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Another story

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Anyways...3 fuel stops and 6.6 hrs of flying with an hour of fishing...made it to Churchill. This ship was back in the hangar in Wpg in a couple of weeks...not sure who brought it back but I was the lucky guy to get to replace that friggin blower motor. I heard it cost a fortune...I had some real fun ..NOT...doing that job. It was then sent to Kenora to work with buddy...Bart. It wasn't long before I had to go to Kenora to fix the heater again. This time it was due to an on board fire that destroyed the heater relay and a lot of the wiring for the heater. The wires for this system were huge!. Bart called the hangar and said he smelled something burning and the heater quit....can't wait to tell you what I found back behind the hatrack!

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So I am not sure if I flew myself to Kenora or if I drove...have to look in my books but when I pulled the hatrack out and the heavy sound proof blanket...this thing weighed a ton....I look an there is a pile of ashes were there is suppose to be a relay for the heater. This relay is the same kind used as a starter or battery relay. It is totally gone....all the connectors are gone and the main wiring bundle has been damaged by the heat from the fire...lots of melted wire covering....it took me 2 days to replace and splice wire and new relay....so having a few drinks in the evening with my buddy I ask him how he likes the ship...This is a classic reply from Bart...this thing won't lift a wiener off a plate...wasn't long and the ship went to T-Bay.

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Another good p/e story...I was working fires in Island Lake...get a call from the boss...I have to fly almost to Hall Beach to help another engineer change an engine gearbox in a jetbox...my buddy Jason will be flying out of Wpg with a gearbox and I will fly him to Rankin Inlet..drop him off and continue north. It is just over 1000 miles to this camp...lovely! No flight pay for ferry flights! Jason is flying up in s/n 70 jetbox to meet up with me...we fly up to Gilliam and meet up with another buddy...Jim K who is working the base in Gilliam. We are spending the night in Gilliam...sounds like it Miller time!

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I can't remember why but we changed ships in Gilliam and left early in the morning. We refueled in Churchill and head out for Eskimo Point. The weather was miserable...low ceilings...raining...we refuel again in EP and head north for Rankin. Weather is much better...O/C but good vis...we get to Rankin and I refuel and put 4 cans of jet fuel in the baggage comp...after crossing Chesterfield Inlet...I dump the spare fuel in the ship and head for Repulse Bay. I have been following the coast...ground is now covered with snow...its June 15th...fly across Repulse Bay which I thought was just frozen until I see seals swimming around...it had about 20 ft of water over top of the ice...nice...I am getting low on fuel and could not have made it without flying straight across this Bay...I land in the village and start looking for the fuel that I was told was owned by the folks that were in the camp that I was going to...I find the fuel...top up the ship and the spare fuel cans and head N/E ..lots of snow on the ground up here!!! I get to the spot on my gps that says is where the camp is...nothing but white...after a couple of wide circles around without seeing anything all of a sudden a person appears out of no where...I land and it is Chris...the engineer...the tents on the ground have white tarps overtop of them...you cannot see them from the air with the snow on the ground. Had Chris not appeared when he did I was going to go back to Repulse...kind of scary out there with just barely enough fuel to get back to town. This is a pic of where we worked on the ship...this was taken just before I headed south for Rankin. It was a 9 hr ferry from Gilliam to this camp.

CCF01142006_00001 (2).jpg

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Not sure what time of day it was when I got there but it never gets dark. This camp was awesome...sorry I didn't take pics of the camp...It was all interconnected...and had an electric furnace heating the whole camp...dead quiet...the floor was made of the kind of mats used in gyms at high school...outside footwear not allowed in...unreal...clean..quiet... and dark inside..and nice temps. Outside was around -10 at night and -5  for a high in the daytime...not too bad for pulling apart a motor in a snow bank. I had brought a large bottle of rum with me so Chris and I had a few drinks and discussed the plan for changing the gearbox tomorrow. I said we would start on it after breakfast...the other pilot could use the ship I flew in on to go move a drill and we would see how it goes...after a few belts and some good laughs I had to hit the rack...I was beat!

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 I get up early and decided to pull some stuff off the engine before breakfast..after which we really get going...we will pull the turbine to lighten up the engine as we will be using man power to lift the rest of the engine out. I had brought an engine stand so after getting the engine out we start rebuilding and by 4 PM I am hitting the start button to test run this engine. It starts up fine and then the oil pressure goes south...lovely...time for some nasty phone calls!

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I find out the story on the oil pump...will keep that one to myself...all I can do is pull the pump from the gearbox that we just pulled out and swap it with the one that is now in the helicopter. I tell Chris my plan...pull the turbine off and split the gearbox in place..now I know what you all have been told about doing that ....we undid all the nuts on the gearbox and gentle pull the case halfs apart...with the expected... parts falling all over the place.Well we had the other gearbox apart in the horizontal so we had some idea were all these parts went....nice to have a duplicate...so we put all the parts back were they were suppose to fit and do a transplant on the oil pump...now...the hard part...getting this back case on the front case with all the parts staying in the right place. There is a secret to doing this and I was told this by Bob Cameron when I took my engine course . I will keep that to myself but we got it back together and had it running in about 3 hrs.

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I tell Chris we will groundrun for 30 minutes and then shut down check chip plugs and drain all the oil and top up with fresh oil. I had brought a case of oil with me...and when we had the cases apart it was snowing like he!! so we had an engine full of frozen water. After doing all this we took it for an hour test flight...looked good...I am packing up and hitting the sky south bound! I refueled back in Repulse Bay and took my 4 full jerry cans with me. The pic below was taken on the south side of Chesterfield Inlet on route to Rankin.

CCF01142006_00010 (4).jpg

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It was 4.5 hrs from the camp back to Rankin and it will be another 4.5 back to Gilliam today. I get into Gilliam thinking i will be able to take it easy and have a few drinks with Jimmy but that was wishful thinking. Jim tells me that I am to get to Wpg as soon as I can as I will be going on fires in Ontario tomorrow. Lovely...another 3.8 hrs and I get a night at home an I am on route to Dryden in the morning....I am getting pissed off!

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2 hr trip to Dryden ...install forestry radio...another 1.5 over to Geralton...pick up CO and off to Ogokie Post...met up with my good friend Dave Wood...he was working the same fire flying for Delta Don...we had a he!! of a 2 weeks!

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