c/n 330
C-GATO just after arriving at Lillabelle Lake, Cochrane, Ontario.
Photo: Rich Hulina © 13 September 2013
C-GATO stuck out in the snow this time.
Photo: Rich Hulina © 14 October 2006
C-GATO hiding from the snow.
Photo: Rich Hulina © November 2004
C-GATO for Pickeral Arm Camps at Sioux Lookout airport.
Photos: Rich Hulina © 02 July 2004
C-GATO on skis at Dolbeau, Québec.
Photos: Marc Bourdon © 11 October 2003
C-GATO sits on her Dolbeau dolly.
Photos: Garald Fontaine © 13 August 2002
C-GATO at her dock, prior to all mods.
Photo: © Neil Aird  
51-16357 a long way from North Africa at Hamilton, Ohio.
Photo: William Haines Collection © 30 May 1970 - Aird Archives
51-16537 part of 7272D Flying Traing Wing at Wheelus AFB.
Photos: Jack M. Friell © October 1965 - Wayne Mutza Collection

c/n 330

51-16537 • N5165G • N212NY

C-GATO

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51-16537 USAF #1140. L-20A No: 141. Command AF-1. Delivered 30-Jul-1952. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

51-16537 US Army. Circa. 1970.

N5165G Civil Air Patrol Inc., Maxwell AFB. Montgomery, AL. Regd May-1971.

N212NY Regd Jun-1972. Other details unknown.

Accident: Black River South of Dexter, NY. 08-Feb-1975. After two missed approaches, fuel exhaustion caused aircraft to crash into icy ground in whiteout conditions in a nose down left wing low attitude. Pilot and five passengers uninjured. The aircraft was removed from the ice by removing the engine, wings, struts, and horizontal stabilizer and elevators. The parts were then taken to the Watertown Airport - KART, NY., and sold as salvage.

C-GATO Air Bellevue, (Bellevue Air Services Inc). Roberval, QC. 24-Apr-1981 & 19-Feb-2002. Canx 07-JuL-20A04. Based St. Felicien, QC., on Norseman floats.

C-GATO Pickerel Arm Camps, Sioux Lookout, ON. Regd 14-Mar-2005. Canx 22-Oct-2013.

Note: For sale: $345,000CDN.

Mods include. Wipline 4930 straight floats with compartments, Sealand cabin extension & Alaska cabin door, Baron STOL wing kit, Viking gross weight increase to 5390lbs. Battery forward and Jasco alternator kit, Bubble cabin door windows, Kenmore sea fins.

Total time: 9,745hrs at Sep-2013

Active

USAF History

51-16537 was made available on 16-Jul-1952 and accepted on 22-Jul-1952 by the 6600th Air Depot AMO (Air Material Overseas Unit), at Downsview, Ontario after which it was delivered to the Tactical Air Command at Donaldson AFB, Greenville, SC where it was assigned to the  to the 4th Liaison Squadron on 30/31-Jul-1952.

In preparation for transportation to Europe it was assigned to the Air Material Command and the 2847th Transportation Control Depot (TPC) Wing at Newark NJ from 12-Dec-1952. It arrived in Germany at Neubiberg and was assigned to Air Force Europe from 23-Jan 1953 being initially allocated to the 86th Fighter Bomber Wing at Neubiberg remaining until 18-Feb-1953. It was then allocated to the 85th Air Depot Wing at Erding remaining until 03-Mar-1952 after which it passed to the 4th Liaison Squadron at Furstenfeldbeck until 04-Feb-1954. It then was allocated to the 7030th Headquarters Squadron at Landstuhl remaining until 15-Oct-1954. This unit was re designated as 7030th Support Wing on 15-Oct-1954 and staying at Landstuhl the aircraft transferred to the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing on 01-Nov-1954 but only until 12-Nov after which it is recorded as having joined the 50th Fighter Bomber Wing at Hahn for a fortnight then returning to the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing at Landstuhl until 07-Feb-1957.

A period of maintenance was now scheduled and the aircraft travelled to the Aeramcchi facility at Vergiate, Northern Italy. It remained there until 31-May-1957 before returning to the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing at Landstuhl. Another short stay was next on the agenda with three weeks at Ramstein to where the 7030th Support Wing was now assigned until 28-Jan-1958. There followed a move to Bitburg and the 36th Day Fighter Wing (FDA) from 28th Jan-1958 and then the re designated 36th Tactical Fighter Wing from the 08-Jul-1958. It now returned to the 7030th Support Wing art Ramstein until 13-Apr-1959 and then to Templehof and the 7350th Support Wing until 28-Dec-1959.

A change of country beckoned and the aircraft moved to Toul Rosièrs in North East France to be attached to the 7514th Support Wing on 28-Dec-1959 however the unit was re designated as 7544th Support Wing just three days later on 01-Jan-1960 which became the host unit. The aircraft stayed at Toul Rosièrs to join the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and when the unit moved to the upgraded base at Laon on Jul-1962, 51-16537 moved with it. On 17-Feb 1964 the aircraft returned to Sembach in Germany joining the 3rd Medium Transport Wing.

7272nd Air Training Wing

The further USAF history of the aircraft is still to be researched but it is known that it operated with the 7272nd Air Training Wing at, Wheelus, AFB, and Tripoli, Libya about Oct-1965 and possibly until Wheelus closed in 1970. It is then noted as having been re assigned to the US Army circa. 1970.

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