The Canadian Army’s fixed-wing complement of Cessna L-19 ‘Birddog’ and Cessna 182 ‘Skylane’ aircraft consisted of 29 L-19s and six 182s. Within the L-19 fleet, 16 were A models (16701-16716 incl) and 13 were E models (16717-16725 incl and 16732-16735 incl). Within the 182 fleet, four were D models (16726-16729 incl) and two were F models (16730- 16731 incl).
The official Canadian military designation for the Cessna 182 was L-19L. This was changed in 1962 to L182 to clear-up the misunderstanding that the L-19L and L-19 were interchangeable, which was not the case.Then, in May 63, the designation changed once again, this time to L-182D and L-182F.
In 1961, four Cessna 182 aircraft (16726-16729 incl) were purchased by the Canadian Government from the Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita Kansas. Initially, 726 was allocated to Central Command and positioned at Camp Borden in the fall of 61. In 1962, at the request of the GOC Central Command, 726 was moved to Camp Petawawa where it was flown and maintained by 4 RCHA Air OP Troop. The remaining three aircraft (16727-16729 incl) were positioned at RCAF Station Rockcliffe where Army Headquarters Training and Liaison Flight (AHQ T&L Flt) was formed. In 1963, two more L182 aircraft (16730 and 16731), both F models, were purchased from the Cessna Aircraft Company. These aircraft were retained on strength AHQ T&L Flt while 727 was transferred from the Flight to CJATC Rivers Manitoba in May 63.
On 17 Jan 64 tragedy stuck the 182 fleet with the loss of 731 from the AHQ T&L Flt Rockcliffe and its pilot Capt Ross Flewin, an AHQ Staff Officer on Continuation Flying at the time.
In Apr 64 AHQ T&L Flt moved from Rockcliffe to RCAF Station Uplands with its three remaining aircraft: 728, 729 and 730. The Flight was eventually disbanded around the time of Unification, with its three aircraft transferring to 412 (T) Sqn RCAF Station Uplands into what became known as ‘Cessna Flight’.
Tragedy also struck the 182 fleet on 14 Dec 64 with the loss of 726 from 4 RCHA Air OP Tp in Petawawa and its pilot, Capt Harv Fleury, a member of the Tp, while on a cross country liaison flight.
The remaining four aircraft (727-730 incl) were dispersed over time to different units located at Bases such as Edmonton, St Hubert and Valcartier and were eventually “retired” from military service in the early 1970s and disposed of through Crown Assets.
Following are the results of research by the author into the disposition of the four 182s that were disposed of through Crown Assets and sold to private individuals. The write-ups, captions and photographs are reproduced exactly as they appear in the author’s research notes. No attempt has been made to “clean-up” the presentations for editorial and grammatical scrutiny.
C-FTGQ is currently registered to 581977 British Columbia Ltd. Lethbridge AB. Efforts to contact the owner by letter failed to produce any results. In a last-ditch effort to determine 727's current status and obtain a photo of it, I contacted the Manager of the Lethbridge County Airport. Mr. Scott Butchart, who replied by email with the following picture and the Lethbridge Herald article on the 2 Feb 2005 accident (see below). It is indeed a sad ending for a true workhorse and former military aircraft.
Lt Archie Archambault (RCASC) and me with Cessna L-182D 16727 on the tarmac at CJATC Rivers Camp, Man circa summer 1963. 727 was permanently based at Rivers at the time.
Former 16728’s current Base of Operations is listed today (Oct 2016) as Chilliwack BC. It is registered to Mr. Richard Bennett of Gibson BC according to the Transport Canada Canadian Civilian Aircraft Registration Database. The author personally viewed the aircraft during the summer of 2015 at the Sechelt BC Airport where it is apparently currently based and fitted-out for free-fall parachuting activity.
Cessna 182D C-FTGS (ex-Canadian Army 16729) was located in Aug 2008 using the Transport Canada Civilian Aircraft Register Database on the Internet. The aircraft is currently owned by Mr. Jay Thorburn and is based at the Vernon BC Aerodrome (CYVK).
The picture below resulted directly from a letter I sent to Mr. Thorburn and several email exchanges between myself and him, once contact had been established.
Old 729 looks to be in very good condition; however, as reported by Mr. Thorburn, the engine is timed-out and in need of overhaul/replacement before the aircraft can be certified as airworthy once again. Also worthy of note, in addition to the civilian paint scheme, are the absence of wheel pants, the addition of "droop tips" to the wing tips and wing fences on top of the wing (common civilian modifications). It was great for me to meet 729 again, albeit pictorially, after almost 40 years since the date of my last flight in her, as Pilot in Command, AND my last flight as a Regular Force Canadian Forces Pilot in Dec 68 while serving with 412 (T) Sqn, Uplands, Ottawa.
C-FTGT is currently owned by Mr. Wayne Cook of Zurich ON and is hangared at the Sexsmith/Exeter ON Aerodrome (CSX7). Other than the paint scheme, missing wheel pant on the nose wheel and several extra/new antennas, C-FTGT looks the same as 730 did in 1968. My last flight in 730, as Pilot-in-Command, took place 30 Nov 68 (OW-TR-OW) while serving with 412(T) Sqn, Uplands, Ottawa.
Pictures below were taken at the Sexsmith/Exeter Aerodrome (CSX7) 4 Sep 2009. The aircraft appeared to be in very good condition for its age. The missing nose wheel pant was found stowed in the open-front hangar. The owner of the aircraft, Wayne Cook of Zurich Ontario and his wife Cathy, were present at the time and about to go flying.