They also operate two B737-201 on scheduled flights between Whitehorse and Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. A very impressive little airline which started out as a one-man, one-aircraft bushtype-operation over 30 years ago!
Sorry, but I cannot identify the two aircraft pictured on the ramp here.
Here is a link to their website: "

Kyle wrote something [mar.2007] on the paintjobs in progress at Air North:
"The new colors are white and orange, as seen on C-FCSE here. It is replacing the old Mount Cook-colours we inherited with ZK-MCJ and ZK-MCP (C-FYDY and C-FYDU resp.).
I was only able to get as far as the tarps on C-FYDY this winter, as the taill sticks out of the hangar; it is still Mount Cook from the rear PAX-door on back...
C-FAGI is the machine on the right of the photo. We bought it in about '99 and painted it to match the Mount Cook ones. The Boeing 737s are going to get some orange paint soon too. They'll be nicer to work on, prep wise (flush rivets).
Personally, I miss the "Harvest Gold" and "Emerald Forest Green" of our days of yor (DC-3, DC-4)..."

CN-CCNFred Streep knew who to contact to get to this Queen of the Skies, hidden in Royal Air Maroc's harem of aviation, only to be glanced upon by privilged eyes...
This is Lockheed L.749A Constellation CN-CCN (c/n 2674) and has been here at Casablanca-Anfa since 1970 as an instructional airframe, though that function was abandoned in 1990 I believe, which led to some neglect but CN-CCN reappeared fully restored quite recently.

Date of visit: 16Mar07

CN-CCN has more details

Sean Barry went zooming past (Summer 2006) along this wreck of a Bristol Freighter, in Canada's Arctic North...
CF-TFZ taking a gulp
More on CF-TFZ's predicament can be read on my page
Wrecks of the Arctic North
CF-TFZ holding out
The website CNAPG with Bristol Freighter Individual Histories, offered the following historical data on this Bristol Freighter:
Construction number: 13139
  • 19?? The aircraft was registered as G-AMRX.
  • 1953 The aircraft was acquired by Trans Canada Airlines and was re-registered as CF-TFZ.
  • 1956 The aircraft was acquired by Pacific Western Airlines
  • 30May1956 The port undercarriage leg broke through the ice while landing at Beaverlodge Lake, Canada and the aircraft was written off
  • These photos were sent to me by Dwight Beers of Portland,ME. He wrote:
    "I have recently come into possession of some photos from around 1927, depicting some of Alaska's early aviation pioneers. Each of these photos include handwritten captions on the reverse.
    It is assumed that these photos were taken whilst on some kind of survey work, for Dominion Explorers, Ltd. And Russell Merrill seems to have participated as a pilot while a Mr Robinson seems depicted in other photos (representing Dominion Explorers?)
    Take off in white out conditions

    CAPTION: "Just as we took off from the ice of Bering Sea at Nome April 5, 1927. I am leaning over the edge of the front cock pit. Pilot is in back and looking over the other side. Note the ski landing gear. Four hundred horsepower motor and we were able to climb at a very steep angle.
    Nome is to the left of us and cannot be seen."

    CAPTION: "Taken as we were preparing to take off after eight days on the Barren Lands. Wondering if our gas supply is sufficient to reach our northern base."
    Unidentified person

    CAPTION: "On the SS Victoria--Ice bound in the Bering Sea. The glare from the ice spoiled the pictures but close examination will reveal the ice and myself".
    Is this Mr Robinson?

    NC711Y 'Luvalatte' sent me this photo, initially a small version before it was posted for sale on eBay as a vintage print, but when it remained unsold allowed use on my website:
    "I've been an old plane buff since I found an album at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, about 10 years ago, which was a really gorgeous collection. it took me over a year to piece it out and sell it; and I sent tons of files to AeroFiles for K.O.'s collection."

    The aircraft in question is a Pilgrim, tailnumber NC711Y. It was one of Harold Gillam's Pilgrims; more on this famous Alaska aviation pioneer, can be read on a webpage of mine, dedicated to Lars Opland's collection.
    And if you are interested in buying the print, tell me and I will try to forward your email.

    Winters in Alaska....
    Wasilla Transportation MuseumMartin Prince Jr sent me this photo, taken in March 2007.
    He wrote: "I am on holidays in Anchorage/Wasilla and I stopped in the Transportation Museum here in Wasilla and snapped a couple of shots of the two old propliners. The museum is closed for the season so I have no information on the two planes here."

    The lack of info is easily solved by going to my travelreport: Alaska, the Last frontier, 2003

    Martin has more photo on my website

    I have come across Henk Geerlings and his son Martijn at propliner events in the Netherlands and we use the opportunity to change info, gossip and what-not; things even get better when they start promising me photos like these 2 Catalina's...
    OB-T-251 by Henk Geerlings OB-T-251 (c/n 1868) was photographed by Henk in 1980 at Iquitos in Peru, operated by LORASA (Loretana de Aviacion SA).
    David Legg's splendid book about the Consolidated PBY Catalina (The Peacetime Record, Airlife 2001) offers a description and thus can be learned that this PBY started its career with the US Navy (Bu46504) in 1944 until 1950 when it was stored (at some point registered N1513V). Quite when it went to Peru (registered first as OB-LBA-251 and OB-M-251) is as yet a mystery, but it remained with LORASA until it folded during the latter half of the 1970s.
    Its condition by 1998 was described in bitter terms: the hull basically intact, the engines long since been removed, so has the tailplane (these items were reported to have been bought by an American) and for its ultimate fate, rotting away in the back of the Faucett Cargo hangar at Francisco Sereda Vigneta airport, one has to fear it is beyond any project of restoration...

    Jean-Christophe Polet wrote me in clarification of how and why this Catalina made it to Peru; he corresponded his findings with Catalina/Canso expert, David Legg:
    J-Chris: "I've found a .pdf file 'Adventurers for God' dated 1959 about C.W.Townsend and his Wycliffe Bible Translators, 'commited to providing access to scripture to people in the language they understand best'.
    (...) Braving almost unbelievable hazards, they quietly spend their lives analyzing unwritten Indian languages, creating primers and dictionaries, setting up schools and training native teachers. (...)
    This harrowing experience convinced Townsend of one thing: "We've got to have a plane!"
    A U.S. Marine mission at Lima was about to scrap an old Grumman amphibian...
    The Peruvian government, with a generous assist from a Townsend admirer in California, bought it for him; and to fly it, Townsend recruited Larry Montgomery, a former Air Force combat flier.
    Today Montgomery is superintendent of JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service), SIL's air arm.
    JAARS now has a fleet of 19 planes, 21 pilots, plus crews of maintenance men and skilled radio technicians.
    Most of the aircraft are equipped with pontoons for river landings.
    Workhorse of the fleet is a Navy-surplus PBY, used for hauling heavy loads to jungle outposts and for transporting 50- gallon drums of emergency gasoline which are cached at convenient places along the rivers.
    The Catalina bears the name 'Moisés Sáenz' in whose memory a group of Mexicans donated its purchase money."

    And David Legg replied to this:"This is Peruvian PBY-5A OB-LBA-251. It was donated by the Government and people of Mexico (hence their flag as well as Peru ’s) along with the Instituto Linguistico de Verano (ILV) and associate Oklahoma State University to the Peruvian people and was operated by ILV. It was named 'Moisés Sáenz'.
    Nominally, it was gifted to the Peruvian Air Force although it does not appear to have been operated by them. It ended up with LORASA and seems to have been scrapped not that long ago (a few years ago anyway) at Iquitos . Its full id was c/n 1868, BuAer46504/N1513V/OB-LBA-251/OB-M-251/OB-T-251.


    From the tropical climate of Peru we retrace Henk's travels to a much colder climate: Anchorage, Alaska (in Feb.1988).

    I have come across this OA-10A Catalina (registered N57875, but not visible on the aircraft as I recall) myself, without much improvement in its condition, in 2003.
    Follow the link for a description of its history and on how "the Queen of Dago Lake" found its way to this museum.

    EP-TWB at Tehran by Niels Borcharding Niels Borcharding decided to visit Iran for his interest in aviation, certainly not a common choice and bound to deliver some memorable moments. One of which is shared here: EP-TWB, preserved at Tehran Aviation Museum.
    The interesting thing is that the identity of this Douglas C-47A was under debate, but long assumed and quoted in standard reference manuals as c/n 12680, while Niels photos prove the c/n plate to state 12580 !!
    C/n 12580, however, is proclaimed to be 6864 of the South African Air Force...
    I think these photos have at least reopened the debate!

    Nicolai Musante took the lead in this debate and offered the following:
    "I am not sure if it helps much, but the conversion plate looks like those fitted to the Grand Central Aircraft Co. converted DC-3 (this being conversion S4040, another example is N84KB which is S9040 - see Photos by Friends & Guests #42).
    The modifications seen on the exterior views of EP-TWB includes gear doors, modified engine cowlings and the huge spinner. The sightseeing window was also typical.
    Anyone has a list of all DC-3s modified by GCA Co?"

    construction plate of EP-TWB

    Tom Macfadyen replied to this (Mar.2007):
    "Thank you Niels for your foresight in photographing the C/N plate on this aircraft; this airframe has been in my minor problem box for more than thirty years. The type and location of the plate may have confirmed my suspicions and solved the problem.
    This is not the original C/N plate, the original plate would have been a USAAF one giving the Douglas number, the full aircraft type – C-47A with the block number and the factory code, the USAAF serial number and the date accepted by the USAAF. It would also have been fitted to a solid part of the bulkhead, not to a removable panel and certainly not to a hinged (i.e. removable) door. Also note that the rivets fixing both the conversion plate and the Douglas plate are very similar and may have been fitted at the same time, September 1946?
    The Douglas plate which is fitted to this aircraft has no date of acceptance by the USAAF or full aircraft type and USAAF serial number and it is similar to ones fitted to civil aircraft in the post-war era. Aircraft built for the US military had a space for the serial number and often has ‘accepted’ in place of ‘completed’.
    There are many reasons for a new C/N plate to be requested from the manufacturer and probably the two most common are that the plate has been damaged and is partly illegible or it has been removed as a souvenir. I have always believed that the mix up with the C/N 12580/12680 was a simple error. This may have occurred either by someone reading the Air Force tail number wrongly during the initial conversion when presumably it was still in its war-time colours or someone at Douglas making a mistake when calculating the C/N for a replacement plate.
    C/n 12580 has a confirmed history from delivery through its SAAF service and the same can be said for C/n 12680 its history is confirmed from many sources and there is no problem with it (other than the C/N plate). Also C/N 12680 served in Europe and has evidence of fittings which were used in Europe during the Second World War having been removed, these fittings were not used in SAAF service and confirm that they are two different airframes which served in two different theatres of war.
    I have been researching the histories of Dakotas for almost fifty years and have absolutely no problem with EP-TWB being c/n 12680"
    Tom Macfadyen
    Air-Britain specialist on the Dakota

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