Category Archives: Cessna

Three Books to Check Out: Bush Flying Captured is CANAV’s Pick of the Year!

For any true fan of aviation this could well be “the” book of 2011. Bush Flying Captured has just been released. Author/publisher Rich Hulina had done us all a gigantic favour by turning out this magnificent tome. A large-format hardcover, Bush Flying Captured features hundreds of fabulous colour photos of the great Canadian and Alaskan bushplanes. Informative captions accompany each photo. The turbine Otter on the cover (one of Rich’s own planes from his Slate Falls Airways fleet), gets your attention immediately, and shows you what to expect from Page 1 to Page 164 of this hefty, finely-produced book.

What else do you like? Well, if it’s northern aviation, Rich includes much of it from the Beaver to the Otter, Twin Otter, Norseman, Beech 18, Beech 99, Founds, Cessnas, Pipers, DC-3, C-46, CL-415 and BAe748.

Rich is the very definition of the knowledgeable, avid aviation photographer. I need to tell you that, because he’s too low-profile a guy to tell you so himself. He’s won more than once in Aviation Week’s annual photography contest!

Bush pilot and entrepreneur Rich is “a pro” when it comes to photography. He shoots in all weather and all seasons, so you’ll see float scenes, ski scenes, even tundra tires throughout the book. You’ll see the planes hard at work, hibernating over the winter, at sunrise,  at sunset and there are scads of air-to-air photos that the aficionado always expects.

You know what … I can’t say enough about this magnificent book. It’s at once a solid work-a-day presentation and an artistic masterpiece. Order your copy from CANAV: Canadian orders … $40.00 + $12.00 shipping (it’s a heavy one, so a bit pricier to mail) + 5% GST $2.60 = $54.60 and a heck of a bargain at that! PayPal is good or send your cheque by post to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, ON M4E 3B6. (US and overseas Cdn$64.00).

Also available (2020)Bush Flying Captured, Volume 2, same general specs and price. You’ll love them both!

Tales from the Lakeview: Collected Aviation Stories by Robert S. GrantSorry, now out of stock, but check on the web if you need a copy.

Since he was a boy, Bob Grant has been nuts about aviation, so he and I hit it off when we were getting started. Bob went into the bush and pretty well stayed there, flying whatever they’d trust him with — Cessnas, Founds, Pipers, then moving slowly up to the big leagues — to the MU-2 “Rice Rocket” and DC-3. Finally, Bob got a real job — the Ministry of Natural Resources hired him and he was in heaven with everything from the Turbo Beaver to the CL-215.

All along we also had our airplane photography and magazine writing gigs. We did a decent job at those and the writing opened many a door — we got to travel all over the world chasing aviation stories and got our first books out.

Bob had a real knack turning his bush flying experiences into some of the best stories. Everyone to this day enjoys them, especially his Red Lake yarns that always seem to feature something about “the Lakeview”, where local aviators and other n’er-do-wells seem to hang out and where Bob himself is always known (and proudly so, it seems) as the cheapest tipper.

Well, here is Bob’s latest book, just an excellent collection of his best stories. Great coverage of pilots, air engineers and the classic bushplanes of the Canadian backcountry — Beaver, Beech 18, C-46, DC-3, Junkers, Moth, Norseman, Otter, PBY, Twin Otter, etc. Tales from the Lakeview is a mini-treasure chest of a book for anyone who enjoys this great topic. 192 pages, softcover, photos galore. $29.95 in the stores, CANAV price as of March 2015 is $15.00 all-in. CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto M4E 3B6

Mayhem to Mayday: The Two Air Wars of Andy Mackenzie

**Please note, folks. This title no longer available at CANAV Books. You can look for a copy at**

Norm Avery has produced this fine biography of one of the RCAF’s renowned WWII/Korean fighter pilots — the great Andy Mackenzie. Andy’s youth, his training, then his Spitfire years start off the book. Postwar, he flies Vampires and is posted on exchange on Sabres in Korea. There his career takes a very bad turn — his USAF wingman shoots him down over enemy territory. Andy spends two years as a guest of some of the rottenest members of the human race, but somehow comes out in one piece (more or less).

Back in Canada Andy remained in the RCAF, but never received another promotion. But he always loved airforce life and became a founding member of the Canadian Fighter Pilots Association. Mayhem to Mayday is a tribute to a great Canadian — you deserve a copy!

Larry Milberry, publisher

Formative Years: Our Readers React

HS-2L G-CAAD at rest at Lac-a-la-Torue, Quebec along with a spiffy-looking Curtiss Seagull. G-CAAD ended its day in a crash at Tadoussac, Quebec on August 4, 1922. (LAC PA89145)

HS-2L G-CAAD at rest at Lac-a-la-Torue, Quebec along with a spiffy-looking Curtiss Seagull. G-CAAD ended its day in a crash at Tadoussac, Quebec on August 4, 1922. (LAC PA89145)

Jim Court flew the Quebec North Shore for decades, then retired in Sept-Iles. One of the first in line for a copy of Aviation in Canada: The Formative Years, Jim’s already into it and today he comments:

Hi Larry,

The book arrived on Friday and the cheque is in the mail. Excellent — those books will be something to bequeath to our grandkids!

Re the HS-2L that was lost at Kegaska in 1927. My dad remembered that one. They were forced down either by bad weather or engine trouble, or a combination of both. The pilot’s name was Guay, I think. They landed at a place called Foreman’s Gull Island, about three miles west of the village.  It’s a fairly sheltered area among some islands, but with no protection from a SE wind. A storm blew up and the airplane drove ashore and broke up. There’s a piece of the prop still around, hanging on the wall of a fishing lodge down there, owned by a descendant of the Foremans for whom the island was named.

The one lost at Sept-Iles was in Lac a l’Eau-Dorée, just north of here. I can’t remember whether it went in on glassy water or it hit a deadhead on takeoff — there are varying theories. The wreck was located by Gilles Ross some years ago via underwater camera, the same rig he used to locate the Cessna 180 that went in on glassy water and sank in Rapid Lake in 1968. He told me the HS is in pretty good shape. The lake is very deep, and the wreck is down over 200 feet, as I recall. That lake is so deep it’s the last one to freeze in the fall and the first to thaw in the spring.

Anyway thanks for the book Larry. As soon as the third one’s out, drop it in the mail along with the invoice, and keep me on the mailing list for any specials you may run across, including The Penetrators.

Take care … Jim.

We love to hear what our readers and critics have to say! If you have any comments on the new book, or wish to submit a reader review, email

Light Planes … Fun to Fly and Fun to Learn About

Try Out 3783Globally, the light airplane world has been dominated by three names since the 1930s — Beech, Cessna and Piper. Our blog is going to feature some of these fabulous types, beginning with Cessna. Clyde V. Cessna built his first airplane in Kansas in 1911. In 1927 he, Walter Beech and Lloyd Stearman formed the Travel Air company. However, Beech and Cessna disagreed too much in design philosophy, Beech being a biplane man, Cessna favouring the monoplane. So they went their separate ways.
Cessna’s great lineage began with its first production design, the 1928 Model AA, an attractive high wing cantilever (strutless) monoplane of which more than 100 were turned out. To this day, Cessna leads in mass production of single-engine sport, training and utility planes. In the case of the Cessna 172 introduced in 1956, production exceeds 43,000. This makes the “172” the world’s most widely-produced 4-seat personal and club plane.
The only interruptions at Wichita-based Cessna have been the Great Depression, when it closed its doors from 1931-34; WWII, when it focused on the twin-engine T-50 for military use (5400 built); and 1986 – 94, when the company was obliged to cease manufacturing light planes due to a flood of frivolous lawsuits (the “product liability” era). In 1985 Cessna was acquired by General Dynamics. Since 1992 it has been under the Textron corporate umbrella, which has proven to be controversial. In the 2000s Textron moved some light plane production to China and laid off thousands of American workers.

The Cessna 150

Rebuilding Richard Hulina's Cessna 150
The much-loved 2-seat Cessna 150 first flew in September 1957. Powered by a 100-hp Continental O-200-A, nearly 24,000 were built by the time the “150” was superseded in 1977. Its replacement was the Cessna 152, of which some 7600 were made by the time production ended in 1985. There are hundreds of Canadian-registered Cessna 150s and 152s. Most are stock machines but, as the years have passed, others have been individually modified by their owners. Such a “150” is Richard Hulina’s C-FRFT.
Based in Sioux Lookout, Richard operates Slate Falls Airways, flying the Turbo Otter, Beaver and Cessna 206. ‘RFT is “Richard’s Fun Toy”. Describing it to me this week, he explained how ‘RFT had rolled off the line in Wichita on October 31, 1969. Registered N5918G, it was sold to Virgin Islands Airmotive Corp. at Christiansted, St. Croix, for US$19,697.76, and delivered on January 17, 1970. In 1973 it moved to Skyway Flight Center in St. Croix. Now began a long series of migrations, first to Florida, then to owners in such states as Delaware (1985), Wyoming (1998), Wisconsin (2001), Kentucky (2002) and Alaska (2004). All along, as is typical with any Cessna, N5918G held a decent resale value. When, for example, J.D. Stutesman of Wisconsin bought it in 2001, he paid US$18,062.20.
Along the way N5918G underwent a few mods, the most dramatic being when it went from being a standard tri-gear “150” to a tail-dragger in 1981. This was done under a Custom Aircraft Technologies STC (supplementary type certificate). In 2006 Rich Hulina heard that N5918G was for sale in Alaska. He made an offer to owner Fred Wallis, a deal was made, and in October a ferry pilot delivered N5918G directly to Sioux Lookout.

Richard Hulina with his Cessna 150
As time permitted, Rich and his staff worked on the “150” in the Slate Falls hangar. Custom mods installed included a 150-hp Lycoming O-320 (Del-Air STC), a Horton STOL kit (new leading edge and “conical cambered” wingtips) giving improved take-off performance and low-speed control; Micro Aerodynamics vortex generators; and 29″ Alaskan Bushwheels. A set of Aero Ski M2000 skis also was acquired. C-FRFT finally got airborne again on February 15, 2008. As it is today, ‘RFT cruises at a comfy 110 mph and stalls at 42.

Hulina's Cessna 150 with tundra tires
In these photos provided by Rich, ‘RFT is shown being “resurrected” in the hangar at Sioux Lookout, then on its tundra tires and skis. Rich himself appears in one of the winter shots. During its 40 year pilgrimage from Wichita to St. Croix, Alaska and Sioux Lookout, the beautiful little aerial gem has logged just over 6650 flying hours.