Fort Langley’s small float plane airline is expanding its fleet and has bought a new hangar across the Fraser River.
Fort Langley Air, purchased last year by entrepreneur Scot McIntosh, has expanded the air fleet to include two Cessna 180 float planes and two DHC-2 Beavers.
“That’s sort of the most iconic Canadian bush plane,” said owner Scott McIntosh.
The plane started production in 1947.
“We have Beaver Number 12,” he said, built in 1948, as well as a 1953 model.
The planes allow for high-altitude operation and have short take off and landing requirements, making them ideal bush planes, McIntosh said.
Despite the company name, its center of gravity has moved to a hangar purchased at Pitt Meadows.
Training will still take place at the Fort hangars on the river, McIntosh said.
Their planes can be seen June 1 on Pitt Meadows Airport Day at a show and shine.
The small airline, based east of the Fort village on the banks of the Fraser River, is offering charter flights and float plane flying instruction.
The company is still recovering from a crash on Tyaughton Lake last Aug. 1, which caused the death of one pilot and a passenger, and injured another pilot.
A gas cap hadn’t been re-attached after refueling. The supporting pilot noticed fuel leaking from a wing. The pilot in command turned sharply to come around to land again, but the plane stalled and crashed.
“I don’t think that we are healed by any stretch,” said McIntosh about the aftermath of the crash.
The families are still grappling with the deaths of the two men and the injuries to the third, Spencer Neufeld.
From a business standpoint, they have been putting the company back together, McIntosh said.
The recent expansions have come alongside continuity, with former owner John Ferguson still on staff as operations manager, bringing 50 years of experience with flying boats and float planes to the company.