c/n 273

N55WE back on the water.
Photo: Rich Hulina © June 2014
N55WE spring is just around the corner.
Photos: Ben Cogger © 10 April 2013
N55WE equipped for winter once more.
Photos: Ben Cogger © 13 September 2012
N55WE at home on Campbell Lake.
Photo: Ben Cogger © 23 August 2012
N55WE on Bush Wheels this time at Lake Hood.
Photo: Ben Cogger © 01 June 2012
N55WE in various configurations at Lake Hood, Anchorage, Alaska.
Photos: Terry Fletcher © 2010 (lower) 11 June 2010
N6784L at Vancouver South - CYVR.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 09 April 2003 - Aird Archives
N6784L at Bellingham - KBLI, WA.
Photo: Ian M. Macdonald © June 2002

This logo was worn when with Howard Mills.

Photo: Stan Smith © 18 July 2000
N6784L on amphibs.
Photo: Bill Hann © Summer 1999
N44LU with vestiges of Lake Union Air markings on tail at Kenmore.
Photo: John Kimberley © Aird Archives
N44LU at Lake Union, WA.
Photo: Unknown photographer © June 1992 - Aird Archives
Photo: Unknown photographer © October 1989 - Aird Archives
Photo: Unknown photographer © September 1989 - Aird Archives
Photo: Dirk Septer ©
Photo: © Glen Etchells  
C-GFDD of Hyack Air at New Westminster, BC.
Photo: Dave Welch © August 1988
Photo: Patrick Martin © 15 March 1986 - Aird Archives
C-GFDD looking stunning.
Photo: John Kimberley © 1988 - Ruben Husberg Collection
N688SF at Anchorage, Alaska..
Photo: John Kimberley © June 1979 - Kenneth I. Swartz Collection
N17392 a very plain Beaver at Douglas - Bisbee, AZ.
Photo: John P. Stewart © 1972
51-16499 loving Labrador.
Photo: Eugene Cooper © via Robin Cooper

c/n 273

51-16499 • N17392 • 51-16499 • C-GFDD • (N688SF) • C-GFDD •

• N44LU •  N6784L •

N55WE

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51-16499 USAF #1087. Delivered 11-Jun-1952. L-20A No: 88. Command AF-1. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

N17392 Circa. 1962. Canx May-1973. P/E 23-Sep-1974 wearing this regn as stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ.

51-16499 Stored at MASDC, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. 08-May-1973 to 20- Feb-1976. Inventory code HS189.

Note: Purchased at Davis Monthan auction sale 29-Jan-1976 for US$23,000.

C-GFDD Sandy Lake Stores Ltd., Winnipeg, MB. Regd Feb-1976. Canx prior to C of A renewal dated 24-Jun-1977.

C-GFDD St. Andrews Airways, Winnipeg, MB. Regd Jul-1976. Regd Jun-1977. Canx Feb-1978.

N688SF Reported as regd Dec-1978. Poss NTU.

Notes on Canadian Department of Transport file:

07-Dec-1978 Allotment of Registration C-GYHZ; DHC-2 s/n 273 for The Air Ranger Ltd., Winnipeg, MB.. (A used aircraft dealer).

27-Dec-1978 Provisional Certificate of Registration and Flight Permit issued for the purpose of test flight for the issue of Certificate Of Airworthiness and for Export, valid until 26-Jan-1979 .

27-Dec-1978 (pencilled note on document; N90299 for Glenn Laufenberger, Bethel, AK).

Nothing further on file, aircraft never registered as such in Canada..

C-GFDD Operator unknown. Regd Dec-1978. Canx 03-Jan-1979.

C-GFDD Hyack Air Ltd., New Westminster, BC. On CCAR May-1981. Canx 06-Jul-1983.

C-GFDD Staron Flight Ltd., Richmond, BC. Canx 05-Dec-1984.

C-GFDD Hyack Air (1981) Ltd., New Westminster, BC. Regd 13-Feb-1985. Canx 25-Apr-1989.

N44LU Lake Union Air Service, Lake Union Seattle, WA. Regd 26-Apr-1989. On USCAR at 29-Feb-1992

Airworthiness Cert 05-May-1989 .

N6784L Kenmore Air Harbor, Kenmore, WA. Regd Feb-1993.

N6784L Howard O. Mills Jr. Bellingham, WA. Res’d 02-Nov-1993. Regd 27-Dec-1993 Canx 22-Sep-2006.

Total time: 13,570hrs at Apr-2005.

Note: 06-Oct-2006 Shown as for sale at Kenmore Air.

N6784L H. R. Mills Electric Co., (Howard O. Mills Jr.), Bellingham, WA. Canx 10-Nov-2006.

N6784L Ed Watson III, Mount Vernon, WA. Regd 18-Jan-2007. Canx 03-Oct-2008.

Accident: Kalispell, 23-Jul-2007. While in cruise flight over a wilderness area, the engine sputtered and then lost power. The pilots attempted to restart the engine, and then began to look for a place to land. The pilot landed the airplane on a gravel/sand bar area near a river. The airplane sustained structural damage to the firewall, a wing strut, and leading edge damage to the horizontal stabilizer.  The pilots reported that the oil pressure and cylinder head temperature gages were in the green prior to the event, and there was no indication that there was anything wrong. An inspection of the engine revealed that the master rod end had broken. No metal pieces were observed in either the oil filter or oil sump. Further inspection of the engine revealed that the supercharger impeller shaft bearings (blower bushing) had failed. The supercharger impeller bearings are an area that requires lubrication, and if they fail, raw oil can be pumped into the induction system, which could cause various engine problems, including detonation. NTSB Report LAX07LA238.

Note: Rebuilt by Leading Edge Aircraft Services LLC., Smelterville, ID

N55WE. Ed Watson III, Mount Vernon, WA. Canx 11-Jun-2010

N55WE WD Aircraft Investments, Anchorage, AK. Pending 18-Jun-2010. Regd 12-Jul-2010.

Note: Total time 13,721 hrs. (2010).

N55WE Jeff Kruse, Fairbanks, AK. Regd 23-Dec-2013. Expiry 31-Dec-2016.

Note: Accident: Arctic Village AK. 04-Sep-2015 00:40utc. The pilot reported that while departing in a tailwheel-equipped airplane, from a rough and uneven tundra-covered off-airport site, it failed to gain sufficient airspeed, and he aborted the takeoff. The airplane's main wheels sunk into the soft tundra-covered terrain, and the airplane subsequently nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to the wings. The pilot stated that there were no pre-accident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Cuirrent

USAF History

51-16499 was made available on 16-May-1952, and accepted on 29-May-1952 by the 6600th Air Depot AMO (Air Material Overseas Unit), at Downsview, ON., after which it was assigned to the Tactical Air Command. It was delivered to Langley AFB, VA., and joined the 2nd Liaison Flight on 11-Jun-1952 and then 2nd Liaison Sqd on 22-Jul-1952. It moved to Shaw AFB, SC., as a deployment with the 2nd Liaison Squadron on 14-Apr-1954 before returning to Langley on 08-Jun-1954. Remaining at Langley it transferred to the 405th Fighter Bomber Wing on 20-Jun-1954 and then the 4405th Operations Squadron from 23-Aug-1954 until 14-Feb-1955.

It now passed back to Downsview, Toronto, ON., for maintenance until 13-Apr-1955 after which it returned to the 4405th Operation Squadron at Langley. It then went back to Shaw AFB this time to join the 363rd Reconnaissance Combat Training (RCT) Wing between 17-Apr-1956 & 16-Jul-1956 and then to Olmstead AFB, PA., to the Air Material Command, Middletown Air Material Area (MID MIDAR) until 17-Aug-1956. A couple of moves back and forth between Shaw and Olmstead continued until 23-Aug-1957 with the allocations to Olmstead only lasting a couple of days each. The reason for this is unknown.

A change of location and unit occurred on 23-Aug-1957 with a move to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina with an attachment to the 83rd Day Fighter (FDA) Wing. This lasted until 01-Nov-1957 followed by a move to Pope AFB, NC., and the 464th Troop Carrier, Medium (TCM) Wing until 19-Feb-1958. Then it returned to Seymour Johnson but to the re designated 4th Tactical Fighter Wing where it remained for over two years until 29-Aug-1960.

It then departed from the TAC to be assigned to Headquarters Command at Bolling AFB, Washington DC. It was assigned to the 1100th Air Base Wing for just over twelve months until 13-Sep-1961 after which it went to the West Coast Maintenance Area at Lockheed Air Service Inc, Ontario, Burbank, California for a short period until 23-Oct-1961. Another new location beckoned, this time Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington. This was a new assignment as well to the Strategic Air Command and the aircraft joined the 92nd Heavy Bombardment (BH) Wing until 20-Feb-1962. From here the aircraft moved to Malmstrom AFB, Montana and the base operating unit, the 341st Strategic Support (SSP) Wing until 26-May-1962. A return to Fairchild where the 92nd had now been re designated as the 92nd Strategic Aerospace (STA) Wing as the SAC moved into missile technology. It stayed until 31-Jul-1962 when it returned to Malmstrom where similarly the 341st had been re designated as the 341st Strategic Missile Wing. A third visit to Fairchild with the 92nd Strategic Aerospace wing occurred between 24-Aug-1962 and 29-Jan-1963 prior to the aircraft moving to the Logistics Command facility at Hagerstown, MD operated by the Fairchild Aircraft Company where it apparently remained in storage until 22-Mar-1964,

It then returned to active service with the 96th Strategic Aerospace Wing at Dyess AFB. Its further history is to be researched.

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