Thursday, April 07, 2005


Spring!! Finally!!

Having avoided a flood from the river yesterday, today was a beautiful day, so I went on a little road trip to see some signs of spring. So, below are some of "Steve's Signs of Spring".

The Icelandic River subsiding, one day after break-up. Posted by Hello

The small Cutter "Vakta" ready for first open water in Gimli. She will brave Lake Winnipeg all summer. Posted by Hello

The "Whitefish boats" fleet at Gimli yearning to ply Lake Winnipeg. Posted by Hello

My favourite of the boats. It brings to mind Jack London's story of the obsessed, tyrannical, Wolf Larsen, and his battle of wills against Humphrey Van Weyden, aboard the sealing-schooner, "The Ghost". Posted by Hello

The Coast Guard Cutter "Namao", now a research ship, straining at her berth in Gimli Harbour against Lake Winnipeg's departing winter coat of ice. She longs to cut through the swells. Posted by Hello

A beautiful painting of days long past absorbs the sunshine, and proudly displays herself on the Gimli sea-wall. Painting by D.B. MacPherson, Aug.22/98. Posted by Hello

The ramp at Gimli airport is bare and dry, perfect for the Canadian military to conduct parachute training from a C-130 Hercules. Posted by Hello

4-engine behemoth! A great "bush-plane"!! Slap on some floats, and we'd be in business! Posted by Hello

In the distance, something catches my eye....... Posted by Hello

Holy shit! Real planes (albeit this one missing an engine) on the ramp. Actually, it is undergoing an engine-change, and will be serviceable and take to the skies soon. Fine ship C-GTPO, the "China Doll", C-46 Curtiss Commando. Posted by Hello

Another behemoth of an airplane, still showing her scars from years of flying and supplying Reserves and industries across northern Canada. Posted by Hello

Curtiss C-46 Commando C-GIBX stands "bare balls" awaiting new engines, and has "spring fever", and longs to return to the skies.......Serial #: 44-78649
Construction #: 22472
Civil Registration:
Model: C-46F
Name: None
Status: Airworthy
Last info: 2005
Pan American World Airways, Sept. 1948-Jan. 1953.
- Registered as N74171.
Westair Transport, 19??.
Ortner Air Services, 19??.
Northland Air Manitoba Ltd, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1985-1988.
- Registered as C-GIBX.
Air Manitoba Ltd, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1994.
Commando Air Transport Inc, Gimli, Manitoba, Mar. 07, 1997-2003.
FNT First Nations Transportation Inc, Winnipeg, Manitoba, as of April 7, 2005.
 Posted by Hello

These airplanes actually have beautiful lines........ Posted by Hello

C-GTPO, still in "Buffalo" Joe McBryan's Buffalo Airways livery..........Serial #: 44-78733
Construction #: 22556
Civil Registration:
Model: C-46F
Name: China Doll
Status: Airworthy
Last info: 2005
Manufactured, 1944.
Delivered to USAAF as 44-78733, 1945.
Wings Incorporated, Fairbanks, AK, 19??.
- Registered as ???.
- Leased to Wein Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, Jan. 1957.
-- Damaged when gear inadvertently retracted on ground, 1957.
- Returned to Wings Incorporated, July 7, 1964.
F.A. Conner, Miami, Springs, FL, May 1969.
Shamrock Airlines, USA, Sept. 1970.
Plymouth Leasing Company, Plymouth, MI, 1974.
- Leased to Zantop, 1975.
Trans Continental Airlines, 1976.
Buffalo Airways, Hay River, NT, Canada, 19??-2003.
FNT First Nations Transportation Inc, Winnipeg, Manitoba, as of April 7, 2005.
 Posted by Hello

I get a "boner" when I see these airplanes. If the airframes could only talk, or write, imagine the history and stories they could tell............. Posted by Hello

And the final sign of spring? "Tonto", my faithful compatriot (Munchie) follows me everywhere I go! Posted by Hello

So, finally, spring. When a young man's thoughts turn to courtship and women, and my thoughts turn to floatplanes (and women). So, enjoy the weather while you can, folks, only 7 more months until freeze-up!!

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