Friday, November 30, 2007


Steve's "Real Hero" Of The Week! "Army Sergeant Major James 'Mack' McDowell"!

Spirit of America is an humanitarian organization I have followed for a number of years now. They do excellent work and have partnered with a "Real American Hero". Check out an e-mail I recently received.

Subject: CNN Heroes and Spirit of America

From: "Spirit of America"

Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 19:54:37


Back in May we brought you the story of the destitute Afghan Farmers. We knew immediately that we had to help, and created the Afghan Farmers Project, championed by an Army Sergeant Major that we call "Mack" who said the Afghan Farmers were in need of some "Good Deeds". Its scope and reach continues to this day with the announcement of the finalists of CNN's All Star tribute, "applauding the world's unheralded heroes". Mack is one of the 18 finalists being recognized for reaching out and distributing aid to the Afghan Farmers. That aid, in the form of farm tools, clothing, school supplies, 40,000 saffron bulbs and more was provided by you. . . through your contributions to Spirit of America.

Mack's selection is proof-positive that your support can make a difference. Out of 7,000 nominations from 93 countries, he was chosen as one of the finalists. Wow. Spirit of America's staff recognized the potential importance of the Afghan Farmer's Project and then you, our supporters, acknowledged the project's possibilities with your contributions. With the support we provided to the Afghan people through our project with SGM Mack now being acclaimed to an international audience, Spirit of America's supporters can take pride in this nomination.

We've been told that Mack will be interviewed during the live global telecast on Thursday, December 6 at 9pm EST, hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour where they will announce a winner in each of the 6 categories. You can see and read about his nomination and the other finalists at this CNN link: "Meet the CNN Heroes finalists".

We'll send an update with the results after the telecast in case you can't tune in.

All the best,

Spirit of America

Yes, Sgt. Mack has decided to make a "difference on earth", by helping fellow humans, and has "seized the opportunity". His actions will save lives and improve living standards. "Lift your glass" to U.S. Army Sergeant Major James "Mack" McDowell!!!

HERE IS - Spirit of America

SUPPORT THE - Afghan Farmers Project

MEET THE - CNN "Heroes"


Remember, Sgt. Mack will be interviewed during the live global telecast on Thursday, December 6, at 9pm EST, hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour. "Be there"!


"Close" Only Counts in "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades!"... and Sometimes "Flying"!

"Close" only counts in "horseshoes and hand grenades"!... You have heard the "old saying" before, and in this case "close" definitely applies to "flying" also! Check it out!

This Mig-15 "tail strike" occurred during an airshow. The pilot had just completed a loop and misjudged his pull-out, and an image was "captured". Had it been circulated at the time, this once in a lifetime photograph might have earned an award. "Oh", by the way, the pilot just made a wide circuit, lowered his landing gear, touched down . . then taxied in showing scratched paint, but no sheet metal damage. "Yee-Haaa"!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


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

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #35" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer".

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



"Hey, what's up? Thought you boys would get this fine 'Canadian cockpit'!" Well, here she is, the Avro C-102 "Jetliner"! Another case of "what may have been"....... North America's first jet, and arriving "on the scene" just days after the de Havilland "Comet".........





Steve's Video Of The Day: "Bristol Freighter!"

"Blast from the past", a Bristol Type 170. "Man", I wish the skies were still full of the following "silhouettes and sounds". Love those "sleeve-valve Hercules" engines!

VIDEO - "Bristol Freighter!"

MORE ON THE - "Freighter!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"View" From "Endeavour"........

Clive Pearce sent me a "fine" link, of some of "our best" at work. Have a look and realize "man's minisculity", and be amazed at the earth's beauty, and pause in wonderment as to why "Man" seems "hell-bent" on the "path to self-destruction"....... I have to get me a camera like this one! "Long Live the Canadarm"! "Hey", the Endeavour is one fine "piece of iron"!

CHECK OUT THE - "View" From "Endeavour"........

Monday, November 26, 2007


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

It seems the old Otter has served in every capacity and locale imagineable. She even had stellar service in the "National Guard", standing on guard for the "Homeland", early in her career! This following Otter served her country, and in 1980, even came to Manitoba for an "overhaul".....

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

De Havilland Canada


Otter 333

Otter 333 was delivered to the United States Army on 26th June 1959 with serial 58-1715 (tail number 81715). It was assigned to the 18th Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas. When that Company departed from Fort Riley in December 1961 to deploy to Vietnam, a number of its Otters, which were not fit to travel, remained at Fort Riley, including 81715. The operation of these Otters was taken over by the 1063rd Aviation Company, a unit of the Iowa National Guard based at Waterloo, Iowa. In October 1961 this unit was upgraded to Active Duty status and sent to Fort Riley, to operate the Otters which the 18th Aviation Company had left behind.

The 1063rd operated 81715 until July 1962 at Fort Riley, when the Otter returned with the Company to Waterloo, Iowa, where it was operated until January 1964. It remained with the National Guard but its subsequent operating units are not known, until June 1972 when it joined the California National Guard, with whom it was to serve for the remainder of its military career. It was assigned to the Depot at Fresno, California as a support aircraft. Personnel at the Depot proudly referred to it as “the last active Army Otter west of the Rockies”. This was correct in so far as the Continental United States was concerned, there being Army Otters active in Alaska at that time as well. 81715 continued to serve at Fresno until December 1976, when it was deleted from the Army inventory.

The Otter was transferred to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). It was noted at Boeing Field, Seattle during June 1977, still in its Army olive drab colours but registered N5352G, and was assigned to the CAP's Pacific Region. In January 1980 it was sold on, being registered C-GBNJ to Silver Pine Air Services Ltd of Silver Falls, Manitoba who refurbished the Otter, and it was then sold to Parsons Airways Northern Ltd of Flin Flon, Manitoba to whom it was registered on 5th June 1980. For the next nine years it served the northern Manitoba bush country, one of a number of Otters flown by Parsons.

It was sold in May 1989 to Ketchum Air Service Inc of Anchorage, Alaska and was registered to its new owners as N567KA. It arrived in Vancouver on 24th November 1989to be worked on by Aeroflite Industries prior to delivery to Anchorage. It was noted in Anchorage during July 1992 flying for Ketchums, but still painted in the green/white colour scheme it had worn during its days with Parsons Airways. Although it carried Ketchum titles, it never was painted in their blue/white house colours. The Otter was sold to Alaska Juneau Aeronautics Inc, trading as Wings of Alaska, in March 1993 and re-registered N336AK. It was noted at Vancouver in May 1993, repainted in full Wings of Alaska colour scheme, about to be delivered to its new base at Juneau.

It went on to serve as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet for many years, flying countless cruise ship passengers on sightseeing flights during the summer months. On 19th July 2001 it was registered to Wings Airline Services Inc, Juneau, continuing to fly as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet. On 26th March 2003 the Otter was registered to Alaska Coastal Airlines Inc of Juneau, but again continued to fly as part of the Wings of Alaska fleet. During the winter of 2003/04, N336AK was converted to a Texas Turbine Otter at Juneau. A minor incident was recorded on 12th May 2004 when N336AK ran into sister ship N337AK (418) while docking in Juneau Harbour. Only superficial damage was caused and both Otters were soon back in service.


Otter 333

N336AK. Wings of Alaska, Juneau, Alaska. Texas Turbine conversion # 9, converted by Kal Air at Vernon, BC over the winter of 2003/04. N336AK returned to Vernon, landing on Okanagan Lake on 28 September 2005 at the end of its flight from Juneau. From the lake it was towed to the Kal Air facility where it was to spend the winter of 2005/06 being repainted and having a new interior installed and other work carried out. It departed Vernon on 24 April 2006 to Vancouver and then onwards back to its Juneau base.

- by Karl E. Hayes

Nice to see the old girl "healthy" and still in the "workforce"!



Saturday, November 24, 2007


Winter "Hits"....!!!

"Yup", winter is here, as the Icelandic River, which my property "fronts" on, has finally frozen, "but first", today, in Churchill, Manitoba!!!

Weather Warnings


10:27 AM CST Saturday 24 November 2007

Blizzard warning for
Churchill continued

Blizzard ending this evening.

An intense cold front associated with a developing low pressure system over Hudson Bay slammed into Churchill overnight bringing winds gusting to 80 km/h and near-zero visibility in snow and blowing snow. Blizzard conditions are expected to continue in the community throughout the day, with gradual improvement this evening as the low pressure system pulls away to the east and winds start to diminish.

In addition, temperatures in the minus twenties combined with the strong winds will cause wind chill values to approach the minus 40 mark today.

Not bad, check out the METARS and the TAF. "Nice temps"!


METAR CYYQ 241900Z 30027G36KT 3/8SM R33/2800FT/N -SN BLSN OVC010
M24/M28 A2957 RMK BLSN7SC1 SLP017=

METAR CYYQ 242000Z 31026G33KT 1/2SM R33/3000FT/N -SN BLSN OVC010
M24/M28 A2958 RMK BLSN7SC1 SLP019=

METAR CYYQ 242100Z 31029G36KT 1/2SM R33/3000FT/N -SN BLSN OVC010
M24/M28 A2959 RMK BLSN7SC1 SLP024=

TAF CYYQ 241738Z 241818 32030G40KT 1/4SM -SN +BLSN OVC015
FM0600Z 31025G35KT 1/2SM -SN BLSN OVC015 TEMPO 0612 11/2SM -SN BLSN
FM1200Z 29020G30KT 2SM -SN BLSN OVC020 TEMPO 1218 6SM -SN
BECMG 1618 28015KT
"Nice"! Anyways, here is the view of my property along the river, as "winter's blanket descends".






Even the bullrushes have "winter coats"!

Winter is here, let's have one last look at the "open water" float season!


"Squarehead Lake", just off the Bloodvein River!


These boys had nice moose hunting "success!




After arrival back at Pine Dock!


My friend Ron Dare and his buddies harvested these animals. They also said the "catfishing" was unbelievable, and in October, with a "jig and minnow", they couldn't keep the "cats" off their hooks, although they were fishing for walleye!


These "racks" were so nice, we thought we would get a "matinee idol" to pose with them!



"Nah", that guy looks more like "The Duke" than "Tab Hunter"! Anyhow, 3 "winged buddies" would like to recite a poem in closing.


Something told the wild geese

It was time to go,

Though the fields lay golden

Something whispered, "snow."


Leaves were green and stirring,

Berries, luster-glossed,

But beneath warm feathers

Something cautioned, "frost."


All the sagging orchards

Steamed with amber spices,

But each wild breast stiffened

At remembered ice.


Something told the wild geese

It was time to fly,

Summer sun was on their wings,

Winter in their cry.
-by Rachel Field



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

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #34" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer". (Sorry I'm late, "AAA" hockey!)

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



Here she is, though, the Zlin Z142! The "sailboat fuel" multiplies for next week! "Adios"!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Crashed Ice!"

I have "sung the praises" before in my Blog about the Red Bull Air Race World Series, I think it is a "great spectacle", and Peter Besenyei is a "genius". Well, Red Bull has a "new race", and "boy", can these guys ever "fly"!!!!


"Crashed Ice!"

I would love to do this type of "flying"!!!!!!!

RED BULL - "Crashed Ice"!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


"Skytrucks at Gimli", by Ruud Leeuw

I have stated before that one of the "unplanned bonuses" of having a Blog is meeting and corresponding with other people with similar interests in aviation. Ruud Leeuw is such a friend, and many of you "enthusiasts" have probably "met" him through the "net". Anyways, he and I share a passion for "radial engines", and he is quite the photographer. He just happened to be in my "neck of the woods" recently, and although we didn't "cross paths", Ruud has now invited us all to share his visit to Manitoba and the "Interlake"! "Oh, did I mention? Ruud also likes 'trucks'!"

RUUD LEEUW'S...- Skytrucks at Gimli!


A "Skytruck".....


.....and "me"!

MEET - Ruud....!

MORE FROM - Ruud Leeuw!!!


Monday, November 19, 2007


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

Here is another great tale about an Otter in the "north". This is one of those stories that always leaves me wondering, though. The aircraft was written off, the engine was removed, and it was left where it was, which was only 3-4 feet of water. Was it ever retrieved later, or is it still there today, a "corroded historical artifact"? I would love to go look at the "grave" site, who knows, maybe I would come back with the "Data Plate"..............

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

De Havilland Canada


Otter 389

Otter 389 was delivered to the RCAF on 6th September 1960 with serial 9413. It was assigned to 438 Squadron at St. Hubert, Montreal, transferring to 401 Squadron, also at St. Hubert, in November 1960. It suffered a 'B' category crash on 9th September 1962 on a training detail out of St. Hubert. After take-off, at about 100 feet, after the student had been instructed to raise the flaps to the climb position and at an airspeed of 70 knots, the throttle was retarded to simulate engine failure. The Tower had been advised of their intention to do a practice forced landing on the remaining runway. The student had just lowered the nose for the glide when the Tower requested they land past an intersection, as another aircraft was landing on one of the intersecting runways. The instructor acknowledged the transmission, not realizing that the student had raised the flaps to the cruise position. The Otter began sinking rapidly. The instructor took over control at once and applied full power but the aircraft landed heavily on the port wheel, bounced but remained airborne. An in-flight inspection showed that the port strut was pushed up into the fuselage. A safe landing was however made. On 14th September '62 the Otter arrived at DHC's Downsview facility for repair. When repairs had been completed, 9413 was put into storage on 8th March 1963 at Dunville, as a reserve aircraft.

Its period of storage was relatively brief. On 6th September 1963 Otter 9425 (408) of 411 Squadron, Downsview was damaged in an accident, and on 18th September '63 9413 was allocated to 411 Squadron as a replacement, where it was to serve for many years. It made occasional trips to the United States, an example being a deployment to Fort Drum, New York in September 1974 together with several more of the Downsview-based Otters, transporting troops of the Queen's Own Rifles regiment. 9413 continued to fly for 411 Squadron until it was written off in an accident on 17th July 1975 at Duke of York Bay on Southampton Island in the Northwest Territories. During take-off from a gravel bar along the edge of the Duke of York River, the Otter became airborne but did not gain altitude. Shortly thereafter, it contacted a steep gravel river bank, made a shallow turn to the right, settled into the river and slowly nosed over, coming to rest inverted in three or four feet of water. Water began to pour in on the two crew and five passengers, who were hanging upside down still strapped into their seats. They managed to free themselves and wade ashore.

The accident report found that the pilot elected to take off from an “uncleared, austere airstrip” of unknown exact useable length, in unfavourable wind conditions, at or near maximum allowable gross weight. The aircraft captain had failed to brief his co-pilot and assign him the task of monitoring the cockpit instruments during the critical phase of the take-off. The air detachment commander was required to fly as a line pilot on a regular basis. This, together with being subordinate in rank to the Otter detachment commander, made effective control of flying operations virtually impossible.

The 411 Squadron history provides some further details, and gives the background to the squadron's operations at this time: “During July 1975, 411 again returned to the Arctic in strength. Summer Camp was based in Churchill, Manitoba with most of the flying proceeding north. A survival camp, through which squadron members rotated, was set up at South Knife Lake. With the lure of rumoured good fishing, personnel were enticed to spend overnight on the summer tundra where, it seemed, the world's biggest mosquito colonies flourished. Another challenge was a trip to Eppler Lake, where a dirt track served as an airstrip. The take-offs at the short Eppler strip tested the nerves of passengers as well as pilots, with the Otter rarely clearing the surrounding terrain by more than a few inches”.

“Further north, 411 pilots supported a federal government project to accurately map Southampton Island. Two Otters with oversize 'buffalo' tires operated out of Coral Harbour. These aircraft transported surveyors around the island, landing on flat pieces of unprepared ground (such as eskers) and photographed the survey control points, which were white crosses laid out on the ground by Army survey crews. The aerial photography was accomplished using a three inch Vinton camera mounted in the aft fuselage of the Otter. This required a level attitude, a constant altitude and accurate tracking. The job was made more difficult by the fact that the target disappeared under the nose several seconds before passing beneath the camera. The extremes in temperature and the presence of sand occasionally caused the cameras to malfunction, necessitating re-takes of several photo targets”.

“Using unprepared gravel airstrips was also difficult. During this tasking, while attempting a takeoff, Otter 9413 rolled off the end of an esker and continued into the Duke of York River. It over-turned and water began to pour in on the crew and passengers, who were hanging upside down still strapped into their seats. No-one was hurt. An unknown quantity of freshly caught Arctic Char escaped from the aircraft, complicating the investigating team's task of estimating the take-off weight. A salvage team, which included 411 technicians, was dispatched. The engine was saved, but the rest of the aircraft was left, because corrosion had already set in, accelerated by the high salt water content of the water. 9413 was abandoned in its cold, wet, final resting place and the mapping continued when another Otter was sent north”.

- by Karl E. Hayes

Nice to see the "Arctic Char" escaped......"Ha"!


Thursday, November 15, 2007


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

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #33" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer".

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



Finally "stumped" y'all..........! It is the North American "X-15"! Thanks for the effort, guys!


INFO - X-15



Tuesday, November 13, 2007


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

The old Otter was designed to operate in a temperature range from -50*C to +50*C. We have read about Otters in the Antarctic and the Arctic, so now, let's go to Africa to look for an Otter. Here is one..........

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

De Havilland Canada


Otter 425

Otter 425 was delivered to the Ghana Air Force on 28th December 1961 with serial G307. It was the eighth of an order for twelve Otters, all of which were packed into crates and shipped to Ghana where they were re-assembled and entered service. They were based at Takoradi Air Base. The Otters continued in service with the Ghana Air Force until 1973 when they were withdrawn and put up for sale. As explained in relation to number 418, eight of the Ghana Air Force Otters were acquired by brokers Masin Aircraft of Cologne, and Otter 425 was registered to Joseph V. Masin of Rodenkirchen, West Germany as N17684. These eight Otters together with a former US Army Otter which Masin Aircraft had acquired, were sold to Air Craftsmen Ltd of St. John, New Brunswick, a company which specialised in buying, refurbishing and selling on ex-military Otters.

On 26th April 1974, Air Craftsmen Ltd reserved Canadian marks for all nine Otters. Marks C-GLCR were reserved for Otter 425. Whereas most of the ex-Ghana Air Force Otters were flown back to Canada, 425 was put into a crate and shipped to St. John, where it was rebuilt and civilianised. When this work was completed, a ferry permit was issued on 6th July 1976 for a flight from St. John, New Brunswick to Goderich, Ontario for painting and then return to St. John. There was then a change of plan, when the Otter was sold to a leasing company, Les Fonds Nordic Ltee, for lease to
Air Gava Ltee, and on 19th August 1976 the Otter was delivered from St. John to it's new base at Schefferville, Quebec and entered service with Air Gava Ltee.

C-GLCR was involved in an incident on 12th November 1979, landing at Lake McCabe after a flight from Schefferville. After landing on the frozen lake (temperature at the time was -12C) the pilot taxied the ski-equipped Otter towards the shore. As the speed of the aircraft decreased, it broke through the ice and settled in four feet of water, damaging a wing. Although it was reported that there was ten inches of blue ice on the lake, the quality and thickness of the ice closer to the shore was much less, and it was subject to water currents. The pilot was unaware of the difference in the ice conditions.

The Otter was repaired and returned to service with Air Gava Ltee, and continued flying for the company in northern Quebec until 1981, when Air Gava encountered financial difficulties and ceased trading. C&S Enterprises Ltd, aircraft brokers, of Ontario were appointed to sell Air Gava's fleet of aircraft, including its three Otters, C-FQMN (184), C-GLFL (329) and C-GLCR (425). “Steal these bank repossessions” proclaimed their advertisement. LCR had at that stage of its career a total time of 2,971 hours, was on floats, and with a new Certificate of Airworthiness had an asking price of $155,000 Canadian. The Otter was sold to 40 Mile Air of Tok, Alaska on 12th February 1982, registered N2899J. It flew for 40 Mile Air in its Air Gava colour scheme, orange overall with a white cheatline. It met with an accident on 28th October 1984 while landing on the gravel airstrip at Dan Creek near McCarthy, Alaska on a flight from Chitina. The aircraft hit a downdraft, landed hard and struck the wing on the runway surface. The undercarriage was pushed into the fuselage. The wind had been gusting to 20 knots. Temporary repairs were effected on site and the Otter was then flown to Seattle for permanent repairs, after which it resumed service with 40 Mile Air.

In December 1986 N2899J was sold to Bering Air Inc of Nome, Alaska and flew for this company until sold to Rust's Flying Service Inc, based at Anchorage Lake Hood, in June 1989. It was repainted into Rusts colour scheme, and throughout the 1990s flew for the company, becoming one of the most well-known Otters in Alaska. It was operated as a piston Otter, mostly flying tourists, hunters, fishermen etc during the summer months. After more than a decade of service as a piston Otter with Rust's, the company arranged for it to be converted to a Vazar turbine in June 2000, the work being performed by Island Flight Support Inc at Victoria, BC. It then re-entered service with Rust's as a turbine Otter.

- by Karl E. Hayes

Africa, to Canada, breaking through the ice, along with some other "bush rash", today in Alaska, and "her story" isn't over!


Sunday, November 11, 2007


"11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month".....

At the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fall silent, and the Great War ends. Today we "Remember", and honour all the "Fallen", and those who have "Served", and presently "Serve". Today I watched the "Packers" and "Vikings", and I am presently watching the "Bombers" and the "Als". Our soldiers overseas are on my mind today, and every day. They and those before them are the reason I can watch football, and enjoy personal freedom and safety. I hope everyone today in some way was able to attend a "Remembrance Service" to "honour our best". Here are a few pics today from the Camp Morton "Remembrance Day" Service.


Cadets from Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 182 G.M. Stefnufastur help Lt. Irvine take down the flags after the ceremony.


Flight Sergeant Kaitlan Taylor, foreground left, and Corporal Shane Taylor, foreground right, handle the flag.


Shane and Kaitlan "remember"..............


"Well-respected" symbol of "Freedom" worldwide, and there is a reason why. Please join me today and spend 10 minutes viewing the following video tribute. It is a tribute to "72 Canadian Heroes", who have recently sacrificed themselves for "Freedom" and "Us".


The "last word" of my "Post" goes to Corporal Shane Taylor and Flight Sergeant Kaitlan Taylor......




Tuesday, November 06, 2007


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

OK, "Ladies and Gentlemen", time for "installment #32" in our "cockpit series", which will be a continuing "brain-strainer".

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



Yes, it is the Short Solent Mark III! "Softjug" wins the "sailboat fuel".


This aircraft was actually used in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". Check it out!

VIEW - The Raiders "Flying Boat"!

Monday, November 05, 2007


Steve's Video Of The Day: "Mars" Overhead!

Yesterday I alerted you to "Mars sightings" in California. Watch now as "Mars" passes overhead. "Hey", I never knew "Mars" could set off car alarms on Earth. Listen closely!


"Mars" Overhead!


***ALERT!*** Unusual "Mars" Sightings........

"THIS JUST IN!" Southern California recently has had a "spate" of "Mars" sightings, day after day, and I did some research, and the "astronomers" say that at this time of year, the "sightings" are highly unusual. The largest number of reported sightings has been around Lake Elsinore, and I have recently received some photographic proof that the sightings of the "heavenly body" are not hoaxes. Have a look at the evidence, and see what you think.


"Look, there's Mars!"


One "heavenly" body!


Her trajectory brings her very "close" to earth.......


These folks get a "Mars close-up".........


Doing her part, being a good neighbour, and helping out during California's "time of need"...........


Sunday, November 04, 2007


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

We have heard many varied stories about the Otter and her work ethic. Like all "legends" though, there are always stories of "intrigue". Here is an Otter whose last flight is still "shrouded in mystery".

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

De Havilland Canada


Otter 178

Otter 178 was the last of six Otters delivered to Philippine Air Lines (PAL), being delivered on 22nd November 1956 with registration PI-C56. Following its test flying at Downsview, it was packed into a crate, shipped to Manila and re-assembled, entering service with PAL on its 'rural air service'. PI-C56 was destroyed on 27th July 1962 in a crash at Mutya, Oriental Misamis in somewhat mysterious circumstances. It crashed in a forest some forty miles south of its planned course, killing the pilot and the sole passenger, who was a suspected criminal wanted on several charges. The cause of the crash was never established.

- by Karl E. Hayes

Yes, the old Otter has "written" many stories. "Hey", anyone out there have any more info on this accident or the criminal on board? "You never know"............


Friday, November 02, 2007


"Dock Of The Year"! 2007

In our geographic area in Manitoba, one change I have really become frustrated with over the years is the "lack of proper infrastructure" for the "float" operators. By "infrastructure" I mean "docks". Take the Indian Reserves, for example. In previous times, a choice of 5 or 6 good "crib" docks was always available to a pilot, nowadays there might be one useable dock per community, even if the community is "float-accessible" only. Usually, this one remaining dock is held together with rotten poly rope and discarded "triplex" wire. Most lodges and outposts also have seen declining infrastructure as far as docks are concerned. Years ago, "pilots" built, owned, and operated the lodges and outposts, and would build good, sturdy docks that you could tie a large airplane to and "ride out" a windstorm, as they needed to protect their assets. Nowadays, most lodges are owned and operated by "wealthy" outside parties, without a background in aviation, and they do not invest the time, money, or effort in building solid infrastructure for float aircraft. They expect "prompt" service, but do not provide good docking facilities. There are some exceptions to this rule, though, as there are still a very small number of lodge operators who I would say have adequate docks. The "private" cabins in the area have the worst infrastructure. Rotten wood, spikes sticking out, you get the idea. Anyways, in a previous "Post" I alluded to the "dock of the year", now view it in all it's glory, it is from a private camp.


UKN "tied up"!


Now "that is a dock"!


I would feel "real safe".....


.....if the wind "picked up"!


View from inside the aircraft. So, you see, some of the infrastructure is questionable. The "gents" that own the cabin on this lake have promised to improve their dock for next year, so, hopefully it happens. Not all docks are like this, but many aren't "far off". Till next time..........