Saturday, June 30, 2007


The "Caravan" Arrives In Pine Dock!

Paperwork and inspection completed, Northway's new "amphib" Caravan, C-GNWG, finally arrived in Pine Dock yesterday evening, to help move fishermen during this "long weekend". She was piloted by Doug "McLeod" Burton. Here she is, wearing "rubber boots", as she arrived!









"McLeod" shuts down NWG and "coasts" to the dock............


.........then "unloads" daughters Elizabeth.......


.....and Hannah. Tomorrow NWG "goes to work".........


.......and the "last word" of my Post goes to Dakota Johnson.......

"Hop in boys, I'll take you for a spin"!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Flog" That "Otter"!

Check out "me" this morning, departing Sasaginnigak Lake with a load of fishermen. Nothing sounds like an "augmented 1340"! Video by Duncan Danard.


"Flog" That "Otter"!


It's Time To Play..... Otterflogger's "Name That Cockpit"!

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #13" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer". This "cockpit photo" is quite "stunning", and deserves to be "studied".


This is the "cockpit" of "the" ......................


It is the cockpit of the Boeing KC-135 "Stratotanker"! A "flying gas station". Also, "yes", the fine crew you see is the actual crew, all the young ladies being "high achievers", and operating in combat zones. Check out a "link" regarding the "gals".

LINK - "Women's Flight

LoadMasterC141 wins the "sailboat fuel"! Good job! "Adios"!




B-2 "Bomber" edging toward the KC-135's "fuel boom" to "take a drink"!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Definition of; "Amphibian".........

"Amphibian", def;- cold-blooded, smooth-skinned animals from the Chordate Phylum. This class of animals includes frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. Some live on land and some in the water, but most species return to the water to mate and lay eggs.

Hey, I knew that! Well, Northway Aviation has just purchased a "brand new" amphibian, check out what she looks like!


What the....? Let's try that "amphibian definition" again!

"Amphibian", def;- an aircraft that can fly off of water or land. The wheels retract into the hull or floats, depending upon the type of aircraft. An amphibian can land on water and then extend the landing gear to allow it to pull up onto the shore. Many seaplane bases have ramps to allow the amphibians to pull up onto dry land parking areas.

Yah, that is better!

Here she is again, you saw "her" here first. She should be "on-line" this week, after import inspection and paperwork is complete. She is......Cessna Caravan C-GNWG, on her new "Wips"!






"More" to come as she begins to "work"! "Stay Tuned"!


Steve's Video Of The Day: "STOL!"

We "aviation addicts" all know what "STOL" stands for, let's see STOL "Alaska-style"!


Sunday, June 24, 2007


Steve's "Otter Of The Week"! Karl E. Hayes

TEHRAN, Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed to be delighted when reformist students disrupted his visit to their elite university in December, burning his portrait and shouting "Death to the dictator!"

It showed the world that Iranians can protest "with an absolute, total freedom," the hard-line president wrote on his Web site.

But at least eight of Amir Kabir University's leading reformists have been arrested since May, according to their lawyers and activists inside and outside Iran.

They are among hundreds rounded up in recent months in a nationwide crackdown on those accused of threatening the Iranian system.

Two years after Ahmadinejad's election, the "Tehran Spring" of his moderate predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, is a fading memory. A deep chill has settled over those pushing for change inside the Islamic Republic.........

-the Associated Press, June 22, 2007


"Troubling" reports continue to "stream" from Iran, as the "Thug-in-Chief" slowly "loses his grip" on an educated people "yearning" for personal rights and freedoms. Anyways, I knew the Otter had served in the Middle East, so I searched for one that had a history flying in Iran, and here it is ..................

All information is from Karl Hayes' "masterful" CD entitled:

De Havilland Canada


Otter 182

Otter 182 was delivered to the United States Army on 30th November 1956 with serial 55-3317 (tail number 53317). It first served with the 3rd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas and moved with the unit when it deployed to Germany in July 1957, establishing at Illesheim. The 3rd Aviation Company disbanded in November 1959. 53317 was then assigned to the 572nd Engineer Platoon (Topographic Aviation) based at Wheelus Air Base, Tripoli, Libya. In October 1959 the Otter was on overhaul at the SABCA facility at Gosselies south of Brussels, Belgium just having completed its service with the 3rd Aviation Company. A crew from the 572nd Engineer Platoon flew one of their Otters to Gosselies for overhaul, and collected 53317 and flew it to Wheelus, where it entered service with the Platoon.

In July 1961 the Otter was flown back to the SABCA facility at Gosselies for overhaul, its total airframe time at that stage being 1,591 hours. It then returned to the 572nd Engineer Platoon, but was assigned to the Platoon's operation in Iran, known as the Topographic Training Team, based at Qualeh Morgeh airfield, Tehran. It supported topographic survey activities in Iran, flying alongside the unit's L-20 Beaver and L-23 Seminole aircraft. It continued in use in Iran until destroyed in an accident on 27th January 1962, at which stage it had a total time of 1,807 hours. On that Saturday, the Otter was tasked to fly from Qualeh Morgeh to Vahdati Air Base, Dezful, high in the Zagros Mountains. Originally two L-20 Beavers were tasked, but due to the amount of cargo to be carried, the Otter was substituted. The Otter and its pilot, Captain Daniel Knotts, were attached to the Topo Training Team. The second pilot, Major Donald Carder, was attached to the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Iran and the flight was being operated for the MAAG. There were two passengers and a crew chief, as well as the cargo. On departure at 0754 hours local time, the flight contacted the local Army radio net and gave an ETA of 1020 for its destination.

Good flying weather was experienced in the initial part of the flight, the Otter cruising at 7,000 feet. As it approached the mountains, it was forced to climb to 15,000 feet, at which stage it was 100 feet on top of a broken cloud condition. The Otter drifted off course due to strong winds, unknown to the crew, due to loss of contact with the ground and weak reception of the NDB at the destination airfield. By this stage, the flight was one hundred miles off course and somewhat lost. As the subsequent accident report put it, the winds were of such intensity “to practically nullify forward progress of an aircraft having such a slow cruising speed as the Otter”. At 1130 hours, more than an hour after the Otter should have arrived at its destination, Captain David Bowell, the pilot of an Iranian Airways Viscount on flight 414 from Tehran to Isfahan, Shiraz, Abadan and return, heard 53317 attempting to contact Vahdati Tower and relayed for the Otter. By coincidence, Captain Bowell was a Canadian and knew all about Otters. 53317 reported that it was still at 15,000 feet and having difficulty getting accurate ADF bearings.

At 1146 hours, 53317 crashed into the mountains. Initial contact was made along a narrow ridge-line at the 12,500 foot level, causing stoppage of the engine and the left wing began to separate from the aircraft. The aircraft became airborne again as the ground fell away from where it had impacted. It struck the ground again further on and came to rest, inverted on its back in deep snow. None of the five on board were killed, although all received some injuries. It appears however that as a result of an extended period at high altitude without oxygen, and suffering from shock as a result of the crash, none of the five were capable of thinking clearly. The Otter had come to rest in deep snow on a steep bank. Without any plan of how to proceed, they evacuated the aircraft and rolled some distance down the mountain, where they became separated, buried in deep snow and incapable of moving further, either up or down the mountain.

The five remained where they had come to rest and took what individual steps they could to survive. On the following day, Sunday 28th January, they were sighted by rescue aircraft, which dropped bundles of food and clothing, most of which missed their target and rolled down the mountain. Heavy snow on Monday 29th precluded any rescue activity that day. By this stage, of course, a major rescue effort was underway, with USAF aircraft and helicopters of the 58th Air Rescue Squadron at Wheelus Air Base brought in to assist. On Tuesday morning, 30th January, two US Army medical corpsmen arrived in the vicinity of the crash site by civilian helicopters, the civilians apparently managing better to negotiate the terrain than the rescue services. That same morning, a USAF Rescue C-54 paradropped two paramedics over the crash site, but they missed the target and landed on a small ledge on the face of the mountain. They were of no assistance during the rescue operation, and in fact had to be rescued themselves. The two US Army medical corpsmen found two of the survivors from the Otter and rendered assistance.

On Wednesday morning, 31st January, two Iranian Army mountain climbers arrived on the mountain by civilian helicopter and assisted in moving two of the survivors to the helipad for evacuation. On Thursday 1st February four more Iranian mountain climbers arrived by civilian helicopter and rescued the two stranded USAF paramedics. By this stage, the bodies of the two Otter pilots, who had sadly died of exposure, were found. The fifth occupant of the Otter was never found. The two survivors and the bodies of the two pilots were evacuated from the mountain by US Army helicopter. The Iranians remained at the scene to conduct salvage and recovery operations.

As the accident report continues: “February 3, 4 and 5 the weather precluded any other aircraft from reaching the site and the individuals on the mountain were unable to accomplish any recovery work, but fought to remain alive themselves. On 6th February, ten days after the accident, the people on the mountain were evacuated and a party of nine Alpine climbers, who were flown in from Germany, were delivered to the crash site to begin recovery operations. February 7 and 8 the weather again precluded any recovery operations and the Alpine mountain climbers fought to stay alive. February 9th the Alpine climbers were evacuated from the site and the decision was made to cease all further recovery operations”.

At around the same time the Otter had departed on its fateful flight, an Imperial Iranian Air Force C-47 aircraft planning a flight from Tehran to Dezful had received the weather conditions which 53317 had received, indicating marginal conditions en route and at destination, and its crew had decided not to proceed. For some time before the flight, Major Carder, the MAAG officer who was the co-pilot on 53317, had been trying to “sell the Command” on the theory that the U-1A Otter aircraft was better suited than the L-20 Beaver to support the MAAG mission in Iran, although his
recommendations had not been overly successful. The accident report concluded that Captain Knotts, in trying to assist Major Carder in proving his theory on the Otter, was prompted to over-ride his normal good judgement and to fly into conditions he might better have avoided.

- by Karl E. Hayes

What an amazing story. "Rescuing" the "rescuers". Just about every Otter history Karl has researched could be made into a movie. Better yet, you could make a weekly TV series depicting the "lifetime" of an individual Otter every week. "Fact" is always more interesting than "fiction", and the Otter is testament to this fact. One other question; "Is there anywhere on earth the Otter hasn't been? Anybody have any comments on that question?....................Leave a comment, I will find out!"

"Great research, Karl"!


Thursday, June 21, 2007


"Anchored", to a "Beaver Lodge"!

This past Sunday morning I took Reid Kelner and 3 of his buddies to Northway's Outpost Camp at Kesch Lake. Reid's "late" Dad was a long time Sasaginnigak Lake Lodge guest, and Reid himself has been to the Main Lodge numerous times. Nowadays, an Outpost Camp is their choice, as they like being the "only boats on the lake".


Unloaded at "Kesch"........


Kesch Lake Outpost....

Then, I was off for the Pigeon River. I had a "swamper" with me, "Pontiac". You might remember him from last year, he is a "work in progress". I was going to pick up a large "canoe" that we had left in the bush last Fall, as we had experienced horrible weather, snow, 50 kt. winds, and our last hunter in the bush had been "snatched" from the elements, but we had left his "boat" behind, last October. Well, he wanted it back, and we were hoping it was where we left it. The only "wrench in the gears" was the water level, as the Pigeon River is "howling", and we figured the water would be 6 feet higher, at least, than last Fall. Well, we made the river, saw the canoe, and it was in the water. I landed on the river, hoping we could get close to it. The water was higher than the natural riverbank, and I didn't know if I could get to the canoe. I made 2 attempts to put the left float close to the canoe, but the current kept dragging us back into the river. I "yelled" at Pontiac; "Tie a docking rope to my anchor! It is in the back!" Pontiac, being a "city boy", found humour in the idea that I carried an anchor in UKN. "You carry an anchor?" "Yes," I said, "it is original de Havilland issue, great for wedging in a crack in a rock face if there are no trees to tie to." Finally, he tied a rope to the anchor, and I told him to pass it to me, once I shut down, and got out on the float. Well, I shut down, secured the aircraft, and Pontiac grabbed the canoe!


Pontiac "snags" the boat.........




Guess how we secured the Otter?


You guessed right, with the anchor, secured to a "Beaver Lodge"!


Pontiac drains the boat!









Pontiac attempts to be Daniel Boone!


"Marginal" technique!


Tied on!



Pontiac wearing a "shit-eating" grin, before we left! Good thing we had the anchor!


(Now, if only I can get him to watch "John Wayne" instead of "Adam Sandler" movies!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


It's Time To Play..... Otterflogger's "Name That Cockpit"!

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #12" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer". No "hints" this time!


This is the "cockpit" of "the" ......................


It is the cockpit of the "V-22 Osprey"! A fine machine to transport "Marines"! "Sturdy Dan" recovers from his "gaffe" and wins the "sailboat fuel"! Thanks for all the comments, guys!


The "Marines" are on the way!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Steve's "Otter Of The Week"! Karl E. Hayes

On June 14, 2007, Max Ward was in Vernon, B.C., to pick up his Otter, C-FMAU, in which he had a Garrett turbine engine installed, the "Texas Turbine" conversion. I saw some photos John W. Olafson snapped, and they were excellent. By the way, Max is 86 years young, and looks very "robust". We all know Max's story, from a one plane operation to Otters, DC-4s, etc., to Boeing 747s, all the while "battling" the Canadian Government. I started to think that there were other large, maybe "national" airlines that once "employed" Otters. Suddenly, my "cranial mass" thought "Qantas", for some reason. "I bet they had Otters! And if they did, which was their first?" You got it, they certainly had Otters! Let's find out which was their first, and what became of it.............

All information is from Karl Hayes' "masterful" CD entitled:

De Havilland Canada


Otter 241

Otter 241 was delivered to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd on 13th February 1958, registered VH-EAW. It was the first of four Otters delivered to the Australian national airline, all of which were packed into crates at Downsview, shipped to Australia and re-assembled at Bankstown, these deliveries taking place during February/April 1958. That month, Qantas traded in its four Beavers to De Havilland (Australia) in part exchange for the four Otters, which had been acquired to operate services in the remote and mountainous territory of Papua New Guinea. Of the four Qantas Otters VH-EAW (241) was on amphibious floats, and the other three (247, 253 and 258) were landplanes.

After re-assembly, VH-EAW joined the Qantas fleet on 27th May 1958, named “Kikori”. The territory of Papua New Guinea (PNG) comprised the eastern half of the large island of New Guinea, the major islands of New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville in the Solomons and several smaller volcanic or coral islands. The territory was predominantly hot, humid and wet, with mangrove swamps and coastal plains rising to tropical forests in the Bismarck and Owen Stanley mountain ranges. Most of the territory was inaccessible except by air.

VH-EAW was based at Port Moresby, the capital of PNG, and used on services along the southern coastline, to such places as Daru, Balimo, Esa 'Ala and Samarai. The three landplane Otters were based at Lae and operated services into the highlands. Qantas continued with these services in PNG until September 1960. The Federal Australian government granted the application of mainland airlines to take over these services, thus leaving Qantas free to concentrate on international routes. Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) took over the four Otters from Qantas, as well as six DC-3s, and commenced operations in PNG with these aircraft with effect from 1st September 1960.

The four Otters were repainted into TAA colours and re-registered, the amphibian VH-EAW becoming VH-SBQ, joining TAA's 'Sunbird' fleet. It did not carry a name in TAA service. The Otters competed with twin-engined Italian-built Piaggio P166s operated by Ansett-Mandated Airlines. VH-SBQ was configured to carry ten passengers or as a straight freighter. TAA flights MK80/81, MD82/83 and MK84/85 operated between Port Moresby, Yule Island, Ihu, Kerema, Baimuru, Daru and Kikori and flights MS87/88, MS89/90 and MS91/92 between Port Moresby, Abau, Samarai and Esa 'Ala. The fare from Port Moresby to Yule Island for the 45 minute flight MK80 was a princely three pounds thirteen shillings.

VH-SBQ continued in service until it was destroyed after a forced water landing due engine failure near the coastal town of Samarai on 14th August 1961. There were seven passengers and two crew on board the scheduled flight, but fortunately there were no injuries. As the accident report summarises “Engine lost power due to cylinder failure and the pilot made a safe emergency landing on the sea. The aircraft subsequently drifted onto rocks and was destroyed”.

- by Karl E. Hayes

"Damn cylinder failures" on the Pratt and Whitney 1340s, and they continue today, hence the "trend" to convert to the Pezetel radial, or to put a "stovepipe and a fan" on the front. Sad, Otter 241 was just over 3 years old when she "expired"..........

"Thanks", Karl!


Saturday, June 16, 2007


The "Fog" Lifts...........

"Socked in" by fog over Lake Winnipeg and the "east shore", this AM, after a "cold front" passage last night, but we knew it would lift. No wind, beautiful morning, I whipped out the Canon "Power Shot" A530........



"Twin" Otter............



A "ripple" develops........




"Time to go", as the fog lifts and moves east.........

Very enjoyable day, "turning" the camps. My last trip of the day was picking "the boys" up at One Horn Lodge, at Little Grand Rapids, who get the last word of my "Post"..........(That is Curtis holding their "Road Rockets".....! "Busch Light"!? Musta' been "on sale"! Ha!)



Thursday, June 14, 2007


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Baggage Gone Missing"!

"Lost Baggage"! One of the "constants" all airlines share, right from American Airlines to Qantas to a small "bush service" running a Cessna 180 and a Beaver hauling "trappers" and "fishermen". When a person flies on a "Major" airline, that "gnawing" feeling that their baggage might not arrive at their destination when they do is always present. Share one man's "experience" with "baggage gone missing"........


"Baggage Gone Missing"!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


It's Time To Play..... Otterflogger's "Name That Cockpit"!

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #11" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer". "ACHTUNG"! Boy, this one was a "_______-bird"! I love "black and white"! Study it carefully!


This is the "cockpit" of "the" ......................


It is the cockpit of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, also known as the "Butcher Bird"! A "masterful design" by the legendary "Kurt Tank", it was the Germans' best fighter, and a match for any fighter the Allies had! Ben wins the "sailboat fuel"!


"Butcher Bird"!