Lloyd Atkinson and His 'Bees

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CF-GAB (Photo: Dave Atkinson)

Photo: Dave Atkinson

The Seabee has a special place in my heart as my Dad, Lloyd Atkinson,  owned 3 Bee's during the 50' and 60's (purchased from Leavens Brothers). Your website has allowed me to trace these S/N's.

S/N 424 (CF-FVS) which crashed in July of 1953 after shortly taking off water in Midland Ontario. He hit several air downdrafts (pockets) and mushroomed (wings level) on a beach. No major injuries to 4 occupants but the Bee's undercarriage and wings (from struts out) were severely damaged and was scrapped for parts. Have newspaper photos of wreck! Plus other (B&W) photos and 8 mm color movies.

S/N 963 (CF-GAB) flew from 53' through 62' and was sold to unknown. Have some 8 mm movies and stills (B&W). I still have his business letterhead showing the Bee in the bottom corner with the slogan "Service by air anywhere".

S/N 392 (CF-FRX) Purchased around 1960-62 from Lake Lauzon in northern Ontario.  He took her off on her belly & landed (belly) on frozen Georgian Bay Midland) Eventually sold to a Doctor in Ontario who flipped the aircraft wheels down on Lake Since Ontario (no major injuries). This aircraft may still be registered!



Midland, July 14 (1953) - Provincial Police Constable William Mohan's wife and three children were sun-bathing on the beach near here Sunday while the Mohan's fourth child, Ricky, eight, went for a ride in a neighbor's seaplane.  Five minutes later the plane crashed - right on the blanket where the Mohans were enjoying the Sun.  Ricky, somewhat shaken, landed near his mother's feet.
      Ricky escaped with minor cuts and bruises, and his three sisters and mother, who scrambled for safety seconds before the aircraft crashed, were unhurt.  Owner of the plane, Lloyd Atkinson, 33, machine shop operator, was slightly hurt, as were his two sons, Dough, four, and Tommy, seven, also passengers in the plane.  The fifth plane passenger, Fred Thompson, 32, of Barrie, is in hospital with a fractured pelvis.  The plane and blanket were both destroyed.
      While others on the sunny beach watched in horror, the craft dropped "like a stone from the sky", Mrs. Mohan said, and the next thing she knew her son, Ricky, had bounced, unhurt, out of the wreckage to land near her feet.  Her other children, Mary Jane, Maureen and Debby, were unhurt. 

Pilot of the plane - Lloyd Atkinson, was only slightly hurt.  Shown in front of him is Ricky Mohan, who escaped with minor bruises.  Atkinson's 2 sons, Doug (4) and Tommy (7), at the right, passengers in the plane, escaped serious injury.


There are 2 more non-flying Seabees in Midland which were to be made into 1 flying plane by a local pilot (Bruce Tinney). I will find the s/nos of these Seabees  for you. Is it possible Mr. Tinney has visited your website or has investigated the Robinson V8 conversion? It is also possible that he has sold these aircraft... I will find out their status.

I remember a Seabee crashed to destruction at Muskoka Airport in the late 70's (apparently  a control failure) and Canadian Transportation records should indicate a serial number... I will pass this info on to you.

A Bee also flew out of Collingwood, Ontario, in the 90's. I should be able to trace this craft. 

My fathers 1st Seabee, s/n 424, CF-FVS, was owned by the Robinson Family prior to Dad's ownership and subsequent crash on July 14,1953.  I would never have known this without your website!

I do have several stories  concerning Seabees that I can share with you that include... a bullet hole into a pontoon, the loss of a pontoon locking pin, an engine failure and emergency landing to a wilderness fishing trip finding Muskrats all over the aircraft, seemingly in love with the taste of aluminum? 

A family friend and pilot borrowed our Seabee, he couldn't take off in calm water and didn't know enough to "bounce the aircraft".  This gentleman parked the Seabee and declared he "refused to fly an airplane that needed to be "bounced to fly".

I remember the sound of the Franklin inside and out!  I could easily pick one out today! As a child, I loved to watch the water on the pontoons and I even flew the Bee while sitting on my Dads knee.

Of course none of the Seabees that my Dad owned had modifications or electronics. All had 2 bladed props and seemed to land at the same speed they took off at.

Loyd flew the Bees so much that when he was asked to land a Cessna with trike gear, later in his days, he just couldn't get the nose wheel down, much to the dismay of the owner / pilot. He used up much of the landing strip with the nose in the air!  We all had a good laugh!

E-mails from
Dave Atkinson
September 2006

Thank you very much for your stories, Dave! We look forward to hearing more from you!


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Updated: 2009-02-14

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