Beech 18 Change Over

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Antique Pilot
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Beech 18 Change Over

#1 Post by Antique Pilot » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:46 pm

Here is CF-VCC under a hoist waiting for the floats to be installed, May 1970, Sioux Lookout.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#2 Post by CamAero » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:08 pm

That is probably the earliest year I have ever seen 3 bladed props on a Beech 18.

I wonder what year Hartzell came out with those?

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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#3 Post by Antique Pilot » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:23 pm

I know that Hooker Air was operating another Beech 18 CF-TBA with the Hartzells in 1967 or 68. I saw a photo of it taken after a gear up landing on the ice at Pickle Lake. Problem with the Bristol Wheel skis.

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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#4 Post by CamAero » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:39 pm

That jives out.

Here is the type certificate for those propellers and it mentions the 'original application date' of March, 1967.

http://www.aftd.com/TCDS_PDFS%5CP28EA_9.pdf

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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#5 Post by beech 18 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:18 pm

Feb 05, 2014

Antique Pilot - VCC under the A-Frame.

The Chief Engineer for Hooker Air in Sioux Lookout
back then was a very knowledgeable and kind man.
He would always stop by our base when we had
a problem and suggest to us possible solutions.
He had a great sense of humour. He always had time
to answer one more question.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#6 Post by Master rod » Fri May 09, 2014 4:44 pm

Was the engineer Bert O'Connell ( or something like that) ?
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#7 Post by beech 18 » Fri May 09, 2014 8:11 pm

May 09, 2014

Yes, the engineer was Bert.
Up until the mid to late 1960's he was employed with the
Department of Lands and Forest Air Service in Sioux Lookout.
He then went to Hooker Air in the late 1960's and then
to M.O.T.
He was very well respected.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#8 Post by Antique Pilot » Fri May 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Master rod wrote:Was the engineer Bert O'Connell ( or something like that) ?
It was Bert McConnell. He passed away in Winnipeg about 10 years ago.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#9 Post by NWONT » Fri May 09, 2014 8:33 pm

I worked with Bert for a time in Sioux Lookout after OCA bought out Hooker Air. I wish I knew more of Berts history but I'm pretty sure he worked for a while at McDonnall -Douglas when the first DC-3's rolled out. I'm sure he told me that but wouldn't stake my life on it. I'm also pretty sure that the collapsing building we worked out of at the Sioux Lookout airport was once the station for TransCanada Airlines which became air Canada. I'm just putting this out there for debate as I'd like to know if someone has the facts on this.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#10 Post by NWONT » Fri May 09, 2014 8:37 pm

There is so much bush flying history from this area that was never recorded as it all happened before computers were even imagined. We had a lively discussion on here once about all the DC-3 crashes ,etc, and HOLY SHIT, did that get shut down in a hurry.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#11 Post by Antique Pilot » Fri May 09, 2014 10:29 pm

NWONT wrote:I worked with Bert for a time in Sioux Lookout after OCA bought out Hooker Air. I wish I knew more of Berts history but I'm pretty sure he worked for a while at McDonnall -Douglas when the first DC-3's rolled out. I'm sure he told me that but wouldn't stake my life on it. I'm also pretty sure that the collapsing building we worked out of at the Sioux Lookout airport was once the station for Trans Canada Airlines which became air Canada. I'm just putting this out there for debate as I'd like to know if someone has the facts on this.
Albert John McConnell was born on January 27, 1927. I have a copy of the obit. I was at the funeral. He passed away on Oct 8, 2000.

The first DC-3's rolled out in 1935. The company was simply "Douglas"'. The "McConnell " addition came along many years later. I do not have Bert's exact history at my fingertips but he would have been a little young to be at Santa Monica in 1935. I do know that he was an RCMP officer doing dog team patrols in the Keewatin area north of Churchill in the 1950's. He later joined TCA and worked in the overhaul shops in Winnipeg in the late 1950's-early 1960's. I am not sure about his history between TCA and Hooker. He may have gone to the DOT for awhile after TCA. After Hooker he went to the DOT in Winnipeg from which he retired.

The old building you worked in at the CYXL airport would have been the old Central Northern Airways/ Transair office, never TCA. TCA did not fly into CYXL, only Armstrong and Kapuskasing in the early 1940's.

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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#12 Post by Antique Pilot » Fri May 09, 2014 10:40 pm

In the Hooker Air Service bunk house, early winter of 1971.

Left to right:

Ron Anderson, Ronnie Morrison, Bert McConnell, Harry Swanson
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#13 Post by beech 18 » Fri May 09, 2014 11:19 pm

May 09, 2014

NWT - You mentioned the collapsing building that Hooker Air had
at the Sioux Lookout Airport. The old building can be seen off the
right wing tip of CF-VCC under the A-frame in Antique Pilot's photo.

Antique Pilot - Bert for sure was at The Department of Lands & Forest
before moving over to Hooker Air. Not sure how long he was at the
Forestry but he went over to Hooker's in the later 60's.

That's really a nice photo of the four men you posted. Good guys.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#14 Post by NWONT » Sat May 10, 2014 12:05 am

Beech 18, yup, that's the building. In the 70's it had a huge hole in the floor, big enough to drop a Herman-Nelson though with a sheet of plywood over it. In 1975 I hung an engine on DC-3, CF-YQG in Sioux Lookout. Local Engineer GA was rebuilding a tail section on a single Otter under a tarp. Tail wheel came off and did considerable damage. Not mentioning names cause that can get you in deep shit here. Bert was the base engineer. Later we all got together at the Sioux Hotel and had a few beverages. As usual the conversation got heated as the suds kept flowing and I remember Bert leaning over to me and in his quiet voice said " You know, I was working on DC-3's before you were born and I was at the plant when they rolled out". I was about 28 then. So I don't know if he saw the first one roll out but I guess he saw some new ones. As I said before, I don't know if I recall every word exactly right but I had a lot of respect for Bert and also if I recall properly he had a rupture at the time and saw him dragging those oil-soaked engine covers through the snow with one hand on his groin and the other dragging the tent. Sick days were unheard of back then. Again I thought "Is this what a life of aviation is going to do for me?" People just worked til they died or couldn't get out of bed anymore. Here's a pic from that day.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#15 Post by Indanao » Sat May 10, 2014 12:44 am

Some of them had some Balls.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#16 Post by Liquid Charlie » Sat May 10, 2014 11:23 am

Bert was a hell of a guy and a great engineer along with his protégé B Hooker made an exceptional team and kept me flying -- we did our first dc-3 trips out of Sioux circa 1972 but were stopped due to the short runway -- back in that day it was 2800X200 -- honestly looked like a postage stamp on final -- to this day the old runway is visible as part of the west side of the existing runway -- in 1974 after the runway was extended OCA/Hooker moved a DC3 (along with myself- damn I'm still there) to Sioux for sked -- only 2 northern runways at the time -- Sandy and Trout and would land on the ice in round on wheels for the first 2 winters --

As for YQG -- with the -94's -- seemed there was always one engine feathered :mrgreen: -- I do believe they eventually put -92's in the old girl but the oklahoma shakers failed just as often -- I flew XPK and we always had Standard overhauls for the sked airplane -- it was a pretty good feeling at the time --
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#17 Post by NWONT » Sat May 10, 2014 12:13 pm

Yup, the 94's gave us nothing but trouble. That's a 94 I'm hanging there. As you can see it has a polished prop and the chrome spinner, backing plate is clearly visible. Bert took care of XPK outside all winter. Very seldom did it get into the hanger. It had a washroom behind the cockpit with a relief tube which froze over in no time but everybody kept using it anyway. By the time it came to Gimli it had a bout a hundred pounds of frozen urine in the belly. The whole hanger stunk so bad you could hardly work in it til it was all flushed out. Those Oklahoma wigglers were the worst. Some blew up in less than 10 hours. I changed so many engines I could do it in my sleep. In this pic I'm hanging an engine on XPK in Pickle Lake.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#18 Post by lot lizard » Sun May 11, 2014 4:16 am

I wonder what the senior engineers thought of those 2 young long hairs turning wrenches? :D
These are great pictures and stories from everyone, keep them coming please! Maybe a sub forum with more back in the day pics...
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#19 Post by Master rod » Mon May 12, 2014 12:15 pm

I worked with Barry Hooker in Sioux from 75 to 79. We were at the old Hooker water base for the first year, and then graduated to the airport after that. We worked out of a shack at the airport but had a trailer for a "teminal". Talk about a mixed bag of airplanes: Beech Baron, Piper Aztec, DC-3's, Rockwell 690A, Saunders ST-27, and a Beech 18 with a nose gear ( I forget what is was called). You just never knew what was going to taxi up the hill! I won't bother listing the float planes ( all of the usual!). He was an exceptional guy to work for. I don't think I ever saw him stumped. I still keep in touch. Sure had a lot of fun. Best years of my life!!! I'll get some old pics scanned soon. Does anyone remember Irish George?
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#20 Post by NWONT » Mon May 12, 2014 1:00 pm

I'm getting confused here. Are you and LC sure the name is Barry Hooker? Wasn't that his nickname?
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#21 Post by Master rod » Mon May 12, 2014 1:01 pm

Yes, it is his nickname!!
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#22 Post by beech 18 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:03 pm

April 01, 2017

Beech 18 - CF-VCC

Photo found on the internet with the following information.
Photo by Larry Milberry.
Date taken Aug 1979.


Beech 18 CF-VCC parked on the shoreline behind Seabee CF-ECW.
VCC with the left engine removed and out of the water.

The upper hatch may be open. The left sliding window appears
to be open as does the left hinged "rain window". The flaps are
down and the wheel well covers are open.

I talked to a pilot last October who flew VCC for Hooker Air in the very
late 1960's or early 1970's. He mentioned what a beautiful Beech it
was to fly. He also mentioned it having the small door. Most Beech 18's
on floats had a cargo door installed.

Not sure who was operating VCC in the summer of 1979.

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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#23 Post by valleyboy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:19 am

Getting back to Bert. I know he also worked for TransAir out of Churchill as an engineer. He had a few stories of flying a Noordyun north from Churchill with Rocky Parsons.
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Re: Beech 18 Change Over

#24 Post by Antique Pilot » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:47 am

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valleyboy wrote:Getting back to Bert. I know he also worked for TransAir out of Churchill as an engineer. He had a few stories of flying a Noordyun north from Churchill with Rocky Parsons.
Here is Bert McConnell with the Bellanca Aircruiser BTW at Sioux Lookout June of 1970. Harry Swanson had just brought the Bellanca back from George Fournier's repair shop at Lac Dubonet MB.

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