Fairchild 71C, CF-AKT

  • Status: On display
    CF-AKT-fairchild-640x250

    Second Life after Yukon Crash

    The Fairchild was widely used for bush flying in the 1930s. The particular aircraft on display at the museum was operated by Canadian Airways and later by CP Air.

    The Fairchild FC-2W2 was designed and built in the U.S. in 1928. It carried seven passengers, or a payload of 625 kg (1,400 lbs). It became a popular general purpose aircraft and was used throughout the US, Canada, Alaska and Mexico. It was readily adapted to skis or floats and was widely used for bush flying in the 1930s. This particular aircraft crashed in the Yukon in August 1943. The wreckage remained there until 1973 when it was flown to Winnipeg in a Canadian Forces Hercules. Restoration – by museum volunteers – was completed in 1991.

    The September 1943 accident report stated the CF-AKT’s engine stopped. The aircraft was on floats and 40 miles from Watson Lake. Pilot, Stan Emery couldn’t find a body of water nearby, so he landed in the bush. Just before touchdown, the starboard float hit a tree and flipped the aircraft on to its back. Miraculously, not even a pane of glass was broken and Stan walked away uninjured. Other than badly swollen feet caused by his long walk back to Watson Lake, he was in good condition. The Canadian Airways Station Manager at Watson Lake, Stan Wagner was upset at losing an aircraft and grounded Stan. The two parted ways after a heated discussion two weeks later.

    Stan Emery later joined Canadian Pacific Airlines and retired as a DC-8 Captain. The Station Manager, Stan Wagner, went on to become the General Manager of TransAir Ltd. – a position from which he retired. In 1991, when the aircraft was re-dedicated to the museum, both the pilot and the Station Manager were in attendance – meeting once again after 48 years.

    Specifications

    • Wingspan: 15.24 m (50′)
    • Length: 10.0 m (32′ 10″)
    • Height: 2.84 m (9′ 4″)
    • Engine: 420 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp C
    • Cruise Speed: 171 km/h (106 mph)
    • Max. Range: 1,006 km (625 miles)

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Maureen Emery 07.22.2015

    My Dad, Stan Emery, flew CF-AKT and our family are so thankful that the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada flew the wreckage of CF-AKT out of the bush, and your wonderful volunteers who restored it. I have yet to go and see CF-AKT, but some day I will get the chance to come and see it. Dad didn’t walk back to Watson Lake, he walked for three days down to Francis River, and then was picked up by the search plane at Francis Lake. Dad flew for Yukon Southern Airways, and later all the small bush airlines amalgamated and became Canadian Pacific Airlines. Dad never got over his dislike for Stan Wagner.

  • Lars Opland

    Congratulations to the restoration crew! From what I’ve seen of it in web photos, CF-AKT is by far the best restoration of any F.71 or F.71C anywhere.

    Maureen, thank you for passing along those recollections.

Leave a Reply

* Name, Email, and Comment are Required