FORT SIMPSON N.W.T. VII

1/22/2022   

With expensive phone calls to the aviation outfitters that call northern Canada home, Todd was inadvertently undertaking a bachelor’s degree in Canadian business. With few customers, high fuel costs, maintenance, and bloated government taxes, this place is not like America at all. You just don’t walk into an independent airport and request a ride on an airplane for $200. If unsuccessful, merely drive 20 miles down the road until you find a willing party who wants to make a little money at the end of the day, and you now have a ride. Up here, prices are atrocious due to distances from sources, so if you want something specific, like a round trip ticket over a very large and remote lake, you will pay. Previous calls put the costs at $4500 because not enough information was available, and businesses cover risks with large profits. From the last time here, when Todd flew for half a day to Nahanni Park for under $400 for 3 people, it was affordable. Now renting a premium aircraft for the whole day and flying solo with the pilot, Todd may have to mortgage the house to make his goal attainable. With a new female owner and a whole new staff, Todd, at first, negotiated with the operations manager. At a fixed $3,000 he then approached the owner. Pulling out American $100 bills that are Canadian tax exempt, Todd got it down to a little over 2 grand and she threw in a house to live in for 2 days to boot. With lodging included, Todd paid half down in greenbacks and showed her the other half when the trip was complete. Todd moved in his cabin and waited for tomorrow’s adventure to unfold. They would supply him with a well-used, but proven, Cessna 206 float plane and a young pilot who took the winters off and hiked the jungles of Thailand. Adventurers are everywhere. The next morning, the plane was on the river loaded with fuel and stuffed with Jerry Jugs of aviation gas in the floats. This plane did not have enough range to do what was discussed on the charts.

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