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Fly-in northern style page 2

Story and photos by RAYMON J. KADUCK

Most of the festivities were held along the waterfront. Pancake breakfasts and hamburgers flipped by local politicians are all part of the Yellowknife experience. In the evening, the first performance of an Erik Watt play, entitled McDougall’s Bash, was presented. It is a set of vignettes on the northern aviation experience: low visibility, freezing feet, wildlife and the wild life. Some of the veterans could be seen laughing silently as the stories seemed a little too real for comfort.

Participants flew a wide variety of aircraft, including many Cessnas (172, 180, 182, 185, 210, 421 and Cardinal), a Mooney M20, Piper Aztec, PA-18, PA-24, PA-30 and a Bellanca. Obviously, the floaters didn’t begrudge a few landsmen joining the fun.

The oldest aircraft to attend was a Norseman Mk VI, owned by Colin Oliver of Brooks, Alberta and flown by Arctic and Antarctic captain Harry Hanlan. The newest was the Found Bush Hawk, demonstrated by factory pilot Mike Henrick.

Myron Olson has attended several Midnight Sun Fly-ins. Before joining Air Canada, he flew bushplanes from Yellowknife. Returning to the North from Langley, British Columbia has become a bit of tradition for him: “We try to time it to arrive at midnight–this being the Midnight Sun Fly-in.”

The final evening of the event included a steak barbeque at the Department of Defence mess, with a comedian and lots of prizes. Kirby Marshall is already looking forward to 2005: “I guess we’ll all take a month off to relax, and then start planning the next one.” |

Postscript: renowned AME Rollie Hammerstedt comments on CF-JEC and other metalized Norseman aircraft
I was the owner of Redditt Aviation (sold upon my retirement in December 1998), an AMO catering to commercial carriers. We metalized CF-JEC for Sabourin Airways during the winter and spring of 1989. The aircraft fuselage was trucked from Red Lake to Redditt, Ontario, and upon completion was returned for final assembly. It was test flown on floats and had to meet some performance criteria described by Transport Canada.

I had been involved previously in the metalization of C-FOBE by Ontario Central Airlines (Redditt hangar) in 1970. OBE had individual metal skins spanning two stringers and exhibited the same appearance as a fabric-covered aircraft. With CF‑JEC, after some experimenting with the sheet metal application, several stringers could be spanned and a very rounded, smooth skin contour resulted which I am sure enhanced flight performance to a small degree.

Regarding CF-SAN, about 1965 this aircraft was on a charter flight to Brochet, Manitoba on Reindeer Lake with a Native family and their dog team after attending the Trappers’ Festival at The Pas. Upon landing, an undercarriage oleo strut scissor broke. A ski turned sideways and the aircraft immediately flipped on its back doing extensive damage to the entire structure (not to mention the dogfight that broke out in the still-occupied cabin).

Ontario Central Airlines bid on and got the salvage, as is, where is. We dispatched a J-3 Cub, piloted by Ken Race and accompanied by his brother Dave, with minimal tools and equipment to retrieve the aircraft. It was dismantled and shipped by tractor train to rail at Lynn Lake and then on to Redditt.

The aircraft repair was extensive and required replacement of the upper fuselage structure including wing attachment fittings. It was decided to metalize the aft belly area back to the tailplane. This was our first effort at partial metalizing and was followed by the same application to CF-KVB (partially burned at Lynn Lake about a year later and also salvage purchased). With KVB, we went a bit further and metalized the areas between the cockpit and cabin doors. This work later positioned us to take on the complete metalization of C-FOBE’s fuselage. |

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VINTAGE NORSEMAN
Story and photo by Raymon J. Kaduck

Norseman CF-JEC

This year, Colin Oliver added a little nostalgia to the Yellowknife event in his vintage UC-64 Norseman. CF‑JEC was purchased in the fall of 1997 from White Industries in the United States. It had previously been operated by Sabourin Airways of Red Lake, Ontario.

The aircraft was originally acquired to provide parts for CF-BSC, a Mk V which Oliver is restoring.

CF-JEC has 15,600 hours total time. Its Edo 7170 floats allow it to gross up to 7,540 pounds, providing just over 2,500 pounds useful load. The R-1340 engine produces a speed of 100 to 110 mph.

In 1971, the aircraft had been returned for a factory rebuild at Canadian Car & Foundry, where it was worked on by a team of former Noorduyn employees.

In 1989, the fuselage was aluminized, replacing the fabric covering. This reduces maintenance without adding appreciable weight.

Through its life, three replacement floors had been layered one over the other. Removing these and replacing them with a single floor was the largest job that Oliver had to deal with.

Oliver’s first Norseman (BSC) was to be used as a commercial aircraft, but things have turned out differently: “It was bought to work in northern British Columbia hunting territory, the Teslin Lake and Jennings River area. We operated a few part seasons out of Scoop Lake, but right now, it’s just being flown privately.”

The current plan is to restore BSC to its former colours when it was Austin Airways’ most famous and beloved aircraft, and “to be as original as possible–the venturi tubes, name plates and everything.” (finally completed in 2012.)

After Yellowknife, Oliver continued on with JEC to the Norseman Festival in Red Lake. |

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