The home of everything related to Twin Navion and Camair aircraft
In 1947, Franz McTavish purchased a Navion from the North American Aviation Company for his small flight school and charter company
in Calgary, AB, Canada commenting that, "If North American made it, its going to be good." CF-FJC became Canada's first Navion and
Chinook Flying Service became the Western Canadian dealership for the type (the Eastern Canada dealer was actually located in New
York State). Another Ryan built Navion would join the company and together, their rugged construction, stable flight
characteristics and the ability to get the job done made them a favorite of Chinook and its customers. In one case, the local gas
truck was accidentally backed into the wing of one of the Navions. After being pushed sideways several feet, the only damage was a
wrinkled, soft aluminum wingtip and three worn tires.
Thirty years later, Ken McTavish as his step-father Gerry Stauffer found ample work rebuilding Navions with more powerful engines
and a host of STC conversions. It also saw Ken needing a plane bigger than his Luscombe Silveraire as he and his wife Lydia were
expecting their first child.
Following a long telephone call to the plane's owner in Inuvik, some 1,500 miles to the north, Ken had all the information he
needed. CF-NHN had been through the Stauffer Aero hangar only two years before, heading to its new owner so Ken was at least
familiar with the plane to that point. Early in the morning of March 15, 1975 Ken drove Lydia to the hospital, where she delivered
their son, George Scott McTavish. Following a short rest and with Lydia's assurances, Ken joined the regular crowd at Stauffer's
for coffee. By the afternoon, Ken had talked with Lyle Trimble and purchased 'NHN - all over the telephone. It was obvious to Ken
that 'NHN would become "Scottie's Toy."
It would take several months before 'NHN was ready to return to Calgary. While the group waited for the melting icepack to leave
the Inuvik airport, both engines underwent top overhauls in Stauffer's shops. Even then, bringing the Twin Navion to its new home
was a challenge. Ken had never flown the plane, the journey was 1,500 miles in length, his brother Jock suffered from airsickness
and had to be on medication, and to finish it all off, the original propellers had been destroyed when the local fire department had
washed a burning fuel drum into the hangar in which they were kept. After leaving Inuvik, Ken had to leave the plane in under Jock's
care in Whitehorse as weather prevented him from retrieving it for a month.
Back in Calgary, Scottie's Toy underwent an intensive rebuild. First, 100 pounds of mud was removed from the wheel wells, then the
airframe was repaired, the engines serviced, new propellers, STCs and IFR instruments installed. A new interior was fabricated and
installed, followed by an eye-catching yellow, orange and brown paint scheme.
As 'NHN was used to carry Ken to visit his clients in his new chartered accounting practice, Gerry began work rebuilding and
modifying a damaged Navion A into his Stauffer Super 300, C-FRQH. Inside the Navion's cowling, he shoehorned in an IO-540 engine,
derated to 290 hp to satisfy Transport Canada. Gerry enjoyed telling people that he could cruise at 190 mph, while Ken let people
know that he could shutdown one engine and continue on for 1,200 miles - beating Gerry in the long run.
Since that time, 'NHN has been used as a business tool, to carry a growing family of five on vacations and to teach one of the
McTavish sons how to fly multi-engine aircraft. It also proved to be a valuable tool as part of the civilian search and rescue
organization during a number of searches for downed planes.
In late July 2002, a nervous Ken watched as Trevor and an instructor departed Calgary. Having only allowed two other pilots to fly
'NHN in nearly a quarter-century, having his son take off while he remained on the ground certainly brought apprehension to the
For Trevor and his brothers, Ross and Scott, 'NHN is more than another plane. To them, "Scotties' Toy" is a sixth member of the
family. "We grew up around this plane. If we weren't helping work on it, we were polishing it, flying in it or doing something else
nearby. We've used the plane to go on vacations together and to visit airshows and fly-in breakfasts, family, friends and strangers
alike have been given rides around Calgary or into the nearby Rocky Mountains, its really has become another part of our family."