Having covered on our blog the story of Rich Hulina’s fabulous little “Super 150” C-FRFT, another Sioux Lookout Cessna story is worth the telling.
Cliff Sawyer learned to fly in Minneapolis in 1971. By that time he and his wife, Roma, had come to Canada and were running Cliff and Roma’s Wilderness Camp. In 1989 Cliff bought a damaged 1963 Cessna 185C (c/n 1850674) in the US. He hauled it north and put it into George Allen’s Sioux Lookout maintenance shop for an end-to-end rebuild.
‘0674 ultimately emerged as a sparkling rebuild. As C-FEWE it now became your typical fishing and hunting camp workhorse and to 2009 had flown about 1500 hours. ‘EWE uses a 300-hp Continental IO-520 (original Ce.185: 260-hp Continental IO-470) and has a Robinson STOL kit.
As the years went by, Cliff wanted a plane that would be more for fun than work. He knew that there was a weather-worn frame of an ex-US Army Cessna L-19 in the bush near Atikokan. Although it had sat out for about 25 years, the frame was undamaged, so Cliff bought it with an eye to a restoration.
Back in Sioux Lookout, Cliff had a jig made and the same process started at George Allen’s. Gradually a handsome little plane took shape, but it was quite the hodgepodge of parts. The vertical tail was off a Cessna 185, the horizontal stab from a Cessna 172. A hefty Continental IO-520 engine was installed (the original 1950-vintage US Army L-19 had a 213-hp Continental C-470).
As C-FICI, the much-modified “amateur-built” Cessna L-19 took to the air again in 2006. It’s a real favourite, and logs about 300 hours yearly. ‘ICI’s a lot more fun than ‘EWE to fly among Cliff and Roma’s six outpost camps, but each plane serves its purpose.