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Neil's Current Blog (sometimes more than Beavers!) July 2014 - to date

Photo: My camera © 22 September 2013

Previous Blog to this one.

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

More black and white negatives scanned the other day, to play with. This time, some of mine. I have just added a couple of images to my Renfrew and Prestwick pages.

Photo: Neil Aird © 10 June 1964

Photo: Neil Aird © c.1963

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.

As the month is almost over, I have just added the September 2014 DHC-2.COM Calendar Pages for you. My thanks to Jean-Philippe Richard for this beautiful study of C-GHMS (401). Merci J-P.

Photo: Jean-Philippe Richard © 01 August 2014

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

Photo: DHC © 1951

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

Photo: Lance Higgerson © 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.

Photo: R. A. Edwards ©

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

Photo: Anthony C. Aird © 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.

Photo: Neil Aird © 24 August 2014 16:06edt

Photo: John W. Olafson © 20 March 2013

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.

Photo: Ken Marshall © September 1964

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.
My Dad was thrilled to find your site on his "new fangled" iPad.....he couldn't believe that getting all of this updated information was so easy!  Thank you for making an elderly pilot so very happy to read about "HIS" old plane!

Laurel (Wright) Russell :)

Photo: Danny Hoggard © 18 September 2013

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.

• Photo: Erik Nielsen © 23 July 2014 •

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

Photo: Graeme D. Mills © 28 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.

Photo: Neil Aird © 25 April 1998

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.
Just run into the Beaver website and I am most impressed. As a previous owner of one of the planes, namely CF-MAV serial # 1056, I would like to update some information as you show it in regards to MAV.
My son and I (Michael and Heinz Portmann) purchased this airplane from the Manitoba Government after they retired it. We picked it up in Manitoba and flew it to Campbell River in early 1976 where we installed the floats that came with the purchase. At that time it had a zero time engine, otherwise it was sort of standard conditions after government use. It was registered in the name of R&N Logging, We used MAV in our logging business, flying crew, food, equipment and dynamite between Campbell River and Lougborough Inlet, Accessible only by float plane or boat.
We put around 1,000 hrs on MAV until we sold the company, we then replaced the engine and overhauled and repainted the plane before we sold it to McCully Aviation Ltd.  in Nanaimo BC.
It is nice to see that this Beaver is now flying in Germany as D-FLEN. What an aircraft, we got lots of stories and pictures about MAV.
Hoping you can update the info on the website, I remain, and again impressed with your work
Heinz Portmann

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!