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of George Collins

airbase.jpg - 67236 Bytes

In 1931, the Ontario Provincial Air Service, now the Ministry of Natural Resources, had a more modest establisment than the present. This picture was probably taken where the present day forestry branch is still situated in Chapleau.

Remark by : This location is indeed the spot where the present (2003) Ministry of Natural Resources is located. The rock in the water near the very left edge of the picture is unmistakable because it changes its outline as the water level changes. The shoreline on the near side of the airplane has since been altered by a concrete breakwall and filling behind the wall. It is no longer in its natural. Here is another view of it taken in 1928.

John Lalonde of has provided all of the additional information that follows below:

The aircraft is a Gypsy Moth. and its registration was C-FOAD. Gypsy Moths were DH-60 series. It was based at the Biscotasing airbase on Biscotasing Lake from 1929 to late 1939. It landed one day at Cross Lake in Algonquin Park and flipped over in high winds as it taxied in and was completely destroyed. The normal pilot was Carlton Crosley, the mechanic was Rene Simard. This data was from the OPAS pilot log files at the Sault.

The Ontario Provincial Air Service was the only air service to have them in Northern Ontario. Left front passenger entry door, open cockpit area at rear for the pilot. Always on floats. This is a picture of the engine, cylinders on top, open valve train (low mounted prop). The Fox Moth has a Gypsy Major 1C,  dry sump engine, cylinders on the bottom (high mounted prop). Some Gipsys were converted to the bigger engine later for more prop water clearance and shorter float legs.  Easier to get into the cockpit.


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