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Viking Outpost Cabins uses FQI to access over a dozen outpost camps in roadless bush country. Moose hunters arrive in the fall and appreciate the aircraft’s spacious uncluttered interior for hauling trophy animals. Every camp serviced by the Norseman has unlimited mixed gasoline for outboard motors–all of which must be flown in.

Hugh and Enid Carlson. Thanks to courtesy and efficiency, at least 85% of Viking guests return for repeat vacations. Enid, a former Longlac resident, northeast of Thunder Bay, still flies occasional camp checks but primarily works with Roseanne Carlson to monitor the economics of the company from season to season.

Some critics described the Norseman as a “long run” airplane. Properly flown, the type requires more takeoff space than the DHC-3 Otter, but mile for mile, economies of aircraft such as CF-IGX outshine all other seaplanes. Easy to maintain, quickly repairable and capable of handling rough water and high winds, Norsemen remain popular with tourist operators.

CF-FQI, said Hugh Carlson, has a 7,540-pound gross weight and handles 42 sheets of half-inch plywood in one flight. Thanks to Northland Aircraft Service’s perfect rigging, the aircraft flies straight and level with feet off the rudders. Most important, he added, CF-FQI has no tendency to dig in its Edo 7170 floats while landing. Transition to the Norseman from Carlson’s camp check Cessna 180 was a natural one. “Looking out the front window,” he explained, “you need exactly the same room as a loaded 180.”

Like most Noorduyn Norsemen, CF-GTN (msn 325) endured numerous owners since allocation to the USAAF as 43-5334. Shown in Sioux Lookout after salvage from its tree landing, the barely damaged airframe stands out as a testimony to its incredible inherent strength.

Each July, Red Lake’s Norseman Festival Days draw bushplane enthusiasts from around the world. At the west end of Howey Bay, six restored examples of these “crowd pleasers,” as a British journalist described them, stand by for public viewing. On the right, CF-DRD was brought to display condition by community volunteers and mounted on a pedestal in 1992. The former workhorse has served as Red Lake’s centrepiece ever since.

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Return to: Viking Outpost Noorduyn Norseman page 1