c/n 770

C-GDAV sporting large fins.
Photo: Kenneth I. Swartz © 03 August 1976 - Michael J. Ody Collection
53-7951 on the ramp at Portland, Oregon.
Photo: Ron Olsen © 25 September 1971

c/n 770




53-7951 US Army #1492. L-20 No: 493. Command A-4. Delivered 17-Feb-1955. Built as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962.

53-7951 Possibly with 15th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry.

53-7951 Oregon National Guard. Circa Sep-1971. Red & white VIP colour scheme.

53-7951 Stored at MASDC., Davis Monthan AFB., AZ. 14-Feb-1972 to 10-Mar-1976. PCN (Product Control Number) HS100.

Note: Purchased by Canyon Airways at the Davis Monthan auction sale on 29-Jan-1976 for $23,000US. Total time 6,490 hrs. Engine 5,374 hrs. Sold as providing “no reasonable potential for normal certification”. Comments at sale included: National Guard paint scheme, rear data plate and average condition.

Entries indented and preceded by date are extracts from Department of Transport record held at Archive Canada.

29-Jan-1976 Sold from Davis Monthan, $23,000, to Gale J. Fowler, Canyon Airways Ltd.

12-Apr-1976 Gale Fowler of Canyon Airways requests registration C-GDAV (third choice) for DHC-2 #53-7951.

28-Apr-1976 Provisional registration C-GDAV issued for DHC-2 #53-7951.

(No date) Civilianized at Kenmore Air, Kenmore, WA. No US Certificate of Airworthiness issued.

27-Jul-1976 Provisional Certificate of Registration and Flight Permit to ferry aircraft from Kenmore, WA., to Quesnel, BC.

Jul-1976 on Edo YD-6470s floats.

01-Aug-1976 Canadian duty / taxes paid at Vancouver BC.

03-Aug-1976 Test flown for Certificate of Airworthiness by Gale Fowler.

03-Aug-1976 Application for Registration by Canyon Airways Ltd., Quesnel, BC.

03-Aug-1976 Certificate of Airworthiness issued.

19-Aug-1976 Certificate of Registration issued to Canyon Airways Ltd., Quesnel, BC.

C-GDAV Canyon Airways Ltd., Quesnel, BC. Regd 19-Aug-1976.

Accident: 12 mi. NE of Quesnel, BC. 53.03N/122.14W, 05-Sep-1978. Whilst en route Dragon Lake to Isaac Lake in poor visibility and low ceiling, (on floats) the aircraft hit trees and caught fire.

After delaying due to poor weather the pilot with 4 passengers and freight departed from Dragon Lake on a charter flight to Isaac lake about 65 miles to the east. The pilot called 30 minutes later and stated that he would be late returning because of weather. The burning wreckage was located some hours later by a ranger investigating a reported forest fire. Investigation revealed that at take-off the aircraft was 359 lbs overweight, and the centre of gravity was 1.5 inches aft of the aft limit. After 45 minutes of flight the aircraft would be 200 lbs overweight, and the centre of gravity would be 0.5 inch aft of the limit. Weather in the area was influenced by an upper trough with a moist and stable air mass. Weather observed by residents and truckers indicated low ceiling and visibility, with fog obscuring some hills. Visual flight rules could not be successfully carried out in the conditions described.

An aircraft, likely the accident aircraft, was seen flying west near the accident site 40 to 45 minutes after take-off. Dense black smoke was reported by a trucker travelling through the area 10 to 15 minutes after the sightings. The aircraft had struck trees while inverted in a nose low, wings level attitude with a high rate of descent. A severe post-impact fire destroyed the cabin of the aircraft. It is concluded that the pilot lost control in instrument conditions. Pilot, William Bruce McClanahan and three passengers killed.

Total time since new as recorded in Canadian Department of Transport files.

03-Aug-1976   6,497 hours

29-Jul-1977   6,697 hours

23-Jul-1978   6,905 hours

C-GDAV Cancelled from CCAR. Canx 06-May-1980.

Destroyed by fire