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Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
 31 October 1981
Photo: courtesy of Robert W. Arnold


Manufacturer: Republic Aviation Corporation; Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, USA.
Model: RC-3 Seabee
Type Certificate No: A-769
Serial Number: 352
Manufacturing Date: 1947-02-??
Engine: Franklin 6A8-215-B8F (215 HP at 2500 RPM)
Remarks: Mode S codes: 52003766 / A807F6
Reg. No. Date Remarks
1947-02-?? Manufacturing Date.
1947-02-?? Test flight.
1947-02-07 Officially delivered from Republic Aviation Corporation to Turgeon Flying Service, Inc.; Northbrook, Illinois, USA.
1949-11-29 C of R issued to:
A. J. Soebbe; 2919 Archer Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60601.
1952-03-29 Bill of Sale: 
John Barney, USA, to Superior Airways; Fort William, Ontario, Canada.
1955-10-04 Cancelled from CAA Aircraft Register.
CF-FCD 1952-04-01 Allotment of Canadian registration marks to Superior Airways; Fort William, Ontario, Canada.
1952-05-20 C of A # 3683 issued.
1952-06-02 C of R # 10987 issued to:
Superior Airways  Ltd. (Orville J. Wieben); Fort William (Thunder Bay), Ontario.
1952-06-01 Crashed in the bush on the north shore of Lake Superior, 3 miles north of Rossport, Ontario.

While en route engine RPM increased over the danger mark, which was followed by a rapid loss of height and forward speed and an emergency forced landing was made on a high ridge of rock on hills north of Rossport.

The damage to aircraft was listed as "substantial", and the Seabee was never repaired or rebuilt.

Pilot John William Donaldson, who was the sole occupant, escaped with "minor" injuries.

The cause of the accident was suspected of being the propeller finding its way into neutral position.  This may have been due to reversed pitch control becoming unlocked and permitting the propeller to go into neutral position, something which could not be controlled by the propeller control inside the aircraft.

Carburetor icing was also suggested as possible cause of accident, as when aircraft was visited, there was no evidence of the pitch of the propeller having gone into the neutral position.

Source: Files # 5008-F3-4 and # 5802-32651.

Superior Airways said at the time that it was stripping the aircraft of the doors, instruments, seats, gas tank, flaps & ailerons, tail planes and other material. The wings and fuselage were left in the bush. (Information from Terry Judge 2009-04-23)

It seems that the fuselage was transported to Thunder Bay for outside storage, while wings were stored at Vickers Height, a few miles outside Thunder Bay.

1952-10-29 Cancelled from Canadian Civil Aircraft Register.
1981-10-31 Fuselage picked up at Thunder Bay, Ontario, by WCAM volunteers Robert W. Arnold and Bruce Emberley for:

Western Canada Aviation Museum;
958 Ferry Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0Y8

Tel: (204) 786-5503
Fax: (204) 775-4761

The Seabee was donated to WCAM by the Wieben family.

1981-11-01 Wings picked up at Vickers Heights, Ontario.

See the story at "Recovery of a Seabee"!

1981-11-02 To Winnipeg, Manitoba, at Robert W. Arnold's home.
1981-11-07 To Keith Olson's farm, Selkirk, Manitoba, for outside storage.  Stored there for several years.
2000-??-?? Moved to WCAM, St. Andrews Airport (CYAV), 10 NM NNE of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
2014-05-24 Observed at St. Andrews Airport (CYAV), Manitoba, by Brian Burrage.

The aircraft probably will be scrapped.

  Sources: RAC Seabee Delivery List.
Canadian Civil Aircraft Register.
Michael Ody/Terry Judge/Jim Tyerman/ (LAC Microfilm reel # T-7903T).
FAA Registry.
Robert W. Arnold.
Brian Burrage.

CF-FCD (Photo: George Chomokovski)

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
August 2007
Photo: courtesy George Chomokovski

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Updated 2014-02-21

2014-2015 Steinar Saevdal