Fort Frances is a town in the Rainy River District of Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Located on the international border with the United States where Rainy Lake narrows to become Rainy River, it is connected to International Falls, Minnesota, by the Fort Frances-International Falls. The town is named after Lady Frances Simpson, wife of the then Hudson's Bay Company Governor , who visited the fort many times some three centuries ago. Fort Frances is a popularfishing destination.
From their base located at Sand bay, Rainy Lake, Fort Frances, Ontario, Rusty Myers is just minutes from the North American town International Falls. The company will fly outposts trips into lakes only accessible by float plane. Cessna Caravans are the newest aircraft added to Rusty Myers fleet. The Caravan has proven itself to be a reliable and versatile aircraft. Rusty Myers has two caravans in its fleet and most of the flights are done with these airplanes.
Fortunately the company also (still) has a Twin Beech 18 in the water. Keep in mind these venerable machines has been used by the military in WWII as bomber trainers. When starting this aircraft one can enjoy the rumble of this fantastic machine.
Another active old workhorse in the Rusty Myers fleet is the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver. Rusty Myers is the proud owner of the oldest working Beaver construction number 3. C-FOBT is the registration number of this aircraft. Their other Beaver has construction number 13.
C-FKSJ Cessna 208 Rusty Meyers
C-FZRI Beech 18 Rusty Meyers
C-FERM Beech 18 Rusty Meyers stored
C-FRVL Beech 18 Rusty Meyers stored
C-FOBY DHC-2 Rusty Meyers
C-FOBT DHC-2 Rusty Meyers stored
We drove the short distance from the town of Fort Frances along Highway 11 to the Rusty Myers company hangar by the lake shore. Next to the company’s Cessna Caravan, we saw Beaver C-FOBT, which is truly a vintage flyer, docked on the company’s jetty. It still has the original ventral fin. It might hitting obstacles as the Beaver swings around to taxi in en out. For this reason, seaplane fins on the horizontal stabilizers often replace the ventral fin. Very few Beavers still maintain this early production look.
C-FZRI is part of the Rusty Myers Flying Service fleet in Fort Frances. She was imported into Canada in 1971 and has been operated by several bush plane operators. Note the Hamilton Standard Hydramatic 22D30-6533A-21S have square tip props.
Rusty Myers Flying Service’s Beaver C-FOBY, manufactured in 1948 with construction number 13, was acquired by Rusty Meyers in 1964. Sister ship C-FOBT with construction number 3 was acquired by the company in 1991.
‘Romeo-Mike’ sitting on her EDO 7850 floats, does not have a cargo door, but the passenger door has been modified by squaring off the bottom and hinging it there instead of at the front. It was the first ‘airstair’ type door in the Twin Beech and was quite common on corporate aircraft. This Royal Canadian Air Force 3N has been in the Rusty Myers Flying Service fleet since it was surplus in 1967. The aircraft is advertised for sale by Lauriault Aviation for just CAD 49.900,- and it has an airframe TTSN of 18,807 hours.
Close-up view of C-FOBT showing her main firewall on forward fuselage. Note the unique wheel-gear suspension with its replaceable rubber cushions. Also view ‘Bravo-Tango’ tail section showing the name Rusty Myers in vintage paint detail. Stored ‘Bravo-Tango’, which has construction number 3, it was the oldest Beaver in commercial use! It was delivered in 1948 as CF-OBT to Ontario Government and from September 1991 she is part of the Rusty Meyers Flying Service fleet.
Rusty Myers Flying Service Ltd. has a catchy and distinctive paint scheme. Hopefully 'FERM' is being "dry docked" only temporary. Rusty Myers Flying Service is located on Sandy Bay, Rainy Lake, just outside of Fort Frances.
We set course to the next bush plane operator
We wandered to the office but unfortunately the office and maintenance shop were closed, so we took our pictures, enjoyed the idyllic location, with the lake and the green forest providing a magnificent back drop and strolled back to our car only to set course to the next bush plane operator.
Northern Wilderness Outfitters
Next to the Trans Canada Highway and situated at the northeast end of Rainy Lake, we found Northern Wilderness Outfitters Ltd. Already from the road we spotted two pristine turbine De Havilland Otters. Northern Wilderness Outfitters has operated three of these marvelous aircraft for over more than 30 years. The Otter must surely be the ultimate bush aircraft. Unforetunately at Northern Wilderness Outfitters there was nobody home, so our visit was a brief one.
C-GUTL DHC-3T Northern Wilderness Outfitters
C-GMDG DHC-3T Northern Wilderness Outfitters
C-FHJN Cessna180 private
C-FRYW Cessna180H private
Otter C-GUTL was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force on June 1960. After military service she was sold in an auction in February 1982, to Fort Frances Sportsmen Airways Ltd. for $150,000.-. Unfortunately this piston Otter, sank at the dock during a storm in the spring of 1998. It was then totally rebuilt and converted to a Vazar Turbine Otter at a cost of over $800,000.-. C-GUTL carries Northern Wilderness Outfitters titles, a company associated with Fort Frances Sportsmen Airways, Ltd. ‘Tango-Lima’ is used during the summer months to fly fishermen and tourists to remote fishing and hunting camps.
C-GMDG is a Vietnam Veteran. Delivered to the United States Army on December 1958, it was sent for deployment to Vietnam. In 1973 it was deleted from the Army’s inventory and soon afterwards sold. On September 23, 1975 the Otter was on a cargo run for a mining company. When taking off from the Kuskokwim River, Alaska, there was insufficient room for the take off and the Otter collided with a dirt bank in the river, causing substantial damage to both wings. Temporary repairs were made on site, and the aircraft was flown back for permanent repairs. In January 1983, Northern Wilderness Outfitters Ltd. bought C-GMDG for $135,000.-. In 1997, they changed the 600 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 (1340 Cu. Inch displacement) nine cylinder, air cooled, super charged radial piston engine with a Vazar turbine engine and completely rebuilt the airframe of this aircraft at a cost of almost $800,000,-! C-GMDG is still servicing the remote outpost cabins in Northwestern over more than 30+ years!
A private owned and very vintage Cessna 180. More than 60 years ago C-FHJN rolled off the Cessna production line in Wichita.
C-FRYW is a Skywagon 180H from 1965.