Fairchild Super 71 Salvaged after 28 Years at Red Lake

This article first appeared in the February 1970 Flight Test News.

RED LAKE, ONTARIO, CANADA-After 28 years, the remains of a Fairchild Super 71 cabin float plane have been salvaged from the shores of Red Lake in northwestern Ontario.

According to news reports from the area, a ground crew of Ontario Central Airlines Ltd. recovered all major components of the aircraft–fuselage, wings, empennage and floats–with the idea of restoring the aircraft.

The Fairchild Super 71, introduced in 1934, was an all metal cabin seaplane well suited to the needs of bush flyers who were then opening norther Canada to the world. An unusual feature of the Super 71 design was the placement of the pilot’s cockpit atop the fuselage above the rear of the passenger cabin and well aft of the high wing.

An account of the salvage operation in a recent issue of the Canadian Aircraft Operators newspaper said the location of the wreckage of the aircraft was well known, having been re-discovered and re-photographed at regular intervals.

The aircraft, registration number CF-AUJ, was put into service during the winter of 1934 by Canadian Airways Ltd. One item that brought it considerable attention was transporting two live oxen into a northern camp.

The newspaper said the end came for CF-AUJ in November 1941 when it was flying out of Red Lake with a load of gold bricks and the unknown pilot was attempting to rock from one float to another to get it off the water. The floats separated under the pounding and the fuselage disappeared into the lake between them. Owing to its precious cargo, the aircraft was recovered and brought up onto the shore. There it has remained ever since.

In addition to the commercial Super 71 used by Canadian bush fliers, several modified versions of the aircraft with the cockpit moved forward of the wing were later produced for the RCAF.

SUPER 71. CF-AUJ on delivery in 1934. Designed for bush pilot operations in Canada, its remains reportedly have been recovered from Ontario lake shore where it has been since 1941.

This article first appeared in the February 1970 Flight Test News.

One thought on “Fairchild Super 71 Salvaged after 28 Years at Red Lake

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2018