Superior Airways

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beech 18
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Re: Superior Airways

#126 Post by beech 18 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:32 am

Nov 22, 2012

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974

Attached is a photo of CF-WYR that was taken in the summer of 1973.
This was an hour or so after the Beech hit a submerged log while taking off
on Abram Lake just south of Sioux Lookout. The right float is sitting on the
sand bottom. The step compartment and one comparment forward of the
step on the right side were damaged by the log.

The first plan was to place inner tubes in the damaged compartments and
taxi the aircraft back to the water base in Sioux for repair. The aircraft
would have been taxied under Frog Rapids Bridge which is seen in the
back ground and then three miles down Pelican Lake to the base.

The Chief Engineer from the Department Lands and Forest offered the use
to their lifting hoist that they had for their aircraft at their base on Abram Lake.
That was decided the best route to go since we were on the same lake and
approx one mile away.

At the same time Thunder Bay was sending a right float on a trailor to Sioux
Lookout for WYR. The float was from Beech 18 CF-PLU that had been written
off in an accident while on skis.

Inner tubes were inflated in the two damaged compartments and the Beech
was pushed off the shoreline and taxied over for the float replacement.
Once at the Lands and Forest base, the Beech was lifted out of the water.
The float change was completed in a few hours and WYR was back in the air.


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Re: Superior Airways

#127 Post by beech 18 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:59 am

Nov 22, 2012

NWONT and Driving Rain

Interesting information and some excellent photos
of what happened to CF-WYR after it left Mr. Wieben's fleet.
She really was a nice Beech in her prime.
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Re: Superior Airways

#128 Post by skyrocket » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:42 pm

Bellanca Skyrocket CF-DCE, bought from Superior Airways at Fort Williams, winter of 1965. This aircraft was purchase by Mr. Georges Hamel owner of Baie Comeau Air Services.
This was a great plane; I had the opportunity to spend the summer of 65 as a crewman, what a great experience. Flew this plane as pilot in 68.
You can see the only remaining Bellanca Skyrocket CF-DCH at the Reynolds Alberta Nuseum.
Worth a visit, to this great place.
(Picture B. Rooney)
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Re: Superior Airways

#129 Post by TeePeeCreeper » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:01 am

Thanks for posting that Skyrocket.
I firmly believe that I missed the glory days by many, many decades... The Pacemaker and Skyrocket are airplanes that I will forever lust for yet unfortunately never have a chance to court.

All the best,
TPC
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Re: Superior Airways

#130 Post by Siddley Hawker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:57 pm

Great shot skyrocket. You should also post that one at the base in Manic 2, that's another fine shot. I rode in a Skyrocket, think it was CF-DOF, when I was a kid YKE to YHR, it was flown by Henri-Paul Boudreau.
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Re: Superior Airways

#131 Post by Siddley Hawker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:57 pm

Double post. WTF???
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Re: Superior Airways

#132 Post by skyrocket » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:28 am

Had a chat with Adrien Blanchette last monday, they had one(CF-DOF) at Hollinger Ungava Transport for a while(1950) See the video on Google.
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Re: Superior Airways

#133 Post by skyrocket » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:56 am

Bellanca Skyrocket CF-DCE on the Manicouagan River near Baie Comeau.This was, the perfect location for a seaplane base, with no hills surrounding the area and this great river stretching northward for over than 200 miles. So flying an overloaded float plane increases your confidence by a big margin.

In '65, I spent the summer on this aircraft as a crewman. The Bellanca could carry a good load, much better than a Norseman.

As you can see, the back end of the floats are flush with the water and the crew are not on board yet. Despite being always loaded to the maximum, it was non-negotiable for me: I would not stand on the dock to watch him take off, I had to be on board. Being so heavy, it was common to be at take-off power for more than 2-3 minutes. And me, on the right hand seat, having the CHT gauge in front of me, watching it rise to the red line (260) or more, that scared the sh** out of me!

With no flaps, the only way to help taking off, was by moving the whole stab, up & down with the trim wheel, then at 65 kts, Bill would lift a float and at 70 kts, jerk it off the water. This was our normal procedure all day long during this hot summer.

I will always remember those magic moments of the summer of '65, which only confirms that aviation will be my passion forever...
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Re: Superior Airways

#134 Post by beech 18 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:20 am

Dec 14, 2012

skyrocket

Your photos of the Bellanca are really nice.
She looks like a hard working machine.
Great photos. Realy nice.

Just looked at the you tube video you mentioned of Hollinger Ungava Transport.
Great piece of history.
Besides the Bellanca Skyrocket you mentioned, the Beech 18 that Siddley Hawker
has mentioned in other postings CF-BQQ is in the video on both floats and skis.

The link to the video you mentioned.

http://youtu.be/7p0mM3fWevs
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Re: Superior Airways

#135 Post by roscoe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:24 pm

That video is outstanding. I sat through lots of tales of the exploits of Hollinger-Ungava told by a consumate story teller that I crewed with, who flew for them; Herb Devenney sadley gne west. The tales were fun even after the third or fourth telling.
One of his favorites, usually told in the bar of the Winnipeg Flying Club, to a gaggle of would-be aviators was of the dense fog around Mont Joli airport. It was a tale of a harrowing range approach in thick fog and involved a long build up to the co-pilot opening the sliding window in the "3", and the fog filling the cockpit, blinding them. A pregnant pause in the tale would always get a "what happened"? A sip of the good stuff, and the reply " I knocked out all the instrument glass and finished the approach using braille". It always got a lot of groans...good times
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Re: Superior Airways

#136 Post by Siddley Hawker » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:22 pm

Great vid skyrocket, thanks for that. Wes MacIntosh sent me that video but I lost it a couple of hard discs ago. Good to hear Adrien is still around, he's the last of the brothers who were pretty big in aviation in Quebec.

Roscoe I met Herbert the Pervert - that was Bob Packer's nickname for Herb, by the way, they were buddies from way back - a few times. He was flying a Hawker I believe it was for a company out of Calgary back then. At the end of an evening after listening to them two reminisce your sides would be sore, not to mention your head the next morning. :D
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Re: Superior Airways

#137 Post by roscoe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:22 pm

Yes, Herb was one of a kind! In fact, his "Herbert the Pervert" nickname was hung on him by Wally Katchur, summer of 1963. I crewed as towerman (flight engineer) on a three man Canso out of YYQ that summer. "Walter the Assaulter", and "Roscoe the Rascal" made up the rest of the merry band. Later that year I joined Herb at The HBC on the DC-3. He left a year or so later to join the corporate aviation world, and never looked back. A great guy to travel with, and one hell of a hand with a 3, non better.
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Re: Superior Airways

#138 Post by DareDevil » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:02 pm

These are great photos! In this day n age I feel so unbelievably sorry for the guys who never get the chance to experience something like flying a float plane in Northern Canada or anywhere else for that matter. And I don't mean 50hrs like most pilots claim they have....Live the life that you enjoy!
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Re: Superior Airways

#139 Post by beech 18 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:17 pm

Dec 19, 2012

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

Beech 18 CF-VCE was painted in the Royal Canadian Air Force paint scheme
with the lightning bolt down the sides of the fuselage for most of its life. It
had the name Severn Enterprise Ltd. - Sioux Lookout, Ontario painted on each
side of the aircraft. The last year or two that VCE was in operation the entire
aircraft had been stripped of paint and was bare metal. I suspect it was to be
painted in the Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise paint scheme but it never
did happen. An enlarged photo in a frame of this aircraft on skis hung on the
wall in the office at the water base in Sioux Lookout.

VCE was a Beech 18 that was unique in Mr. Wieben's fleet. In the summer months
it was based in Thunder Bay and operated on wheels. Most winters it went onto
skis and headed north and flew as a freighter. VCE was different than all the
other Beechs that flew on skis in the fact that it had no roof hatch in the cockpit.
The reason for no hatch was this aircraft was never on floats. It was one feature
of this aircraft that most of the pilots did not like about her. The aircraft also
had no cargo door so it was limited in some loads it could haul. Even with the
small door this Beech worked as hard as any of the other aircraft in the fleet.
VCE in the early years was fitted with DeHavilland Otter skis and in the later years
from approx 1970 onward was fitted with Wieben Skis.

This Beech operated on skis out of Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, Wiebenville, and I
believe out of Armstrong as well.

During the winter of 1973 the aircraft was damaged on the ice in Sioux Lookout
while taxing. The pilot was turning the aircraft to the right with engine power
when it hit a section of dock that was covered with snow. The left vertical stab
and rudder were damaged badly. Sioux Lookout maintenance removed the left
vertical stab and rudder from CF-ZQR that was parked for the winter behind the
office and installed them on VCE. The aircraft was back in the air the next day.

I don't know of any other serious accidents or incidents that involved VCE.

The last time I saw VCE in commerical operation was in Sioux Lookout in the winter
of 1973/74. In the spring the aircrat was taken off the ice and parked behind the
office at the water base. The engines were removed for installation on CF-YQB.
This was the last winter operating this aircraft because it never had a spar mode
installed.

VCE did fly one more time. In the winter of 1975 or 1976, maintenance people
arrived in Sioux Lookout and installed two engines and prepared VCE for flight.
I believe Mr. Wieben himself flew the aircraft away. The final flight was like so
many it had performed in its life. It departed Sioux Lookout off the ice on skis.


Attached is a photo of CF-VCE taken in 1971 on the ice at the water base in
Sioux Lookout. The Cessna 180 in the photo is CF-VSD.

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Re: Superior Airways

#140 Post by beech 18 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:30 am

Jan 09, 2013

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

In Sioux Lookout at the start of ski season the Cessna 180's were the first aircraft
on the ice. They were followed by the Beaver's and the Beech 18's. I believe the
Beech's went on the ice when there was approx. ten inches of blue ice or more.
We normally had that amount of ice by about the 15th to 20th of December. The
Beech's were always operating on the ice by Christmas at the latest.

Attached is a photo of CF-VCE taken in Sioux Lookout during the winter of 1973/1974.
The aircraft arrived from Thunder Bay stripped of all paint except for the red wing tips.

In this photo VCE is fitted with Wieben Skis. These were a very well built ski and
worked in all conditions. They were shorter and wider than the DeHavilland Otter skis
that they replaced.
The check cables were positioned in a manner that only the cables were exposed to
the airstream. The bungees were all inside the wheel wells.
The tail ski assembly had a canvas bag wrapped around it and attached to the fuselage
to keep the snow out of the tail end of the aircraft.

It is hard to see in the photo, but the scissors or some may call them torque links on
each main gear leg have the doublers installed. This prevented a lot of broken
scissors when one ski broke loose before the other.

This was taken while the aircraft was having both engines replaced in early January.
There is no spar mode on the aircraft.


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Re: Superior Airways

#141 Post by pfrmfr » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:13 pm

I can attest to all the views from "older pilots" I flew for O.J on CF-PRZ beech-18 on floats out of horseshoe lake just north of wiebenville in summer 72 sleeping in a box and hauling anything that fitted inside on the outside I had a rack for two canoes between the floats and I used that rack many times last landing of the season at freeze-up was on the grass in armstrong for switching floats for straight skis. ,
then graduated on the 3 on skis with the C/P Bob Ayres in thunder bay that winter 72. I left for wiebenville on the 23rd of jan on CF-XXT and flew with a captain that lasted only two weeks and nearly killed us (me and the loader) every da.
for those who knows the place and the time , the man did among his ineptitudes a dilution on the second night and DID NOT REMOVE THE NOSEBOARDS I was in the outhouse and found slivers of red plywood all over the snow naturally O.J filed the blades !!!!! the next morning and loaded us with 45 gls drums for a revenue flight before heading to Armstrong .. finally OJ fired him. the man actually never flew the DC-3 before!! talk about something very wrong!!,
when I got my interview with Air canada I had to hitchhike my way out of wiebenville in the back of a pick up truck all the way to pickle lake in minus 2o degrees I think a book could be written on the wiebenville homemade strip and camp I could tell newbies about stories that would seems so incredible it defies imagination . PS I did not get on aircan.
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Re: Superior Airways

#142 Post by beech 18 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:17 am

Feb 07, 2013

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

Beech 18 CF-YDV showed up in the fleet in the early 1970's. I am not sure where
YDV came from. If it was one of the Beech 18's Mr. Wieben purchased from the
Canadian Air Force in Saskatoon or if he brought it privately from another operator
or person.

CF-YDV was painted in the Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise paint scheme right
from the start. It had the bare metal fuselage with a white top, wide gold stripe
down the sides of the fuselage, red wing tips and a red tail.

The aircraft flew each summer on floats. I mentioned before that I believe that YDV
was on skis in the winter, but the more I think about it, I cannot remember ever seeing
it on skis so I may be wrong about that. The aircraft was fitted with a cargo door
and for that reason it would be strange for it not to have been operated on skis.
When on floats a boat rack was usually installed.

CF-YDV was based and did most of its flying out of Pickle Lake. It went into Sioux
Lookout for float repairs. This Beech was mainly a full time freighter.

A spar mode was installed on the aircraft in the spring of 1974. I believe the spar mode
was installed on the aircraft in Armstrong, but it may have been done in Thunder Bay.
Both bases were installing spar modes on the Beech fleet during the spring of 1974. All
the aircraft were completed when float season started.

I don't know of any accidents or incidents that involved YDV. I do remember YDV breaking
its right front wind shield from the inside out while loading some long sections of pipe into
the cabin at Pickle Lake. The pipes were fed forward into the cockpit from the cargo door
and then once inside were pulled back into the tail end of the aircraft where the survival
gear and ropes, etc were stored. The windshield was replaced and the aircraft returned
to work.

After YDV left the fleet, I believe it may have ended up flying in Northern Manitoba but I
cannot confirm that.
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Re: Superior Airways

#143 Post by canuck10 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:22 am

Ahhhh... Superior/Severn Airways.....
In the mid to late 70s while working for the Ministry of Natural Resources and later the Ontario Dept. of Mines and later again,
with Noranda Exploration, I used to fly a lot with Superior out of the "Big Pickle" and later again (with Liz,
an excellent pilot, by the way) out of Pays Plat (early '80s).
While in Pickle Lake, summer 1978, one of their pilots was a French Canadian, I think his name was Ernie.
Every time we used to fly out in the morning while staying in the old Pickle Lake Hotel, we used to watch how he would show up.
Often he used to ride a bicycle, barefoot, and depending on how many of his "cocksaceurs" and how straight he would
ride his bike, we would decide whether we wanted to fly with him that day. If he was zigzagging too much, we would rather
stay home and if possible fly with someone else.
Some of their aircraft I've flown in were Beavers C-FODD, CF-FHO and C-FLLX; Otter CF-GBX and lease Ce185 C-GIUQ
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Re: Superior Airways

#144 Post by beech 18 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:35 pm

March 04, 2013

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

Beech 18 CF-YQB arrived in Sioux Lookout in the summer of 1969. She was painted
in the Royal Canadian Air Force paint scheme with the bare metal fuselage, white top,
red wing tips and red vertical stabs with the lightning bolt down the sides of the fuselage.
The horizontal stab was bare metal. The name Severn Enterprise - Sioux Lookout, Ontario
was painted on both sides of the fuselage. The aircraft was fitted with a brand new set
of Bristol Floats.

In the summer of 1970 the cartoon character "The Road Runner" was painted on each side
of the nose of the aircraft by an artist / painter who lived in Sioux Lookout.

Before float season in 1973 the aircraft was repainted in the Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise
paint scheme with the white top, wide gold stripe down the sides of the fuselage, and
red wing tips and vertical stabs. The horizontal stab remained bare metal. The Road
Runner on the nose was removed when YQB was repainted.

CF-YQB worked most of its life out of Sioux Lookout. This Beech 18 was always on floats.
It was stored behind the office at the water base in Sioux at the end of each float season.
It was never operated on skis by Mr. Wieben.

YQB did not have a cargo door. Even with no cargo door YQB never missed a beat. The
cabin door and door frame were squared off at the bottom so loading freight was no
problem in most cases. This Beech hauled everything she was called upon to move.
Plywood, two by fours, 45 gallon drums, boats, fisherman, hunters, quarters of moose,
and anything else that would go inside or could be tied on the outside. This Beech always
had the boat rack installed and it was used a lot.

The cabin interior of YQB had the original Canadian Air Force green leather walls and ceiling.
It had one fold up bench seat down the right side. The back of the cabin still had the small
compartment that would have been used in its prior life as a washroom. In its new life it
was used to store the emergency equipment and ropes, etc.

I do not recall any serious accidents or incidents that YQB was involved in. In the summer
of 1971 she was hauling a load of freight north out of Sioux Lookout when a cylinder on the
left engine failed. It landed on a river approx. 230 miles north of Sioux and waited for the
maintenance crew to arrive and replace the cylinder. Once replaced the aircraft carried
on north to deliver its load of freight.

The aircraft was fitted with the spar mode in the early spring of 1974 in Armstrong, Ontario.
The aircraft arrived back in Sioux Lookout in May for summer float season.

One point about CF-YQB. Every pilot that flew YQB liked her. They all said it was the best
performing Beech 18 on floats that they ever flew. She got off the water quickly and had
a fast cruising speed. It was fitting that the Road Runner was painted on the sides of the
aircraft nose.

After 1974 I believe that YQB was operated out of Pickle Lake. I am not sure what became
of this Beech 18 after it left Mr. Wieben's fleet.

YQB was a fine aircraft and sure looked nice coming off the water in Sioux Lookout.


A photo of CF-YQB coming into the dock at the water base in Sioux Lookout.
The boat rack is installed and the Road Runner can be seen painted on the nose.
This was taken at the end of the day and by the way the floats are sitting in
the water, the aircraft is empty.
This photo was taken in 1971.

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Re: Superior Airways

#145 Post by beech 18 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:31 am

April 02, 2013

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

Attached is a photo taken at the water base in Sioux Lookout in early August 1970.
The Cessna 180 is CF-VGA. The aircraft sank at the dock overnight. The aircraft
was raised by removing the float compartment covers and placing inner tubes inside
a couple of the compartments. The inner tubes were then inflated and when
the aircraft rose to the surface the float was pumped dry.

The reason the aircraft sank was CF-VGA was fitted with a set of 2870 floats
with the internal water rudder cable system. At the aft bulkhead on each
float the water rudder steering shaft past through a rubber boot. Because probably
80% of the lakes we operated in and out of had no docks, the aircraft were usually
parked tail to the shore for unloading and loading. It was during this time that
these boots could be easily torn.
The rubber boot had been damaged the day before and during the overnight with
water leaking into the rear compartment it flooded the next compartment by way of
the water rudder steering and retract cable holes at the top of each bulkhead.

After this occured a daily check of the rubber seal on the aft bulkheads was
carried out. Also at the start of each float season a new set of rubber seals
were installed.

CF-VGA was the only aircraft in Mr. Wieben's fleet that had the 2870 floats with
the internal cables.


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Re: Superior Airways

#146 Post by Moose47 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:46 pm

G'day

A nitpicking moment sir!

"Orville -- although a real *unt was a pretty interesting guy -- got his start as a test pilot on Hurricanes that were built in Thunder Bay -- he test flew them as the came off the assembly line -- "

It was actually Fort William, Ontario not Thunder Bay.

Cheers...Chris
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Re: Superior Airways

#147 Post by Siddley Hawker » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:40 am

Beech we had 3 185's on 2870's, that we inherited from Wheeler, with the internal cables. The exact same thing happened to one of them, only it was tied up on salt water. That didn't do it a bit of good. Whoever came up with the idea of internal cables should have been flogged, it created more problems than it solved.
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Re: Superior Airways

#148 Post by beech 18 » Mon May 06, 2013 2:03 pm

May 06, 2013

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

Ski season normally ended in Sioux Lookout around April 10th to the middle of
April. At about that time the aircraft in Mr. Wieben's fleet started heading back
to their home bases for change over. The Cessna 180's were the last aircraft
taken off the ice.

There were a few springs where the aircraft operating further north stayed a bit
longer than the ice did in Sioux. When that occured the skis were removed and
a set of wheels were installed for the flight south. This was planned in advance
and those aircraft would have taken a set of main wheels with them earlier in the
winter for this purpose. The aircraft would then land at the Sioux Lookout airstrip.

Attached is a photo taken in April 1973 at the water base in Sioux Lookout. The
ice is well on its way to going out. The water has drained off and the ice has
risen. The pine trees that marked the runway are laying on the ice.

The Cessna 180 aircraft in the photo are almost finished ski operations for the winter.

CF-VSD had flown in from Round Lake where it had spent the winter. It is on the
ramp and will be pulled off the ice for change over to floats. VSD was operated on
straight skis each winter. This aircraft spent a lot of its life operating out of Round
Lake. VSD was a Sioux Lookout aircraft.

CF-RNF is on wheel skis and had operated out of Sioux for the winter. It will
depart shortly for Thunder Bay to have floats installed for the summer. This
aircraft was always on wheel skis in the winter. RNF was a Thunder Bay aircraft.


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Re: Superior Airways

#149 Post by the_cr » Sat May 11, 2013 3:08 pm

Amazing how little some places change. The base at sioux lookout is immediately recognizable. I'm sure the areas of the photo that you can't see are a world apart from the view today, but what little you can see is virtually unchanged. There is even a 180 currently sitting on the ramp waiting to make the change to floats.
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Re: Superior Airways

#150 Post by beech 18 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:35 am

June 10, 2013

Superior Airways / Severn Enterprise operation from the late 1960's to 1974.

From mid April to early May the base in Sioux Lookout was busy getting the aircraft
ready for float season. As the aircraft came off the ice, skis were removed and a
set of main wheels were installed on the axels so the aircraft could be easily moved
around the base. Aircraft that had spent the winter operating on skis were
inspected and repaired. Any of the engines or propellers that were close to being
time expired or were running on extensions were changed at this time.
The aircraft that had bare metal surfaces were polished with Met-All.
All of the floats were repainted before installation.

Aircraft were pulled under the A frame and the ski legs were removed and floats
installed. Once on floats the aircraft were towed about fifty feet on skids to the
ramp and then pushed into the water. Usually a couple of the Cessna 180's were
the first into the water followed by the Beaver's and the Beech 18's and then the
rest of the 180's.

Attached is a photo taken in early May 1973 at the water base in Sioux Lookout.
CF-ZQR is being prepared for float season. The aircraft had spent the winter
parked behind the office because it was not operated on skis.

Behind ZQR is WYR that had spent the winter operating on skis. The skis have
been removed and a set of main wheels installed so the aircraft can be moved
around. If you look closely, right behind the propellers are the dish pan shaped
covers that were installed on the engines in the winter to help with engine temps.
Those were for ski operations only and will be removed. WYR will be towed under
the A frame and lifted by block and tackle and have the floats installed.

The Beech 18's were rolled into the water on the beaching gear that is installed on
ZQR in the photo.


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