Friday, July 14, 2006


In Search of "The Ghost" "Charron Lake"!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The "Ghost Of Charron Lake"

In December 1931, pilot Stuart McRorie was piloting a Fokker Standard aircraft on a freight haul to a mine at Island Lake, Manitoba, and ran into a snowstorm near Charron Lake. He set down on Charron Lake with his mechanic, "Slim" Forrest. The aircraft was disabled, and slowly froze in, as the ice was still thin, as it was just the beginning of freeze-up. The pair of aviators were rescued 2 weeks later. The aircraft sank in the spring.

9 expeditions have been mounted since 1975 to find the airplane, and last week the searchers hit "pay-dirt"! Using sonar, they found it, upright and basically intact. It is the only known model of the Fokker Standard to exist today. It sits in about 140' of water, as Charron Lake was created by a meteor impact, and is quite deep. I am very familiar with this lake, as I worked for Northway Aviation for 9 years and Northway has an outcamp on Charron, and I hauled fishermen in there every spring, summer, and fall! It is a beautiful lake, full of walleye, northern pike, and also lake trout, due to it's depth.

Next summer the aircraft will be salvaged, as a game-plan is now being compiled so that the aircraft is salvaged properly and isn't damaged.

---excerpt from; Canoe, Hunt, Fish, and Fly, by Otter

This is from my "Blog" last summer, after they located "The Ghost". Well, I am working for Northway Aviation once again, and I have been keeping up-to-date on the progress the crew at Charron Lake has been making in their attempt to raise "The Ghost", as they have been at the site now for a couple of weeks. Recently Northway was contacted by the son-in-law of Stuart McRorie, Howard McLennan, as he wanted to charter our Otter to go to Charron Lake. There would be 8 people, and 3 of the passengers would be Stuart McRorie's daughters. The trip actually took place this past Monday, July 10, as it was to coincide with the planned raising of "The Ghost". The plan was to raise it in the afternoon, as we would arrive about 1 PM. Alas, we arrived and received the unfortunate news it wouldn't be raised that day due to the failing integrity of the lifting "eyebolts", original material on the aircraft. My passengers were a bit disappointed, but were given a tour of the area by boat, were shown the floating "barge" directly over the downed aircraft, and shown where Tom Boulanger's cabin was. Tom Boulanger was the Trapper from Berens River who rescued the "fliers". All in all, I think my passengers had a great time, and were happy to visit the site where their Dad/Grandpa/Father-in-law became part of "Manitoba History" and "Canadian Aviation Lore". Check out the day in photos.

UKN arrives at Selkirk Air's camp at Charron Lake, with some "special people"! Posted by Picasa

The family moves ashore............ Posted by Picasa

The "media" seizes the opportunity.............. Posted by Picasa

Boats were readied to take the family on a "3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour".............."The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed"..........."Damn! Gotta get that Gilligan's Island Theme Song out of my head"! Posted by Picasa

The "Camp"! Posted by Picasa

The "Throne"! Posted by Picasa

"Bush" living! Posted by Picasa

After a quick look at the map, our "seafarers" hit the open lake in two boats, with Pat Madden and Annette Spaulding as "helmsmen". Posted by Picasa

Arriving at the "floating platform", directly above "The Ghost"! Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa

Explanations are given.......... Posted by Picasa

After the family returned from their tour, they were shown parts from the airplane that had just come from the bottom of the lake that day. Amazing!

3 of Stuart McRorie's 4 daughters witness the return to the surface of pieces of their Father's airplane, 75 years later! Posted by Picasa

Notice the small envelope says "copper tip from #100". I suspect it should say "brass", but I could be mistaken. Anyways, this is "wood" from "The Ghost"! Posted by Picasa

A piece of wing, with "yellow paint" still adhering, and "nail or rivet holes" visible! Posted by Picasa

Anyhow, a great day was had by all, and the family had a great time. Of course their father was rescued and lived for many more years, but it is still a great story, and what an amazing ending if "The Ghost" ever sees the light of day! So, as evening descended on us, we decided to return to Pine Dock, another page complete in my personal "Bush Flying Annals". I tell you though, that was one day I couldn't have spent with nicer people!

We prepare to leave, and the family shows off their striking "pearly whites"........... Posted by Picasa

UKN taxis out................ Posted by Picasa


WEBSITE - "Ghost" of Charron Lake


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