Dunphy

Dunphy Airstrip, located in Upper Blackville, NB, was FPL’s long-time Air Tanker Operations Base until operations were moved to Chatham/Miramichi in 1994. The airstrip has been abandoned and ploughed up, but its location can be clearly seen in the eastward bend in the river, next to the highway, south of the area marked Upper Blackville.

Constructed

1956

Active in the aerial spray program

1956, 1957, 1960-1963 – no details

1964 – The sprayer fleet was arranged so that the two main contractors (Skyway and Wheeler) had equal TBM representation at Juniper and Dunphy Airstrips. During the early part of the program, the Juniper half was split between Fredericton and Juniper. Later, 14 TBMs operated from Juniper and 14 operated from Dunphy.

Source: Interim Report – 1964 Forest Spraying Program [FPL files]

1965-1971 – no details

1972 – The TBMs (total 44) were calibrated at Dunphy Airstrip then dispatched to the other airstrips (May 10-20). Four Stearmans conducted an experimental spray out of Dunphy.

1975 – May 24 to June 21 (TBMs); July 3 to 17 (small operational spray trial for moth)

1977 – May 23 to June 27 (TBMs)

Work Flow Example – 1977

  1. Over-winter services: four watchmen
  2. Mixing plant conversion to electric drive: April to early May
  3. Set-up of living facilities: April to early May
  4. Arrival of aviation gasoline: first delivery on March 9
  5. Arrival of insecticide: first delivery on April 18
  6. School for navigators: April 26 to May 21
  7. Arrival of TBMs: May 19
  8. Operational spraying: May 23 to June 27
  9. Washing out of aircraft spray systems: immediately after termination of spraying
  10. Storage of mobile living facilities: late June to early July
  11. Moth spraying: July 11-16
  12. Clean-up of systems, tanks, etc.: early July to early October
  13. Disposal of empty drums: sold, loaded in box cars October to mid-November
  14. Closing up camp: camp taken over by DNR on July 19
  15. Insecticide storage: (from Fredericton warehouse): late July to early August
  16. Over-winter projects: one watchman, one clerk and two carpenters re-finishing interior of two sleeping trailers

1979 – May 22 to June 14 (TBMs)

1980 – An experimental spray was conducted using two Stearmans, two AgTrucks, one helicopter and eight Pawnees, June 2 to 11, from 8 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1981 – May 20 to June 19 (TBMs)

1982 – May 27 to June 19 (TBMs); a Private Woodlot Spraying Program was conducted from June 5 to 15 from 6 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1983 – May 23 to June 12 (TBMs); a Private Woodlot Spraying Program was conducted from June 21 to 17 from 12 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1984 – May 27 to June 20 (TBMs); a small spray aircraft program was conducted from May 26 to June 21 from 14 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1985 – A small spray aircraft program was conducted from May 26 to June 24 from 12 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1986 – A small spray aircraft program was conducted from May 27 to June 21 from 7 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1987 – May 22 to June 18 (TBMs); a small spray aircraft program was conducted from May 27 to June 18 from 4 airstrips, including Dunphy.

Work Flow Example – 1987

  1. Arrival of insecticide: May 20 to June 10
  2. First arrival of TBMs: May 3
  3. School for navigators: May 1-14
  4. Arrival of new Cessna pilots: May 10
  5. School for Cessna pilots: May 11-14
  6. Calibration of TBMs: May 5-17
  7. First arrival of navigator crews: May 1
  8. Arrival of TBM pilots: May 16-18
  9. Operational spraying: May 22 to June 18

1988 – A small spray aircraft program was conducted from May 8 to June 18 from 4 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1989 – A small spray aircraft program was conducted from May 28 to June 17 from 4 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1990 – A small spray aircraft program was conducted from June 5 to 26 from 4 airstrips, including Dunphy.

1994 – Air Tanker Operations were moved from Dunphy airstrip to facilities at the Miramichi airport.

2000s – Airstrip rehabilitation surveys continued at site of former Dunphy airstrip.

Image provided by Norm Ralston of Hilsboro, Oregon, whose father “Swede” Ralston flew N7922A in New Brunswick.

DDT drums at Dunphy Airstrip, north end, August 1963.

TBMs on the ground at Dunphy, 1960s.

Dunphy airstrip from air, June 1967, bordered by the Southwest Miramichi River and Highway 8.

Looking south at Skyway TBMs, Dunphy Airstrip, June 1967.

Portable camps at the Dunphy airstrip, June 1967.

Checking the topographic maps, Dunphy, June 1967.

TBM team in the pits, Dunphy NB, 1971. (Merrill McBride collection)

TBM #11 ready for takeoff, Dunphy NB, 1970s.

TBM #22 water drop demo, Dunphy Airstrip, 1991.

Dunphy Airstrip on 28 August, 2009.

2 responses to “Dunphy

  1. would love to see more aerial pictures of Dunphy in the 60s

  2. Loved that Airstrip and everybody at it !!

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