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Chase YC-122C Stroukoff Avitruc Aircraft N122S, USAF 49-2884, CY-884 Aircraft Photos and Info.
 
   

chase_with_R1820

Chase YC-122C N122S at Stoltzfus Airport, Coatesville, PA in 1957 with the original Wright R1820-101 engines and Curtiss Electric props, before conversion to Wright R2600's
   
 
Last revised 1/8/13
 

 

 

 

 



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My father, the late Chris D. Stoltzfus, of Coatesville, PA, bought 49-2884 from the USAF in 1956, for $21,000. We used it for aerial spraying, including grasshoppers, Spruce Budworm and Gypsy Moth. We had two Chases - - this one and 49-2882, N122R.

Here's some photos and info. I welcome your contribution and corrections. See my YC-122C main page for more general info on these aircraft, and the Chase Aircraft main page for all of the Chase, Stroukoff aircraft.

 
 
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11/26/56 government award to Father on this aircraft, and 49-2882, N122R
 
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11/26/56 Bill of Sale from Department of the Air Force, to Chris D. Stoltzfus, Coatesville, PA, purchase price $21,000. FAA registration was issued 12/14/56.
  * On FAA register 4/28/12, as cancelled. Scroll down.
 
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Here is what a USAF aircraft log sheet looked like in the days before computers. Yep, lots of hand work and lots of paper.
 
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4/27/57 CAA 337, Hamilton Aircraft, Tucson, on construction and installation of spray tank. Shows #22,054 empty weight and 10,690 useful load. I've done lots of 337's on spray systems and I'll tell you, the lack of detail proves that this was done in the old days!
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4/27/57 CAA ACA-305 Application for Airworthiness Certificate. Note that the “Aircraft Make” was corrected to Roberts. Lynn Roberts was the first Chase owner to get and aircraft certificated and was issued Aircraft Specification No. AR-25. The airframe total time was only 1335 hours!
 
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4/28/57, Operations Limitations in Restricted Category. Wright R-1820-101 engines; #30,000 gross; All take off and landings and flights shall be over other  than congested areas; minimum crew only, consisting of one pilot in command properly rated to operate this aircraft, and one co-pilot. Signed by Edward L. Donohue, CAA General Safety Inspector, Reg. 4 LA, ASDO 6
  *
   
N122S was based at Stoltzfus Airport, Coatesville, PA, and I took these photos soon after its arrival in 1957. It still had the Wright R1820-101 engines and Curtiss Electric props, as you can tell by the longer prop dome. This is about as "stock Chase" as you can get!
 
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8/27/57 CAA 337 by Thurman S. Alphin, Hagerstown, MD, on repair to aft fuselage.
 
   

In Aug. 1957 one of our pilots was landing at Allentown, PA, and thumped it on a bit hard. Ivan Bisel, a former Navy pilot, was taking his Chase type rating check ride with the CAA (now FAA) and probably his carrier-landing habits came into play more than was healthy for the Chase.

The Chase had a welded steel tubular fuselage with aluminum skin. There is a fair bit of tail hanging out there behind that small part of the fuselage, and the tubing simply crumpled and let the tail drop. Oops! Father thought it was going to be a big deal, but he called his old friend Thurman "TS" Alphin, in Hagerstown, MD, for advice. Thurman brought several of his old buddies from Fairchild and they had the fuselage jacked back up and repaired in no time flat.

My Uncle John Stoltzfus, "JP" to those who know him, and Bob "Pinky" Newman, went up to finish up the skins. Bob worked at Lukens Steel, in Coatesville, but was a real sheet metal guru. The left b&w photo shows him working on a skin; and then Uncle John in a relaxed mode (I don't think Father was on the scene right then); and Bob looking quite casual. You might notice in some of the subsequent photos that the zinc chromate primer didn't stick very well. Reason was - - the repair crew was a bit casual when they bought the sheet metal and they got anodized aluminum - - not meant to be used in this way!

These photos show the Curtiss Electric props, which were soon replaced by the Hamilton Standard 23E50's when we converted the Chases to R2600's. (next)

 
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3/20/58 CAA 337 by Hamilton Aircraft, Tucson, AZ, on installation of Wright R2600-20 engines and wing splates, as previously approved on N5904V. Flight tested by Leland Evans who flew the Chases and our TBMs.
 
Mid 1958 and N122S is back from Tucson with the big R2600's, wing splates and more. It is parked beside our Grumman FM-2 Wildcat N35MK. We were going to use the Wildcats for spraying but then the TBM's became available so we used them instead. The FM-2 now bears the N86572, the same as it's Navy BuNo.
 
We operated four Grumman TBM's for spraying, and here the Chase is lined up with them in, probably in late 1958. It didn't take long for the zinc chromate to start to peel off of that anodized skin!
  Your obligatory puff of blue smoke, confirming that there is oil in the engine.
  Lots of dihedral in the tail and plenty of flaps there!
  Fall of 1958, everybody is ready for winter.
 
Winter of 1958. The tail of N122S, with engineless Wildcat N19K and two Aero Commanders behind it. We had a 2800' grass strip and didn't have many visitors of this nature, but this day two Aero Commanders stopped by. The FM-2 is now N222FM belonging to Kermit Weeks.
   
Spring of 1959. Things got sorta muddy at home sometimes! The Apache thought he was at the public airport nearby. Yes, it was this muddy when he landed! He promised to send us some money to help fix the ruts, but he never did. Stinson 108 N387C has a Tunnell conversion with the Lycoming O-435-1. We had lots of government surplus O-435's so Thurman Alphin built up the kits from L-5 parts and we sold the package. This was our demo aircraft. .
  * 2/61, transfer to Chris D. Stoltzfus & Associates, a partnership of Father, my twin Karl and me.
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5/62 FAA 337 by Reading Aviation Service, Reading, PA, on installation of a Narco Mark V transceiver. This was hot stuff mind you - - a 90-channel, crystal controlled transceiver! No mention of an "omni head" so we probably used the military radios for navigation. Signed by Hans Hass, RAS Chief Inspector
   
Early 1962 slides sent to Father by someone. That is Stearman N95X in the background before it was converted to a '450. Note that the Chase still has the wide TBM prop blades.
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5/62 FAA 337 by Reading Aviation on installation of Hamilton Standard 23E50-505 props in place of 23E50-543. See my PROPELLERS notes on on this page, on our required change from TBM props to B-25 props. Because the B-25 used the 1700-hp R-2500-29A or -35, we were now limited to 1700-hp for takeoff and 1500-hp max continuous (METO).
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5/62 Operations limitations with the B-25 props and 6359-18 blades, with horsepower restrictions. Signed by R. S. Whitehead, of the Allentown, PA, FAA GADO
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5/62 FAA 337s on recover of elevators and rudder with Ceconite, signed by Carl R. Clendenin, who worked for us. Another 337 by Kutztown Aviation Agency, Kutztown, PA, on recover of right aileron with Ceconite.
   

Spring of 1962 with the new control surfaces and the aft fuselage painted nicely. That's Lex DuPont's Ryan PT-22, N4708Z. Lex had a little fleet of his own and stopped up once in a while to chat with Father.

   
A 1962, Sanford, ME. photo by William J. "Bill" Hunt and one that I treasure. Bill was a Navy instructor in T-6G's and then came to fly for us. He was an "aviator." Karl and I took our Private Pilot flight tests in a T-6G and Bill was our instructor. It is irrelevant that all of those log entries are signed "Chris D. Stoltzfus, C-47188." If the FAA Administrator can authorize others to represent him/her, I guess Father could too! Those were "the old days!"
   

Probably 1962, from some negatives I bought. That's Piper J-3 N51533 in the background of the last photo. Karl and I owned it then, and it now belongs to my son Mark. It was just recently restored.

I know I'm posting a lot of similar photos here but there's not many shots of the Chases available so I'll just do most of the ones I have and you can skip over those that are too redundant for you!

   
   
About 1964. It has the new paint on the tail but it is already peeling on the anodized skin. That is B-17G, N5017N behind it. The top of the vertical fin has a lot of little dings from when I shot a Starling off of the top. Father questioned me but let it pass! Phew!!! What on earth was I thinking??!!
  * 9/66, transfer to Mobile Aircraft, Inc., Mobile, AL, $21,500
  * 9/66, sold to Chartair, West Plains, MO, by Mobile Aircraft, Richard Jagitsch
  * 11/66 FAA Application for Aircraft Registration shows Melvin Newman, George King and C. L. Rickard, dba Chartair
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1/67 Application for Airworthiness Certificate, “To support movie making”. Owner is Chartair, signed by W. Gilmore Simms, Agent, approved by Jaime D. Serra, MIA-GADO 7-3-05. Airframe total time now 1694-hours.

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1/67 Certificate of Airworthiness for movie making in connection with Ivan Tors Studios, Inc. (scroll down)

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1/67, Operating Limitations, Restricted Category, for the special purpose of movie making. Signed by Jaime D. Serra, General Maintenance inspector, SO-GADO-5, Miami, FL
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Equipment List, for the above operation, which speaks of airdrop of parachutists and cargo. Note the gross weight of #42,000. It shows the original props instead of the -505s.
  * Here are two sources that reference the use of N122S in the movies. Source 1, and Source 2 (PDF's)
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3/67, Application for Airworthiness Certificate, “Transp. equipt. & Material for WS Cheek Mining Co.”, signed by Duane Egli, approved by William A. Allen, LIT GADO 2-1-06.

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3/67 Operating Limitations. Note the definition of the operation including, “This aircraft operation is confined to the carriage of unique cargo into and out of the United States of America, that cannot be normally carried by commercial carriers due to the physical nature of that cargo.”

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3/67, Certificate of Airworthiness, Restricted Category, use is defined same as the Operating Limitations.
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3/67 letter by Duane Egli, pilot, authorized agent for W. S. Cheek Mining Co., Guyana, South America, requesting an amendment of his Restricted Category Operating Limitations. Egli is apparently a colorful character, and when you google his name (middle initial A) you get some interesting results, including but not limited to this one on ruudleeuw.com and this one, both on arms running. (Scroll down, and/or Ctrl+F and search for Egli, on both)

  *

Anyway - - after we sold N122S we were told that it was being used to smuggle vehicles into Brazil, duty free. They could get two cars into it by lifting the front of the first vehicle up over the step into the cockpit. We later heard that it had been landed on a sand bar in a river after one engine quit due to fuel mismanagement. The aircraft was undamaged but was covered by the rising river before it could be retrieved.

Very recently I was sent a photo by a Miles Williams, of FL, a Guyanese pilot now flying in the U.S.. Miles knows John Forbes, the first pilot to spot the downed Chase. In his story on YouTube here Forbes says the Chase was hauling a tractor, and landed on a sand bar in the Essequibo River after an engine failure. Miles also knows Tom Wilson, who rescued the two Chase pilots in an amphibious DeHavilland Otter.

  Note that on the photo Miles sent, the right engine cowling is off. Bear in mind that memories on this matter, including John Forbes, and mine, are 45-years old and some recollections fade (or grow) in that amount of time.
 
Chase Aircraft, Stroukoff Avitruc N122S on a sand bar in the Essequibo River in Guyana in 1977. Not a pretty site! How that one prop blade came off is a mystery to me, because the hub wasn't split.
 

A couple of years ago someone in New Jersey, I think, emailed me two photos that he took in 1977. He was a helicopter pilot down there and was tooling along one day in his Bell 206 (in left photo) and saw the Chase, so landed and took some photos. He tracked the N-number to me and called. I want to give him photo credit if I can figure out who he is. A lot of water had washed over it by that time!

End of story - - unless someone sends me more!!


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