Welcome to the The Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society (FARS) website. Dedicated to the restoration of a historic World War II Patrol Bomber - Canso PBY-5A.
Please check out the buttons, on the left, which will lead you to the history, goals and aspirations of our non-profit organization.
Where is the Canso Shop?
Fairview, Alberta,Canada ---
FARS was formed to be the operating wing of the Canso PBY-5A, C-FNJE. The Society is currently coordinating the restoration of the Canso, raising funds to help rebuild the aircraft and planning to provide hangar space for FNJE and other historic aircraft. Upon completion of this restoration, FARS will organize demonstrations at airshows and community events to provide school children, aviation enthusiasts and the general public the opportunity to share in a part of Canada's rich history.
April 24th 2016
Exciting news this week - the airframe of Canso PBY-5A, FNJE has been rolled out of the shop and reunited with the 104 foot wing - after almost eight years!
A great day for Canso PBY-5A, FNJE!
Also a great day for Canadian History!
And a really great day for everyone involved!!
The Fairview Post had a great article this past week on the background and update of the project. Please check it out at the link below:
Rodney Kozar, FARS member and former co-pilot of C-FNJE, was in town on days off from his job fighting wild fires at Fort McMurray and stopped for a visit with some of the Canso Crew.
Rodney currently flies one of the CL-215 water bomber tankers for the Alberta Government, following in his father's footsteps as a Canso pilot and a water bomber fire fighter.
FIRST ENGINE UP!
There's been lots of excitement the last few weeks – the wing went on, the rudder was put back in place, both engines were mounted and finally Canso PBY 5-A, C-FNJE almost made it to the Fairview Airport, Tuesday night, June 7th, 2016.
The work-bee lasted until 2:00 AM when the Crew dragged the Canso through a canola field, then loaded it onto an old modified seed drill mover and pulled it sideways down the municipal road for 1½ miles until they encountered a low-hanging power line and a too-tall tail on the Canso!
A couple of hours and a lot of ingenuity later, under the power line it went and continued up the road. Another mile further the Canso was unloaded from the drill transport and back on its own wheels to head across another grain field.
You can just imagine the look on the faces of passersby, that next morning, when they saw that big old plane sitting there along the highway, in a field, a half a mile from the airport!
In the light of day the journey continued, down the highway for a half a mile, stopping traffic for 20 minutes, and onto the country road where the Canso Crew had to clear some trees to make the 100 foot right-of-way just a little bigger to accommodate the 104 foot wing span. It's amazing how many trees there are in just 4 extra feet! Then back through another field and onto the runway at the airport, just when the rain started. What a break that it held off that long!
Click on any photo below to start the slide show of the trip from the Wilson farm shop to the Fairview Airport
Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society (FARS) had a great opportunity to share the fruits of all the efforts that have gone into the restoration of the Canso PBY with the aviation community and local people at the Father's Day Fly-In Breakfast on Sunday, June 19, 2016.
It was a very successful and enjoyable morning. The weather was great, the food was great, we had 26 landings including 2 helicopters. Of course, FARS was delighted to have the Canso there on location and proud to show it off to the more than 400 visitors. The cars were lined up half way back to Fairview. Next year we will maybe need to get a shuttle for a park and ride.
A big attraction to the event was the Grand Opening of new Fairview Air Terminal, a cooperative venture between the M.D. of Fairview # 136, the Town of Fairview and the County of Clearhills.
Other highlights of the morning were visits from Stars Air Ambulance helicopter, Alberta Sustainable Resources (SRD) Fire Attack Team, from Peace River, in another helicopter and the visit from a CL-215T Alberta water bomber, fresh from the wildfires at Fort McMurray. It was very impressive to see that big modern water tanker there on the tarmac in front of its predecessor, the Canso PBY-5A.
For a slide show of the Father's Day Fly-In event please check out this link below:
Canso PBY-5A, C-FNJE, as tanker 702, loading water for forest fire fighting in the Northwest Territories. Photos provided by Rodney Kozar, FARS member and former co-pilot on FNJE in 1997, with Buffalo Air. Rodney is currently a pilot of the Alberta Government's CL-215T's stationed at Slave Lake, AB and responding to wildfires across the country.
It's been a busy and productive summer for the Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society (FARS) with restoration of Canso PBY-5A, C-FNJE. Firstly, the 104 foot wing was lifted back on the airframe, the engines were re-installed and then the aircraft was moved overland for about 5 miles to it's new home at the Fairview Airport. Since that time the electrical, hydraulic and all other systems have been connected and checked and now it's almost time to run the engines!
FARS is most grateful for the generosity of Brian and Karen Wilson for the use of two of their shops, their yard, their tools and equipment during the eight early years of the restoration of the Canso. Without their assistance the restoration would not have progressed as it did - FARS will remain very, very appreciative.
Check out the link below to a very good article in the Western Producer, written by Barb Glen who visited with us recently at the Canso Shop. Barb does a great job telling the story about the history the Canso and the salvage and restoration of this aircraft, Canso PBY-5A, C-FNJE
This year Christmas came a little early to Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society. In early December, after several months hard work, we received word from Transport Canada saying that, and I quote from the letter:
"A review of the Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society Maintenance Schedule Approval for the Consolidated Vultee PBY-5A is now complete and found acceptable. Please find attached MSA RAXE-FNJE-PBY-5A. The Original document and letter will be mailed from this office in the near future."
This is incredibly good news and the Canso is now just one more step closer to being ready to fly!!!
DECEMBER 2016 - Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society (FARS) had to finally put the Canso away for the winter. Shown below was the move to its designated parking area alongside the Save the Canso Clubhouse. Work-bees continue on a smaller scale but plans are now in full swing for spring and the first "official" flight of Canso PBY 5-A, C-FNJE on Father's Day, June 18, 2017. Stay tuned for more information.
Very special news from James McRae, our friend and long time FARS supporter from Nova Scotia, who recently told us about the soon to be minted Canadian $20 silver coin depicting
Flight Lieutenant Jim McRae was onboard the Canso PBY-5A Patrol Bomber 9816 when, after a successful strike on an enemy submarine, was hit by gun fire from the sub and went down in the North Atlantic. Click the link below to read his story or to listen to Mr. McRae tell, in his own words, the details of that fateful day in history and the loss of RCAF Canso 9816 and three of it's crew members.