Thursday, November 30, 2006


Winter Flying, "Bags of Fun"!

-20*C, clear skies, no wind. I love the mornings. Then I saw Dan McBeath shaking his head. His aircraft, C-207, C-FBHP was "stone cold". The "Little Buddy" heater inside the cowling had "cut out" last night. BHP would need "pre-heat". So, we built a campfire underneath it, careful not to "singe" the paint........Just kidding, we used a "gas-fired blow-pot", just like the Aviation Pioneers of the past used to use......Just kidding again. Today we have an easy life, due to technology. We used a.............

 "Herman Nelson"!

 Actually, an "Arcotherm" EC 20 "diesel-electric" heater!

 Filling the "old girl" full of hot air!

 Actually, a funny story from the past comes to mind. I was at Northway's hangar in Arnes in the early 90's, when the door flew open, and my old pilot buddy Shiloh Tegart blew in. It was winter. "Steve, where is the 'Thurman Munson'?" Shiloh was flying an Islander. I looked at Shiloh. "The what.....? I said. "The Thurman Munson, you know, the propane-fired heater to pre-heat the aircraft!" I said..."You mean the 'Herman Nelson'! Thurman Munson was a "catcher" for the New York Yankees!" Then we laughed "our asses off"! Of course today, I call any large industrial heater similar to a Herman Nelson a "Thurman Munson"! Shiloh? Today he flies a Dash 8 for North Cariboo! He is an outstanding pilot, and he sure came up with some funny sayings.

 Dan "gets her going"!


 Notice the "aluminum tape" on the oil cooler, helping to restrict the "frigid flow" through the cooler at these low temps. Works like a charm, and I always carry a roll in my "daypack". Also great for covering the wing air inlets, the "shark gills" on the side of the cowlings, the cabin air inlets, and the instrument cooling scoops.

 Later, I was airborne myself, and I headed north along "Unforgiving Lake Winnipeg", and she is finally "hibernating".

 The ice "pressure ridges" are already forming on Lake Winnipeg.

 Ah, my "Garmin 296", taking me straight to Berens River, CYBV. Notice the detail, showing the North Etomami River, Sandy Bar, Flathead Point, and the "Big Lake" herself.

 "Touchdown", Berens River!

 About 45 minutes later, I had left Berens River, and was on final for Runway 18 at "Bloodvein River", CZTA!

 Short, steep "final", using the 4X "zoom" on my Canon PowerShot A530. Actually, I don't recommend taking pictures on "final" if you are flying, basically, "do as I say, not as I do".

 Today, the last word of my "Post" goes to Darren Manganaro, flying Northway's Gippsland GA8 Airvan, as he leaves for "afternoon sched"......"Adios"! Posted by Picasa


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Portrush Seafront Airshow", Part 2!

No doubt about it, nothing beats an "Airshow"! Certainly not a "parade"!

VIDEO - "Portrush Seafront Airshow", Part 2!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


"Proud Canadian"!

I am a "Proud Canadian", and I regularly listen to "Stompin'" Tom Connors' masterful CD entitled "Proud Canadian", volume "cranked". On it he sings about every region in this great "Geographic Jewel", and it's people. Diversity of people and geography at it's finest. As I write this, many of our "men and women" are overseas combating hatred and evil, and I am "proud" of them. Take time to think of them, and what they are doing to protect what we have. What we "have" is a "way of life", and an abundance of "natural treasures" that are "unparalleled" on earth. Check them out.

WHAT WE HAVE - Canadian Treasures

 "Stompin'" Tom Connors, true "Patriot" and "Proud Canadian". Look for the CD. (Mural by Bill WrigleyPosted by Picasa


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Portrush Seafront Airshow", Part 1!

Everybody loves an Airshow! I love the "throb" from the Antonov AN-2!

VIDEO - "Portrush Seafront Airshow", Part 1!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Meet...."The Pumpkin"!

Years ago, in the "early 90's", when I previously worked for Northway Aviation Ltd., Jim Johnson, Northway Aviation owner, decided the company needed a larger twin-engined aircraft than the Robertson-equipped Piper Seneca that we had, for charters and sched. The company already ran 3 Britten-Norman Islanders, 2 "high gross" BN-2A-27s, and 1 BN-2A. The decision was made to acquire a Piper Navajo. A deal was made that would see Jim trade his world famous Mk.VI Norseman, CF-GUE, to Freddy Muskego, of Mid Manitoba Air Ltd., for his Piper Navajo, C-FBKK. I was flying Otter CF-UKN at the time, along with GUE, and was sad to see GUE and her "history" leave the company. Anyways, we acquired BKK, and myself and some of the other pilots were "proffed" on her. She was quickly nicknamed "The Pumpkin" by Blair Rutherford, and the name was appropriate, and you will soon see why. The company today still operates BKK, and I met up with her the other day. Meet, "The Pumpkin"!


 The name is obviously "self-explanatory"!

 CF-GUE, coming in to land by my house, on the Icelandic River, Riverton, Manitoba. Photo by my good, "late" friend, Irv Bjarnason, early 90s. I still miss "him", and "her", today.


 Today she was being flown by Ian Gould, "The Newf"........

 .....and the last word of my "Post" goes to Kelly, Kody, and Shane, 3 of my kids, posing in the early 90s. Kelly is now a 4th year U of M student, Kody is a 2nd year U of M student, and "my toque keeps falling in my eyes" Shane is in Grade 9. "Adios"! (Photo by....."Me"!)  Posted by Picasa


Steve's Video Of The Day: Shinmaywa "Flying Boat"!

I have already told you about my wish for a "helicopter" and a "gatling gun" for Christmas. Well, here is another item on my list. Hey, I don't fool around. I consider myself still a "kid", in "middle-age", but I like "full-size" toys!

VIDEO - Shinmaywa "Flying Boat"!

WEBSITE - Shinmaywa!

Monday, November 27, 2006



Northway Aviation operates a Piper Cheyenne, and I was able to get "her" to pose for me this past week. She is certainly a "looker"! She flies scheduled service, and is also available for charters to anywhere in North America. Check out her "lines".

 Here she is, "C-GNWD"!


 "Coming at you".........


 Sharing the spotlight with 1965 Turbo Beaver C-FOEE!

 NWD warms her "backside"!


  NWD and her Northway "fleet sisters"; Caravan NWV shows her prop in the foreground, NWD, and Piper Navajo BKK, nicknamed "The Pumpkin", in the background.

 NWD "spools up".........
 .....and today in Berens River, Chief Pilot Jeff Tillapaugh transports a Manitoba Hydro crew from Berens River to Little Grand Rapids! Throttles forward, dust billowing, the Pratt and Whitney turbines beat the air! We're outta' here! "Adios"!  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006


"Hot Section"!

Last week I was at St. Andrews airport, and witnessed a "hot section" inspection on a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-114 turbine engine. The Northway "hangar crew" were "splitting" the engine, and a Standard Aero technician would inspect the "innards".

 Kelly and Steve start to "split" the engine, supervised by "Scooter".......

 Good "learning experience" for Steve.........






 "Power section" gone............

 "CT wheel"..........

 "CT wheel removed"..........

 "CT wheel" on the bench. It was in "fantastic" shape, looking "new".

 The "burner can" was also in fantastic shape, minimal wear for the hours on it. The "mechanics" were quite happy, and the Standard Aero technician, Aaron, explained numerous items he looks for when assessing the "health" of a turbine "hot section". This one passed with "flying colours". The "hangar boys" put her back together, and Caravan NWV returned to the "flight line" to face the elements and the world. Here she is, "back on line"...........

  Posted by Picasa"Adios"!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Two Cylinder, Twin Engine"......

Yup, you read it right. Kind of like strapping wings and engines onto your "soap box entry"...........

VIDEO - "Two Cylinder, Twin Engine"......

WEBSITE - Cri-Cri Aircraft

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Carl and Helen's "Gilley Ga Lew Bird"!

I have been at Northway's hangar in St. Andrews Airport, Manitoba, for the last two days. I took one of the company 207s for maintenance, and was also there to witness a "hot section" on the company Caravan (more on that in the next day or two). While there, yesterday, an old friend I had met briefly was on the ramp outside our hangar. I had met her two winters ago, when I was doing an "elk survey" in the Duck Mountains, with a Cessna 185 on skis, in western Manitoba. She was in a hangar, in Dauphin, looking quite forlorn. Apparently she is owned by an American couple, and I heard one of them was recently deceased. Too bad. The weather was beautiful yesterday, and she posed for me.

 "Hey girl, haven't seen you in awhile"!

 "You're looking fine"!

 "What a figure"!

 "Such fine lines"!

 She is "Carl and Helen's Gilley Ga Lew Bird"!

 DHC-2 Mk.III, S/N 1598, born in June 1965, "Turbo Beaver", C-FOEE!

 The "bridge", of this fine ship!

 "Power quadrant"!

 "Gear configuration office"!

 She is on "Wipline 6100s"!


 In the afternoon, Doug Burton fired up Northway's Caravan to do "sched", so I took the opportunity to "snap" a photo. Notice the Caravan prop still in "feather".

 "Damn", I sure had a "woody" checking out this "fine gal"! No offense intended, I just love de Havillands that operate on floats, skis, or wheels, in Canada. They are "living history".

  And the last word of my post goes to Carl and Helen's Gilley Ga Lew Bird......"Adios"!Posted by Picasa