Sunday, April 30, 2006


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Single-Engine Landing".......

It is early AM. The 28 cylinders of the Pratt & Whitney 1830 engines are humming a "throaty" tune as you taxi to the runway. You had loaded the venerable old DC-3 the previous evening, so as to make an early morning takeoff. Lining up on the runway, all gauges check out. The throttles are opened, and the "superchargers" start to "throb". 48" of manifold pressure and 2700 RPM each side, the "old girl" starts to accelerate. The tail-wheel raises, you "dance" on the rudder pedals, the acceleration continues, and you are airborne! "Gear up", climb out at 90 KTS, RPM reduce to 2550, MP reduce to 40" (correct sequence in a DC-3). What a beautiful morning! A serene feeling envelops your soul as you climb through 4,000' enjoying the beautiful view surrounding you. Life is good!

"Bb-UU-CKKK!" Your sphincter "pulled a muscle" as it slammed itself shut. Your spine stiffened "ramrod straight"! Out of the corner of your eye you saw the top of the cylinder depart through the engine cowl. "Shit!" The engine is shaking and "bbb-rrr-aaa-ppp-ing" uncontrollably. Oil is seen trailing from behind the engine. Emergency procedure time. You return the right (good) engine to full power; Mixture-RICH, Prop control- full forward (2700 RPM), Throttle- 48" MP. The left prop is "feathered" and the failed engine is secured. The aircraft is maintaining altitude on one engine. Your sphincter loosens, you breathe a sigh, and wipe the sweat from your brow. The control yoke is gripped tightly, and right rudder trim is dialled in. Power is reduced on your "good" engine so as to reduce wear and heat, and you have commenced a shallow turn back towards the airport. "If you can only make it"................

VIDEO - "Single-Engine Landing".......

Fine job! Think that was an accomplishment? Read the following story!

STORY - "Dakota" One-Engine Take-Off!

Bowling ball-sized "gonads"! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Anti-submarine Warfare Pioneer to Bush Pioneer: The HS-2L in Canada

I love history, and everything and anything about it. Biblical events, the "sacking" of Carthage, Napoleon being "Corsican" instead of French, the eruption of Mount Krakatoa, the myth of Atlantis, and especially World War II events. Of course, being an aviator in the "bush", I am also especially interested in the evolution of commercial aviation in Canada and it's "unheralded, meager" beginnings. When did commercial aviation in Canada actually begin? We all know the "Max Ward" and "James Richardson" stories, but where "did it all start"? There could be debate on this for hours on end, but we would run out of beer and we have to work in the morning. My buddy Clive Pearce sent me some insight into the humble beginnings of commercial aviation in Canada. It is an outstanding photo essay by Christopher Terry, former Director General of the Canadian Aviation Museum. It all started in 1918-1919, the same 2 years that the "Flu Pandemic" killed more people than were killed in WWI, somewhere between 20-40 million..............

PHOTO ESSAY - Anti-submarine Warfare Pioneer to Bush Pioneer: The HS-2L in Canada

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As you have read, outstanding piece of work. There are so many stories untold that should be told, and far too many tales that have faded into eternity, still inside the souls of their late authors..........

Too bad. Thanks for the tip, Clive.

The Curtiss HS-2L Flying Boat was the first aircraft used to transport passengers and freight to the Red Lake gold fields (1926). Posted by Picasa

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Steve's Video Of The Day: "Dedicated" Soldiers......

As the "Free World" confronts the "Islamofascists" overseas, take time to stop, think, and remember our dedicated soldiers involved. Their "selflessness" is outstanding. They are all "our" family members.

VIDEO - "Dedicated" Soldiers......

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Thursday, April 27, 2006


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Stearman PT-17"!

I remember as a kid, one of my first remote-controlled powered aircraft was the Messerschmitt Bf-109, and my buddy John Hatton had the Stearman PT-17 (N2S) in US Navy colours. These aircraft were controlled by a handle and 2 lines attached to the aircraft, and they were flown in a circle. We had many hours of great enjoyment, and some of the "wipe-outs" were spectacular. Model glue, duct tape, and wire, allowed the somewhat "crippled" aircraft to return to the skies again the next day. Anyhow, I have always had a soft spot for the Stearman. Rugged, bi-plane, open cockpit, tail-dragger, and Continental R-670 radial engine. Sweet!

VIDEO - "Stearman PT-17"!

COPA Flight had a story in May's publication regarding SportAir of Vernon, B.C., operating a Stearman for flight-seeing, barn-storming, etc.. Check them out, sounds to me like it would be a great "rush"! Contact Rhys Perraton,, call 250-503-0970, or 250-307-4200.

WEBSITE - SportAir Ltd.

WEBSITE - Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

"Bonerrific"! Posted by Picasa


Cat 1 Medical "Renewal" Today........

Left early this AM and headed for Winnipeg for my MOT "Cat 1 Medical" and "EKG".............

.........PASSED!!!! "Yeeee-Haaaaa!!! Everything still works!"

(Ain't it a wonder how pilots over 40 always get the "pucker factor" on Medical day?)

While in the Doctor's office, I heard someone boasting. I turned around, and sure enough, it was one of those egotistical "Palm Pilots"............. Posted by Picasa


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Scott Crossfield" and the "X-15"!

If you are a "true" aviation aficionado you know who "Scott Crossfield" is, and you know what the "X-15" is. Let's re-visit a tremendous accomplishment from the past, and see Scott and the X-15 together once again!

VIDEO - "Scott Crossfield" and the "X-15"!

WEBSITE - X-15 Info

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


A "Blois"t From The Past and a New Specimen at "Jurassic Park"!

Many years ago I worked with a fellow who had gone to school with my younger brother "Gene, Recessive" (you know him as Corey). I had started working for Northway Aviation in 1990, and this fellow, Rob McIntyre, came looking for a job. Well, Jim Johnson, Northway owner, liked my brother Corey and was impressed with Rob, so he hired him. Even after Rob rolled his car the first or second night he was in town, Jim kept him employed, and Rob did an outstanding job. He flew the C-180, C-185, C-206, and Beaver on floats, and then progressed onto the twins, flying the Seneca, Islander, and Navajos. Then he flew Northway's Caravan for a period of time. Bearskin called, and Rob continued his career, eventually flying for Air Nova and Jazz. Guess what, though? He still has "webbed feet", and this summer has chosen to reacquaint himself with the bush and a floatplane. He will be flying for WAM Air Service and Outfitting operating from Matheson Island, flying an "amphib Caravan". I'm sure he will have a "gas". Anyways, he came to the area on Sunday, overnighted at my place, and Monday I took him to meet William Mowat, owner of WAM Air, and also owner of Skyline Maintenance and Avionics. Skyline has a hangar in Gimli, and William was at the hangar. Of course, once at the hangar, trusty "digital" in hand, I went for a stroll!

WAM Air's Caravan C-FLXY meets us as we pull into the hangar at Skyline Maintenance and Avionics, in Gimli. Posted by Picasa

After a quick "clandestine" search, I found LXY's Wipline 8000 "Amhibs"! Nice-looking set! Posted by Picasa

Caravan C-FKLR will also be operated this summer by WAM Air. The "hangar boys" are giving her a "physical" before she "straps on" her amphibs and heads for "open water"! Posted by Picasa

A turbine engine ain't nothin' but a "stove-pipe and a fan"! Posted by Picasa

Then Rob and I went for a stroll along the apron, as FNT Transport also operates from Gimli, and they had another DC-3 at the airport, and it was the one I have never photographed before. After a short search, we hit "pay-dirt"!

A new "dinosaur" at "Jurassic Park"! Posted by Picasa

DC-3! Great "old classic"! Posted by Picasa

"Skookum" landing gear! Posted by Picasa

Previous "livery"......  Posted by Picasa

"Good ship" CF-OOW........ Posted by Picasa

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Then Rob and I returned to Skyline's hangar. We loaded Rob's gear in Caravan LXY, as he and William were going to fly north to Matheson Island. I headed for home as "visions of wobbly-pops danced in my head". Good to have Rob back flying in the area, I am sure there are some more "good laughs" in store! Before I sign off, check out what a "dashing, imposing figure" Rob projected as he stood beside Caravan LXY before departing for a more northerly latitude........."Adios"!

"Bloister" prepares to "blast".......! Posted by Picasa

WEBSITE - WAMAIR Service & Outfitting

WEBSITE - Skyline Maintenance & Avionics Ltd.


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Butcher Bird"!

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 "Wurger" (Butcher Bird) ranks with the Supermarine Spitfire, Vought F4U Corsair, and North American P-51 Mustang as one of the best fighters of World War II. The Focke-Wulf 190 "Wurger" was the work of a team of German designers headed by the famous Kurt Tank. It was evolved basically as a successor to the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter, although the official view was that it would never be capable of matching the operational prowess of the Bf 109. How wrong this proved! There were some early cooling problems with the air-cooled BMW 801 engine, but refinements rectified these. The 801 engine produced 1730 HP. The Fw 190 had four 20 mm cannon plus two machine guns. Later versions could carry a 30 mm cannon firing through the propeller boss (hub).

VIDEO - "Butcher Bird"!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


"Unforgiving" Lake Winnipeg "Stirs".........

The "Big Lake" is finally awakening from winter hibernation, and soon again will be roaring. I went down to Sandy Bar Beach, on the west side of Lake Winnipeg, south of Hecla Island, and here is what I saw.

Sand, water, and ice! Posted by Picasa

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The "candle ice" is disappearing........... Posted by Picasa

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So, you see, Lake Winnipeg is just about "awake", and soon will be along her 280 mile length!


Below see some photos showing some " Common Suckers" who read Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" detailing how fish crawled from the waters and walked. Well, our "emboldened, cranially-challenged heroes" below attempted to duplicate the feat, and crawl from the ditch at "Sandy Bar Beach"! "Sorry fellas, you should have factored the "Ravens", "Seagulls", and "Eagles" into your plan!"

A "casualty"...... Posted by Picasa

The "intrepid leader"......... Posted by Picasa

"Bad idea, guys"............. Posted by Picasa

A new recruit.......... Posted by Picasa

R.I.P. Posted by Picasa