Tom's Searay is a regular sight over Nova Scotia. He is avid flyer and a regular at club events....
Jeremy loves the S7s on floats from Sherbrooke Lake.
Ralph is an Ultralight Flight instructor and proud owner of a Rans S7 which he keeps on New Germany Lake.
Harry is a high time S7 owner and driver. GZZ is based at his own airport in Blockhouse Nova Scotia. It is on Amphib floats giving him access to both his favorite fishing spots and local airports.
Christopher has owned the EZ-Flyer in partnership with Ralph keeping for many years.The plane is based on Church Lake (CHL3).
Michael flies his Rans from His Property on Whetstone lake in Lunenburg County.
Mike flies his M5 from his home on Cox's Lake near Hammonds Plains.
Kimber flies this S-6 from the Bridgewater area where he operates the Dayspring Airpark (CDY6)
The Shaefers base this 185 F at their home on Ponhook Lake
Jack enjoys flying the R44 in Florida and Martin's River, N.S.
Calvin flies the R44 from his home in Port Williams
Stanley airport is home to this beauty.
Mervin built this S7 himself and flies from New Germany Lake (CCA2)
Peter flies out of the Digby area
Brad keeps the 701 on Pubnico Lake in Yarmouth County
Bernie and Shelly fly from their home strip at Lawrencetown in the Annapolis Valley.
Tyler is based on Wentzell Lake in Lunenburg County.
Mike and Barrie operate out of Lake Doucette, Digby County
Dimitri keeps the SR22 at Halifax Stanfield International.
Stanley Airport is the home of this Rans.
Peter and Barry Mercer fly this 172 out of the South Shore Regional Apt. ( CYAU)
Paul flies out of Greenwood airport (CYZX)
Anthony has flown from home based on Minards Lake near Kedjii Park to northern Quebec many times.
Guy's Champion is a 7GCBX . He flies it from Lake Torment in Lunenburg County.
This is Moose is 90% done with only %90 to go. It wants to live on Ponhook Lake.
One of Gerry's smaller steeds from the past. Couldn't do that on a 747.
Kempt Back lake in Yarmouth Co. is where Wayne keeps this Rans Courier.
Ernie flies this Champion High Country Explorer out of Debert CCQ3.
Greg keeps this beauty at the Debert airport.
Tim flies this beautiful SeaRey from Loch Katrine near Goshen.
Our sector is populated by lots of interesting people and also interesting aircraft. Our planes are unique vehicles because many of them have long and often interesting histories that sometimes go way back and are well documented due to the requirement to keep detailed logbook records. So, here you will find these stories and unlock secrets from the past to tell where our beloved planes have come from, and gone to, and some of the interesting things that have happened over the years – whether the plane came from a box kit, emerged from a set of plans or from a factory in some far-off place.
This is the story of my 1939 Piper J3 Cub, CF-XVW.
CF-XVW was “born” at the Piper factory in Lock Haven, PA on 2 August, 1939 and started life with American registration NC24678. It was classified as a J3-F50, meaning it was originally equipped with a 50 hp Franklin engine. The “J” in J3 recognizes Walter Jamouneau’s involvement in the design and production at Piper of what was previously known as the Taylor Cub. NC24678 was signed off by Walter Jamouneau himself on 5 August, 1939 and flew off the same day to its first owner in Cleveland, OH. The sale price was $1,059.25 and was financed by the Interstate Credit Corporation with monthly payments of $88.27. Over the next 81 years it changed hands 31 times until coming into my possession in late 2001 and I am by far the longest owner. There are numerous records of owners who only held title for a few weeks or months and in some cases title was passed on to the next owner before the registration caught up from the previous sale. In one case it appears the previous owner never actually flew the aircraft at all.
NC24678 found its way to Mankato, MN in May, 1940 and it bounced around the US Midwest, mostly in Iowa and Minnesota, until 1968 when it was imported to Canada at Steinbach, Manitoba. During it’s time in the Midwest it lived a rough and tumble life with a number of scrapes and bangs requiring rebuilds and repairs including wing spar splices and replacements. It was also repossessed in 1959 by a credit union because the owner failed to make even the first payment on a financing agreement. The repossession resulted in a sale at public auction and it changed hands again for the princely sum of $200.
One of the more interesting aspects of NC24678’s history was its seizure in 1943 by the Defense Plant Corporation, an arm of the US Government, and it was pressed into service during WW2 as a trainer in LeMars, Iowa. I understand civilian aviation was greatly curtailed during the war and the government had the power to direct all resources to support the war effort. Unfortunately, the plane spent only a couple of months in the military before it experienced an accident that required the replacement of one wing. The records show it was returned to the previous owner and classified as “Badly Damaged” and the owner was actually required to apply for permission from the government to repair it to airworthy status. It wasn’t long before another accident occurred, requiring another wing replacement and the plane was sold for $600 in the damaged condition. After the war it was back in the air and went through several engine changes, first to a Continental 65 hp, then a Franklin 60 hp, and eventually to a C-85 which remains its current configuration and which makes it a superb performer.
After importation to Canada in 1968 and now registered as CF-XVW the plane lived a much more trouble-free life, including some time on skis and EDO 1320 floats, mostly in southern Manitoba where it went through a ground up restoration in 1994 and took up residence at the Lyncrest Airport in Winnipeg. It was a “hangar queen” from the rebuild until I purchased it in 2001, logging only a dozen hours since the rebuild. I lived in Winnipeg at the time and flew it, on wheels and skis, out of Lyncrest until I retired in 2011 and moved home to Nova Scotia. In May 2011 I flew XVW from Winnipeg to its new home at Stanley, NS and it was an experience of a lifetime – a story in itself that will wait for another day.
In 2017 I fulfilled a long-held dream of flying from home when I put XVW back on its EDO 1320 floats and flew it to Porters Lake, NS where it now resides in its new shoreline hangar. Over the past four summers I’ve been fortunate to log an average of about 40 hours per year and the plane now has about 3900 hours since new with about 600 of those in my log book since 2001. As I’ve always said, the plane provides me with more enjoyment than I have a right to and I am thankful for every opportunity I have to fly it.
S/n: 1G17250 , an An-2 built in Poland in 1977. Always registered SP-TWA ( even while in Canada). Operated by the polish government until the fall of communism in Poland. Parked and became derelict until 2004. I Bought it in 2005. Rebuilt in Rzeszow. Registered commercially in Poland to my Canadian company. I Flew it to Nova Scotia. They have a 90 litre oil tank to feed the crankcase. They spit a lot out on start up, not quite 10 litres in cruise at least not in the one I had. Just straight 100 oil. Converted an An-2 ag spray tank for a ferry fuel tank. Gave me about 13-14 hours endurance total. Poland-Norway-Iceland-Greenland-Goose Bay-Trenton, NS. Fuel burn wasn't bad for 1000 hp. With a load of skydivers to altitude, averaged 80 litres a load. Same as a 182 per jumper.
It is the only An-2 to operate commercially in Canada to my knowledge. It Flew skydivers with it in Pictou County. Later re-sold to a movie company in Las Vegas. Re-painted and modified with bomb bay doors for use in the last Jumanji movie. https://youtu.be/iJ5via-tec8
FEZU is a Merlin EZ Flyer II built from a kit in Alberta in 1997. (The design is an ultralight version of the larger certified “Breezy”). FEZU was registered as an amateur built, and was outfitted with a Rotax 582 and tundra tires. Shortly thereafter it was sold to Arctic Jungle Films, a company that was making a TV series called “Exploring Horizons” on Outdoor Life Network – “Exploring Horizons travels to the remote corners of the globe to look at what brings us together, what sets us apart and what ignites our passion to explore. Far out destinations, unusual perspectives, fascinating storytellers: together these elements achieve a unique portrait of each place, and inspire us to look at the world through different eyes.” See video links below.
FEZU was used to shoot aerials for the show, and became a featured “character” in every episode. Floats, extra fuel tanks (6hrs total fuel) and camera mounts were added and the engine was upgraded to a 912 (80Hp) at Wayne Winters Indus airpark (where the Merlin kits are manufactured). A custom built trailer was made to travel the plane to various locations across Canada…and travel it did…. Looking at the logbook I can pick out places like Cape North, Eagle Lake, Trout River, Isle Madeleine, Athabasca, Mont St Pierre, Port Hardy, Attawapiskat, Thunder Bay, Goose Bay, Killarney and even Apple River here in NS. All this travelling, and in its first 193 hours. The show had permission to fly low over National Parks, so many Canadian Parks have been recorded for posterity on this machine. The trailer had a built-in winch and arm extending out the back, so the plane could be hoisted in the air and converted from wheels to floats anywhere. The pilot, Guy Cannon, is a commercial pilot and instructor, which allowed Arctic Jungle to use the plane commercially for the TV series. Typically it was flown with one large broadcast camera on the nose and several “lipstick” cams on the wings and tail, which ran their feeds back to a central recorder in a big pelican case. Guy could switch from one camera to another with a switcher box in the cockpit. Go pros had not been invented yet.
When Ralph Keeping and I found the plane (from an ad in COPA), it was located in Toronto in its custom built trailer. I flew to Toronto on the 18th of March 2001, met Guy Cannon and owner Alen Milic and did my first test flight at the Toronto Island Airport. It was quite the experience being inserted between Air Canada turboprops and jets in our little 60 mph open air plane (Porter didn’t exist yet). We were under tower control, of course, and directed to a small practice area over Ontario Place to fly some maneuvers. Big jets were overhead inbound to Toronto Pearson, and smaller ones nearby joining the circuit for Toronto island. Despite the distractions, I loved the plane right away.
Ralph and I then drove to Toronto and hauled the plane back in its giant trailer dealing, of course, with snowstorms in NB. It was complicated because the trailer was 5000 lbs and we didn’t have a vehicle that would tow it for that distance. We ended up borrowing the Arctic Jungle truck, driving the trailer to NS, then driving the Arctic Jungle truck back to Ontario. We brought the plane to Liverpool airport and did our first test flight there with Burkhard Woelky. I also did my final solo flight there on FEZU, finishing my UL training on May 9th 2001.
At the end of that month, disaster struck. Not being familiar with the plane, we mistakenly put it away in the trailer without thinking about remaining fuel in the wings (the wings detach and hang on the trailer walls). When I went to open up the trailer a few weeks later, there was the smell of fuel and liquid blue foam everywhere. The fuel in the wing tanks had seeped through the wings and destroyed all of the ribs by melting the foam cores (The ribs are made of shaped foam encased with aluminum U channel). So, into the shop for a complete rebuild! Our first winter with the plane was spent in Ralph’s shop making new wings in time for the spring.
The next test flight and climb test was back at Liverpool on May 12 2002. We flew it a few times there, and then brought it to Church Lake CHL3 and put it on floats. Other than for moving the plane around on the ground, it has never been on wheels since.
The plane is now at 1194 hrs, and has flown all over NS from its base in Church Lake (and it was briefly featured in another TV show, "Call Me Fitz"). Ralph and I also got our instructor ratings, and the plane has put in about 350 Hours as a trainer for new pilots. Several of our local pilots had their first flight in the EZ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr3jgXkz7Cc Arctic Jungle excerpt
https://youtu.be/ct0SGUvhp_0 Arctic jungle clips