Dick Milne's Catalina (Canso) Quest
by Doug Roy on 07/30/11
We had a very interesting visitor from England, Dick Milne, a former school teacher who's now on a mission that's taken him around the world in his search for Catalinas, and their Canadian cousins, the Canso PBY. Dick says his interests in Catalinas only developed in the mid-70s, so his fascination lies with the "modern" role of the type as an executive aircraft, as a fire fighter and as a museum attraction.
He said he did manage to see PBY-5A G-APZA at Southend, UK, in July 1961, just four months before its final demise. Dick said that between 1974 and 2004 he had seen 70 of the type in places as far flung as Columbia, Indonesia, Australia, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, United States and in Canada where, in 2000, he saw Buffalo Airways fire fighting PBY's C-FUAW, C-FPQM and C-FOFI in Red Deer, AB, for maintenance. Dick was quoted in the Catalina News, Jan. 2005
as saying, "Sadly, C-FNJE (our aircraft
) was up in Yellowknife and, sadder still, sank in 2001. Did it get recovered?". Happily, it did get recovered and is in Fairview, AB and we were very pleased to be able to show Dick the results of the restoration and invite him back when completed.
Other Canso's in Canada that Dick has had a chance to visit are in: Hamilton, ON, C-FPQL; Qanonoque,ON, CF-NJL; Rockcliffe, ON, RCAF 1108; Montreal, PQ, C-FPQK; Halifax, NS, C-FHFL; and Newfoundland and Labrador's former fire fighting PBY's C-FIZU, C-FNJC, C-FCRP, C-FDFB, all of which still sport their provinces colours. Note: Our C-FNJE still has the Newfoundland and Labrador colour scheme
We certainly wish Dick well in his travels and hope he has a chance to return to Fairview in the future to visit C-FNJE at least once more.