In search of the bushplanes of North America, I made a roadtrip through Northwest Ontario. This is the last page of a circle trip which started in Kenora,ONT and ended there too.
Nestor Falls is the last stop before we get to Kenora again.
Nestor Falls/Sabaskong Bay Water Aerodrome (TC LID: CKW3) is located on Sabaskong Bay near Nestor Falls, Ontario.
Photos courtesy Google Maps & Google Earth
| The website www.nestorfalls.com shows more aircraft including a Turbine Otter and a Twin Beech. These were not at the dock when I dropped in unannounced.
We found the place deserted, no one to talk to.
|I would imagine the Turbine Otter (C-FSOR) and the Twin Beech (C-FWWV) were en route to a remote lodge, to clean it out of equipment for storage at homebase. Such as can be seen on the photo on the left.
This location can be best described at 'tranquil'!
As I am as much an admirer of these bushplanes as well as of the scenic beauty through which we travelled, my camera worked overtime on this trip.
| Some history of this Dehavilland DHC-2 Beaver C-FMDB (c/n 268)-
Delivered on 06Jun52 and with tailnumber 51-16800 delivered to the US Army (designated an L-20). It migrated for the military to Europe and was found for sale at the Coleman Barracks in Mannheim-Sandhofen, Germany during Feb74 with a recorded total 4,872.0 hours.
Canadian tailnumber C-GOLF was probably reserved but not used and it became SE-FUH for Turistflyg i Aejeplog AB, Arjeplog (Sweden), registered 27Aug75 (by Handelsbanken Finans AB).
Its European adventure was over when it was exported to USA on 08Aug89 and became N2140X.
At some point it became C-FMDB for Nestor Falls Bait and Tackle Ltd. of Nestor Falls,ONT. And it was registered on 10Jun93 to Nestor Falls Fly-in Outposts Ltd.
[Source: DHC-2.com ]
| Otter c/n 13, registered CF-ODK to the Department of Lands & Forests, was delivered to the
Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS) on 22nd May 1953, based at Sault St.Marie, Ontario.
It was the second Otter delivered to OPAS, the first being CF-ODJ (14) on 8th May '53, these being the first two of an order for eleven new Otters from Dehavilland Canada (DHC). In their attractive and distinctive all yellow scheme with black trim, these Otters served the Province for many years, providing a full range of aerial bush services.
The Otters were most active during the summer months, but some of the fleet were also kept
going on wheel-skis during the winter. The Otters were modified as water bombers, to fight forest
fires which plague the Province during the summer, and were also invaluable for moving fire crews.
Only one minor incident is recorded in respect of CF-ODK during its service with OPAS. It was
damaged in a hard landing at Terrace Bay on Lake Superior, Ontario on 11th August 1970. The pilot
had “misjudged speed and distance”. The damage was repaired and ODK returned to service. In
September 1972, along with all the other OPAS Otters, the registered owner was changed to the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the registration became C-FODK.
During this long period of service, it flew fishermen to the many lodges in this remote and beautiful
land, flew passengers and cargo to the native settlements, flew construction workers out into the
bush to establish mining camps and kept the camps supplied.
The wreck of ODK was sold by the insurers to Aviation V.L. Inc who retrieved the Otter from the
crash site and transported it to their facility at St.Jean Airfield, Montreal where the rebuild
commenced. The Otter was registered to Aviation V.L. Inc in April 1999, reverting to C-FODK the
For the fisherman, the company flies to9 different lakes, with 12 cottages to chose from, all about 200 miles north of Nestor Falls. C-FODK entered service with the company, flying the larger groups to the lakes and on sightseeing flights during the summer months, put into storage for the winter.
During 2008 FODK was converted to turbine power! This I learned from http://flythebush.blogspot.com/:
"This past winter, Dave Beaushene, owner of Nestor Falls Fly-In Outposts,
decided to replace the powerplant on one of his Otters, C-FODK. Dave has
two Otters, the other being C-FSOR. SOR has a 'Garrett' powering her, and
has given such 'stellar performance' that Dave decided ODK should have a
Garrett also, which would entail removing her Pratt and Whitney R-1340.
Anyone who has flown thousands of hours on R-1340s and 'still lives'
applauds this move, as the old radials are just 'too tired', and should all
be sent to the 'retirement home'. In my career I have had 5 cylinder
failures on 1340s.
Nextdoor neighbour... what a location!
But we have to move on. ..
| Northwest Flying Inc (former Northwestern Flying Services Ltd) can be found on the Nestor Falls Seaplane Base and I found all planes at 'homeplate'.
Their website www.northwestflying.com offers idyllic hideouts as destinations, such as Cleftrock Lake, Gordon Lake and Kishkutena Lake.
Love to go there some day!
This is C-FNKL, a Beechcraft D18S (Beech C-45H or 'Twin Beech') with construction number AF-378.
CF-NKL was registered to Northwest Flying Inc on 30Apr64 !
It has flown for the USAF as 51-11821, manufactured in 1955. In 1961, it was the prototype Beech 18 float conversion by Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg.
These floatplanes seem in excellent condition, but then again they only fly in the summer and during the winter they are treated to much 'TLC- Tender Loving Care..!'
Piper PA-12 C-FYMS (Serial No: 12-2397) was registered 10Aug06 to Northwest Flying Inc.
Dirk Septer wrote me in March 2008:
Otter c/n 276 was delivered to the United States Army on 17th July 1958 with serial 57-6131 (tail
number 76131). It was allocated to the 12th Aviation Company, Fort Sill, Oklahoma and in August
1961 it flew north to Alaska when the Company was re-assigned there to join the Yukon Command.
In June 1971 the Otter was re-assigned to the Alaska National Guard, based at Bethel, and
served there until October '71 when its military career came to an end.
None of these five US Army Otters remained in storage for long.
The Otter was badly damaged in an accident while landing at Sabaskong Bay at Nestor Falls, Ontario on 3rd June 1998. As the accident report states: "The pilot did not see the hydro power lines that were strung between the mainland and a group of islands. The pilot knew the power lines were there, and had flown in and out of the same bay many times. He believed that he had flown past the wires, which did not have any markers. The Otter hit the power lines, which folded the aircraft's right wing back against the fuselage and tore off the rudder. The Otter struck the water upright and the pilot taxied the aircraft to the shore". C-GYYS was trucked to Recon Air at Geraldton, Ontario for repair, after which it re-entered service with Northwest Flying Inc.
A few more images of C-FNKL.
|A little north on Highway 71 one finds the Nestor Falls airport, which features a 3800' hard surface strip.
We found it deserted except for this Cessna 150H CF-DEH (15068710), which has been registered to Melvin & Candace Olson of Nestor Falls since 12Sep85.
It made the distinct impression of being stored, parked among some trees, missing some vital parts at the tailsection.
This concludes the circle trip we drove in Northwest Ontario. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did !
Nestor Falls Fly-In
Northwest Flying Inc
The Roads Goes On...Forever :