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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 189139
Last updated: 22 November 2019
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Date:29-JUN-1946
Time:
Type:Gloster Meteor Mk III
Owner/operator:Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
Registration: EE311
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Helenbar Lake, ON -   Canada
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RCAF Station Namao, AB
Destination airport:RCAF Station Hamilton, ON
Narrative:
Meteor EE311 had been assigned to the RCAF Test and Development Establishment on 28-Sep-1945 and later to the Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE) at RCAF Station Namao, Alberta, Jan-1946. During a transit flight from Namao to RCAF Station Hamilton, Ontario on 29-Jun-1946, the pilot experienced poor weather and a fuel transfer problem from an external belly tank. Having run out of fuel, the pilot, Lt. William "Hugh" MacKenzie, was forced to ditch the aircraft in Helenbar Lake, approximately 14 miles north of the community of Ellitot Lake in Northern Ontario. The pilot survived the ditching, but stayed near the aircraft for 26 days awaiting rescue. On the 25 July 1946, MacKenzie heard an outboard motor boat and hiked a quarter mile over to the nearby Semiwite Lake where he came across a fisherman who brought the pilot to safety. Helenbar Lake is quite shallow and the Meteor was recovered some six weeks later in remarkably good condition, however the aircraft was written off.

Note: There is great confusion amongst publications and websites into which lake the Meteor EE311 ditched. The correct name and spelling of the lake is Helenbar Lake. Several references identify the lake as Helen Bar Lake, but that is an incorrect spelling. It would appear that Helen Bar Lake has morphed into Helen Bay Lake in numerous other references. There is no Helen Bay Lake in Ontario. The MacKenzie Hiking Trail around the Mississagi Ontario Provincial Park, which contains Helenbar and Semiwite Lakes, is named after the pilot for his resourcefulness and determination in surviving for 26 days in the wilds of Northern Ontario.

Sources:

Sixty Years, The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924-1984 (Pg 223)
The Avro CF-100, Larry Milberry (Pg 21-23)
Canadian Military Aircraft, Serials & Photographs, J.A. Griffin
http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=54478
http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/mississagi-a-hikers-paradise/
https://legionmagazine.com/en/2010/02/the-roar-of-the-meteor-air-force-part-37/
http://www.rwrwalker.ca/RCAF_EE182_EW361.html


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Aug-2016 15:26 yukonjack Added
25-Jan-2018 19:24 TB Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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