BRAD DOKKEN COLUMN: Another floatplane adventure


For numerous causes.

Whether or not it is colourful pilots, climate delays or pockets of air turbulence, floatplane rides often are good for the type of story you inform even years later.

Don Hanson, a longtime Lake of the Woods bush pilot from Warroad, Minn., who died in March 2015 on the age of ninety eight, was on the helm the primary time I ever flew in a bush aircraft within the early Nineteen Eighties. It was winter so the aircraft was fitted with skis as an alternative of floats. The flight from Warroad to Oak Island, the place we spent the day ice fishing, was uneventful, however Hanson, a real Northwoods character, was memorable.

We caught a couple of fish that day, as I recall, however greater than the fishing, I keep in mind the stogie Hanson chewed and the tales of aircraft mishaps he shared whereas we have been within the air.

The Northwest Angle misplaced a few of its allure, I feel, when floatplanes give up serving the world. Positive, it is accessible by street, however there’s one thing about flying over Lake of the Woods en path to the Angle.

Memorable strains

Greater than 10 years after that flight to Oak Island, I took my first fly-in fishing journey to a wilderness camp about one hundred fifty air miles north of Pink Lake, Ont. It was late September, and the climate was chilly, windy and wet the day we have been presupposed to get picked up for the flight again to civilization.

At occasions, we might barely see the shoreline on the opposite aspect of the lake lower than 2 miles away.

The camp had no radio contact so we assumed we might be grounded for at the very least yet one more day—or nevertheless lengthy it took for climate circumstances to enhance. We handed the time consuming espresso and preserving heat by the hearth within the woodstove.

A lot to our shock, the rumble of a aircraft flying over the cabin late that afternoon interrupted the sound of the crackling wooden range. A big Beechcraft with two pilots quickly taxied as much as the dock.

We scrambled to complete packing our gear and pile into the aircraft; the pilots have been in no temper for pleasantries.

The climate improved nearer to the floatplane base, however quite a few squalls nonetheless made for a bumpy aircraft journey again to Purple Lake.

“I am glad this (expletive) day is over,” one of many pilots stated to the opposite once we landed. It is a line I am going to always remember.

One other time, two pals and I took a summer time fly-in fishing journey to an outpost camp in the identical space. Climate wasn’t a problem that day, and the flight within the deHavilland Beaver was about as clean as a floatplane experience might be.

“As soon as once more, we cheat demise,” the pilot stated as he pulled as much as the dock on the outpost camp.

I am positive he’d used the…



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