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Bush Planes

What, exactly, is a bush plane? There are a lot of different answers to that question. For some people a bush plane means a working airplane flown by a commercial bush pilot. For others it means any plane flown into the back country.

Most people would agree that a bush plane should be STOL capable. STOL, however, is a relative thing. Beavers are bush planes, and they’re STOL aircraft, but they can’t get into or out of places that smaller planes can. Of course, they can pretty much carry a tank.

A Super Cub, on the other hand, can’t carry anything close to what a Beaver can. However, it can get into some very tight back country strips. Because of this they are in high demand, and command a big price.

So, are there other bush planes aside from Beavers (which also command a steep price) and Super Cubs? Absolutely. You can actually get a good bush plane cheap, depending on what you need. There are lots of bush planes out there, and I like them all. This is what I know about them.

Cessna L-19
Cessna L-19 on skis

The Stinson 108 Stinson 108

The Super Cub
Super cub as a bush plane

Taylorcraft BC-12
Taylorcraft BC-12 as a bush plane

My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor and pilot based in Vancouver, BC. I AM NOT A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AND I AM NOT OFFERING FLIGHT INSTRUCTION! I am sharing my study notes and other things I’ve learned while getting my education as a pilot. You’re welcome to make use of this information, but do not treat it as expert advice.

I really enjoy flying, real estate and the Chilcotin.  My company is Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting or concerns selling remote property in British Columbia.

6 Responses to “Bush Planes”

  1. Brendan Shangrow says:

    The Stinson 108 is a great bushplane!

    I did my night rating and mountain checkout at Pacific Rim! Love their school and Chris Georgas is the Man!

    My favourite bushplnes(roughly in order are)
    DHC-2 Beaver
    DHC-3 Otter
    DHC-6 Twin Otter
    Helio Courier
    Beech 18
    Noorduyn Norseman
    Grumman Goose/Widgeon
    Stinson Reliant
    Fairchild 71
    Junkers W34
    Cessna 180, 182, 185, Cessna 195, Cessna 206
    Pa-18 Super Cub/Aviat Husky

    • Larry says:

      I am wondering why in your research you have completely ignored a segment of aviation that can and does fit into your category of bushplane. That is, Homebuilt aircraft most of them will out preform all of the planes you list as your favourite and for 30% of the outlay both in purchase and maintenance .I have been in the homebuilt game for several decades both building and flying and also belong to the pilot group in our club aircraft If it were not for homebuilts I could not be still involved in aviation I am too lazy too work hard enough to support a certified aircraft on my own. My Maranda is no speedster but I am airborne in 300 ft and down in a little more. Penticton Flying club /Copa50 Good website by the way LT

      • Rob says:

        Hi Larry

        The answer to why I’ve completely ignored homebuilts is two parts. The first is the old standby – time. The second is I’m not sure where to start. That said, don’t confuse either for any sort of disdain for homebuilts. What I know of them I like (which is mostly performance). Would you be willing to share more info on them?

  2. Henry Janzen says:

    I took my training in Pit Meadows some 35 years ago. Not flying currently , but would like to share with someone near Kelowna

  3. karlin says:

    hey, im currently doing my PPL out of the Barrie Ont area and am getting my foat ratings hopefully as soon as the snow and ice clear in the spring of 2015.

    I am currently looking into options on what i would like to buy as an aircraft in the near future but am uncertain what i should go for as a new pilot.

    generally, im wanting to get a float plane or a highly versatile STOL aircraft like the L-19 bird dog.

    any opinions for a first small but powerful bush capable plane?

    • Rob says:

      Hey Karlin:

      No recommendations, but that’s really because there are so many different types that do such different things, and such a variety in price range. Here in BC most bushplanes are on floats and tend to be 172s, 180s or 185s. Not far away, in Alaska, it seems like Supercubs dominate. A past partner of mine was rebuilding a 170 but just made a swap for a Super Stinson, which strikes me as a good middle option – cheaper to buy, but still capable of carrying a good payload.

      The L-19 looks cool. I’ve seen 2 around here, I think. One tows gliders in Hope and I think the other was in Powell River.

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