Historic District

1.0 km Marker

Discover the Planes, Meet the Pilots

Pilot · Pilote · Wedaaked

For isolated northern communities, bushplanes are a vital lifeline. They transport people, goods, and mail, help to put out forest fires, and provide an essential “eye in the sky” for search and rescue efforts.

The bush pilots come from all backgrounds, including from Indigenous communities. They have to be adventurous, resourceful, and willing to brave long flights into dangerous situations. For example, in 1924 Ted Stull and Duke Schiller flew an average of 9 hours a day for 12 days to help ground crews with extreme fire hazards. These individuals, and many others like them, are true heroes of Northern Ontario!

Today the Bushplane Heritage Center commemorates the pilots’ bravery and hard work. The planes held here are the same ones that these pilots flew into the wilderness, including the Canadair CL-215 (Canada’s first purpose-built water bomber), and the de Havilland Beaver, named one of Canada’s most outstanding engineering achievements.

Photos: Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre

Challenge Yourself!

  • Test your knowledge

  • True or False

    Some bushplanes can be fitted with wheels, floats, or skis so they can land in all seasons, even with no runways.

  • Multiple Choice

    Before telephones were widely used, pilots relayed messages using radio and:

  • Did you know?

    A small pigeon coop still exists on the roof of the Bushplane Centre – unused, of course!

  • You did great!