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Neil's Current Blog (sometimes more than Beavers!) July 2014 - to date
Photo: My camera © 22 September 2013
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 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.
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!