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Neil's Current Blog (sometimes more than Beavers!) July 2014 - to date
Photo: My camera © 22 September 2013
20 March 2015
Earlier in the month I received some images, and had correspondence with Michael Duddridge. Here is one of the e-mails I thought you would enjoy. Thanks for getting in touch Michael. Maybe some more of your adventures you can relate to us all?
I attach another photograph which you might find interesting. It is of XP816 again, piloted by me, taking-off from the flight deck of the carrier HMS Bulwark – the sixth ship bearing that name in the history of the Royal Navy - somewhere in the South China Sea. I see that it was on 10 May 1967, the total sortie time, including transiting out to the ship and back was two hours, and I made eight landings.
During the emergency in Borneo (1962 – 1966) 130 Flight Royal Corps of Transport had seven of its ten Beavers based on the old Brunei Airport (the other three were retained in Singapore to carry out sorties in Malaya).
From time to time it was necessary to return an aircraft from Brunei to our workshop in Singapore for a major inspection. As the Royal Navy occasionally sailed one of its carriers from the waters off Borneo to the dockyard in Singapore we would arrange to land on just after it sailed and fly off as it approached Singapore; the on-board hospitality of the Navy being infinitely preferable to a ferry flight of 670 nm.
These carriers were no longer flying fixed-wing aircraft but had a squadron of helicopters embarked to support the on-board Royal Marine Commando in their operations ashore; therefore the arrester gear and catapult had been removed from the flight-deck. However, the 650 feet of flight-deck was ample length for a Beaver taking off or landing, particularly with the ship steaming into wind.
When 130 Flight was withdrawn to Singapore after the end of the Borneo emergency I thought that deck landing was a useful skill for all the pilots to retain. I therefore arranged with the Royal Navy that whenever there was a Commando Carrier steaming in the area we would be grateful for a half-day of deck landing practice. Since it was another skill for their flight-deck crews to practice they were happy to agree.
My first experience of deck landing was on HMS Albion – sister ship to HMS Bulwark – on 7 August 1966. The aircraft was again XP816 and the carrier had just departed from its anchorage off the coast of the island of Labuan. After the passage I was due to fly off at dawn the next morning when the ship was a few miles from Singapore, however, there was a strengthening and a shift of wind direction during the night which would prevent the ship from turning into wind so close to Indonesian territorial waters. I was woken at 3 am with the news that my take-off time had been changed to an hour before dawn. So my first ever flight-deck take-off was in the dark.
PS I made it a rule in 130 Flight that pilots did not have a particular aircraft permanently assigned to them; the fact that I seem to be always flying XP816 is purely coincidental.
08 March 2015
Our clocks moved forward, so maybe Spring will follow. Today we have more snow, but the scene is very beautiful, with everything covered in hoar frost. Added more updated histories c/n 471 - 500. Check them out. Sample.
03 March 2015
Photo: Neil Aird © 03 March 2015 10:33EDT
"Tiger 343" makes a pass. 130343 (382-5307)RCAF Lockheed CC-130H-30 Hercules smokes by. It did a couple of circuits over RMC to let a tiny Cessna head eastbound. Meanwhile, today I am adding our "expanded data" to Beavers c/n 445 - 470. Check them out.
Spent some time restoring a DHC finishing hangar shot from roughly August 1954. Busy place!!
27 February 2015
Congratulations to the folks at Bombardier on the first flight of the CS300 (BD-500-1A11) C-FFDK (55001) here is a screen shot from their website. I'm sure the aircraft will be a fantastic success!! Additional images of the event at Bombardier Mirabel facility by Pierre Gillard.
As we wind down the shortest month, I want to let you know the March 2015 DHC-2.COM Calender pages are on the website. Photo this month courtesy of Jim Pinter. Thanks Jim!
26 February 2015
Photo: Bombardier - de Havilland Canada © 31 August 1959 (Print DHC 11170)
Found some New! Beavers for the website today, only 419 to find now. Interesting to see the method of departure from the de Havilland Canada Downsview plant, back in 1959. U-6A Beaver 58-2044 (1376); 58-2045 (1377), and 58-2046 (1378). They hitched a ride in 54-0141 Douglas C-133A Cargomaster (44711) USAF-MATS.
23 February 2015
On Saturday night from the window - the Moon, Venus and Mars were alright that night!! As you might also note, the City of Kingston does a stellar job in keeping our streets and sidwalks pretty clear.
Photo: Neil Aird © 20 February 2015
18 February 2015
Here's an old 1966 shot, Avro 683 Lancaster B. Mk.VII G-ASXX (ex RAF NX611) sitting at a rainy Biggin Hill. This was the former Aéronaval WU-15 which had come from French Caledonia. More history on this fine machine here.
16 February 2015
The view of my "Porthole" today. Kinda neat - out of this world look!
Photo: Neil Aird © 16 February 2015
14 February 2015
Since it is Valentine's Day, I thought you might like to see just how many folk "love" DHC-2.COM - quite the coverage!
09 February 2015
At this time I should like to give a huge "shout out" to AFHRA - the Air Force Historical Research Agency, at Maxwell AFB, in Alabama. My colleague Ian Macintosh has worked with Archie Difante over the years. Archie has been very helpful with our L-20 / U-6 reseach. Thank you sir.
31 January 2015
30 January 2015
27 January 2015
Photo: Neil Aird © 17 April 2009
Added the last images to Boneyard Fever - take the time to take a stroll / scroll around the Douglas C-47/C-117 area. Enjoy the abstract visuals. I know I had a great time there. It's a dry heat . . .
26 January 2015
Photo: Neil Aird © 17 April 2009
Time for something on the blog. I've been very busy updating my Boneyard Fever pages. Finally adding the pictures that were still "in the camera" so to speak. I still have to fill in the research for each airframe, or what remains of them!
20 January 2015
Today a special and generous guy, Sy Allsep passed away. I fondly remember very happy times with Sy and his "Twin Pin crew". My I offer my condolences to his wife Adrien, his family, and especially his close aviation friends, Pete, Shane, Mark, John and Dave.
RIP Sy - blue skies mate. VH-SYS and VH-EVB will miss you, as will we all.
Photos: Neil Aird © November 2010
14 January 2015
Well, unique visitor, 1,333,333 came and went today! DHC-2.COM seems to still attract visitors. I'm going to add a couple of Anthony's Instagrams. Winter is settling in and the ice is forming on the Lake. Top image shows the Murney Tower in Confederation Basin, Kingston. Next shot below is of the Wolfe Islander III crossing to Wolfe Island, thanks to the bubble sytem, not trapped in the ice.
Photos: Anthony Aird © 14 January 2015
This vie shows Fort Frederick at the Royal Military College. Below that is the sculpture "Time". Thanks for letting me show your images Ant!
Photo: Anthony Aird © 13 January 2015
Photo: Anthony Aird © 11 January 2015
10 January 2015
Photo: Anthony Aird © 10 January 2015
Still enjoying the beauty of winter here. Lake not frozen over yet. Here's another of Anthony's Instagram images. You can catch his others here. Thanks Ant.
03 January 2015
Photo: Anthony Aird © 03 January 2015
Photo: Anthony Aird © 01 January 2015
A couple of Anthony Aird's Instagram images to start off the new year. The 01 January 2015 is of the Inner Harbour at Kingston. Today's is down by the Waterfront Trail. Thanks Ant! Keep snapping.
29 December 2014
Closing out the month and year shortly. Just two more Beavers to add, and the January 2015 DHC-2.COM Calendar shot.
I got a late Christmas Present today, 30 degrees more of "sky"! City crews removed an elderly Silver Maple from the corner, here are before and after shots. How to make a sky watcher happy!! I'm also adding an Instagram shot by my son Anthony. He usually does one or two every day. This has been "tweaked" a bit. It shows the "Time" sculpture on our waterfront, which was a gift to the City of Kingston in 1973 from the Province of Ontario, on the occasion of our Tercentenary. The water level is very low, in the summer it is probably a good foot higher.
Photos: Neil Aird © 29 December 2014
Photo: Anthony Aird © 29 December 2014
26 December 2014
Just to let you all know, I've changed the e-mail address to contact me here. It is now: contact "at" dhc-2.com
24 December 2014
Season's Greetings to each and every one around the world!
22 December 2014
Interesting image taken near Zanjan, Iran. Shows Bob Caldwell with some passers by, and the U-6A 58-2000 (1326). Here's Bob's e-mail.
I was just recently directed to your website. I flew and maintained the L-20A shown in the background of the attached photo. I am in the foreground (I am the one on the right) in this photo taken in our field of operations just outside of Zanjan, Iran in 1962 where we operated as part of Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) performing numerous support tasks to the many small MAAG units associated with the Iranian military. Obviously, these were the days of the Shah.
I sent Bob the link and he will put some of his stories on paper for us to enjoy soon. Thanks for getting in touch Bob!
21 December 2014
Some of you may know my colleague Erik Johannesson, who is an essential team member on the Twin Otter Archive website with Ian macintosh and myself. Erik runs the very popular Twin Otter Spotter blog. Recently it was not too active. I had an e-mail from Erik giving reasons for the "quiet". I will include his post here. As Erik derives all his income from his home business , I think that some help from "our community" is essential during his recovery. Here is his entry in his blog today. There is a PayPal link on his blog site. Thank You.
Hello everybody, and thanks to those who have been in contact with editorial/photo contributions or just wondering why it is so quiet.
Yesterday I was released from the hospital after having had a stroke, coincidentally a matter of minutes after completing the blog entry below. Prognosis of recovery is promising, but it will be slow. Hopefully over the next couple of days I can resume some work on the blog, because it is something that is both manageable and enjoyable under the current circumstances.
What I can't do however is take on the other two parts of my home business, which generate 95% of my income. So, in the interim, anyone who is able to donate, please be assured that there is never going to be a time when it is more appreciated than now.
20 December 2014
The long process of labeling with registration and c/n of the Kenneth I. Swartz DHC-2 Collection continues. After sorting I will clean, rescan and return them to new Archive sleeves. Scanning Technology and my Photoshop Digital skills have improved since I first scanned these, starting over eleven years ago!! Thanks Ken, lots of "treasures" in there! Oh, did I mention there are close to a thousand slides!
19 December 2014
Since I put the little revolving Globe on the main page earlier this month - look at all the visitors it has noted coming to DHC-2.COM! I must be doing something right!
17 December 2014
Photo: Karl Kramer © 25 February 1978 - Kenneth I. Swartz Collection
In scanning mode these days, starting with some of Ken Swartz Collection's black and white negatives. I placed one as a banner, although this Karl Kramer image of HP-757 (1314) at Panama City - Balboa / Paitilla - Marcos A. Gelabert airport (KPMG) in 1978, is already on the website from the collection of the late Ian MacFarlane. I'm redoing all of Ken's slides as well, as technology and my photo editing skill have improved over the years. I may replace images on the website, but am hoping to add many more that I have missed in my first scan.
Another project underway is expanding our accident reports, yet more scanning from our records.
13 December 2014
It's amazing what turns up at the corner store. Kyle Cameron came across N62197 (1177) at his in Whitehorse, Yukon, last night. Probably on the way "somewhere" to be rebuilt after July accident in Alaska.
06 December 2014
A couple of "Snaps from the Cab", taken over the last few days. Yesterday I had the Alpha Jet C-GNTA (148) back buzzing around for quite some considerable time. Quite a spirited display too, wonder what the denizens of Downtown Kingston thought? I hope he was doing something worthwhile, apart from entertaining us all.
Photos: Neil Aird © 05 December 14:37 EST
I noticed a nice moon rising, so of course a few snaps of that and also a CH-146 Griffon of our Armed Forces came back overhead from CFB Kingston, going to bed down at CYGK.
Photo: Neil Aird © 04 December 16:23 EST
Photo: Neil Aird © 04 December 16:37 EST
03 December 2014
I thought I might add this snap of N252V Vickers Viscount V.812 (364) at Albuquerque - KABQ, on 10 September 1966. I've always liked the Viscount, as I made my first ever flight in one.
Photo: Neil Aird © 10 September 1966
I 'm going to have to cut back on my uploads to the website as I am going over my limit of 256GB per month. This is caused by the changes to the format of the data on each page. So, slow and steady will be the activity for now.
28 November 2014
Yesterday I noticed C-GSGF DHC-6 Twin Otter (642) of Ottawa based Sander Geophysics on my screen for a while, a long while, so deduced it was on the ground at CYGK - Kingston. Decided to head out and see "what's what". It is still in the area today, currently (14:55EST) at FL40.
In the circuit for RWY25 while I was there, was the yellow C-GGGJ, a Wagaero Cuby Sport Trainer (591), locally owned.
Photos: Neil Aird © 27 November 13:08 EST
23 November 2014
Different sound for a change. Speedy C-FCDI 1966 vintage Piper PA-30 (30-1027) did a few quick passes over Downton Kingston, then headed off to CYGK to do a simulated ILS for RWY 19. I did not know, but this aircraft belongs to the local Kingston Flying Club, it was registered to them 07 may 2014. I really should get out more!
Photos: Neil Aird © 23 November 14:26 EST
Continuing to add additional data from our files to DHC-2's c/n 370 - 380 - including ones we have no photographs of. As I mentioned before (I think?) there was no way I had planned to add this vast amount of information to each Beaver produced. Without the help of Ian Macintosh, there would just be a cursory listing of previous identities and owners. Ian Macdonald will be adding even more detailed Canadian information as the months, nay years, go by. I figure I have at least seven months of work ahead!!
20 November 2014
Dang - tricked me again. As you know, we've had some snow. Just a short time ago I heard a noise. Fast Jet? Naw - just a snow plow, they always fool me into thinking it is a CF-188 Hornet. (Skateboarders too in the summer make similar sounds!) Look out the window to see the plow, look up, CF-188! I wait, get camera ready. "Alouette 39" from 425th TFS CFB Bagotville circles around and does a slow pass, and then proceeds on to CFB Trenton, 99 km to my west.
Photo: Neil Aird © 20 November 14:37 EST
19 November 2014
Photo: Lawrence Glew © 19 November 2014
Lawrence captured the Antonov north of my home, as it headed back overseas. Thanks for the shot.
Photos: Parr Yonemoto © 19 November 2014
Well, "Mryia" ("Dream") went by here in stealth mode, heading to Leipzig. I looked in the few appropriate blue spots (snow squalls abated briefly) but "no joy" this time around. I did manage a distant snap back on Monday, 19 May 2008 as it went by. Here is a stunning ramp shot by Parr Yonemoto, and a small image with de Havilland product, by CTV, who streamed the take off live. Above, as I expected, Parr was there to capture the departure. You must have been cold Parr! Awesome shots.
Photo: Parr Yonemoto © 18 November 2014
Photo: CTV © 19 November 2014
16 November 2014
Yikes, one week earlier than last year. Ho, ho, ho.
Photo: Neil Aird © 16 November 10:24 EST
14 November 2014
"The Immortal Beaver" rides again. Well, for those of you in the UK who can view PBS America. They are showing the video four times tomorrow. If anyone would like to purchase a DVD, I have a few here for sale. Just send an e-mail to me. (adminnca "at" dhc-2.com)
12 November 2014
As I write this (12:20 EST 17:20 UTC), my wife Danie is again cruising between Iceland and Greenland, at FL380 in PH-AOF A332 (801) "KL671" this time. After her flight from Delhi last night in PH-BFN B744 (26372) "KL872", I think she will be happy to get back to Kingston (albeit late tonight). You may notice a "drop off" in website production for a while! I again had the fun of listening and watching her in "KL671" get pushback, taxi and take-off instructions. Amazing stuff. I could even see the "tug" at Schiphol - EHAM, on my FR24 radar feed. Danie was almost over Prestwick at 10:20 EST - but cloudy I'm afraid at that time.
Screen captures: flightradar24.com - 12 November 2014 09:25 EDT
11 November 2014
Another enjoyable sunset from the cab, east, north and south.
Photos: Neil Aird © 11 November 16:44 EST
08 November 2014
Pushing along through the new additions, currently at c/n 316 heading to c/n 350 in the current "push" . . My sincere thanks to Ian Macintosh, without his extensive research, I could not attempt this mammoth task!!
05 November 2014
Unusual start to the day - as if a giant blind was being rolled back!
Photo: Neil Aird © 05 November 06:36 EST
04 November 2014
Interesting clouds this afternoon, had similar ones last night.
Photo: Neil Aird © 04 November 14:03 EST
I found these wondering around on my desk this morning, maybe it was to remind me that Danie is currently in Pushkar for a few days, where there is a Camel Fair in progress. Better "shoo" them away, as I have work to do! Working my way through a long list, as usual!
03 November 2014
Bigger crane, bigger bucket today.
02 November 2014
Well, the month is off to a good start. Familiar sound, spring in to action, C-FLSD (900) came for a two hour visit to Kingston Harbour. Arrived at 10:49 est and was off again at 12:35. Here's a couple of quick snaps after departure and a swing back along the waterfront at 900/1,000 feet. I left my DHC-2.COM card in the mooring rope, so maybe he waved.
Photos: Neil Aird © 02 November 2014 1235 EST
30 October 2014
I looked out the window this morning. Hmm, not my idea of fun! A lad was up checking the stonework of the cathedral. Not on my "Bucket List" . . .
Photos: Neil Aird © 30 October 2014
27 October 2014
A delightful sunset here this evening. My son Anthony captured a couple of images of the sky from his favourite vantage point, atop a parking garage near his home.
Photos: Anthony Aird © 27 October 2014
I took another view from our balcony, looking across the street at Chalmers Church. Makes a change from Beavers.
Photos: Neil Aird © 27 October 2014 18:01 EDT
23 October 2014
Just completed adding new data and pages to Beavers c/n 100 - 200. Moving to complete the Twin Otters today! Well, at 15:30 edt I completed the last of the Twin Otter PDF's. Thirty-three months of work by the team, Erik Johannesson, Ian Macintosh and myself. A few others have helped along the way. I just have to add images for the last fourteen airframes. Now back to the Beaver updates . . only 1,434 pages to go!!
22 October 2014
Photo: Michel Leonard © 16 Juillet 2010
It is with great sadness I report the passing of my friend Marcel Fluet-Lecerf on 20 October. Those of you who are familiar with this website will know his photographs. For the last ten years Marcel has been collectng Beaver images, both from auctions and his numerous trips with his close friend Michel Leonard. Marcel (67) had been fighting a battle with cancer for the last few years. We'll miss you Marcel, but will always remember you. My sincere sympathy to your friends and fine family.
Photo: "Papy Militaire" 27 September 2013
Photo: Marcel Fluet-Lecerf © 12 July 2009
17 October 2014
These days I am using my "free time" to continue the long job of adding data to the history of each Beaver. Thanks to the work of my colleagues Ian Macintosh and Ian Macdonald, I am able to add this information - often increasing it by two-thirds! Currently working on c/n 100 - 200.
16 October 2014
On Monday and Tuesday I travelled to India without leaving my studio. My wife Danielle left Montréal - CYUL on PH-KCE (48559) an elderly MD-11 "Audrey Hepburn" operating KLM672 to Amsterdam - EHAM, on the first leg of her trip to India. Danie was no stranger to the KLM MD-11, having already flown in PH-KCD, KCF, KCG and KCH.
Photo: Parr Yonemoto © 08 October 2014
The above image of PH-KCE was taken on 08 October 2014 as it landed in Toronto - CYYZ. Thanks for the shot Parr. I watched Danie depart CYUL from push-back to take off with LiveATC tuned to CYUL Ground/Tower. While I slumbered, she crossed the pond, last time I looked she was way south of Greenland.
Note: This actual aircraft "Audrey Hepburn" made the final KLM MD-11 flight from CYUL to EHAM on 25 October 2014. The end of an era. Danie will come home 12 November on an Airbus A330!
Photo: Neil Aird © Dawn 06:59 edt on Tueday 14 October 2014
On Tuesday morning I was again watching and listening from push back to take off, again listening to EHAM Ground/Tower etc. The flight path of PH-AOL Airbus A330-203 (900) took her over The Netherlands, Germany, southern Denmark, over the Baltic crossing into Latvia, then Russia. Our daughter Katie and I watched her approach and cross the Volga at FL390. Later I came back from a trip Downtown to find her again, this time directly overhead Kabul, Afghanistan. On over Lahore, Pakistan, and eventually landing at Delhi. I was able to watch PH-AOL turn off the runway and taxi to the gate. Only when the aircraft shut down, did I pack it in. It was 01:14 IST (15:14 edt) and Danie eventually made it to her hotel in the heart of old Delhi at about 04:39 local. Funny, I was not at all tired after such a long journey!
It was interesting to note that PH-AOL has communicated with my computer ADS-B system 432 times since 24 January 2009!
Here are a few snaps of the KL871 flight.
Images are screen captures mostly, from FR24 - LINK
At the bottom left hand corner of the last image sits OE-LAX an Austrian B767. I smiled when I saw that as it often passes my studio here in Kingston. Well, I just checked yesterday's list of aircraft that communicated with my SBS.
440BB8 AUA72 OE-LAX B763 29400 33000 15/10/2014 18:42:33 Lo and behold OE-LAX! It operated the same flight the day before too!
Guess what passed by on Tuesday 14th ?
484063 KLM31 PH-KCE MD11 30875 28075 14/10/2014 12:37:13 - PH-KCE operating KLM 31 EHAM - CYYZ - they never get a rest!
13 October 2014
Started work on "The Big Push" reformatting the Beaver data and finishing up the Twin Otter 300's. Only 64 of those to go. Have the house to myself as danie is off again with KLM. MD11 tonight CYUL to EHAM, then tomorrow A330 to Delhi, over, Holland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Usbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan!!
12 October 2014
No rest for the wicked. James Duggan came back eastbound, almost overhead at 2,500' - so managed another quick lense change and snap.
Quick on the draw, just happened to look out, changed lense and shot into sun almost. C-GRHF (1123) at 3,000 heading to East Lake, which is in Prince Edward County, near Sandbanks Provincial Park, west of here.
Photos: Neil Aird © 12 October 2014 12:24 edt
Without fail, every time I add a "Yellowbird" to the website, I receive an e-mail from my friend and DHC-2 Mk.III / DHC-2 driver, Neil Ayers. Usually I also receive well documented image of the aircraft in question - no exeption yesterday. Thanks Neil!! Here is an image of C-FOPA (1688TB56) en route, after mods from Viking Air at Victoria, back to Ontario. Note the large "last two" on the port wing. I had not noticed that before. Image shot from C-FOEH (1644TB24).
10 October 2014
Photo: Neil Aird © 10 October 2014 12:00 edt
Unusual sight in the distance, just by chance noticed C-GDVY Bellanca 8GCBC (198-76) eastbound, towing C-GCLM Schweizer sailplane. Both belong to the Air Cadet League of Canada, probably heading from CFB Mountainview for some weekend event.
09 October 2014
I am fortunate to live in a beautiful place. Dez Vaghy has captured some of my favourite views. Check out his YouTube Channel for some other areas of Kingston, Ontario. Maybe even check it out in person one day. The above vista is taken above Fort Henry, looking west over the Royal Military College to downtown Kingston. The Limestone City.
08 October 2014
Still breezy, noticed some cool clouds rolling by the cathedral.
Photo: Neil Aird © 08 October 2014 16:19 edt
Blustery day here. By chance I checked my AIS radar and noticed a cruise ship in our harbour area. M. S. Hamburg. First time I've ever seen that! So, went for a hike. Here are a few shots, It was hard to stand still in the gale, and I felt very sorry for the folks being transferred back to the ship by tender! I notice the vessel is cruising west close to the shore. Tracks show it came from the west end of Lake Ontario overnight. Part of a sixteen day Great Lakes Tour, it went as far west as Chicago.
Photos: Neil Aird © 08 October 2014 14:44 and 15:02 edt
06 October 2014
Enjoying our wonderful Autumn. My view looking north from the studio.
Photo: Neil Aird © 06 October 2014 14:18 edt
05 October 201414:18 edt
Another "enigma" solved. I received the e-mail below from John today. So the Beaver is CF-JKG (1002), which makes it a New ! one for the website. Thanks John.
A while back you folks posted a story about my search for a particular Beaver.
An old pilot that flew for Athabaska Airways out of Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan, is saying the beaver in my photo is CF-JKG . It crashed in 1977 at Knee lake killing the pilot.The plane was writeoff. He knew from the lack of paint on the plane which one it was. Thanks for any leads you gave me.
04 October 2014
Interesting sky this evening. I see the snow has arrived in Armstrong, Northern Ontario.
Here's another "oldie"- a 23 year old dreamer. My travelling buddie Tom, who took the picture, fulfilled the dream of driving a Mustang (P-51C NL251MX) later in life, forty-five years later on 16 June 2013.
Photo: Kathleen Baillie © 16 June 2013 Tom in red shirt.
Photo: "Back Seater" Tom Baillie © 16 June 2013
01 October 2014
Into glorious October. Just had the pleasure and delight of rubbing the backs of some honey bees! They have been enjoying some of my marigolds on the balcony.
Photos: Neil Aird © 01 October 2014 17:00 edt
I had the bright idea last night to give the folks who visit Twin Otter Archive the option of a monthly Calendar too!! Here's the October 2014 page.
30 September 2014
October 2014 DHC-2.COM Calendar pages are ready, my thanks to Bob Kobzey for this image I've been holding on to since May. Thanks Bob. Please note: I have redone the image as it came out too dark when printed. So if you printed before 10:00 edt (14:00 utc) today, please reprint page one. Thanks.
29 September 2014
Just before I get busy with the October 2014 DHC-2.COM Calendar pages, here's a lovely TBM-3 Avenger. Good to know it is still flying in 2014. I added a nice Cessna 195A to this collection as well.
28 September 2014
I just located and scanned 24 slides of my visit to this interesting airfield - Gila River / Chandler. I will be cleaning up the slides as they are of much better quality than the scanned prints!
27 September 2014
I will be continuing with my "Scandinavian Saunter" tomorrow, as a bit of light relief. Here is my arrival shot taken from "M.V. Gullfoss" (3,858 tons) after the crossing from Leith near Edinburgh, to Copenhagen. The "Gullfoss" (209 passenger limit) was later sold and renamed "Mecca" (now fitted out for 1,100 pilgrims!) and after a fire on board (all passengers escaped) she was left keeled over on a reef.
Photo: Neil Aird © 19 August 1964
26 September 2014
As some of you well know, I often take Google's Stickman for a walk. Today was no exception. I have been working through a summer log "Scandinavian Saunter" a trip done in 1964. I was looking at a couple of photographs I had stuck inside the log.They were of 1947 vintage SE-AYM a Miles M.65 Gemini 1A (6296-707). I had been cycling along some gravel roads in Skåne (Southern Sweden) when I saw a sign for an airfield. It was a farm strip. I went to the door to ask permission to see the aircraft. Gunner Esbjörnsson took time to show me to the hangar and I viewed his Gemini and a Glider.
Photos: Neil Aird © 23 August 1964
It was a quiet, hot sunday in August. His wife asked if I would like to join them for a meal. I was more than happy to do that. It was quite a farm feast in their big kitchen. Now back to Google - I typed in the name of the farm "Simmelsberga" and next second I zoomed in and was looking at the farm yard!!
After the very pleasant "refuelling" I bad them farewell and continued across country to Landskrona. What a nice interlude from the dusty roads. I notice they are all nicely paved now!! The farm continues and his son Christer and wife Helena also operate a Bed & Breakfast. You can fly in and use the grass strip! I must drop them an e-mail. On their website is an article written in 1963 by Gunner. I believe the Gemini is still active with Björn Esbörnsson.
12 September 2014
Photos: Neil Aird © 12 September 2014 13:30 edt
Lockheed CC-130J-30 Hercules 130612 (5666) "CFC2552" of 436 Squadron, gets in some practise runs for tomorrow's "Family Day" at CFB Kingston. The Skyhawks will be doing a jump display then. I hope the skies are clearer for a good jump.
I'm working on a long overdue project. I use daily, a well thumbed seventeen page list of ID - c/n that I prepared back in 1997. All my changes/additions to that list are inserted in pen or pencil, as a result, over 17 years it is rather "messy" to say the least! I can't find the original file, so have embarked on a retyping into Excel, the whole database!! A slow process, but it has to be done carefully. When completed, I will be able to sort into c/n - ID also.
09 September 2014
Almost pear harvest time here. This fellow was a windfall, his name is Winston Pear.
Lots of tomatoes ripening every day as well. Here are a few of yesterday's harvest.
03 September 2014
Yet another section started under the "Neil's Nostalgia" banner, hard to believe these snaps were taken almost 50 years ago! Will be adding more black and white and later some colour images. Below is a view of the old control tower. Maybe I'll expand it into my Swedish travels as well. We'll see . . . .
Photos: Neil Aird © 18 September 1964
02 September 2014
Photo: Neil Aird © 10 June 1964
31 August 2014
Could not resist adding the 61st Beaver for August. September will be a quieter month from here. I have a few domestic projects happening, so will be unable to dedicate much time to the website. I do hope to maintain my one-a-day policy!!
30 August 2014
Today, after the Calendar was completed, I took some time off from "aeroplanes" and finally scanned my 1967 thesis. It was a black & white effort. I've had this on my list of things to do for several years. I printed the whole thing on thin document paper, using an old enlarger in my bedroom in Scotland. Shooting on the walI to get the images big enough. I then stuck the prints onto heavy card stock and lettered the whole thing by hand (using a template - one letter at a time) man it would be so easy these days with a computer!!!! I will in the coming "year" work on a small copy of it, just in case the original fades - itis still as good as it was back then (almost), however a few coffee stains are now on it!
I had completed a similar large photographic report on my time in Sweden (1968) as part of my Post Graduate studies, but I fear it will have been lost in the tragic Glasgow School of Art fire. It was probably in the Library Archive area, as the School kept it.
29 August 2014
Still staring at the sky every now and then. Now, United Airlines N26909 Boeing B787-800 Dreamliner (34827) "UAL5" just cruised by, FL400.
Photo: Neil Aird © 29 August 2014 16:22 edt
I started early today, here's a sequence of Venus rising this morning. Oh yes, it's that steeple again!
Photos: Neil Aird © 29 August 2014 05:47 edt
28 August 2014
Steeple jacks working these days on a neighbourhood church that features often in this blog.
Photo: Neil Aird © 28 August 2014 16:42 edt
Todays little tasty Tom Thumb harvest. They keep a comin' . . . .
Photo: Neil Aird © 28 August 2014
Caught another New ! Beaver, thanks to Ken Swartz for finding this DHC image in a 1952 magazine. Thanks Ken. Busy shop floor at de Havilland Canada plant at Downsview in last quarter of 1951.
26 August 2014
Over the last few weeks I have had many images taken by our correspondents, lucky enough to have been at "Oshkosh Airventure 2014". Many thanks lads. Here is one I like, taken by Lance Higgerson. It shows N94DN (1632TB18) being marshalled down the right taxiway by one of the many dedicated volunteers that make such a huge event possible. A "click" of the mike to you all.
25 August 2014
Finishing off the day by scaling up, and cleaning up a few of "Eddy's" civil aircraft images. Here's a sample. Will be adding gradually. G-ALZR (5214) Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador 2 of BKS Air Transport.
Beautiful sky this morning. Cirrocumulus says me mate Pete. My Dad used to call it a mackerel sky. 3C in Saskatoon this morning, but 20C here in Kingston, heading to 26C.
Photo: Neil Aird © 25 August 2014 08:30edt
24 August 2014
My son Anthony Aird just sent this "tweaked" Instagram shot of our air ambulance down at the Kingston General Hospital pad. It's C-GYNH an Augusta AW139 (41230).
Since it is a Sunday, I thought I'd add this shot - well it is of 9H-VJC a Vistajet Bombardier Global Express 6000 (9448) "VJT839C" cruising by at FL410 some 22 nm north of my station. Routing from MMTO - Toluca, Mexico, to CYUL - Montréal.
A few minutes ago I received a note from our correspondent John W. Olafson. He thought this airframe sounded familiar, so here is what it looks like closer to the ground! Taken at KPSP - Palm Springs. Thanks John. Click on the image for a link to a larger image. Indirectly there is a Beaver connection, it was built at Downsview!
Adding some images taken by my pal R. A. "Eddy" Edwards. Some Canberra aircraft to start with. Here's WJ817 a P.R.7 model.
21 August 2104
Irish International EI-LBS Boeing 757-2Q8/W (27623) passing my house at FL370 this evening, operating "EIN1MN" Toronto - Dublin. A former Finnish machine OH-LBS.
Photo: Neil Aird © 21 August 2014 19:36edt
Trawling through older images, I found this "cute puppy" taken at Prince Albert in Saskatchewan. Always had a soft spot for the Grumman S-2 Tracker. Here is C-GEQE (DHC-92) built at de Havilland Canada plant at Downsview, ex 1593 of the RCN..
Photo: Neil Aird © 17 September 2003
Keeping an eye on my garden produce. Apples coming along, tomatoes in abundance!
20 August 2014
Changed my screensaver the other day, you might enjoy seeing it. A roadside view in Alaska between Denali and Healy.
Photo: Neil Aird © September 2004
17 August 2014
Spent the day scanning 250 slides for my Ken Marshall pages. The tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The real work begins, cropping distant shots, doing my best to clean them up, and adding them to Ken's Archive. Who is Ken Marshall anyway? Here is a snap of the lad taken back in June 1968 - a hero shot in front of an Indian Air Force Liberator, no less.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 14 June 1968
I know these images will bring pleasure to many. A sample is the only Canadair C-5 North Star, 10000 (171) of the RCAF.
I have a couple of weeks "free" to tackle various projects that have been on the back burner. I'll try to keep up with the Beavers and Twotters too!
15 August 2014
Just received an interesting web site link from Leif Hellström, pointing me to an image of HP-375 (178). Many thanks Leif, certainly an interesting site, and very fine images by photographer Jim Nickless. Worth checking out, I certainly learned a lot!
Photo: Jim Nickless © 1964
Added a few images to Ken Marshall pages, some Connies to his U.S. Military Section. Planning on more additions over the next few weeks.
Photo: 131635 R7V-1 • Ken Marshall © June 1965
10 August 2014
A note this morning from my DHC-2.COM collegue Ian Macintosh this morning. Many thanks Ian!
"A little task that was long overdue has been to review the number of images held on the website as shown on the leading page. This we have now done and lo and behold we have found quite a few more photos that were hidden away. So the total as at 07-Aug-2014 is now a magnificent 10,356.
When you open a thumbprint on the monthly update or the master index you will find a collection of photos, normally in reverse historical date order, followed by the aircraft's history as currently known (which we will be adding to over the coming winter). Then sometimes there are additional photos of unfortunate accident scenes or cameos of rebuilds and "Beaver Personalities" associated with the aircraft, often with anecdotes from persons associated with the aircraft or individuals. All these photos are included in the total". Ian
08 August 2014
Looking forward to seeing this future documentary, nice to have Harrison Ford narrate too.
What a great project to be involved in.
Well, first couple of "fall" coloured leaves on the ground . . . ! Yikes - but it has been a delightfully cool July here in Kingston, not complaining.
07 August 2014
I made this new page for the website, not sure where it will lead? It gives a thumbnail "retrospective" of my almost ten years of DHC-2.COM Calendar Pages! Maybe we can vote on our favourites? Have a look - perhaps post some comments in the DHC-2.COM Yahoo Group?
06 August 2014
Just by chance I checked on FR24 to see where C-GVRA is. Bingo, almost at Iceland. FL8,500 clipping along at 210kts.
Some days just don't go right. 01 August 2014 at Crosswind Lake is a case in point. N87808 (1155) bounced on landing and came to rest on the shore. Of course we had a camera man Colin Keith there to record the scene. I'm sure all will be fixed at some point.
Photo: Colin Keith © 01 August 2014 via Fred Wallis
05 August 2014
Well "Vera" the Lanc "Heritage One" is off on her adventures. First CYYR - via Ottawa. Safe travels my friend.
Screen shot: 10:30 from FR24
Screen shot: 10:34 from RadarBox24
Close but no coconut ;-( On my box! Only 24 nm away.
Screen shot: SBS-1er - from my location in Kingston.
Screen shot : FR24 11:44EDT
That's it for my "flight following" session.
04 August 2014
On 13 August 1959 I sat at Prestwick Airport with my log book open, did a sketch in pencil and tested out my new red ball-point pen, of FM213 an Avro Lancaster CSR Mk.X of the RCAF. A few of my pals were lucky enough to get invited by the crew to join them in a "ground taxi" to the north dispersal area.
It was the first "Lanc" of the RCAF I had seen. On 05 September 1959, I saw FM104. Both were escorting RCAF aircraft across the pond. Today FM213 / C-GVRA leaves on an epic journey eastbound once again, across the pond. Today, fifty-five years later, I will be tracking it, along with many others.
I just noticed a coincidence, in my log the day before 12 August 1959, I noted CF-HOT Avro Anson V (BRC-1567) was present at Prestwick, this too, ended up with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton Airport, Ontario!!
03 August 2014
Another interesting e-mail arrived last night, relating to CF-FHC (12). Thanks to Laurel Russell.
Photo: Unknown photographer © c. 1950's - via Laurel (Wright) Russell
Photo: Laurel (Wright) Russell ©
Hello! My Dad, Ken Wright ( far left in top photo) passed away two weeks ago at the age of 91. He was the pilot for Jack Beban of Beban Logging (the man in the middle with the tie). Besides flying men and supplies into logging camps, FHC and my Dad flew wealthy American hunters and fishers into remote BC areas (hence the impressive catch below). That beloved aircraft also took us kids on many adventures with our parents to places inaccessible by car.
Laurel (Wright) Russell :)
Last weekend N64393 (845) clocked up 40,000 hours. Well done, certainly a high time Beaver. Congratulations to all at Promech Air in Ketchikan for achieving this milestone. Thanks to Bob in maintenance for the info.
31 July 2014
For years now I have heard the very distinctive sound made by the Piaggio P-180, I've never managed to spot any. Tonight I heard the sound of the Bell Aliant's C-GCOM (1117) Avanti II on the regular run to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here it is at FL350.
Photo: Neil Aird © 31 July 2014 19:29 EDT
Photo: Neil Aird © 31 July 2014 14:58 EDT
Here's a shot for you, taken a few minutes ago, "Dream Catcher" or maybe "Chasing a Dream" shows a Bombardier CRJ-7 C-GLJZ (15051) following through the recent trail (five minutes earlier), of an Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, C-GHPQ (35257) operating AC410.
End of the month again, and the August 2014 DHC-2.COM Calendar pages are here for you to enjoy. Thanks to Erik Nielsen (son Rick is owner) for this beautiful image (I almost called it "Tundra Time"). Thanks Erik!
Photo: Neil Aird © 13 September 2004
Last night as I was listening to a Paul Simon tune, I heard the words "Clouds, Waves and Fire" referring to Nature's designs. It reminded me if this image I took from an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 en route from Cordova to Juneau. The "Fire" here is hidden!
29 July 2014
Yesterday at Palm Beach, New South Wales, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the first flight of VH-SWB (1557). Congratulations to Steve Krug and his wife Jenny on this occasion! Graeme Mills was there to capture the event.
Back on 08 November 2010, Steve let me ride along with him on his morning commute from Bankstown to Rose Bay.This plan was hatched up by Peter Reardon. I have added some images taken on this pleasant flight. Thanks Steve, I enjoyed keeping you company. You put in a long day sir, and I wondered how it ended up? I watched huge storm clouds roll in later in the afternoon from my airport hotel room!! Quite a fireworks display, the International Airport shut down.
Completing work on Greybull 1998 page. I have 78 images to process, so might take a few days!! If you like C-97, C-119 and P-2E aircraft, you will enjoy this section of the website. My small tribute to Hawkins & Powers.
28 July 2014
Today I started a new Current Blog page, the last one is now archived here.
27 July 2014
Received this e-mail last night from Heinz Portman, thanks Heinz!
Hello you amazing guys.
26 July 2014
Well folks, I think the March Field Air Museum page is complete now with 109 images. I've left out a couple of exhibits that were inside. Below is the closest thing to a Beaver I found, a venerable PZL built AN-2N. Tomorrow, back to Beavers. I have some time to myself for a week, so will indulge in some aeronautical projects - including some updates to TwinOtterArchive.
Photo: Neil Aird © 21 May 2009
Continuing the 2014 "Beaver Hat" Campaign. Please help if you can. Be a patron/supporter ;-) My thanks, and a "tip of the hat" to the three most recent donors Stan B (CA), Ian B (BC) and Paul C (OZ) - thanks gents!