View Full Version : Avro Yorks and a Hastings in Greenland

Phillip Rhodes
11th September 2006, 16:29
Can anyone confirm the presence of Avro Yorks that were dumped in Greenland or North Canada - used during exploration in the 1950/60s? I also understand that a HP Hastings also crashed in Greenland and was abandoned?

Binbrook 01
11th September 2006, 16:55

I seem to recall reading about one that crashed as well, cannot remember if they abandoned it or not though....


Truculent AME
11th September 2006, 17:57

There were a lot of Yorks used during the construction of the Mid Canada Line - Lower than the DEW Line that was done by the Americans - I don't have my information here at work but here is a link to the accident record -

I have been doing some research on the York in Canada and if you want some more info just PM me. If I recall correctly I believe Spartan Air services had 10 or 11 of them - Pacific Western Airlines had some, Associated Airlines had some, Trans Air, and Maritime Central as well.

I think that CF-HFQ (Trans Air)might still be in the arctic - what might be left is questionable.

I also have a question about the C-2 York - as I understand it there was only one C-2 made and that was from the prototype - the C-2 had Bristol Hercules for engines. There is a picture of it in the AVRO from 1918 book. My question is "WHY" did they produce the C-2 - was it for an existing operator or was it because Merlins were getting hard to get , or??????

If you can shed any light on this I would appreciate it.


Truculent AME
11th September 2006, 17:58

That should be CF-HFP not HFQ


Pen Pusher
11th September 2006, 18:14
This is from 'The Lancaster Story' by Peter Jacobs.

'Four York Prototypes were ordered......

It was further stated that two of these prototypes should be powered by Bristol Hercules Engines, as fitted to the Lancaster Mk II and each of the four aircraft were to be fitted in different configurations..........

In the second York, LV629, the engines were replaced by Bristol Hercules VI radials and to improve lateral stability a central fin was added. This aircraft became the prototype for the proposed Mk II and it made its first flight in August 1942, but the engine installation was not considered particularly successful.'

Hope this is of some help.


Cees Broere
11th September 2006, 18:44
I know the artic York is stil there. Pics of it were posted on WIX some years ago and she was substantially complete and would make a great recovery/restoration project.

A Hastings in Greenland? mmm if aiframe is beyond saving but the wings aren't then another Halifax reconstruction could be possible. :rolleyes:


Truculent AME
11th September 2006, 19:51
Hi Again

Looks like I have the wrong registration - it should be CF - HMX (Hate it when I don't have my references at hand!!!)

Photos on WIX are by Dan Jones

I think the description of the aircraft being "Brutalized" would be very accurate.

The Hastings is also mentioned on Greenland Wrecks as

Sep 1952
Handley Page Hastings
7807N3810W North Ice L-510 RAF.
Tail visible. Fuselage used as depot.

Also thanks for the info on the reason for the C-2 model - It is always interesting to find out that some engines just don't work with some airframes - even though they might be of similar power - there is always the discussion over Merlin powered Halibags vs Hercules powered ones and of course the Hercules powered Lanks.

I will try to get numbers on how many Yorks were used in Canada - or should I say abused - the use of aircraft on the Mid Canada Line and the DEW line were at the best a good example of "rough service". As many of the aircraft were bought relatively cheaply - they were very unceremoniously disposed of when crashed or past their "use by" days.


11th September 2006, 19:54
Hastings C2 WD492 crashed onto the Greenland ice on 16/09/52, it was supply dropping some equipment to a research station at the time and flew into a white out at 50ft, wing hit the ice, no casualties.

11th September 2006, 22:12
Wow the thought of 4 hercules sitting in arctic conditions.. probably were salvaged...

mike currill
12th September 2006, 04:09
Hastings C2 WD492 crashed onto the Greenland ice on 16/09/52, it was supply dropping some equipment to a research station at the time and flew into a white out at 50ft, wing hit the ice, no casualties.That's understandable. In white out conditions it's just about impossible to see your hand in front of your face (even if it is touching the end of your nose). I hate to think how many aircraft and crew have been lost that way. That's the only good thing in that account-no casualties.

John Cooper
12th September 2006, 05:22
The Hastings incident on the Ice Cap can be viewed here


12th September 2006, 10:21
A dozen Yorks were sold to the Canadian Government for the the DEWLine project, after overhaul by Avro during 1954, they were operated by several companies including Associated Airways,Arctic Wings,Maritime Central Airways,Pacific Western and Trans Air Canada.

The twelve were all direct from RAF use apart from MW185 which was already in service with Air Charter from 1952.

MW135 CF-HMV To Associated Airways, ditched Thoa River NWT 29/9/55
MW136 CF-HMW To Maritime Central Crashed Fort Chino Quebec 26/9/56
MW147 CF-HMZ To Associated Airways Crashed Yellowknife 12/4/55
MW167 CF-HMX to Arctic Wings. w/o 12/4/55 Hall Lake NWT.
MW185 G-AMUT CF-HTM Maritime Central, Returned to Dan Air 3/58 w/o 5/58
MW203 CF-HMU to Maritime Central u/c collapsed Fort Chino 24/1/56
MW233 CF-HFP to Pacific Western w/o 24/6/57 DEW line site 8.
MW237 CF-HMY to Associated Airways W/o Edmonton 7/6/55.
MW287 CF-HIP See below.
MW290 CF-HAS No details.
MW291 CF-HFQ To Trans Air W/o Fox 13/9/56.
MW294 CF-HIQ To Trans Air Forced landed Rankin Inlet 8/1/57

CF-HIP to Canada's Maritime Central Airways on August 7, 1955. MCA sold the aircraft to Associated Airways in April 1956, Purchased by Pacific Western Airways (PWA) in 1956 and this aircraft was part of the deal. Scrapped in May 1960.

Truculent AME
12th September 2006, 20:18
Avro Yorks in Canada

The York first flew in 1942 and 253 were manufactured. The aircraft used the wing assembly from the Lancaster bomber with a much larger fuselage and a triple tail. It was a war-time aircraft that used existing technology to produce a transport aircraft.

The aircraft was used in Canada in the mid 1950s’ as a supply freighter aircraft for the Mid Canada Line and the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line construction.

Spartan Airways purchased 11 aircraft @ approx $2000.00 each. A 12th York was purchased by Maritime Central Airways (MCA).

The aircraft were divided up with 4 aircraft each to:

Associated Airways
Maritime Central Airways (MCM)
Arctic Wings - This was a sub-company of Spartan Airways

The aircraft was often Captained by UK pilots - attracted by top pay of about $1000.00 per month.

The first aircraft in Canada was CF-HFQ which entered service with Arctic Wings - March 1955. The aircraft was a good choice given the payload was between the Curtiss C-46 and the Douglas DC-4 and the low purchase price. By late 1955 almost half of the fleet had been lost. The companies operating them made a lot of money and even when they crashed, insurance paid for the aircraft.

Associated Airways Yorks

CF-HMZ - April 11, 1955 - Yellowknife

Undercarriage failed - aircraft totaled - Crew survived - 2 Pax Killed

Pilot was W.F.Young

CF-HMX - April 12, 1955 - Hall Lake

Aircraft struck a snow bank - written off - no fatalities

CF-HMY - May 26, 1955 - Edmonton

Aircraft was overloaded - runway was too short and the aircraft crashed into Canadian Pacific Railway “Calder Yard” Crew did not survive.

Interesting point was that the company was not in possession of performance charts - nor was the DOT. In addition the pilots credentials had never been checked.

Pilot was William Highton
Co-pilot was W. Horton

CF-HMV - September 29, 1955 - Returning to Yellowknife - Lost - Ditched into lake north of Uranium City.

Pilot was Joseph Cermak (ex RAF) - Died of exposure
Co-pilot was Gerhard (Jerry) Lozie - Frostbite - lost both feet later.

Associated only had CF-HFP left so CF-HIP was added from MCA - the operation carried on for a few weeks until DOT revoked the heavy aircraft certificate.

Associated was taken over by Pacific Western Airlines where HFP and HIP continued operating.

Maritime Central Airways Yorks

CF-HMU - Jan 24, 1955 - Forced landing at Fort Chimo - engine failure - right main gear collapsed

Aircraft was written off.

Pilot was A.J. (Spud) Murphy

CF-HMW - September 25, 1956 - Fort Chimo - Caught fire - forced landing on barrens.

Pilot Bob Ruchbrook survived

Crew members Christie and Crighton were killed

CF-HMT - This aircraft was sold to Dan-Air - Crashed in Malta May, 1958 - fire after engine failure.

4 killed

Arctic Wings Yorks

CF-HFQ was the first York to operate in Canada - March 1955

CF-HMX - May 12, 1955 - Hall Lake - Landing gear collapsed - no fatalities

This aircraft is also listed as belonging to Associated Airways in some records???

CF-HIQ and CF-HAS ( Has was the last York ferried to Canada) were operated 1955 and 1956 by Arctic Wings and were purchased along with HFQ by Central Northern Airways / Transair

CF-HFQ - September 13, 1956 - Fox Manitoba - overran the runway - written off

No fatalities

Servicable Yorks left were:

HAS - Transair
HIQ - Transair

CF-HFP - June 25, 1957 - Cape Perry - Brakes failed on landing - no fatalities - PWA

Pilots were F.J Lasby and L.A. Annesley

CF-HIQ - January 8, 1957 -Rankin Inlet - engine fire - forced landing about 25 miles south of Rankin Inlet - aircraft destroyed by fire. - Transair - no fatalities

Pilot was J.W.F. Wright

CF-HIP - survived the DEW Line - used by PWA until about 1959 - Scrapped in Edmonton

CF-HAS - survived the DEW Line - used by Transair until about 1960 - stored at The Pas Manitoba - Sold for scrap in 1965 - was vandalized and burnt before being cut up - wings were salvaged and the engines acquired by Bob Diemert.

The Canadian Built York

FM-400 - a very modified York built by AVRO Canada - Canadian government ordered 50 aircraft in 1943 but cancelled the order due to concerns with the ability of the aircraft in icing conditions. Lancasters were ordered as replacement. Only FM-400 was built.

FM-400 first flew November 14, 1944 - was delivered to the UK - registered as G-ALBX.

Hauled fuel during the Berlin Airlift.
Lost June 1949.


12th September 2006, 21:13
I picked up a copy of 'Air Transport Hulks 86' by the Aviation Data centre, many years ago.
It contained a picture of York CF-HM? in Arctic Wings livery, post crash, located 'near Hudson bay' with the comment "thought still present 1985"
I remember being amazed that such a rare aircraft was still laying abandonded into the 1980's.