Edmonton, AB, Canada - June 2012

Back in August 1953 a Lockheed PV-1 Ventura GR.V crashed in the Northwest Territories while working on a photo survey mission with Spartan Air Services Ltd. Heavily damaged and stuck in the muskeg, CF-FAV was abandoned. In 1988 it was salvaged by helicopter and moved to Edmonton where it's been under restoration to flying condition.

Here's an image of how CF-FAV appeared when the recovery team started working in the mid-1980s. (Trevor McTavish)

On June 2, 2012 I travelled to Edmonton and photographed the restoration of CF-FAV. Although she's owned by the Ventura Memorial Flight Association, the Ventura and all of her parts are tucked away in a back corner of the Alberta Aviation Museum. If you don't look hard, its easy to miss this treasure behind the floor-to-ceiling shelves. (Trevor McTavish)

From the beginning, the VMF has planned to restore this airplane back in its wartime configuration, having been with No.149 (BR) Squadron at RCAF Station Patricia Bay (BC), Annette Island (Alaska) and Terrace (BC). Not only do they have to repair all the crash damage, but also remove all the modifications made by her civilian owner. (Trevor McTavish)

The nose bore much of the impact damage and has required a lot of reconstruction. Above the two large cheek windows (added in civilian service), you can see the two machine gun ports. (Trevor McTavish)

On the belly, aft of the bomb bays are several camera ports and reinforcement doublers. The big round hole on the left is actually the wartime camera port. (Trevor McTavish)

Among the interesting treasures still to be found from her survey days is the Spartan Air Services logo on the rear fuselage. Spartan originally had all their planes marked with this logo, but as the fleet grew it was decided to drop the hand-painted markings. (Trevor McTavish)

Looking towards the tail it's still possible to see some of her military markings. In this case, the ghostly remains of her RCAF identity as 2195. (Trevor McTavish)

Inside the cabin, there's not a lot to see. Whatever equipment wasn't removed by Spartan when they bought the plane, or salvaged after her crash has been removed by the VMF and placed in storage. (Trevor McTavish)

After sitting in the muskeg for 35 years, it's only natural that some scavengers should have visited the crash site. As we can see on this rear fuselage frame, someone passed the time by firing bullets into the airframe. Unlike a static restoration, where such unique details can be preserved, every one of them will have to be repaired before she can fly again. (Trevor McTavish)

Outside in the storage yard, VMF volunteer Paul shows me some of the numerous parts that will one day contribute to the restoration. Among the items are heavily corroded drop tanks salvaged from another Spartan Air Services Ventura. Interestingly, Paul showed me one drop tank that someone had tried to turn into a canoe. Obviously it was highly unstable and the creator and his girlfriend almost drowned when they tried to use it. (Trevor McTavish)