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on Aug 23, 2013 in Aviation, B&W Photography

Ms Piggy


I called out the directions and Kevin being Kevin, just followed them. I kept telling the group we were going to see Ms. Piggy. Now if in Hollywood, such an adventure wouldn’t be thought of as odd. Up in the tundra of Churchill, Canada, odd is putting it mildly! We’re there in May to photograph birds, not some Muppet character. We make the turn and leave the main road (which is dirt) and take another dirt road. We “run” through the snow patch on the road, get past the junkyard dog, we bumped down the rock strewn road and barely make the left that brings us up to a semi “parking” area. They look around and then I point up the boulder ridge and there is a gasp in the car. That’s because one wouldn’t think a C-46 Commando could “blend” in the tundra. Ms Piggy as it’s been called as long as I’ve been heading up to Churchill is an old cargo plane that landed a tad short of the runway.


There are many things that are very cool about Ms Piggy, one being is you can see it from the road and at quite some distance. But someone has to point it out the first time otherwise, this big “bird” does just blend in. Another thing is when you walk the wreckage, it appears like the plane was just “dropped” in place and didn’t “crash land.” Here’s the story of the crash:

This is a crashed C-46 aircraft that was operated by Lamb Air. She is found on the scenic route road along Hudson Bay shortly before it ends, close to the Institute of Arctic Ecophysiology. She is called Miss Piggy because she was able to hold so much freight and once did have pigs on board. On Nov 13, 1979 she was flying a cargo of 1 ski-doo and many cases of pop for the Arctic Co-op from Churchill to Chesterfield inlet. She lost oil pressure in her left engine shortly after departing Churchill. The crew of 3 tried to return the aircraft to the Churchill airport. They clipped hydro poles with one wing just before the IAEP lab and crash landed on the rocks there. 2 of the 3 crew were seriously injured. Investigation of the failed engine only revealed small metal chips through out. Her original paint of white and red with the Lamb Air markings has been painted over with gray for a movie


I really don’t know how many hundreds of photos I have of Ms Piggy, but I have more now. The clouds were perfect when I first said, “Let’s go photograph Ms Piggy” (wish I had a picture of the faces in the van when I said that) but once we arrived, well, you see them. But I was thinking B&W the entire time which is also partly why I picked the time of day. Shooting was really straight forward, D4 / 18-35AFS. The metering was straight forward as well since the D4 does so well in these situations. Then in the DD, it was ACR and Perfect B&W using the InFrared moving the Blue and Yellow sliders to modify the default. And in case your were wondering, yes, I was dying to do some stupid post about this was the plane we took, rough landing and the like but hey…