Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Max Ward's Fox Moth

Gordon Bain, De Havilland, A Pictorial Tribute, Airlife Publishing, 1992
One of the bush pilots struggling to make a living in Canada after the war was a young man named Maxwell Ward. Max grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and joined the RCAF, learning to fly in 1941. On discharge from the Air Force he made plans to start operating in the Yellowknife area — he was only lacking an aeroplane.
In August 1946 Max arrived at Downsview, Toronto, with the intention of buying a Fox Moth. Although he did not have enough capital to buy the aircraft outright a deal was struck and the Polaris Charter Company began operating with DH83C CF-DJC. From that lowly beginning the charter airline Wardair was built. Wardair operated until 1989 when it became part of Canadian Airways. Canadian in turn was acquired by Air Canada in 2000.
That original Fox Moth is now no more and its registration was then worn by one of Wardair's Boeing 747s. That plane was scrapped sometime after 1996, then owned by Saudi Air. 
Max, remembering his beginnings, wanted to have another Fox Moth to be painted exactly as his first. In January 1973 he bought DH83C CF-DJB c/n FM28 from its owner Jack Edwards of Kenora, Ontario and it was painted to represent CF-DJC. At this time, though, it was not fully representative of 'DJC as the Canadian authorities demanded it have the new style registration of C-FDJB. It just did not look right.
On 5 September 1976 the aircraft stalled into Lake Ontario and suffered considerable damage. A rebuild was possible but a new fuselage had to be made. On completion the Canadian authorities relented and allowed the 'proper' marks to be carried. Kept at Toronto International Airport the aircraft flew only rarely to go to Watt Martin's strip at Milton for its annual maintenance and for a few weeks to appear in a film for which it was fitted with floats.
On 15 May 1989 CF-DJB was flown to Ottawa to be placed into the Canadian Transport Museum. 
From De Havilland, A Pictorial Tribute, by Gordon Bain, Airlife Publishing, 1992

As it looks today.

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