Pinocchio was an RCAF/Canadian Forces Dakota that, for a period of time, was
used as a navigation trainer for novice CF104 Starfighter pilots, hence
the Starfighter nose section and the resultant nickname of Pinocchio. The aircraft now sits in front of the 4 Wing Messhall in an unfortunate state of disrepair.
The CF doesn't have the money to restore it, so with the harsh prairie
winters that we have here the aircraft is really starting to look
The plaque mounted in front of the aircraft has the following inscription:
"Pinocchio The C-47 Dakota was employed in the Canadian Forces
from 1945 to 1989, during which time a total fleet of 160 Dakotas
accumulated 1,426,686 flight hours. The Dak flew a multitude of missions including: arctic re-supply; delivering mail to Canadian troops overseas; flying
the Burma hump; towing gliders and targets; dropping parachutists; mercy flights; search and rescue; UN peacekeeping; photo reconnaissance; and a
variety of other tasks.
Pinocchio was enlisted in the RCAF in 1944 as EN 979; however, it was not until 1962 that she was modified, along with two other Dakotas, and received
her distinctive CF-104 Starfighter nose.
The nose cone contained a radar operated by a console in the passenger
cabin and was used to introduce abinitio Starfighter pilots to radar
After modification, Pinocchio flew with 3 Wing in Grostenquin, France, and later with 109 KU Flight in Marville, France.
In 1967, she returned to Cold Lake where she flew to Edmonton and back every
Tuesday and Thursday, offering a taxi service well patronized by CF
members and their dependants.When the Starfighter pilot training ended, efforts to remove her nose cone were successfully stifled by those who had flown and
worked with her.
Pinocchio was sent for her last three years to fly in Winnipeg until the nine remaining Daks were retired. For quite some time she enjoyed the
distinction of being the oldest airframe in the inventory, and will probably remain the most venerable and unique aircraft in the history of the Royal
Canadian Air Force and Canadian Armed Forces."