Cessna 185

Anishneneo Piminagan Inc/API on the ice at RSL/Red Sucker Lake,MB . The day’s work

finished. 10 December 1977

The rope attached to the tail wheel strut could be used to twist the tail either way to break skiis free if they had become frozen to the snow over night (this occured due heat created by the skiis sliding on the snow).

A tarpaulin is put around the engine cowling to keep the engine somewhat warmer if it got windy overnight. In the morning if not too cold , one could turn by hand the propellor several full turns to loosen the oil around the engine crank shaft & then do a normal start. However , if really cold (ie) below 0F, one would untie the tarpaulin, secure the bottom edges on the ground/snow below, get the fire extinguisher and the “blow pot” out of the aircraft & squat in the tent formed under the engine . Light the oil in the “blow pot” , the heat would warm up the engine’s oil sufficient for an easier engine start. The trick was to be patient , not to get the blow pot flame so high that any dripping avgas or engine oil caught on fire . It happened to many pilots, often the aircraft would be a total loss in the ensuing fire !
On November 12th, I had taken XRK south to St.Andrew’s Airport - located 12 miles north of CYWG on Red River . Landed on floats on the grassy part of the airstrip. I had never done that before ! D.Korody - API's pilot/manager told me 'just keep the elevator in “up position” until it slides to a stop’. Had 16 days “OFF” while waiting for the floats to be replaced with wheel skiis, and the lakes to "freeze up”. Then flew XRK back to Garden Hill/YIV on November 28th 1977. For the next 39 days , I was based at either YIV or RSL flying a total of 99.7 hours.