Category Archives: Norseman

Bonanza and Norseman Updates

blog-bonanza-1-n5002c_LRblog-bonanza-2-n5002c-aug-2018-1_LRBonanza D-2264 Had a Sad Ending

One day back in the early 1950s, my great pal, Bob Finlayson, snapped these lovely views of Bonanza N5002C “The Flying Chef”, visiting “old” (pre-WWII) Hamilton airport. Piloting it was owner/operator, Joseph E. Graves of South Bend, Indiana. These were the days when companies small and large were proud to fly the company logo on their planes. This made something like N5002C all the more interesting to photograph. I well recall the Canadair, Goodyear, Ontario Paper and Eaton’s DC-3s at Malton Airport (today’s YYZ) taxiing by “showing the corporate flag” back in the 1950s. They were always more interesting to photograph than the “no name” examples.

In the early days of bizjets, one of the more interesting logos that flew (if only briefly) was on the tail of a Falcon 20 operated for Conrad Black. I wish I had a photo, for it showed a snake suffocating a bunny. As one of the company pilots told me, this represented Conrad’s view of management vs labour. Try showing that logo in 2016, eh! These days one of the most secretive businesses on the planet is corporate aviation, so to see a corporate logo such as “Jack’s Foods Inc.” on a private plane is rare, Donald Trump’s Boeing 757 excepted.

Built in 1950, Bonanza N5002C (serial number D-2264) last was registered to the G&R Corp of South Bend, Indiana, but that was long ago – whatever happened to it, for it disappeared from the US civil aircraft register in 1953?  A report in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Gazette And Bulletin tells the sad story of this lovely Bonanza. While flying from South Bend to New York City for a potato chip convention on January 26, 1953, Joseph E. Graves and three food industry companions all died when N5002C crashed in an orchard at State College, Pennsylvania. The newspaper noted: “The single-engine four-passenger plane which was almost out of gas, according to investigating state police, crashed as it approached the airport runway at this Central Pennsylvania community. The plane clipped off the trunk of a tree in the orchard and plowed into a mudhole … A few minutes before the crash the pilot of the plane contacted the nearby Phillipsburg Airport and reported he was lost and had only 10 minutes gas supply left.” Subsequently “N5002C” was re-used on a Ryan Navion in New Jersey.

Forrest Klies’ “Oshkosh” Norseman Has New Home

N78691 IMG_2394N78691 IMG_2396

The story of UC-64A Norseman N78691 is told in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.2. Originally US Army 44-70372, it had a postwar career as NC58691 with the US Department of Agriculture, before joining Ontario Central Airlines in 1961 as CF-LSS. Further adventures followed with such Ontario and Manitoba operators as Cross Lake Air Service, Perimeter Aviation, Bob Polinuk and Kyro’s-Albany River Airways. CF-LSS seemed to have been dormant since 1975, then retired crop duster pilot, Forrest Klies of Montana, acquired it in 2011. Registering it N78691, he told me in 2013 that he spent $700,000 rebuilding the airframe and zero-timing the engine. For several seasons, Forrest showed his pristine “Big Beautiful Babushka”, as he called N78691, at Oshkosh. Eventually, he felt that he was getting a bit too old for such a big plane. In 2013 he offered it for sale for $300,000 or “a Beaver on wheels plus cash”. Others were seeking buyers for their own Norsemans, but not many operators or collectors were shopping. The picture looked bleak.

N78691 IMG_2397

On p.111 of “Norseman, Vol.2” are two excellent Lambert de Gavère photos of Norseman N225BL (formerly CF-GUE) in Alaska in Ingram Air colours. N225BL later flew for Wade Renfro’s Alaska Adventure of Bethel, but on July 11, 2009 it went into the trees following engine failure. By then, however, Wade had come to appreciate the special features of this classic bushplane. His passion led him to purchase Forrest’s old beauty for a price north of US$160K. This week Lambert sent me these three fine views of N78691 on Lake Hood in Anchorage, waiting for the right weather before flying the 600 or so kilometers to its new home in Bethel, an isolated spot on the Kuskokwim River delta in western Alaska.

Update: Alaska Adventure Norseman N78691 flew off Lake Hood for Bethel on August 31 carrying a hefty load. Sad to say, however, the company lost a Super Cub the same day in a disastrous mid-air collision at Russian Mission in Western Alaska. In clear weather, it collided with a Hageland Aviation Cessna Caravan. All  five aboard the two bushplanes died. It's often a tough world out there in the wilds of coast, bush, valley and mountains.

Update: Alaska Adventure Norseman N78691 flew off Lake Hood for Bethel on August 31 carrying a hefty load. Sad to say, however, the company lost a Super Cub the same day in a disastrous mid-air collision at Russian Mission in Western Alaska. In clear weather, it collided with a Hageland Aviation Cessna Caravan. All  five aboard the two bushplanes died. It’s often a tough world out there in the wilds of coast, bush, valley and mountains.

In other recent Norseman news, Rodney Kozar reports that Glenn Crandall’s famous Norseman CF-UUD (see  Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.2) now is N164UC with Wendell Phillipi of Minnesota. Rodney adds that Norsemans CF-JIN, CF-KAO and CF-ZMX all flew at this year’s Norseman Festival in Red Lake and that 80-90 visitors slapped down the cash for a Norseman flight.

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Summer’s here, so it’s time to treat yourself to a set of CANAV’s wonderful Norseman books!

CF-GLI, delivered by Noorduyn to the US Army in February 1944

CF-GLI, originally delivered to the US Army in February 1944, now is under restoration in the Netherlands (click to enlarge).

One of Canada’s most historic Norsemans is CF-GLI. Delivered by Noorduyn to the US Army in February 1944, this UC-64 Norseman served on the US homefront as 43-5374. After its brief Army career, it was retired and sold in the summer of 1945 by the US Reconstruction Finance Corp. (the US equivalent to Canada’s War Assets Disposal Corp.) to Los Angeles based Aero Service, where it flew as NC88719. It’s history there still isn’t known, but in September 1951 it was sold to Queen Charlotte Airlines of Vancouver, thence to Air-Dale of Sault Ste. Marie in 1953 and Lee Cole’s Chapleau Air Services in 1982. Other operators followed until CF-GLI joined Gogal Air Services of Snow Lake, Manitoba in 1994, where it worked steadily in the summer tourist trade until a crash in the bush in June 2010. Old ‘GLI now seemed to be kaput.

In January 2011, however, the bent old Norseman was hauled out in pieces by helicopter and trucked away for safe keeping. In 2015 ‘GLI was sold to a group in the Netherlands (headed by Arno van der Holst) with plans to rebuild it to flying status. For the latest about this important project, check out their Facebook page.

Also, you can read all about CF-GLI’s many adventures in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.2.

Recently, Chris Cole sent along this great new photo, above, of CF-GLI. Chris writes: “I attach this picture of CF-GLI that I took one summer at my dad’s business — Sunset View Camp/Chapleau Air Service — on Unegam Lake just south of Chapleau on Hwy 129. I remember going out in a boat, so I could take this  picture.”

You can order your set of Norseman books right here: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Cheers and I hope your summer goes well so far … Larry

Noorduyn Norseman Year End Update

Norseman1

Typical US Army Commando Group UC-64 Norseman scenes from the Far East in 1944-45. You’ll see these historic shots with a host of others in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.1.

Norseman2

Since CANAV published its Norseman books in 2013-14, it’s been fun posting new bits of Norseman history on “the company blog” for everyone to enjoy.

One little known wartime Norseman operator was the US Army in the Far East. In one case 12 Norsemans were assigned to the First Air Commando Group. Designated UC-64s (“U” for utility, “C” for cargo), their usefulness was described in the December 7, 1944 issue of CBI Roundup, a US Army newspaper published in Delhi (“CBI” signified China-Burma-India). You’ll enjoy this little period piece:

UNSUNG PLANE ‘WORKHORSE OF THE SKIES: Rugged Little UC-64 Performs Minor Miracles In Jungle

BURMA – To the wounded, isolated, supply-starved foot soldiers lost in Burma’s dense jungles, and to the pilots and other crew members who fly her, the UC-64 is a ‘sweet little airplane – the workhorse of the skies.” The stories told about those small, single-engined utility cargo planes are many and most always exciting.

Members of the late Gen. Orde C. Wingate’s phantom army tell a typical tale of what these planes have done under combat conditions in Burma. A number of Wingate’s boys found themselves deep in enemy territory, cut off from all possible help, many of them wounded, some on the verge of starvation. Evacuation by air seemed almost impossible, too, as they were faced with Jap machine gun fire on one side and surrounded by long stretches of rice paddies. Certainly, it wasn’t an inviting landing spot for an ordinary plane.

Suddenly, a lone, stubby-nosed aircraft appeared overhead, swept low over enemy installations and settled on a small rice paddy clearing. Painted on its fuselage were the five white diagonal stripes of the First Air Commando Group. The plane was a UC-64 Noorduyn Norseman bringing in 2,000 pounds of supplies and ready to evacuate 10 seriously-wounded soldiers to a base hospital.

Another story of the plane’s durability is proudly told by Lt. David C. Beasley, a pilot. “You can bang her up, but you can’t keep her down,” he declared, upon returning from an advanced Commando-built airstrip that had, a moment before his arrival, undergone a severe attack by enemy bombers. His radio wasn’t working and he hadn’t learned of the bombing that had dotted the runway with dangerous craters. When he landed, one of the craters snatched off his tail wheel. But five minutes later, with the wheel wired into place, Beasley was back in the air.

The C-64, as it is frequently called, is strictly a new bird in India-Burma skies. Prior to last spring’s airborne invasion of Northern Burma, Col. Philip Cochran, commanding the Air Commandos, foresaw the need of landing vital supplies upon short strips hacked from Burma’s rugged terrain. He needed a ship as tough as the jungle. His choice was the Noorduyn Norseman, a plane unproved in any other theater of operations. “We knew very little of her capabilities,” Lt. Julius Goodman, a volunteer pilot, admits, “as no other organization had used her in combat. We had thought of her as a very tricky ship to handle because of her narrow landing gear. It wasn’t long, though, before we knew her as a tough little workhorse.” As operations progressed, new hazards developed to test the aircraft’s durability. Shortage of transportation between Commando airstrips and the home base frequently forced the plane to carry 1,000 pounds in excess of its factory-stated capacity. She carried them with ease.

The scarcity of C-64’s in this neck of the war necessitates the immediate dismantling of their frames after crack-ups. The constant ferrying of troops into small clearings, supplying their positions and other outposts with radio equipment, drop packs, ammunition, rations and other supplies, plus evacuating the wounded, would diminish the effectiveness of an ordinary plane. But the Norseman, with its Pratt-Whitney Wasp engine, the pilots insist, isn’t an ordinary plane.

More News about Norseman CF-GLI

Norseman CF-GLI is well covered in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.2. Last year we heard that “GLI” had been sold in The Netherlands. An update appears in the Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre newsletter, “Fly North” (Vol.4, No.7, Dec. 2015). It turns out that “GLI” was transferred to the Dutch “Noorduyn Foundation” on May 10, 2015. Plans are to fully restore this 1944-model Norseman within two years.

“Fly North” includes some personal recollections from Gerry Bell, who flew CF-GLI from Red Lake in the 1990s. His list of the old bird’s deficiencies is a long one, yet “GLI” wouldn’t quit. Gerry concludes: “Together we moved people, freight, boats, did rescue flights, etc., through the endless skies of Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba and over countless miles of forests and lakes – times I shall cherish forever.”

If you are a fan of northern aviation, you ought to have your NWOAHC membership. Click here to find out more.

Norseman CF-GLI Air Dale Ltd. Larry's pic

CF-GLI at the Air-Dale dock in Sault Ste. Marie. In this period it was painted a soft yellow with black and white trim. Larry Milberry took this photo with his reliable “2¼” Minolta Autocord more than 50 years ago, while on a Lake Superior canoe trip with his old pal Nick Wolochatiuk.

Norseman Vol.2 erratum: You can scroll back in the blog to find the few errata that so far have come to my attention. Today, please note that the caption on p.36 should read: An evocative Arctic scene showing what is thought to be the first airplane to visit Pond Inlet at the top of Baffin Island. Piloted by Gunnar Ingebrigston of Arctic Wings, Norseman CF-BAU made the harrowing 650 mile flight from Frobisher Bay in April 1949 on a charter with a party of federal government people, including Donald Wilkinson of the National Film Board. Here, “BAU”, well tied-down using 45-gallon drums, warms up. (National Film Board of Canada) All the best as usual …Larry

Norseman Vol. 1cover jpg

Norseman Vol. 2 cover

 

 

Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman comes in two impressive volumes, representing the most thorough treatment ever given by any publisher to any of the classic bushplanes. These splendid books belong in your aviation library.

You know how some airheads never shut up about “everything” being on the web? Well, CANAV’s titles prove what a load of BS that is (but you already know that, if you’re a serious aviation reader). You’ll find no comparable Norseman coverage anywhere.

So, for the detailed story about Canada’s renowned Norseman, order your set online today: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Few books could make such a royal gift for any serious fan.

 

A Few More Norseman Tidbits for the Fans

RCAF Norseman 3528Check out this lovely period photo showing RCAF Norseman 3528 at Watson Lake in the Yukon on June 15, 1944. Whatever task 3528 was about, in these few moments the crew was not too worried. Who would know there was a war on, eh, with the fellows having knocked off for some fun in the cool, fresh water under the wing of their big yellow bird.

Earlier, Norseman 3528 had been on strength at 124 (Ferry) Squadron based at Rockcliffe, but in August 1942 had be reassigned to Northwest Air Command for duty in the Yukon, mainly supporting the Northwest Staging Route and CANOL Pipeline projects. In the Yukon, 3528’s usual pilot into 1943 was a pre-WWII northern legend, F/L Carl Crossley. See Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.1 for the Crossley/Norseman story.

And what of 3528 in the end? It’s not a happy tale. Moments after taking off from Fort Simpson, NWT on July 10, 1945, it crashed. Crewman LAC Sidney B. Ladell freed himself from the wreck, but powerful currents in the Liard River carried 3528 away with pilot F/O Charles T. Wheeler trapped in the cockpit. He was never seen again. (DND PL25434, click to see full screen) CF-DTL  refuelling at Green's dock, Red Lake (ON)  26-7-2009 (M. Léonard)One of Canada’s best-known Norsemans in recent years has been CF-DTL, owned by Gord and Eleanor Hughes of Ignace, Ontario. Since the 1980s, it’s been a regular summer visitor across the North. Having begun as RCAF 2484 in 1941, postwar CF-DTL had served the Department of Transport and Wheeler Airlines, until wrecked at Moosonee in 1965. Rebuilt by Lauzon Aviation, it flew again for years in the Quebec bush. Gord and Eleanor eventually did their own restoration of this historic Norseman, and still care lovingly for it. While visiting Red Lake from France for the 2009 Norseman Festival, Michel Léonard photographed CF-DTL with Gord up top refuelling.

Norseman Updates: Finnish Norseman Pushed Outside

Finnish Norseman OH-NOA, which is mentioned in Norseman Vol.2 (page 121 and earlier on our blog) now is freezing outside at the Finnish aviation museum. Blog follower Henk van Capelle sent us this excellent photo and reports: “I visited Tikkakoski in Finland on 9 March 2015 and found OH-NOA dumped in the snow behind the museum. So, unfortunately she is no longer in safe storage and is likely to deteriorate further. She is in a rather sorry state.” (click on any image to see it full screen). Finnish Norseman OH-NOA, which is mentioned in Norseman Vol.2 (page 121 and here) now is freezing outside at the Finnish aviation museum. Blog follower Henk van Capelle sent us this excellent photo and reports:

“I visited Tikkakoski in Finland on 9 March 2015 and found OH-NOA dumped in the snow behind the museum. So, unfortunately she is no longer in safe storage and is likely to deteriorate further. She is in a rather sorry state.”

*The latest news in November 2015 is that there is renewed interest at the museum in starting this Norseman’s restoration to display status.

*Click on any image to see it full screen.

US Military Norseman

Photo 2 0U4A3887 Paul Bigelow One of the really eye-catching sights at the National Museum of the USAF at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is this Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman in its flashy Alaska Air Command colours of early postwar days. I featured Sheldon Benner’s photo of this Norseman in Vol.2. Now, here’s a fresh view of it taken this March by LtCol Paul Bigelow, USAF. In other news, the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton awaits the arrival of Norseman CF-GSR, acquired from Ernie Nicholl’s Huron Air; and CF-GLI, the salvage of which is covered in Norseman, Vol.2, now is in the Netherlands. It will be restored to flying condition. Airworthy Norsemans CF-FQI, CF-LZO and N78691  have been  on the market since 2014.

CF-MPL Accident and Memorial

A clipping from the Kapuskasing Northern Times of June 2, 1965 reporting the tragic end of CF-MPL. (Ellis Culliton Collection)

Norseman CF-MPL in RCMP service. The colour scheme was standard RCMP Air Division dark blue with yellow. (John Henderson Collection)

A clipping from the Kapuskasing Northern Times of June 2, 1965 reporting the tragic end of CF-MPL. (Ellis Culliton Collection)

A clipping from the Kapuskasing Northern Times of June 2, 1965 reporting the tragic end of CF-MPL. (Ellis Culliton Collection)

One of the tragedies reported in CANAV’s 2-part Norseman history involves CF-MPL. On May 27, 1965 Percy Bradley, an ex-RCAF pilot, was on a trip to a fishing lodge in CF-MPL with passengers Palma Leclair, Elma Mulvenna, Victor Prendergast and John Wright. Severe weather suddenly engulfed them. As a precaution, Bradley decided to land on Powell Lake south of Kapuskasing, but crashed in thick bush. He, Leclair and Mulvenna lost their lives. Prendergast later reported: “Mr. Bradley … decided to try a landing, but when we were about five feet off the water, he realized the lake was too short and attempted to pull out. The pontoons hit the tree tops … and the plane stalled and went nose first into the bush.” Searchers needed two days to reach the crash. One of the RCAF’s new CH-113 Labrador SAR choppers from Trenton rescued the survivors.

Ontario Provincial Air Service pilot Ellis Culliton photographed the accident site from his Beaver. It’s clear that CF-MPL crash violently and that it was very good fortune that anyone survived.

Ontario Provincial Air Service pilot Ellis Culliton photographed the accident site from his Beaver. It’s clear that CF-MPL crash violently and that it was very good fortune that anyone survived.

In 2010 members of the Kapuskasing Flying Club visited the crash site to survey the wreckage and set up a temporary marker. These good citizens have returned since to do further work, everything being done reverentially. Here are a few of their photos.

The main wreckage of CF-MPL after the fuselage was righted and the starboard wing raised out of the muck. Note how the standard RCMP colour scheme still was in use in Percy Bradley’s time.

The main wreckage of CF-MPL after the fuselage was righted and the starboard wing raised out of the muck. Note how the standard RCMP colour scheme still was in use in Percy Bradley’s time.

Photo 8 marker DSCF1112

The temporary marker that the KFC party set up at the crash site.

Above and below: KFC team members study the main wreckage, then pose in a group for the historic record.

Above and below: KFC team members study the main wreckage, then pose in a group for the historic record. Standing are Jack Pope, Michel Jauvin, Rene Larabie, Richard Drolet, Roger Isabell and Oneill Lapointe. Bob Pellow is in front wearing the red cap. Miro Spacek was behind the lens.

Photo 10 KFC team DSCF1144

More Norseman Tales: CF-JIN ex-RCAF 2482

RCAF Norseman 2482 in wartime days.The colour scheme was standard yellow overall. Postwar, 2482 became CF-JIN,  remaining in service into 2015. (CANAV Books Collection)

RCAF Norseman 2482 in wartime days.The colour scheme was standard yellow overall. Postwar, 2482 became CF-JIN, remaining in service into 2015. (CANAV Books Collection)

One of the busier Norsemans in modern times has been CF-JIN. Originally RCAF 2482 in 1941, it was struck off strength in 1953. It eventually re-appeared in 1957 as CF-JIN with Austin Airways, where it toiled into 1969. The next few years are a puzzle as to operations. There was a long dormancy, then, in 1988 it popped up at Red Lake Air Service in NW Ontario. In 1995 it moved across Howey Bay to Chimo Air Service, where it remained into 2015.

CF-JIN stuck in the boonies circa 1960 during Austin Airways times. Looks like an engine change is under way. (CANAV Books Collection)

CF-JIN stuck in the boonies circa 1960 during Austin Airways times. Looks like an engine change is under way. (CANAV Books Collection)

In October 2002 JIN went south for overhaul at Mo Nesbitt’s Corporate Aircraft Restorations in Oshawa. Specializing in such vintage types as the Tiger Moth, Harvard and Chipmunk, CAR found JIN to be in reasonable condition, even its wooden wing. On May 1, 2003, by then looking like a factory fresh Norseman, JIN was trucked to Oshawa Harbour, assembled, craned into the water, then towed to nearby Whitby, whose beach made test flights convenient. JIN next made a short hop to Lake Scugog for post-test flight checks, then flew home to Red Lake. In the following years it has worked summers in the fly-in fishing and tourist camp trade.

CF-JIN at CAR

Work is nearly done retoring CF-JIN in the CAR hangar. Al Wingate, looks on. Al knew a thing or two about Norsemans having ferried one to Argentina after the war. a story related in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman. (Wally Norris)

 Work is nearly done retoring CF-JIN in the CAR hangar. Al Wingate, looks on. Al knew a thing or two about Norsemans having ferried one to Argentina after the war. a  story related in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman. (Wally Norris)

Following overhaul, CF-JIN heads through the streets of Oshawa towards Lake Ontario for assembly and test flying. (Wally Norris)

Flying JIN in the season following its rebuild was Bob Cameron of Whitehorse. In 2015 Bob recalled:

When I first arrived at Red Lake in May 2002, I was put to work flying Norseman CF-KAO. CF-JIN was still sitting up on shore in “winter mode”, but soon also was busy hauling fishermen out to the lodges. After I had been on KAO for a couple of weeks, chief pilot Dave Robertson announced: “So you think you’re a Norseman pilot now that you’re comfortable with KAO. Well, anyone can fly KAO. The real test is to make JIN haul a load. It’s now your turn.”

JIN had been maligned, in my opinion, hung with a reputation of being a “dog”. The Norseman is legendary for long take-off runs, and for that certain talent required of a pilot to work the “sweetspot” in getting his plane off the water. True, KAO seemed to dispel that traditional reputation with its amazing agility. Nonetheless, to me JIN was more of a “normal” Norseman, demanding that the pilot work the sweetspot with precision. I found that the sweetspot subtly moved incrementally forward from the moment it was established on the step, to when it smoothly lifted off. Dave Robertson told me that JIN didn’t fly any differently even after all the money that was spent on its rebuild.

Even though Chimo recently has been operating one of those fine, ever-efficient Turbo Otters, JIN proved its value at Chimo last season. We’ll have to see how much longer it lasts. Sad to say, but going into 2015 there’s a lengthening list of Norsemans consigned to “Norseman Limbo”.

Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman includes many details and photos of the famous CF-JIN. You can order this spectacular 2-volume set right here: Volume 1 and Volume 2 (Canadian orders only). US and overseas, contact larry@canavbooks.com.

CF-JIN in a typical over-wintering scene at Red Lake. This is how the planes dedicated to summer tourism spend their off-season. (Larry Milberry)

CF-JIN in a typical over-wintering scene at Red Lake. This is how the planes dedicated to summer tourism spend their off-season. (Larry Milberry)

The bare-bones interior of Norseman JIN as it was the season  Bob Cameron flew it. (Bob Cameron)

The bare-bones interior of Norseman JIN as it was the season Bob Cameron flew it. (Bob Cameron)

The typical Northwestern Ontario country over which JIN has been operating for almost 30 summers. (Bob Cameron)

The typical Northwestern Ontario country over which JIN has been operating for almost 30 summers. (Bob Cameron)

Jim Court flew the Quebec North Shore for decades. In his retirement, one of his hobbies is scratch-building magnificent models. In recent times he crafted this lovely version of CF-JIN for Bob Cameron. (Jim Court)

Jim Court flew the Quebec North Shore for decades. In his retirement, one of his hobbies is scratch-building magnificent models. In recent times he crafted this lovely version of CF-JIN for Bob Cameron. (Jim Court)

On January 31, Jim Court of Sept-Îles added a bit to the JIN story:

Hi, Larry … here’s a little more news about JIN in that hazy period you mention. After Austin Airways, it was with Labrador Mining and Exploration, which had been operating Beaver IUU and Norseman ECG. In 1969 ECG was sold to Baie Comeau Air Service, since there wasn’t enough work for both airplanes.

Within a summer or two, however, business picked up with the drilling at Jerido Lake south of Kuujjuaq. So LM&E bought JIN. However, one day Lloyd Hogan  crashed it into a swamp north of Schefferville after running a tank dry (Lloyd had his own story about this). JIN was salvaged and, years later, got rebuilt and went back to work.

A Norseman Visual Treasure Surfaces

Blog SGAS Norsemans Mochulskyjpg(Click on photo to see it full screen.) There’s a shadowy “archive” that slowly leaks out wonderful new Canadian aviation history. This treasure trove comprises the scrapbooks, albums, log books and correspondence of people who spent their lives in aviation.

Sadly, much of this material still ends in the dump after people leave aviation and fade away. We’ve heard this story all too often. One day a fellow called to report that his brother (my acquaintance) had passed. Before we signed off, I enquired about my old pal’s aviation collection. The caller reported that, since he had to clear his brother’s apartment quickly, he had boxed everything and put it out to the side of the road on garbage day – library, photos, log books, everything. A sad old tale, just pitiful.

Happily, others have family members with an interest, so good material gets passed along for safe keeping. Many have sent me such goodies, knowing that their treasures will be cared for and put to good use. One day the late, great Robert Halford invited me to lunch, showed me his life’s collection of material gathered through decades of publishing Aircraft Magazine and The Canadian Aircraft Operator. Then, he handed the whole collection – box upon box – over to me. Since then, I have used many of Bob’s photos in my ongoing series of Canadian aviation titles.

On another occasion, Harry Mochulsky, a renowned old-time Canadian air engineer, sent me some of his vintage Kodachrome slides. He was done this such stuff, but knew I could use it. I published the first of Harry’s photos in Power: The Pratt and Whitney Canada Story in 1989. Wonderful old material that likely would have ended in the landfill, had Harry not thought of me.

Harry photographed anything with wings — it was a natural activity, part of his trade. Here is one of his lovely old Kodachromes of the Saskatchewan Government Airways Service base at LaRonge about 1955 (click on the photo to see it full screen). What a typical Canadian bush flying scene. Nearest, and resplendent in SGAS black and yellow, is Norseman V CF-BEM, one of the stars in Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.2. Then is an SGAS Beaver, another Norseman and Beaver and, far on the right, a Cessna 180. Everything is on skis. Note the neat nose hangars and custom wing covers used by SGAS. Can’t you just hear the snow squeaking under your boots and feel that crisp northern Saskatchewan air.

Having spent 1945-53 mainly in the NWT, CF-BEM served the SGAS 1954-64, Next, ‘til 1970 it was mainly a fish hauler for LaRonge Aviation and Canadian Fish Products. Later, came a stint with a tourist lodge, until CF-BEM was sold in the USA in 1979. Last heard of it was a shabby wreck in a Denver scrap yard.

CANAV is always on the lookout for ordinary old photos to bring to light in its next book. If you have any such still lying around, I’m interested, so drop me a note: larry@canavbooks.com.

Thanks for a great year of reading, writing, photographing and sharing aviation. Warmest holiday wishes and all the best in New Year 2015!

Larry Milberry