Vancouver, BC, Canada - April 2012

Once again, I was sent to Vancouver to do a little training at the airport. Of course, when the work is done and you've got time to kill, it's hard to stay indoors, especially when the skies are blue, the temperatures warm, and it's cold and icy back home. I walked over to the seaplane terminal and the Flying Beaver Restaurant to enjoy some good old fashioned airplane watching.

(Trevor McTavish)

In my opinion, the worst thing you could do to the venerable de Havilland Beaver is stick a turbine on it. At least DHC had the good sense to lengthen the fuselage and change the tail to compensate for the turbo prop, but this modification, called a "Boss Beaver", C-FZKS (c/n 615) looks ridiculous despite whatever improvements it makes. (Trevor McTavish)

The second ugliest thing you could do to a Beaver (in my opinion) is stretching the forward fuselage like they've done on C-GHMI (c/n 1215). At least they kept the radial engine. (Trevor McTavish)

See what I mean? Something just looks off, right there between the firewall and the forward float strut on C-FZZJ (c/n 1019). (Trevor McTavish)

At least SeaAir also flies a regular R-985 powered Beaver, C-GOBC (c/n 1560). (Trevor McTavish)

Looking a little weather beaten, C-GSUE (c/n 1199) is just one of those Beavers that came out of US Army service and has spent the last forty-some years bouncing between owners in the United States and Canada. (Trevor McTavish)

C-GPZP (c/n 722) may be a rarity amongst Beavers. Since it left US Army service, it's been owned by only three or four people. (Trevor McTavish)

I forgot the registration on this Beaver, but was a beauty - a nice, clean, relatively stock Beaver - the ultimate fishing machine. (Trevor McTavish)

Originally delivered to the Chilean Air Force, C-FCQP (c/n 370) is now a nicely painted pleasure craft for someone in BC. (Trevor McTavish)

I'll always prefer the look of a stock Beaver, even though I know economics means that many will eventually end up with some kind of turbine engine hanging off their nose. Take C-GHPG (c/n 713) for example; stock two-blade propeller, spinner and round window. The only "modern" modification being a pair of smaller stabilizer fins instead of the easily damaged under fuselage sail. Even the paint scheme is reminiscent of the DHC delivery scheme. (Trevor McTavish)

Just like the DHC paint scheme on C-GHPG, the paint scheme on this Beaver is a dead giveaway that she's passed through Kenmore Air. I like the colours. (Trevor McTavish)

Even the disassembled remains of C-GOLC (c/n 1392) still hold a lot of value, and I'm sure Harbour air will get her flying again. (Trevor McTavish)

Harbour Air has all sorts of Beavers and Otters as part of their operation. C-FMXS (c/n 1010) might be a rare machine, as far as Beavers go, because she's never been damaged. (Trevor McTavish)