Friday, May 12, 2006

 

"Float Season" Begins............!

This spring has been the nicest and driest in about 10 years, and hopefully it continues. I will be working for Northway Aviation this year, flying Otter C-FUKN from their base at Pine Dock, MB. The Float Base is on "Unforgiving Lake Winnipeg", protected by a rock "breakwater". I flew from this base years before, and I really enjoy Lake Winnipeg. I then flew for Bue Water Aviation for a number of years, and enjoyed my time of employment there. The return to Northway allows me to be closer to home, doing the same type of work, and God knows any extra time that can be spent with family is "irreplaceable" and "priceless". We have all remained good friends, and Ed and Steve at Blue Water were very understanding. Anyhow, I have snapped some photos of some happenings in the last week and a half, and I will show them below. There will be many more to come in the approaching "tourist season"...........


I recently did my "line indoc" at Northway Aviation's hangar at St. Andrews Airport, and saw an "old friend", Piper PA-31-310 "Navajo" C-FBKK. I flew this aircraft years ago, and Northway still operates it. Posted by Picasa


This aircraft is nicknamed "The Pumpkin" for obvious reasons........... Posted by Picasa


Northway also operates a Piper "Cheyenne".......... Posted by Picasa


"Turbine power"........! Posted by Picasa


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On Tuesday, May 9th, I drove daughter Kody to Pine Dock, as she will also be working for Northway Aviation. She will work at Sasaginnigak Lodge for the beginning of the season, and then at Biscuit Harbour Resort, both owned by Northway. Sasaginnigak Lodge is "fly-in" only.


Kody and C-FZZP, the Cessna 185 that would transport her to Sasaginnigak. Posted by Picasa


The "adventure" begins. Kody is my second oldest child and will be a 2nd year University student this fall.......... Posted by Picasa

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I was also at Blue Water Aviation's Base in Silver Falls, as Northway's Otter C-FUKN was stored there this past winter, and Northway's "hangar boys" inspected and readied her for water, and also changed her P&W 1340 engine, as it was "timexed".


Tuesday evening, UKN was just about ready. Posted by Picasa


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The "tired" Pratt and Whitney R-1340 engine removed from UKN. Posted by Picasa

I then went for a "stroll", because I knew the "hangar boys" at Blue Water had converted an Otter to the Walter turbine engine this winter. Chief Engineer Ken Tsuji had "her" in the hangar, and was "tweaking" a few items.


"Ah-hah"! Posted by Picasa


The "boys" did a beautiful job on the conversion. Posted by Picasa


She now has a "Walter" turbine, but she is still an............. Posted by Picasa


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C-FYLZ will soon "whine" across the Manitoba-Ontario border to her Base at Armstrong, Ontario. Never again will she "clack-clack-clack" across the skies, as her "1340 CI radial engine" and "augmentor tubes" have been removed. Posted by Picasa

Then, as the boys were just about finished with UKN, we secured her for the evening, as it was too late to "launch" her into the river. We would launch and test-fly her the next day.


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Putting the old girl "to bed"..... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday morning Engineer Scott Thom and I arrived in Silver Falls just as Ed and Steve Gaffray were putting UKN in the water. Our timing was impeccable. Scott and I ran UKN and observed all pressures and temps., and deemed her fit for a test flight. This we accomplished, and after some fine tuning, UKN was declared "fit for service", and I headed for Pine Dock, as she had her first "revenue trips" Thursday AM. I made Pine Dock after enduring a 30 kt. headwind, and it was "Miller time". I had planned on checking out Randy Melnick, the other pilot who will also be flying UKN, but with the surface winds gusting to 35 kts., we decided to wait until the next morning when the winds were forecast to be more appropriate.


Wednesday AM, Scott and I were greeted at Silver Falls by "Walter" Otter C-GBTU......... Posted by Picasa


.......and prototype "Walter" Otter C-FIOF! Posted by Picasa


IOF is being run...... Posted by Picasa


Scott made the final adjustments, and UKN and I were "headed north"! Posted by Picasa

Thursday AM I flew to Paint Pt. Lake, dropping off some friends from Gimli, and then Randy and I took a load of supplies to Northway's outpost camp at Kesch Lake. UKN was "back in her element"!


The sparkling waters of "Kesch Lake"! Posted by Picasa


Kesch Lake Outpost! Posted by Picasa


The view from the deck. Posted by Picasa


UKN unloaded. Posted by Picasa


.....and the last word of my "post" goes to Randy, Otter pilot "extraordinaire"! Randy says; "Adios, and stay tuned"! Posted by Picasa

WEBSITE - Blue Water Aviation Services Ltd.

WEBSITE - Northway Aviation Ltd.

WEBSITE - Sasaginnigak Lodge

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