More on Canoes in Bush Planes

I just received the following from Bob O’Hara who has canoed northern rivers for many years. Since Pakboats supplies folding canoes to many expedition canoers (including Bob), this is of obvious interest to us. It will also be of interest to many who read my blog. By the way, a New England group of 8 paddlers with 4 PakCanoes has used a Twin Otter to fly to remote Canadian rivers – people and gear in a single flight.

“Air Tindi, my favorite company, a few years ago sold their major interest to a company that was collecting small charter companies. This new company has made some changes in how they will fly canoeists in their Twin Otter.

The other news: Air Tindi no longer flies Twin Otters with passengers AND 3 stacked canoes inside due to a “safety concern.” Apparently this is not a Transport Canada ruling, but a corporate liability concern. The problem they are citing is the lack of a clear aisle to use as an emergency exit in the event the plane needs to be evacuated. I asked if this is a big problem since we’ve been flying with three stacked canoes and 6 people for 40 years. Now that Tindi is part of Discovery Ltd, they are worried that a single crash could wipe out the whole company. I talked to some canoeists in Yellowknife who are going with Sunwest, since they are cheaper and will still fly with 3 canoes and 6 people. For Air Tindi crews, people are either taking Pakboats, or more often, flying a Twin Otter filled with gear and the Cessna…going with either groups of 4 or 10 in a party.”

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