A Pilot's Story
Chapter Three - Page 4
A glance at the rate of climb showed us that we weren’t going up very fast, so we increased the power setting to METO (maximum except take off) power. By this time, another problem entered the scene. The rudder pedals were separating. I had to push on the left pedal to keep the airplane on the proper heading. For maneuvering on the water the rudder pedals could be moved 12” to 18” so you had a lot of pedal movement available. I had never heard of ice on the rudder, what the hell was going on? What was causing the rudder pedal difference, which by now was six inches. A glance at the cylinder head temperature showed it had dropped, so I told the F/O to put the fuel lever back to auto rich. Holy Christ!! The engine started to run away (overspeed). The RPM shot up to 2800 +, so I shouted to put it back. He tried it again and the same thing happened, so then I tried it, but I too got the same overspeed results.
No climb rate, ice on the wings, runaway engine, rudder pedals out of line. That was enough for me! We needed to go back to Terrace, so I called them, only to find out that the weather there was deteriorating, with a lower ceiling and higher winds.
I didn’t think we could clear the coastal mountains to get to Sandspit, so turned CRR around and dove for the Terrace radio beacon. We went whistling by the beacon and broke out with just enough visibility to land. Off to the beer parlor!
The difficulty with the flight had been the compounding of the aircraft's problems combined with the lack of time to think about them as they stacked up. Running off the runway at Sandspit and losing the nose door in Prince Rupert were events that were over in seconds, but this experience had seemed to last an eternity.
The next day, the weather cleared up and things looked pretty good. Not liking the mountains and CRR’s poor icing capabilities, I flight planned 15,000 feet for our trip over to Edmonton. Off we went again, and as we were cruising along at 15,000’ on oxygen, with First Officer Denman doing the flying. Slowly, the airplane began drifting off course by about 30-40 degrees. I looked at him and motioned to return to course. He turned back slowly and then I realized we had lost all our oxygen, and he was suffering from anoxia, or lack of oxygen.
We were past the highest mountains, so I elected to descend and we went on to Edmonton. We tied CRR up in Edmonton and that was the last I saw of her until 2011 in France, 52 years later.