Caribous of Cape May

The Caribous of Cape May, NJ
 
The De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) transport aircraft served with the Indian Air Force from 1963 till 1986. A total of 26 airframes were procured over the years, all of which flew with No.33 Squadron in the North East.

Almost ten years after their final phasing out, in 1996, eight remaining Caribou airframes were put up by auction by the Ministry of Defence - and these airframes were bought by a US based company Penn Turbo Inc, based at New Jersey.

The eight remaining airframes (BM771, BM776, BM778, BM780, BM782, M935, M2166 and M2168) were dismantled and the fuselages cut up just ahead of the tail section. The fuselages and wings were transported by sea to Cape May Airport in New Jersey where they can still be seen today.

Recently in March, the webmaster and his friend visited the airfield to catch a glimpse of these aircraft. With the airport and the company possibly closed down, one could catch a glimpse of these aircraft only from outside the fence. The fuselages still retain the original olive green paint that they sported during service. And the wing sections show the IAF roundels as well as the serial numbers in some cases. There are enough parts to put up a more complete Caribou for static display than the ones in India.

Featured herewith are some of the photographs taken during the visit.

Caribou M2166

Caribou M2166

The identity of this fuselage '28' is more clear. The aircraft bore the identity M2166 and was the last batch of attrition replacements delivered to the IAF in 1981.

Close up of an Unidentified fuselage

Close up of an Unidentified fuselage

Close up of an Unidentified fuselage

Four pack fuselages

Four pack fuselages

Four fuselages with another four in the background.

Penn Turbo Hangar

Penn Turbo Hangar

In this view, the Wing sections can be seen in the foreground, and the eight fuselage sections in the background.

The faded roundel

The faded roundel

Exposed to nearly 20 years of direct sunlight, rain, wind and snow, the IAF roundel still has held pretty well against the elements

Unidentified Fuselage

Unidentified Fuselage

One of the eight ex-IAF Caribou fuselage stored out in the open at the Cape May Airport. For years the fuselages had the construction numbers painted on the nose. but they have since faded

Visitor from India

Visitor from India

Wing Section

Wing Section

Another set of Wing Sections are stored next to the hangar that can only be seen from the northern side of the Penn turbo enclosure.

Wing Section

Wing Section "BM7??"

Another set of Wing Sections are stored next to the hangar that can only be seen from the northern side of the Penn turbo enclosure. The serial "BM7??" implies the aircraft could have been any of the five aircraft from the earlier batches.

Wing sections

Wing sections

Four wing sections are stacked in the South Western Corner of the Penn Turbo area, resting against the fence.

Your friendly webmaster

Your friendly webmaster

The guy whose copyright info is in the bottom right corner