Northern Thunderbird Air

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Northern Thunderbird Air
Beechcraft 1900D Northern Thunderbird.JPG
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1971
Hubs Prince George
Secondary hubs Vancouver, Smithers
Alliance Central Mountain Air
Fleet size 15[1]
Destinations Charter only
Parent company Northern Thunderbird Air Limited
Headquarters Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

NT Air or Northern Thunderbird Air Inc. is a Canadian charter airline with a head office at Prince George, British Columbia and bases in Vancouver and Smithers.


NT Air was formed in 1971 with the amalgamation of two of northern British Columbia's airlines - Northern Mountain and Thunderbird.

Northern Mountain began operations at Fort St. James in 1959 and by 1971 was one of the larger airlines in British Columbia. With a mixed fleet of Cessnas, de Havilland Beavers, Beechcraft Model 18s, Grumman Goose, and helicopters; Northern Mountain had spread its wings over most of the North including Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories. By spinning off its airplane division to merge with Thunderbird in 1971, Northern Mountain was able to concentrate its efforts on helicopters only and did so through 2000.

Thunderbird started in the early 1960s when it acquired the bush operations of Pacific Western Airlines in Prince George. From its base at Tabor Lake, Thunderbird operated Cessnas, Beavers and Otters on floats and skis servicing the new town of Mackenzie and the northern villages and logging camps of Williston Lake. In the early 1970s, Thunderbird secured a subcontract from Pacific Western Airlines to service the smaller communities of B.C. to feed that traffic into PWA's jet aircraft at Prince George, Kamloops and Kelowna. The need for a hangar on the Prince George Airport to fulfill this contract was the catalyst for the merger talks that resulted in the formation of Northern Thunderbird Air in 1971.

In the 1980s, the company had 18 aircraft, 3 bases, 21 scheduled points and numerous employees, but by the lare 1990s, the company had shrunk to 1 aircraft, 1 base, 2 scheduled points and 5 employees. NT Air has grown again to 10 aircraft, 3 bases, 7 scheduled points and 50 employees.



The Northern Thunderbird Air fleet includes the following aircraft (as of February 2018):[2][1]

Aircraft Count Variants Notes
Beechcraft 1900 14 1900D 18/19 passengers
Beechcraft Super King Air 1 300 series Air ambulance

In addition the Northern Thunderbird Air site lists a Beechcraft 1900C that is not shown in the Transport Canada (TC) listing. The TC listing also shows a Beechcraft King Air with a cancelled certificate.[2][1]

The Northern Thunderbird Beechcraft 1900D's bear the NTA paint scheme and logo but are dual registered with sister company Central Mountain Air.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On October 27, 2011, a Beechcraft King Air, serial number B-36, registered C-GXRX, crashed on Russ Baker Way next to Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia as it was attempting to make a landing, killing the pilot, 44-year-old Luc Fortin. It had departed the airport earlier but turned around due to indications of an aircraft malfunction (the engine oil pressure indicator); it crashed about 900 metres short of the runway. Five of the nine passengers were seriously injured.[3] On November 16, 2011, the co-pilot of the flight died as well.[4]
  • Two pilots died in 2005 when a twin-engined Northern Thunderbird King Air 200 (BB-190, C-FCGL) crashed near Squamish when the plane was transitioning from Vancouver to Prince George. The pilot flew up a valley and was in a steep climb trying to avoid terrain when the plane crashed.
  • In 2001, a Northern Thunderbird single-engine Cessna 185 crashed north of Prince George while under government charter to do a wildlife survey. The pilot and passenger survived.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Northern Thunderbird Air". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2018-02-05. 
  2. ^ a b Northern Thunderbird Air: Fleet Retrieved on 5 February 2018
  3. ^ "Richmond plane crash leaves pilot dead". CBC News. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Global BC Twitter". Global BC. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "North Van man identified as pilot killed in crash; co-pilot badly burned". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 

External links[edit]