At the 1994 IAT we had to wait until late in the afternoon, but then finally there was the sound of those magnificent engines, and moments later we were treated with the spectacle of a Russian Air Force Tupolev 95 Bear in take-off! It put up a nice show, and is seen here climbing away in the direction of the setting sun…
The late-afternoon sun provides for a nice, soft light on this former Jamaican Defence Force Twin Otter (ex JDF-T1) as it taxies calmly to the floating wooden piers in Vancouver's harbour. The aircraft was owned by Kenn Borek Air, and leased to Harbour Air. It still flies with Kenn Borek today, as C-GTKB.
Taxies to one of Miami's numerous cargo ramps. This former American Airlines aircraft (ex N90772, delivered in April 1953) also served with Japan Air Lines (JA6210), the Chilean Air Force (FAC988) and several other operators. It was owned by Gomez & Waara Aircraft Corp. when it ditched into the ocean off the Bahama Islands only 6 months after this photo was taken, on December 2, 1989.
At the time of this photo this aircraft was only one year old, but Interflug's heydays were already over. Two years later it would all be history, when East and West Germany became one, and the DDR registration prefix simply became D. No more red Ilyushins or Tupolevs at Amsterdam.<br> DDR-SEU became D-AOAL and was soon sold to Uzbekistan as UK-86577. In 2005 it returned to Russia as RA-86577 with Interavia, but it was withdrawn from use a few years later. It was scrapped in 2015.
Until the mid 1990s Miami was an interesting place for aviation enthousiasts. The international airport had many rare sights to offer, but the town's harbour wasn't bad either! From their small base on Watson Island, Chalk's operated scheduled flights to several Caribbean islands.<br>Here one of their Grumman Albatrosses can be seen shortly after touchdown, with Miami's large cruise liner terminal in the background.
Short-lived and last incarnation of the Braniff airline name, operating for only one year, from July 1991 until July 1992. Although this former Eastern Air Lines 727 looks smart in these blue Braniff colours, the paint job is clearly starting to wear off. Perhaps an ominous sign, because only a month later the airline ceased operations. This aircraft was first stored at Mojave and later at Miami, and scrapped there during 1998.
One of then only two flyable Carvairs in the world is seen here in a glorious take-off, a very rare and wonderful sight (and sound)! This beautiful oldie had already seen a lot of the world: it flew as LN-IAE, JA6012, HL4003, VH-INK, N54598, ZK-NWA, N5459X and C-GAAH, before ending up with Brooks Fuel in late 2002. Roger Brooks did a great restoration job on it, but then unfortunately crashed it near McGrath, AK on 30 May 2007.
Northern Air Cargo used to operate two Cargomasters, which were both leased from Cargomaster Corp. in the early 1980s. Shown here is N133B, which still carries small and faded Northern Air Cargo titles on the wheel bay and 'NAC' on the fin. It also still wears serial 0-90533, as a reminder of its previous military career (ex 59-0533). Sadly this rare aircraft, one of only fifteen C-133Bs built (with the clamshell rear loading doors), was scrapped at Anchorage during 2000.
HI-515CT has just landed on 9L (Miami's piston runway), and is now taxiing to the ramp in front of the customs building. This Connie (built 1956, ex USAF 54-0173) was lost after take-off from San Juan, PR on 5 April 1990, when it ditched into the Atlantic Ocean.
Among the fourteen YS-11's in storage at Honolulu in 1988 was this N121MP, a former Mandala Airlines aircraft (ex PK-RYY). It was bought by Mid Pacific Airlines in December 1987, but never entered service with them. Still carrying the Mandala tail colours and no titles, it remained in storage here until Nov 1989, when it was sold in Mexico as XA-RPF.
At the time of this photo, Northern Air Cargo's once very impressive DC-6 fleet was slowly being phased out by NAC's new owners, and was already down to five flyable aircraft. Only four of them saw fairly frequent use, one of which was this N6174C (ex C-GBYN, N1281, N402US, N34959). It was acquired by them in June 2002, and eventually withdrawn from use in Sep 2008. A little over a year later this oldie was bought by Everts Air Cargo, and was still in use with them by 2016.
AirCal was one of the smaller companies to be taken over by a major carrier during the mid 1980s, in this case by American Airlines. N4952W, photographed here in AirCal livery with American titles, was acquired in 1987 and was destined to become N662AA. But this re-registration did not materialize, and the aircraft was sold as C-GNWN only three months after this shot was made. It flew as such with NWT Air, then with First Air, and was finally withdrawn from use in 2006.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s United Airlines still had quite a few real oldies in their operational fleet. Their DC-8s were the prime examples, but these short B727's were even older! N7019U was delivered to them in June 1964, and continued to serve them until 1991. Having seen no other operator in its entire life, this aircraft was broken up during 1993.
This aircraft, seen here at the start of its takeoff run on runway 14, joined the Everts fleet in August 2000. It was originally delivered to Canadian Pacific way back in July 1958 as CF-CZZ. It later served as a sprayer with Conifair (C-GBZC) in the mid 1980s and even saw some service as an airtanker with France's Sécurité Civile from 1986 to 1988 as F-ZBAP (Tanker 65). Its last former owner was Conair (C-FCZZ, Tanker 52). By 2017 it still served faithfully with Everts.
Lake Hood, situated right next to the international airport of Anchorage, must be one of the world's busiest seaplane bases. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon just sitting here, feet dangling in the water and the camera at hand, with all sorts of seaplanes speeding along every few minutes. Pictured here is Otter N234KA, which was still a "real" Otter back then. It was converted to a Turbo Otter during the 1990s, and became C-GHAR in 2002.
A very nice DC-3 in a freshly painted Eastern Express outfit, but owned and operated by PBA. Sadly it would only fly in these colours for five months, until being put out of service in September 1988. This venerable aircraft is a real oldie, a pre-war DC-3 (delivered to Braniff in 1940) that never saw any military service. It was sold in 1991 and became N28AA.
This Stratofreighter, owned by Stratolift Inc, shows misleading identification marks. It is ex USAF 52-0883 (with some difficulty '0883' can be seen below the faded U.S. Air Force titles on the nose), but the tail clearly shows '0237'. This is because the original tail fin was damaged, and it was replaced with that of 53-0237 (cn 17019).<br>The missing engine cowlings of engine #3 suggest that this aircraft was already withdrawn from use at the time. It was slowly reduced to scrap here during 1994-1996.
One of the few freighters that were not sold to Hawkins & Powers was this C-119G. Instead, this ex USAF 53-7836 was sold to Everts Air Fuel in 1995, and it was stored at Fairbanks, Alaska. By 2015 it was still there, in complete condition.