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Howard DGA -
Featured aircraft, c/n 898, N68189

Take me back to the Howard DGA page I just came from.

c/n 898, DGA-15P N68189, ex C-GYWF, N29999
U.S. Navy NH-1, BuNo 44927

In July 2004 we were watching for airports while driving from Fairbanks back to Anchorage, and saw one at Willow. It was a lousy photo day but there were several aircraft that couldn’t be passed up.

This Howard DGA-15P, factory c/n 898, was built as a Navy NH-1 “Blind Flying Trainer”, and was assigned Navy BuNo 44927. This is one of several Howards that is FAA registered by its Navy SN rather than the factory Construction Number.

Photo 2: Howards have a different cowling arrangement than many aircraft with radials. Note the nose ring, and then the wrap-around section over the cylinders. Then there is a wrap-around accessory cowl between the dishpan and the firewall. You can see the oil cooler there at the bottom. Obviously someone was doing some work on the aircraft. You can also see the three fuel filler caps there along the side.

Photo 3: These are pretty colors on an attractive paint scheme on a beautiful airplane. Somehow airplanes like the Howard draw a lot of adjectives out of me. This bird would be a real knockout on a clear day!  The registration on the fuselage is N68189, and on the tail it is NC68189 for old-times sake.This aircraft has McDonald Brothers YD-6470 floats, made in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

The Howard fuselage is metal back to behind the baggage door, and fabric from there aft. It has a welded, steel tubular fuselage with wood stringers to shape it. Larry and Elizabeth Todd of Wasilla, AK bought it in May 1989 and have owned it ever since. I was told by someone at the airport that it has been an active work airplane most of the years since that time. (As compared to being a “toy”, which many of them are.)

Photo 4: Note the swing-up pilot’s door that has been installed here. I don’t see a baggage door on this side, as on some other Howards I shot in Alaska. You can see where the fabric comes up to the metal on the fuselage.

Photo ID N68189_1

Photo ID N68189_2

Photo ID N68189_3

Photo ID N68189_4

Aircraft history: In November 1947 the Atlanta office of the War Assets Administration sold it to Robert Misar of Los Angeles, CA for $1500. He registered it as NC68189. Harry Johnson and Charles Null of Rockford, IL bought it from Robert Misar in June 1949 for $2,500. Null bought Johnson out in 1951 and in October the left wing, landing gear oleo strut and wheel were replaced. Sounds like a groundloop to me! In March 1953 the prop blades were replaced with the 6101-21S, the shortened BT or T6 blade with square tips. At this time the aircraft had 594-hours total time.

Null sold it to Eby Campbell of Dayton, OH in November 1954. Next was William Munz of Nome, AK in April 1957, who sold it to Flying, Inc. of Juneau in September 1958. They sold it to Alaska Coastal Airlines of Juneau a year later, and it was transferred to Alaska Coastal-Ellis Airlines in September 1962. In May 1959 it had 821-hours and by October 1962, 1501-hours. That was an active time frame!

Kenmore Air Harbor of Kenmore, WA bought it in June 1964, and in July it was sold to Skyline Air Service of Anacortes. Nancy Peacock of Friday Harbor was next, in October 1965. It was sold by her estate in January 1970 to Harold Klones of Edmonds, for $4,250. It was now registered as a “Howard Jobmaster, Model DGA15P”. Klones passed it on to Ed Browning of Roberts, ID in August 1973.

The aircraft was deregistered in April 1977 when it was purchased by D.E.R. Enterprises in Manitoba, where it became Canadian C-GYWF. It was removed from the Canadian registry in November 1982 when it was purchased by James & Marjorie Shorthill of Chugiak, AK. It was assigned N29999 for a short while but soon became NC68189 again. 

I was in Alaska in 2008 and 2010 and stoped at Wasilla several times but didn't see it. I'd like to get some better shots and learn more about this Howard.
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