Kenn Borek Air (KBA) was started by its namesake in 1971. Kenn was a highly successful entrepreneur who engaged in farming and construction before aviation. The company was held by him and later his family up until 2019 when it was acquired by a long-time aviation operator.
The weather was beautiful, little windy and slightly warm.
KBA is an owner/operator of twin-engine turboprop aircraft and engages in charter, managing, leasing and otherwise supporting both its own fleet as well as the aircraft of outside parties.
KBA is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.
C-GPOQ was delivered new to DLT-Deutsche Luftverkehrsgesellschaft in July 1975.
KBA vivid orange and white with a black thunderbolt paint scheme is known around the world.
After DLT, this aircraft went on to serve with many airlines on short leases, until aquired by KBA in 1997.
Most of Borek's twins are -300 with a short nose. Apparently a short nose gives better handling for floats operations.
C-GPOQ during her A-check in the KBA hangar.
KBA is especially known for being one of the largest operators of de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft, capable of operating on wheels, skis and floats.
'Oscar Quebec' getting attention.
C-GPOQ with a few parts missing.
The turbine exhaust (copper-colored pipe) is prominent.
KBA Twin Otters at the Calgary Airport facility.
Friday routine maint' at KBA.
Aklak Air is a commercial aviation company based in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
The company was formed in 1994 as a joint venture between the Inuvialuit Development Corporation and Kenn Borek Air Ltd.
The hangar was packed with Twin Otter skis.
Aklak offer regular scheduled flight service between Inuvik and Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, and seasonally to Fort McPherson.
The PT6A-67D engine on a Beechcraft 1900D.
Upon completion of a low-level photography mission on June 2, 2009, around the Halaveli Resort, the aircraft (8Q-MAG) crashed when the right wing struck the water during a turn.
Her over painted Malavivian Air Taxi titels were still visible after a good look.
While KBA is perhaps best known for our Arctic and Antarctic polar operations, they also provide passenger, cargo, search and rescue, medevac, survey, paradrop and float charter operations on an international basis. Kenn Borek Air also manages client owned aircraft, leases aircraft, and provides third party maintenance, repair and overhaul.
One of Canada’s greatest exports!
C-GKBO, a DHC-6-300, was built 1997 and has the manufactured serial number 725.
This Twin Otter once flew for Wideroes Flyveselskap AS.
Twin Otters could work with floats, skis or tricycle landing gear fittings, making them adaptable bush planes for remote and northern areas.
Kenn Borek Air - impeccable maintenance standards.
Development of the DHC-6 began in 1964, with the first flight on 20 May 1965.
In 1972, its unit cost was US$680,000. In 1976, a new -300 would have cost $700,000 ($3 million 31 years later) and is still worth more than $2.5 million in 2018 despite the -400 introduction, many years after the -300 production ceased.
The short nose assembly is all aluminum construction with the exception of the nose cone. A long nose assembly has the door on the LH side and is all balsa and fiberglass construction with the exception of sta. 44-60 which is riveted aluminum construction (Info: Trevor Hilliard).
In 1969, the Series 300 was introduced, beginning with serial number 231. Both aircraft performance and payload were improved by fitting more powerful PT6A-27 engines.
A Twin Otter with a bladder tank installed.
After Series 300 production ended, the remaining tooling was purchased by Viking Air, which manufactures replacement parts for all of the out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft.
Turbo Dak C-FBKB of Kenn Borek Air stripped back to bear metal during restoration work at Calgary Airport in June 2023.
Gerald Cirtwill, Maintenance Manager KBA, receiving the book 'The Legendary Douglas DC-3' by author Michael S. Prophet.
Originally this C-47A was taken on strength with the Royal Air Force with serial KJ831. After the war she flew with Iran Air as EP-ACK.
During the 90's the DC-3 worked for Transfair. On March 12 March 1995 she was involved in an incident. The undercarriage collapsed whilst landing at Lake Manitou after skis struck an ice ridge on the surface of the frozen lake. The damage to the airframe was substantial. The skis were torn off and the propellers and nose were damaged.
The airplane was repaired and converted to a DC-3 Turbine as C-FBKB. The aircraft was bought by KBA in July 2013.
This wreckage was transported from Africa to Canada for Kenn Borek Air and first noted at Calgary in June 2010. In Q1 2023 the fuselage entered the hangar for rebuilding, which was noted underways during our visit in June 2023.
From 1989 this airframe worked for TMK Air Commuter / Societe de Transports et Messageries au Kivu from Goma, DRC as 9Q-CBO. On September 2005 the Twin Otter lost power shortly after take-off from Goma which resulted in a force landing in a banana field. The aircraft sustained significant damage.
The Canadian registration of MSN. 735 is C-GKBB.
C-GKBN is a 1974 built Beechcraft 200 Super King Air.
Clearing-up a nagging engine problem.
C-FGCX is a Kenn Borek BT-67 which works for the Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition.
CHINARE stands for Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition.
Behind the CHINARE BT-67 we found another Kenn Borek hangar with two Turbo-Daks.
C-GVKB came off the Oklahoma production line as a C-47A Skytrain in 1944 for delivery to the Royal Air Force. After the war the DC-3 passed through a succession of owners, including RCAF, Millardair and Miami Valley Aviation, before ending up with Kenn Borek Air in October 2009.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 is a turboprop aircraft engine. Its design was started in 1958, it first ran in February 1960, first flew on 30 May 1961, entered service in 1964, and has been continuously updated since. By November 2015, 51,000 had been produced.
The Basler BT-67 is a utility aircraft produced by Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh, Wisconsin..
Basler custom configures each new build to the client's specifications. Industries served include cargo, military, cloudseeding, scientific research, and various other applications
The conversion includes fitting the airframe with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines, lengthening the fuselage, strengthening the airframe, upgrading the avionics, and making modifications to the wing leading edges and wingtips.
C-GVKB gets some body work done.
KBA BT-67 C-GVKB during C-check at the company Calgary base, June 2023.
Motor doctors working on C-GVKB PT6’s.
KBA can get you hard to reach off-strip spots, on tundra tires or wheel skis.
Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) is an enterprise aviation group based at Oshawa, Ontario.
Turbo Dak tail C-GEAI showing her rear.
C-GEAI spend the best part of her career with the French Armee de l’Air.
During 1999 this ship worked for Adventure Network in Antartica.
Far too modern for a DC-3.
This plane was damaged in a windstorm in Antartica in October 2002. She was repaired and flown out on February 4, 2004!
A spare tire of Chinare BT-67 C-FGCX.
These Twin Otters ended their careers in the salvage yard of KBA.
The one on the right side is a former Transwest Air ship and was damaged beyond economical repair in April 2009.
The Twin Otter, with the orange Transwest Air cheatline, is an very old one!. With MSN. 008 she rolled-out the factory in August 1966. Her last registration was C-FCCE.
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