One of the best things about flying in the bush is that no two days are the same. Once in awhile,
an interesting and unusual charter might crop up. Traveling north, there is a lack of noticeable roads and railroads.
Towns in these areas are serviced by aircraft. It is only during the winter that some roads open up,
because they can be plowed across frozen lakes.
One winter, a little west of Lansdowne House, a large bulldozer proved to much weight for the ice.
The machine broke through and went straight to the bottom. The unfortunate driver lost
his life in the frigid water. Although sunken 1,500 feet from the shore, the large
Caterpillar was worth too much not to salvage. The owner had a couple Cessna floatplanes,
but the required equipment was far to bulky and heavy, so he hired Huron Air to transport it - a
typical example of the role of charter companies in remote places.
The equipment included several huge inflatable airbags, winches, generators, compressors,
gasoline and other back-braking objects. The airbags alone weighed a couple hundred pounds each,
and other individual pieces of equipment were all ridiculously heavy.
It took several flights with the Otter to transport all of this stuff up to the site, about
an hour and a half north of the base.
Here's how it was done. The airbags were attached to the bulldozer and inflated.
This raised the machine off the lake bottom. Then, with the bulldozer's transmission
placed in neutral, they were able to winch it to shore.