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Beech 18 EHG SeaWind C-GVIB
Planes and Choppers
No: 11070   Contributor: Peter Langsdale   Year: 2004   Manufacturer: Beech/Beechcraft   Country: Canada
Beech 18 EHG SeaWind C-GVIB

Photographed at Campbell River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada on 10 August 2004.
9 of our BAES group of enthusiasts climbed on board and flew south to Sproat Lake on this aircraft. The pilot had been in radio contact with a Martin Mars firebomber, and we met up to fly in formation.This was a truly incredible trip, and we watch the Mars pick up water and fly to douse a fire in the mountains at the south of the island.
On our return to Campbell River we all piled into our bus, drive down to Sproat Lake (100 miles or so) and photographed both Martin Mars on the water and one of them taking off. Fantastic!
I have now discovered what happened to our SeaWind:
"Thanks to Transport Canada, there always only was one Sea Wind Beech 18. New CCAR regulations had made further conversions impracticable. But since April 20, 2007, there are none...
The Sea Wind, officially known as the Beech 18 EHG (extra high gross), performed well for more than a dozen years. But on that afternoon, C-GVIB crashed and sank on takeoff from Jackson Bay, a logging camp in Topaze Harbour about 60 km north of its home base of Campbell River, British Columbia.
With the company’s chief pilot at the controls, one of the engines failed just after takeoff. The floatplane banked sharply and then hit the water. Although the aircraft sank within 45 seconds, the pilot and six passengers managed to hold onto the broken pieces of pontoon, which were also taking on water and going down. The survivors, who were all wearing life jackets were in the cold water for about 30 minutes. They were rescued by a Buffalo search and rescue aircraft and a Cormorant helicopter, both from 442 Sqn. at Comox and Campbell River’s fast-response Coast Guard vessel Point Race.
The accident was Vancouver Island Air’s first incident in 22 years involving passengers. One of the survivors noted, “if it wasn’t for the pontoons, we wouldn’t have made it… it was damn cold.” The sunken aircraft is not showing signs of leaking gas or oil, but it is unlikely that it will be salvaged."
Picture added on 07 November 2010 at 08:59
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