DAVE HILCHIE COLLECTION
No. 6149. Cub Aircraft J-3C-65 Cub (CF-EGF c/n 232C)
Photographed at Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada, September 2006, by Dave Hilchie

Cub Aircraft J-3C-65 Cub

02/15/2007. Remarks by Dave Hilchie: "This J-3C-65 was built under license by Cub Aircraft, Hamilton Ontario, and was first registered as CF-EGF in October 1946 and is still current. I am the current owner of the last J-3 Cub built in Canada from raw materials and have owned the aircraft since 1978. Cub Aircraft produced 131 J-3s (c/n 101C to 206C and 208C to 232C) and 18 L-4Bs (c/n 207C, 233C to 239C). All other aircraft delivered by Cub Aircraft were aircraft built in the USA or assembled from components supplied by Piper.

In 1945 the Canadian Department of Transport approved Canadian production of this design on the basis of the American Type Certificate for the Piper J-3C-65, which is A691, however they neglected to ensure that the Canadian serial numbers were included on the USA Type Certificate. As a consequence these aircraft were left without any international legal foundation. Although they have a normal category flight authority (Certificate of Airworthiness) within Canada, they are not included on any approved type design document. Canada has never issued a Type Approval of it's own for the Cub Aircraft J-3.

The distinction between Cub Aircraft built machines and Piper built aircraft was blurred until around 1980 when the DOT became aware of the legal situation. Since some of these machines were registered as Pipers and others as Cub Aircraft, an attempt was made to verify their identity by contacting the owners of the remaining machines and requiring them to mail in a facsimile of the aircraft manufacturer's data plate. In my case, the data plate had gone missing through the years and the only means of verifying the aircraft identity was by a lug welded to a cross tube in the cabin structure, which had the serial number 232C stamped into it.

Subsequently the DOT have obliged owners of these aircraft to possess documentation specifying them as Cub Aircraft J-3C-65's, which in many cases required the issuing of replacement Registration and Airworthiness Certificates. Of course from a legal perspective the precise identity of an aircraft is crucial, both as a means of ensuring continuing airworthiness standards and as an international obligation under the ICAO agreement. Ironically this action by the DOT has left the Cub Aircraft machines as orphans, as no airworthiness directive has ever been issued against a Cub Aircraft J-3 under that name.

In my case, I bought CF-EGF as a Piper J-3C-65 Cub and now possess a Cub Aircraft J-3C-65 Cub as by law it is not a Piper. A consequence of this is that they can no longer be exported to the USA (or Europe most likely) in the normal category. For those Canadians with an interest in their own aviation history, possessing a Cub Aircraft J-3C-65 has it's own appeal.

I know that this aircraft was built in this country and has spent it's whole working life here. It was purchased new from Cub Aircraft in the spring of 1947 by Harold Mitchison, who had worked for Cub Aircraft as a welder and also did production test flying and flight instruction for the company. He had bought two J-3C-65s (CF-EGF and CF-DAN) in order to establish his own flying school in Saskatoon in 1947 and did succeed in building up a successful operation, which still exists under the name Mitchison Flying Service. He mailed me a photo of the original CF-EGF), you will note the two tone paint scheme. This Cub was factory-finished in a PA-12 colour scheme of cream and red, rather than the original Cub yellow.

Finally, in the case of my machine, I replaced the original, somewhat battered, boot cowl in 1978 (with a Univair copy), re-sprayed the aircraft in 1983, installed an 85 hp Continental C85 engine to replace the original 65 hp Continental A65 in 1992 and installed Edo 1320 floats in 1998. Otherwise it is pretty much as I bought it, though I know that the wings have been replaced, because the present units have the aluminum alloy PA-11 spars and the originals were wood."

Created January 22, 2007