‘Til Rust Do Us Part

For every active airworthy Norseman in the world there are probably five in various states of non flying status from immaculate museum restorations to fuselage airframes one trip away from the scrapheap.

On March 21, 1995 C-FKAS literally landed in the water after a spreader bar float failure near Chemainus, British Columbia. Unfortunately for serial 367 the salty seawater later caused corrosion in the airframe tubing that made future repairs uneconomical for continued commercial use.

This Mk VI started as a UC-64A with the USAAF (43-5376) and is reported to even have carried U.S. President John F. Kennedy in South America. Other more recent unique features are the oval shaped panoramic windows and having its fuselage skinned with metal at some point allowed for murals to be painted on both sides like seen on semi-trailer trucks!


Arno van der Holst from the Dutch Transport Museum stands by KAS on November 13, 2018. The frame is near Dryden, Ontario and at the aft bottom of the fuselage can be seen a sliver of a mural. The last commercial operator was West Caribou Air, Savant Lake, Ontario.


From 1947 to 1966 CF-BSH was operated by Algoma Steel Corp. Limited of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Below the right triangular window is a metal plate with that name and registration.

In northern Minnesota at the Baudette airport sits Norseman serial N29-23, N45TG. Having remained on the ground for well over a decade out in the open this Mark V is definitely starting to show deterioration from the elements.

Unlike many Norseman, this postwar model spent its life with only a handful of operators and mostly flying in Ontario, Canada including Red Lake based Green Airways, then Pikangikum Air before going stateside in 1990 with Tom Griffen. A couple points of interest in the picture below are the added ventral fin at the bottom of the empennage (not a common feature) and the TG in the FAA registration representing the current owner. Rather obvious is the missing air rudder and the fabric on the fin looks particularly rotten.

Will this Norseman return to the sky one day? The prognosis looks unlikely, but never say never when considering those seemingly timeless machines still existent.

Photos taken on November 11, 2018.