Monday, January 9, 2012

Hot Spring Airstrip

    The airstrip just kind of evolved out there after the clearing, we got the grader going by to come in and make a couple quick passes out front and roughed in a bit less than 500 meters, complete with a good sized hump right at the mid way point. I seeded it all in clover and it grew back within a few seasons, and I've always just mowed it like an extension of the lawn. A long lawn. The short length, crooked approach, and rise in the middle limited landing to small bush type planes and rugged home builts with experienced pilots. I had a wind-sock up in the early years, and it didn't look like much of a strip from the air but in 1995 a Search + Rescue Bison made repeated circuits overhead, I assume having a look and getting a position on it as soon after the front yard began to show up on maps as an emergency strip.
My buddy Gil Fanslau and I taken a few years ago with his Piper PA12.
Gil lands on a lot of gravel bars and short places, he was the first to land here in October of '95. On an invite he came up to see and just flew it straight in with no circle around to look first either.
He still comes in once a year on the last nice days of fall.

It was never unusual to have planes drop in 2 or more at one time.
I recall times early on having 6-8 parked there on the grass.

Amphibious sea plane.

Cessna 182, probably the "hottest" plane to come in.
Not for the meek of heart, coming or going.

A nice kit build on floats with retractable gear.
Before landing here he was up at 1000 meters bobbing around on Fire Lake.

A Russian fella I met, he brought this machine over with him. He brought a gal up to visit, they reached 7000 feet to clear the  mountains on the way. Note insulated suits.

My Russian friend again with a different machine. It had tandem seating and he took me across the valley and up to the head waters of Glacier Lake. It was quite a trip and a perfect day. I didn't take any pictures because I was too afraid of dropping my camera or having it blown back through the propeller.

 On final approach, Hot Spring International.

You can see how the approach is not straight, you come over the river past the campsite and squeeze your wings between the trees then skid the plane with the rudder to line yourself up, then get stopped before you pile into the cabin at the end. 

I've had my share of helicopters over the years as well.
A privately owned Robinson R44 out of Whistler.

This is the base of choice for any heli activity in the area.
Fire fighters, exploration, RCMP, and medical responders have used it for operations.
BC Medical Services Sikorsky S-76 medavac.

                                         Fire suppression base.

A-Star picking up geologists.

Exploration geologists ready to head into the mountains.

Hydro worked out of here when they had a crew replacing spacers on the power line. Quite specialised work, a lineman sits on a platform and changes the spacers with an electric wrench while machine hovers.

Parked planes receive a thorough inspection from Skook n Chuck.


  1. I just love all your stories! Please keep on telling them. And thanks for taking such good care of the springs for so long.

  2. I check in on your blog regularly after stumbling across it when researching weekend trips in BC. I love to read of your adventures and experiences so keep writing! My husband and I will be coming up to visit later in the spring, we look forward to meeting you and to soak in the springs. Thank you for sharing.

  3. It's just amazing what you have done, and what you're still doing.
    I love reading about everything you do! I found this blog completely by accident when researching how to move to canada and become a bush pilot. I'm from Norway, and I'm currently working on my commercial pilot license in Florida. Hopefully I will get to Canada and maybe even meet you one day!