IN 1946 FORMER Grumman employee David B. Thurston established the Colonial Aircraft Corp at Sanford, Maine, to build a 2/3-seat amphibian inspired by the 1944 G-65 Tadpole design abandoned earlier by Grumman. The prototype, designated the Colonial XC-1, could carry three passengers and flew for the first time on July 17, 1948. The production version, the C-1 Skimmer, of which 24 were built (as seen here), powered by a 150 h.p. O-320 engine, was followed by 18 four-seat C-2 Skimmer IVs before the company was declared bankrupt in 1959.
Lake LA-4 Buccaneer G-BWKS (c/n 680) at the Holme Pierrepont Water Centre near Nottingham on November 4, 1981. The author is at the controls as Kilo Sierra rides the step. Built in 1975, the aircraft was initially registered as G-BDDI, becoming G-BWKS when acquired by Philip Newall in November 1979.
Kilo Sierra wades out at the water centre; note the unusual split elevators. Sold in the USA in 1984, ’WKS returned to the UK in 1985 to become G-BMGY until 1999, when it was sold again to become G-SKID. It was written off after a non-fatal accident at Hawarden in August 2003.
The author riding the step in G-BWKS in 1981.