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c/n 58
CF-FHW at Dawson City.
Photo: Joe Langevin © c.1953 - Brian Langevin Collection
CF-FHW ready for duty.
Photo: Unknown photographer © Date unknown - Aird Archives
CF-FHW on patrol duties.

Photo: Unknown photographer © B.C. Provincial Museum

c/n 58



Entries preceded by date are extracts from Department of Transport archives at Ottawa.

07-Jul-1949 Test flown for Aircraft Inspection Release Certificate by (illegible) - begins with E.A. Wie…… ??

07-Jul-1949 DHC advise Department of Transport that owners of DHC-2 c/n 58 CF-FHW will be de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd.

07-Jul-1949 Application for registration by de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd.

08-Jul-1949 Certificate of Airworthiness #3126 issued.

08-Jul-1949 Certificate of Registration #8107 issued to de Havilland Aircraft of Canada.

22-Jul-1949 Short-term lease to Austin Airways until their own Beaver CF-FHX was ready for delivery.

• CF-FHW Leased to Austin Airways Ltd., Toronto, ON. 22-Jul-1949.

14-Oct-1949 Application for registration by Government of the Province of British Columbia.

• CF-FHW British Columbia Provincial Police, Air Division. Based Vancouver, BC. Delivered 22-Oct-1949.

26-Oct-1949 Bill of Sale; de Havilland Aircraft of Canada to Western Aircraft Sales & Service Ltd., as agents for de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., to The Government of the Province of British Columbia, Provincial Police Department.

28-Oct-1949 Certificate of Registration #8351 issued to Government of the Province of British Columbia, Provincial Police Department.

• CF-FHW Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Responsibility for policing British Columbia placed in the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Aircraft absorbed from British Columbia Provincial Police on 15-Aug-1950.

15-Jan-1951 Indenture; His Majesty The King In The Right Of The Province Of British Columbia as represented by the Attorney-General for the said province to His Majesty The King in the right of the Dominion of Canada

27-Feb-1951 Application for registration by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa

15-Mar-1951 Certificate of Registration #9317 issued to Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Accident: Un-named location. Lat 49°23’N Lon 123°20’W. 08-Jun-1957. On the landing approach gusty winds and downdrafts caused by adjacent the hilly shore caused the port float then the starboard wing of the aircraft to strike the water. No injuries were reported but there was substantial damage to the aircraft, including bent tip to the starboard wing and a small dent to the starboard aileron. There was damage to the outer rib assembly to which the wingtip was attached and damage to the skin in the section adjoining the wingtip rib. The rear starboard wing root bracket was warped. Pilot S. S. Rothwell.

Accident: 6 mi. south of Penticton at 49.23N, 119.33W near Skaha Lake, BC. 06-Aug-1958. The aircraft was caught in a down draft below the crest of mountain at too low an altitude to avoid hitting the terrain. It crashed and burned on a shelf on the lower levels of a mountain on the east shore of Skaha Lake opposite Kaleden whilst searching for a wanted murderer. Pilot S/Sgt S S Rothwell, and engineer Special Constable J.E.R. Cormier and constable R.W. Green killed and aircraft written off. (There is extensive information about the crash on the Department of Transport file, lots of information about mountain flying and priorities in the cockpit relating to this accident.)

Total hours since new as recorded in Department of Transport archives

28-Jun-1950   354 hours

unk-May-1951   802 hours

08-Jun-192   1,447 hours

01-Apr-1953   1,802 hours

11-Mar-1954   2,316 hours

20-Feb-1957   3,829 hours

25-Mar-1958   4,256 hours

• CF-FHW Canx by Transport Canada, 22-Aug-1958

Note: Named “Wren” with the RCMP, associated with the last letter of the registration.

Fate Unknown


An extract of an article about CF-FHW in the British Columbia Historical News Vol 18, N0 3 of 1985 by R.G. Patterson, a Curator with the Modern History Division of the B.C. Provincial Museum.

In 1949, a new branch of the British Columbia Provincial Police Force was created. It was to be known as the Air Division. With this Division, the Force made one of its last major purchases, a Beaver float equipped aircraft whose call letters were CF-FHW. The Officer behind the purchase of the aircraft was Noel Arnold Beaumont.

He was born on November 28, 1911, at Consort, Alberta and had been in the British Columbia Provincial Police prior to World War II. He served with the RCAF where he spent time as a Flying Instructor at Trenton and then with the RAF until the end of the war when he was discharged with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Once back in Canada, Beaumont rejoined the British Columbia Provincial Police on January 14, 1946, and was posted back to Campbell River. A year later he was promoted to Skipper third class, in charge of P.M.L. #9. However Beaumont’s flying experience convinced him that an aircraft would greatly assist the police with their day-to-day work. He began to promote the idea of acquiring a float plane for the Force, and gathered information on aircraft types. He favoured the de Haviland Beaver because of its manoeuvrability and versatility. He also did a comparison and contrast study on running a police boat versus an aircraft. The results showed that an aircraft would be far cheaper to operate and maintain per mile per year. This data, along with Beaumont’s flying time, was forwarded to Police Headquarters in Victoria. The impact of this material on the Headquarters staff was effective, because in March, 1949, a de Haviland Beaver seaplane was recommended for purchase. However, delivery was not obtained until October 27, 1949. CF-FHW arrived in Vancouver from the factory painted silver, with a sage green engine cowling and stripe down the length of the fuselage. On each of the passenger doors was the police crest. The aircraft was equipped with the regular radio required by the Department of Transport plus direction finding apparatus and F.M. radio to keep in contact with the police cars and other fixed stations throughout the province. The purchase price for CF-FHW was thirty-two thousand dollars. Owing to the late delivery, and unfavourable weather conditions, its potential was not fully realized in 1949. Nevertheless, by the end of the year seventy-seven hours and fifty-five minutes were flown, covering a distance of 7,460 miles. It was anticipated that six hundred hours would be flown during 1950 on police and game patrols, in areas not really accessible by normal means of transportation. On January 1, 1950, Beaumont was transferred to Vancouver to be in charge of the Beaver. A year later he was promoted to Sergeant Pilot. The co-pilot for CF-FHW was a New Zealander, H.J. Thomas. Thomas had more than 3,700 flying hours to his credit in both war and peacetime flying. As well, he had experience in air engineering and flight maintenance, all of which made him an invaluable member of the flying team. CF-FHW flew out of Vancouver until the take-over of the Force by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on August 15, 1950. After the takeover, both CF-FHW and Beaumont transferred to the Air Division of the R.C.M.P.CF-FHW continued in service with the Force until it crashed, and burned on August 6, 1958, on a mountainside six miles south of Penticton, British Columbia, while on a search for a wanted murderer. Beaumont remained with the R.C.M.P. until his retirement on October 16,1967. After that, he flew commercially for a few years, finally retiring to live in Richmond. The value of the aircraft was proven in many ways. It was used for transporting men, investigating crime in remote places, spotting escaping criminals in co-operation with police radio equipped transport, bringing help to the injured, inspections of remote detachments by senior officers, patrols along remote sections of the coast, traffic surveys and aerial photography.