Saturday, March 10, 2007


"Black Ice" Rescue!

I have stated before that one of the "unplanned and unexpected" bonuses of maintaining a Blog is the "contact" I experience with interesting people I otherwise wouldn't have. Today, I have some "history" to "share", as it was recently "shared" with me. This history originates with "famed" bush pilot, aviation pioneer, author, and Lamb family member, Jack Lamb. It is a story regarding a DC-3 Lambair had purchased in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1972, and Jack and his wife Barbara had flown back to Thompson, Manitoba. Lambair had the DC-3 "on-line" for about a month, and, well......I'll let Jack "take it from here"!


This is the same DC-3...CF-DBJ. We had a ****-**** pilot who knew all the answers. Greg and I couldn't believe our eyes when we saw where he had landed... black, rotten ice!

Greg, his son Tommy, Roy Boyes, Dan Westinghouse, and I worked like little beavers, and got her back on her feet. As luck would have it, the temperature dropped to minus 8 during the night, and the lake turned into an unlimited length, smooth, runway. The ice was so rotten (candled) that the props went straight into the ice... not bending the blades. We used Barbara's Electrolux vacuum cleaner to blow up the low pressure bags, lifting the 20,000 pound airplane.

I started the engines, and everything seemed to work, so I took off for Thompson. The oil radiator on the starboard (that's the right to you railroaders) engine was pushed up inside. Everything was running in the GREEN for the first 1/2 hour, then the oil temp. started to creep into the RED. I throttled back that engine, and just let it loaf along for the next hour getting into Thompson.

So much for our May 24th week-end that year!



The "Tadoule Lake Airport Limousine" transports the crew to the scene of "the incident"......

-Photo by Greg Lamb

CF-DBJ "through the ice"!

-Photo by Greg Lamb

A "Tadoule Lake task"!

-Photo by Greg Lamb

DBJ "starts to arise"!

-Photo by Greg Lamb

"Up she comes"!

-Photo by Greg Lamb

Tommy Lamb, Orval Hill, Roy Boyes, and Dan Westinghouse work on DBJ!

-Photo by Greg Lamb

Jack "fires up" DBJ and prepares to head for Thompson!

-Photo by Greg Lamb

This is an "amazing" story. Jack also told me that DBJ was moving the Dene people from Churchill to Tadoule Lake to start up a new reserve. The Indian Affairs project moving them from Duck Lake to Churchill (Dene Village) 15 years previously was a complete disaster, but that is "another story". For additional info on Jack and DBJ, check out these following links.

READ JACK LAMB'S BOOK - My Life in the North

A LAMBAIR DC-3 STORY - Flight from Kabul!


Thanks for sharing with us, Jack, hopefully you share more of your experiences with us "in the future"!



Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home