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AIRPLANES

A collection of photographs taken at various times, different trips. All photographs copyright Gary Sim except as noted.

I love flying. I've tried to fly in as many different types of planes and helicopters as I possibly could. I love takeoffs and landings, and if can I will book a flight that has more of them than strictly necessary, unless it would be out of the way. For example, when taking the Helijet to Victoria, I would try to book a flight that stopped at YVR to pick up or drop off passengers. I have experienced some scary takeoffs and landings, including an emergency 360-degree inside loop in a Helijet, a failed takeoff attempt in an Otter leaving Vancouver Harbour in a wind storm, and a failed attempt to land a passenger jet in San Francisco after the plane was blown sideways off the runway on the first try. When they nailed it on the second try and got off the runway, all of the passengers spontaneously broke into applause.

I don't have many photos of large commercial jets, other than the one shown in Whitehorse simply for the scenery. I've flown on lots of them, to Prince George, Seattle, Spokane, California, Montreal, London England, and Morocco, but they don't have as much character as smaller planes. Mind you, some smaller planes have a little too much character. One charter flight to Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island went sideways under Visual Flight Rules when the clouds closed in. The pilot did a U-turn in a canyon and tried another valley. When that ran out of visibility too he just pulled back on the controls and flew up over the clouds. After that we had trouble finding a hole in the clouds through which to come down again. All of that flying was a total VFR no-no.

The dirt air strip in Bamfield is an experience to itself. It is comprised of a flat spot on top of a very steep hill. One side of the hill is cleared and graded (somehow). A landing consists of the pilot flying straight into the hill, and at the correct moment pulling hard up on the controls, then flying/rolling up the hill and onto the flat spot. At that point the pilot has to stop immediately, or go down the other side of the hill. Takeoffs are a little easier, though no less interesting. The pilot rev's up the engine while braking on the level spot, then releases the brakes and rolls forward under power. A second or two later the plane falls over the edge, drops precipitously, then (hopefully) makes airspeed and flies away.

On one trip the pilot circled the runway before landing. Upon inquiry, it turned out that a plane had crashed there on landing the day before, by not stopping on the level spot, and our pilot wanted to make sure the wreck was not on the runway. The wreck had been dragged by a bulldozer onto one side of the level area. By the time we finished our field review at the Marine Station, another plane had landed, salvaged every possible part from the wreck, and flown away. The carcass is probably still there.





Canada Search and Rescue 903, Vancouver Harbour 2013.
Coming in for a landing at H.M.C.S. Discovery, North Vancouver in the distance.
Typically this is a bathroom break for the air crew, looks like the crewman on the tailgate can't wait.
Photographed from the ninth floor, 1500 West Georgia Street.


DeHavilland DHC-8-102 Dash-8 C-FDNG, Hawk Air, Vancouver South Terminal 2012.
Seen in passing. Hawk Air operated this plane from 2000 to 2017.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver 219 C-FWAC, West Coast Air, Vancouver Harbour 2012.



DeHavilland DHC-3T Otter 304 C-GVNL, Harbour Air, Vancouver Harbour 2006, 2012.
A single Otter seen taxiing to and from takeoffs. Built 1956.


Four DeHavilland Otters, Vancouver Harbour 2012
A typical day on the floats, planes coming and going.


Socked in. Some days you just can't fly. Vancouver Harbour 2016


DeHavilland DHC-3T 321 C-GEND, Whistler Air, Vancouver Harbour 2012
Also Harbour Air Otters C-FODH, C-FHJA, and Beaver C-FJBP.


Bell 205A-1 C-FYHD, Yellowhead Aviation, Williams Lake 2012
A fire-fighting chopper spooling up for takeoff as we taxi by for our own takeoff.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver C-FJFL, Saltspring Air, Vancouver Harbour
A charter float plane seen in passing, tied up at the Bayshore.


King Air 100-A100 C-FTMA, Alpha Aviation, Boundary Bay Airport, 2007
Ready for our private flight to Prince George and return. This plane now flies in Puerto Rico.
It wasn't like taking a 737 to PG, but we flew a lot lower and had great scenery along the way.


Cirrus SR-22 Turbo, C-GOZO, Bigbrand TV Corporation, Prince George Airport, 2007
Seen in passing in an old hangar, also a single Otter and an American registered N636W Beechcraft A36 Bonanza beyond.


Another view of hangar, Prince George Airport, 2007


Air Canada Jazz jet waiting to load, Prince George Airport, 2007


Lear 75 C-FBCL "Spirit of London," London Aviation Services, Avitat FBO, South Terminal YVR, 2007
We'll be off on a charter flight to Spokane WA and back, as soon as the fog clears in Spokane.
We ended up clearing US Customs in Bellingham Airport, and then hopping over to Spokane.


Landing in Lear 75 C-FBCL "Spirit of London," London Aviation Services, Spokane Airport 2007
The fog barely cleared enough for us to land, the cloud ceiling was under 100 feet. The airport control tower couldn't see the runways, they were up in the fog. If we couldn't land in Spokane, the plan was to fly to Idaho where it was clear, and drive back to Spokane. The aircrew did seem a little tense coming in for this landing, when we came down out of the cloud it was only a few seconds until touchdown.


De Havilland DHC-3T Otter 308 C-GHAR, Harbour Air, Vancouver Harbour 2003
A nice sunset view of a single Otter seen in passing. Built 1954 for the R.C.M.P.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, Harbour Air, Vancouver Harbour 2006
A Beaver seen in passing on a nice windy summer day.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver C-GOLC, Harbour Air 221, Vancouver Harbour Dec. 30 2021
A Beaver seen in passing, at dawn the morning after a heavy snowfall.


De Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter 611 C-GHHA, Harbour Air, Vancouver Harbour Dec. 30 2021
A twin otter seen in passing, at dawn the morning after a heavy snowfall.


De Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter C-GKBX, Harbour Air, Vancouver Harbour 1998
A twin otter seen in passing, it was leased, so perhaps not a Harbour Air colour scheme.
Note the 2 gas barges, once 5, only 1 remains in 2022. I think the others were Shell, ESSO, Texaco.



Lockheed L188 Electra Air Tanker, Airspray 481, Williams Lake 2010
Two views: parked, and taxiing into place on 2 engines. Someone said the L.A. Lakers used to own this plane, but I don't know.


A large number of choppers for fire fighting, Williams Lake 2010
All the pilots were in for the morning flight briefing, by the time I got my rental car they'd all flown away.


Canada Search and Rescue 451 seen in passing, Williams Lake 2010


Beechcraft 1900D C-GGBY, Central Mountain Air 923, Quesnel 2012
Waiting for a thunderstorm to clear the area.


Flying around the thunderstorm in the Beechcraft 1900D C-GGBY, Quesnel to Vancouver 2012



Beechcraft 1900D C-FCMV, Central Mountain Air 913, Quesnel 2012


Beechcraft 1900D C-FCMO, Central Mountain Air 917, Quesnel 2012


Saab 340A C-GPCN, Pacific Coastal, YVR South Terminal 2015
The plane is in front of the engine run-up sound baffle for planes.


An odd vehicle is moving a pontoon in front of the engine run-up sound baffle for planes.
Yes, there is no rear end on the truck. I didn't get a good photo, this is a frame from a movie.


"Hawaii Mars" water bomber, Coulson Flying Tankers, Vancouver harbour 2010
Huge is the word for this plane, flying over Coal Harbour for a demonstration water dump.


"Hawaii Mars" water bomber, Coulson Flying Tankers, Vancouver harbour 2010
I would have preferred a retardant red dump, but this seawater was just picked up in English Bay.


Beechcraft 1900C C-GBPC, Pacific Coastal, Williams Lake 2012


Sikorsky S76A C-GHJT, Helijet, Masset 2012
Shuttling fishermen between Masset airport and Langara Island.


Pacific Coastal scheduled flight, Masset Airport, Masset 2012
A bit of history, this old air terminal was replaced a few years later.


Sikorsky S76A C-GHJJ, Helijet, Vancouver Harbour 2015
The rotary wing-tips are leaving circular contrails in the air as this heli lands on a cold morning.


Sikorsky S76A C-GHJJ, Helijet, Vancouver Harbour 2015
An early morning landing. I booked a trip to Victoria for a site visit, am waiting for my flight.


Sikorsky S76A C-GHJJ controls, Helijet, Vancouver Harbour 2015


Mystery helicopter, Vancouver Harbour 2015


Wind sock, Vancouver Harbour 2015


Sikorsky S76A C-GHJP, Helijet, Victoria 2004. Built 1980.


Sikorsky S76A, Helijet, Victoria 2004
I think we were cleared for takeoff, but the goose not.


Seen from a Sikorsky S76A, Helijet, over YVR 2004
On the way back from Victoria, apparently there's a navigational slot right over the airport.


Bombardier Challenger 300 N202DH, Masset 2012
The curvier the plane, the more expensive it is. More fishermen to the slaughter.


Aero Commander 690A C-GAAL Conair, Williams Lake 2012


Convair CV580 C-FKFB, Conair 47, Williams Lake 2012



Convair CV580 C-FKFL, Conair 49, Williams Lake 2012 (with spotter plane)


AirNorth plane seen in passing, South Terminal YVR 2017.


AirNorth plane seen in passing, Whitehorse, Yukon 2017.
Waiting for my flight home in the departure lounge, chicken tenders and beer.


AirNorth plane seen in passing, Whitehorse, Yukon 2017. In case you haven't been there, this is what it looks like.


Two Air Tractor AT-802 (?) planes, Airspray 242 & 243, Whitehorse, Yukon 2017.
Seen in passing as we taxied by on our flight to Vancouver, I'd like to see them in action fighting fires.


DC-3 seen in passing, Whitehorse, Yukon 2017.
The plane is mounted so that it swings into the wind.


Challenger 604 C-FLCY "Spirit of Enterprise," London Aviation Services, South Terminal YVR 2009
A perk of doing contract administration on this hangar was being able to have a close look at planes like this.


2 Challengers, 2 Lears, 1 Agusta helicopter, London Aviation Centre, South Terminal YVR 2009
Talk about aviation eye candy! They coat these planes with teflon to reduce air friction.
The hangar floor is coated with a high-end epoxy paint, the wall at far left is actually a door.


Convair 560, KF510, South Terminal YVR 1996
Charter flight to Sandspit.


De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, Harbour Air, Langara Island 1996
Charter flight from Sandspit to Langara Island spooling up to return south with fishermen and fish coffins.


De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter C-GQKN, West Coast Air, Vancouver Harbour 2015


Cessna 180 (or 185?) CF-YUW, Northern Mountain/Northern Thunderbird, Ingenika Forks 1972
Our resident spotter plane, I spent some time flying around in this looking for smoke/fire, and bird-dogging for bombers if we found it.
The numerous 45 gallon barrels of avgas are for the Cessna and the bombers who may arrive, otherwise a bit much.
The yurt-like structure on the left holds the fire retardant mixture that will be pumped into the bombers.
Northern Mountain and Thunderbird were in the process of merging their businesses.
The little lake on the other side of the 6,000 foot long runway was our swimming hole, nice if you didn't mind leeches.


Bell helicopter, Whitesaddle Helicopters, Twist Lake 1978
An old Bell helicopter loading up with two climbers and gear for our Mount Waddington expedition.
Photograph courtesy Douglas Welch.


Bell helicopter, Whitesaddle Helicopters, Waddington-Scimitar Col 1978
One of the shuttle runs to the Col, elevation 9,700 feet, Mount Waddington expedition.
Photograph courtesy Douglas Welch.


Bell helicopter, Whitesaddle Helicopters, Waddington-Scimitar Col 1978
Leaving after the last shuttle run to the Col, elevation 9,700 feet. We didn't see him again.
Photograph courtesy Douglas Welch.


Boeing Chinook helicopter, Canada Search & Rescue 308, Waddington-Scimitar Col 1978
This helicopter was on a search and rescue mission for two climbers on the other side of the mountain.
We had picked up the two climber's weak radio signal and relayed it to Search and Rescue.


Boeing Chinook helicopter, Canada Search & Rescue 308, Waddington-Scimitar Col 1978
The Search and Rescue helicopter has landed while our leaders show them where the other climbers are.
Photograph courtesy Douglas Welch.


Bell Jet-Ranger, Okanagan Helicopters, Scimitar Creek 1978
A rescue flight, after our scheduled helicopter was lost without trace en route to pick us up at Mount Waddington.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver C-GOBC, Seair, South Terminal 2015
Getting ready to fly to Mayne Island from the South Arm of the Fraser River.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver C-GOBC, Seair, South Terminal 2015
Checking out the controls on the way over to Mayne Island.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver C-FPGC, Seair, Miner's Bay, Mayne Island 2015
The morning flight landing at Miner's Bay.


De Havilland DHC-2 Beavers, Vancouver Harbour 2015


De Havilland DHC-2 Beavers, Vancouver Harbour 2015
The nearest plane is Harbour Air C-FOCY, the call-letters are visible just below the tail.
On each plane there are retrofitted antennae on top of the cabin.


Plane seen at old Spokane Airport, 2015
If you're in Spokane, the original airport is worth a visit, as is the airport cafe!


Short 360 C-GPCF, Pacific Coastal 706, South Terminal YVR 2015
Made in Northern Ireland by the Short Brothers


Gulfstream G550 N888HK, Banker Aviation, South Terminal YVR 2015


Military jet on display at Canadian War Museum, Ottawa 2014


De-icing our plane in an "arctic vortex" prior to flying from Ottawa to Vancouver, Ottawa 2014



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