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Chase YC-122C Stroukoff Avitruc Aircraft N122R, USAF 49-2882, CY-882 Aircraft Photos and Info.

Chase YC-122C N122R at Stoltzfus Airport, Coatesville, PA in 1965.

Last revised 8/9/14





My father, the late Chris D. Stoltzfus, of Coatesville, PA, bought 49-2882 from the USAF in 1956, for $24,000. We used it for forest fire fighting, and for aerial spraying including grasshoppers, Spruce Budworm and Gypsy Moth. We had two Chases - - this one and 49-2884, N122S.

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.

The photo at the top was taken by my friend Ron Stoltzfus, at Stoltzfus Airport, Coatesville, PA, in 1965. This is how "Romeo" looked when it was being offered for sale because we were replacing the Chases with C-47's. You can see the red/yellow tail of YC-122C N122S, and the very tail end of our B-17, N5017N, now EAA's "Aluminum Overcast."
11/26/56 government award to Father on this aircraft, and 49-2884, N122S
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.
12/1/56 Letter from Father, on his letterhead, to the CAA in Washington, DC, to reserve N-numbers. He put N122Q on a 450-Stearman sprayer. Our family bought it in 1983 and restored it as a two-holer, and it is now owned by my son Brian, and son Ken Jr.'s widow, Sheila.
Here's the 1956 registration in Father's name and (scroll down) the 3/61 transfer to Chris D. Stoltzfus & Associates, a partnership of Father, my twin Karl and me.
3/18/58 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 an aircraft certificated and was issued Aircraft Specification No. AR-25. The airframe total time was only 1303 hours, and the engines were 20-hours since new and 13-hours since overhaul.
    3/18/58 Weight and Balance, with R2600's.
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. Note that the engine mounts were modified from TBM, and the cowlings were modified from the originals, as used on the 1820's. Leland "Lee" Evans is on the right here, with Haines Burras, another TBM and Chase pilot. I always thought of Lee as a gentleman spray pilot.
3/20/58, Operations Limitations in Restricted Category. #32,700 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.
6/58 CAA 337, Reading Aviation, Reading, PA, on installation of 1800-gal. spray tank, with weight and balance.
    Chris Stoltzfus Grumman TBM

The two Chases were lined up side by side in 1958, which didn't happen very often. I was on top of "Romeo" looking east toward "Sugar." Our 2800' grass strip was adequate for our operation with the Stearmans, Twin Beechs, Grumman TBMs, Chases and C-47's. Father landed our B-17G, N5017N there too.

You'll see a TBM in the top left corner of the first photo. That's our N7025C (BuNo 53842, later N60393) which was gone through, set up as an air tanker and painted real nice soon thereafter. It is shown here in 1960 between N122R and Buddy Lewis' Swift N2361B. We later sold it to the State of New York.

The middle shot shows our three other TBM-3E's: N7027C, BuNo 53915, sold, w/o 8/64; N7028C, BuNo 53775, sold, later N4173A, CF-ZTR, w/o 6/72; N7029C, BuNo 53914, sold, to Canada, crashed 5/72 in Maine, now at Quonset Air Museum, Kingston, RI.

The light colored cluster of metal out in the woods there, behind the pond, is the remains of a bunch of BT-13's that Father had bought in the late 40's and early 50's, for the engines and props for our Stearmans. The right photo shows - - aaah - - the top of a Chase fuselage.


A big storm came through when "Romeo" was on a grasshopper spray project somewhere out west. It tipped the Chase up on one wing and damaged the wing splate. You can see that they are missing in several photos and then back on. They flew it for a bit with one on and one off and there were no significant changes in flight characteristics - - which might not speak well for the effectiveness of the splates!

There was also hail in that storm and it really peppered Romeo. Father thought he should collect from the insurance company so we polished out some areas so the dents would show real well, but the insurance company declined.


Another 1958 shot, and probably more interesting. Note the wide, TBM prop blades as originally installed when they were converted to R2600-20's.

Many of my photos of N122R show it minus the fairing over the main gears. I'm not sure what that was about.


1959 now and Romeo is posing on our beautiful sod runway. These Chases were an awesome machine! Quite "masculine." Note that it now has the splates back on.


And this is Bill Hunt. William J. "Bill" Hunt III, aviator par excellence. He flew everything we had and did it with class, and Karl and I almost idolized him. Bill went on to fly for Mohawk Airlines, but was contracted to the Cornell University flight department to fly their DC-3. After that, and Mohawks merger into Allegheny, he flew DC-9's and then retired early. Bill was bored with retirement and in 1990 he came to fly for Karl on spray contracts.
I was assigned to give him his refresher back into DC-3's and spraying. It was a privilege, but rather intimidating to say the least! Our first spray area was Dulles Airport (yep, at daybreak, spray a couple of runs and then go out and circle a bit for traffic to come and go, and then back for more swaths, and then more of the same!) Tragically, Bill and his co-pilot didn't see high tension wires and crashed in West Virginia on May 19, 1990. The wires were suspended across a valley, with forest in the background, making them hard to see. Quite a loss, and I'm not speaking of the DC-3.

    Stoltzfus Airport, Coatesville, PA

Father really enjoyed his Chases. He probably didn't have 50-hours of multi-engine time but he had 10,000 accident free hours total and he thought a lot about what he was doing. One evening he was out playing with Romeo. The first photo shows him at about the 800' point. On the second run he worked it a bit harder and was off and flying by about 600'. And the third photo shows him at the 1000' point. The Chase brochure shows some pretty amazing performance figures. Michael Stroukoff was quite an engineer!

Another photo op in 1959. First, in a football lineman pose. And then with the loading ramp down, and showing the hail marks on the side of the fuselage.

From left to right. The Chase YC-122C loading ramp. Sorta dark but there it is. And then Father is driving our 1956 Ford Crestline V8 station wagon up onto the ramp. It was stick shift and zero to 50 in first was a real kick in the rear. (I'm not sure Father knew that but Karl and I did.) I did a lot of courting of Elaine in the wagon and was pretty good at driving and shifting with her sitting close and my arm around her. Having to share our co-owned 1957 Pontiac Chieftain was one of the few downsides of being a twin. (It was stock but "hot" but that's another story.)

Then we have Father and Bill Hunt posing for us. And that 1800 gallon spray tank is why the Ford wouldn't go in any further. As the story goes, our other Chase, N122S, was later used to smuggle vehicles into the back door of Brazil, and they could put two full sized cars in it.

    And now back to the history on N122R.
There is no 337 in Romeo's file on the installation of Hamilton Standard 23E50-505 props in place of 23E50-543s. 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). This 5/62 FAA 337 by Reading Aviation shows the change on N122S and Romeo would have been about the same time.
The 1965 photo at the top, by my friend Ron Stoltzfus, fits in here. Ron retired as a corporate pilot with "a year in a Lear" and lives in northeast PA. We stay in touch. Thanks Ron, for the slide!
This Will Blunt shot was 1965-66 as well. You can see a 450-Stearman in the hangar behind it and another behind the nose. We could get Stearmans and Twin Beechs in the hangar but except for TBM N7025C one winter, we worked on everything else outside. In the Pennsylvania winters we used tarps and space heaters to create more tolerable work areas.
9/2/66 letter from R. H. Schacht of North Star Industries, of Fairbanks, AK, on an optional purchase of N122R. For some reason this deal wasn't consummated and Father refunded the deposit on 12/15.
  * 11/14/66 Bill of Sale from Father to Mobile Aircraft, Mobile, AL, for $22,500, and Richard Jagitsch Application for Registration.
4/19/67 Lease from Mobile Aircraft, Richard "Dick" Jagitsch, President, to North Star Aviation Corporation, Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, AK, R. H. Schacht, President, and William G. Witmer.
5/23/67 Bill of Sale from Mobile Aircraft, Richard Jagitsch, President, to Louisiana Aircraft, Inc., Baton Rouge, LA, recorded 6/22/67.
5/24/67 Bill of Sale from Louisiana Aircraft, Inc., R. B. Griffith, Secretary-Treasurer, to Mobile Aircraft, followed by Mobile's 5/24/67 Application for Registration.
Chase YC-122C, N122R, June 10, 1968, in Fairbanks, AK. It was probably being operated by North Star Aviation or North Star Industries, of Fairbanks, AK at the time, with principles R. H. Schacht, President, and William G. Witmer. Any clues as to it's final fate? email:
7/30/68 Application for Airworthiness Certificate, Mobile Aircraft Inc., signed by R. B. Briggs, Pres., and approved 8/1/68 by V. W. Bullard of Fairbanks FSDO. The special purpose use was "Transporting Property and Equipment of Yukon Service, Inc.. The airframe total time was now 1632 hours and it had the 1700-hp, R2600-29A, B-25 engines instead of the TBM's 1900-hp R2600-20's.
8/1/68 Airworthiness Certificate for Yukon Service operations.
8/1/68 Operating Limitations for Yukon Service, showing #36,000 gross weight. That's the highest I have seen on the Chase, for civilian use.
  * 9/7/68 Report on accident at Golovin, AK, saying substantial damage and that the aircraft came to rest in the water.

Two Reports on What Happened
1) 3/28/13 phone conversation with Holger "Jorgy" Jorgensen. Now nearly 90, Jorgy, "flew everything" over the years and told me about the Chase at Golovin. It was contracted to move some cement in bags on a route that took them near Golovin. They lost one engine, and apparently abused the second one in trying to stay in the air, so they headed for Golovin. (Jorgy's life story here)

As they descended, the copilot went back and started throwing bags out the back to lighten the airplane. The water was glassy, and as the bags hit they exploded and cement and water flew up in the air. Some Native Alaskans who were fishing in Golovin Bay saw them coming, and thought it was the Russians coming and bombing them, so they headed for shore. The Chase landed in the lagoon in about three feet of water and came to a stop. The fisherman, still thinking they were Russians, wouldn't go near them, but when the pilots started waving and shouting "Help" they figured they must be Americans and went out and took them to shore. A storm subsequently destroyed the airplane in Golovin Bay. End of story!

2) 5/13 Discussion with Alaska Senator Donny Olson, in Anchorage. Senator Olson grew up in Golovin. He said that Bob Schott had contracted to fly #100,000 of cement from Galena to a DEW Line site. It was 10 loads at #10,000 each and the flight took them over Golovin. They were on their fourth load when they had engine problems.

They headed for the airport but landed in Golovin Bay and came to a stop in water that was about waist deep. It sat there in the water and froze in place that winter, and some locals cut cables out of the airplane to use on their snow machines. One night in early June then, as things started to thaw, Donny saw a large chunk of ice with the Chase in it float by and out into the ocean. A year or so later a tire came ashore and was used for years to cushion the fall of barrels that were rolled out of Olson's DeHavilland Otter.

2/21/69 Letter from Father to Dick Jagitsch offering him a spares package. Apparently N122S was still operating at that time.
10/23/70 Application for Registration, Mobile Aircraft, Inc., Richard Jagitsch, President, possibly only for a change of address.
10/22/77 FAA Letter of Revocation because of failure to submit the required activity report. There is nothing in the FAA file, but that might have been taken care of because the registration wasn't cancelled until 2009.

On FAA register 4/28/12, as cancelled in 2009.


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