this webpage is dedicated to Gerry Umbach who was behind my motivations through the years on getting some of these adventures done. in 2013 i told him the story of this Beech 18 in the bay of Kinoosao which i heard about in 1999. gerry had the idea we had to go and recover the sunken airplane but of course we didn't have the funds for a side scan sonar which was needed to locate the plane. but we did a water salvage of the Salvaging The Ramp Boat in 2013 which we built the small pontoon barge for recovery. we were bettering ourselfs a little bit each year for doing bigger and bigger water salvages. then in 2015, gerry passed away and i took care of his collectables since i was the one that helped him collect so much over the years of his return to lynn lake manitoba. his family was nice enough to send me money for helping out which i did not spend foolishly on women, white suburbans or flat screen TVs as parting gifts. instead i invested the money wisely on a side scan sonar which i was able to full fill gerry's coffee shop talk about getting the beech 18.
now for the "dis-claimer" on the advice of my lawyer who is one of the best in the business that advertises after midnight on TV. these are pictures and info that are to be used as a guide line on how we salvaged the beech 18. remember i'm colour blind and afraid of water so that made the salvage even more fun or difficult on how one looks at it.
june 2016, the mini barge had to get hauled up the Kinoosao Rally Road at 4am in the morning because it is a long trip up a hill then down around a corner and repeat for 100kms. of course we stop at the start of the winter road for the usual picture.
we have to leave early to arrive early in Kinoosao because we need the calm morning to do the water salvage. it is great fun launching the mini barge when reindeer lake was at a record low for water.
the lake level was down almost 4 feet and all other years we have had no problem in launching the mini barge with normal water levels.
since i'm afraid of water and my son xena needs to help with the salvage. i got a local fellow to drive the boat which i paid him well in beer and a KoO sweater.
the week before we marked the spot with a vinegar jug when we found the beech 18 with the side scan sonar. also we left the big boat in Kinoosao instead of dragging over the Kinoosao Rally Road only to drag it back for the salvage.
now i get to use the "sonic boom goggles" to look at the beech 18 in the water. reindeer lake is a deep clear water lake and on a sunny day you can see a long ways down with the "sonic boom goggles".
the "sonic boom goggles" are made out of 5 gallon pails with plex-glass bolted to the bottom. they got the name "sonic boom goggles" because when your head is in the pail and the towel covering your head, you can't hear anything including a sonic boom from a fighter jet hitting the speed of sound. also one pail per person.
now that we know what we are doing or going to do, the mini barge is brought out and over the beech 18.
being afraid of water and trying to explain to the local help who was raised on the water what i want and how i want it with the barge. the young fellow did excellent and made the project go alot smoother because he knows all about boats. my son xena and i would get the boat and the barge every but where we wanted it because we are not boat-men.
once i had seen the plane, i could picked one of several hooks i brought which i figured would do the job. of course they were the shark hooks as we called them and the duct tape is to hold the hook to the puppet stick which is used to guide the hook on to the plane.
the easiest part is getting the first hook on to the plane then use the come-a-long to tighten up the mini barge to the sunken plane.
i did hours of research and prep work and everything was in the yellow box for the salvage job. we didn't have to run back and forth to shore or back to the Kingdom to get other tools or supplies.
we also used the side scan sonar to help hook up the barge to the sunken plane when the sonar in in the down ward scan mode.
with one side hooked to the plane it was lunch time on shore.
after lunch the tricky part was hooking the other side of the plane because the mini barge has to be prefect.
once the plane was hooked to the barge we did not spend hours come-a-longing up the sunken plane. we work smarter not harder and only lifted the plane a couple of feet off the bottom of reindeer lake then pushed the barge with the big boat. as the barge moved the plane start to fly in the water and raised up. we just tightend the chains as the plane rose up. if we had to come-a-long the plane all the way up then it would have been an all day job.
we got the mini barge and the beech 18 as close to shore as possible then unhooked the mini barge. next it was time for the cat to start pulling the beech 18 to shore.
little by little the beech 18 was back on solid ground after 44 years under water.
now the confusion begins with the call numbers on the wings and that is all i can say because of the advice of my lawyer.
the D6 known as The Hood had no problem dragging the beech 18 back up the run way where it last landed on it final flight.
with the beech 18 at the loading ramp and ready to come to the Kingdom when it is time, we had to put all the tools and toys away.
the mini barge is loaded up and ready to go back to the Kingdom, it was a long day but well worth it.
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