Ontario Central Airlines

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Ontario Central Airlines
Nunasi-Central Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1947
Operating bases Kenora Airport
Fleet size 22 (in 1963)
Destinations Ball Lake Airport, Red Lake Airport
Key people Don Watson
Barney E Lamm (President)
Rex A Kiteley (Vice President)
Stanley Matthew Deluce

Ontario Central Airlines was a Canadian airline headquartered in Kenora, Ontario. It was founded in 1947. In 1984, the airline was renamed Nunasi-Central Airlines.


Ontario Central Airlines was founded in 1947,[1] starting with two Fairchild 82 aircraft.[2] Founded as a charter airline, in 1957 Ontario Central introduced its first scheduled services, having purchased Beechcraft 18 CF-KIA. The first two routes were from Kenora to Winnipeg, Manitoba and return, and from Kenora to Fort Frances, Atikokan and Fort William and return. These services were discontinued in the summer of 1958.[3] In 1963, its President was B E Lamm and the Vice President was R A Kiteley.[1] In 1976, the airline was bought by entrepreneur Stanley Matthew Deluce.[4]

In December 1984,[5] Ontario Central Airlines was renamed Nunasi-Central Airlines.[6] Nunasi-Central Airlines was allocated the ICAO Code NUN and used the callsign NUNASI.[7]


The airline operated amphibious flights from Kenora, Ball Lake, and Red Lake in Ontario. The airline also engaged in aerial advertising and pest control services.[8]


Ontario Central Airlines operated the following aircraft: -

Beechcraft 18[edit]

Cessna 180[edit]

  • Ontario Central Airlines operated fiveCessna 180 aircraft in 1963.[8] They were still operating five of these aircraft in 1970.[1]

Consolidated PBY-5A Canso[edit]

  • CF-OWE c/n CV-397. Built in 1944 for the RCAF and allocated serial RCAF11074. Struck off charge on 7 November 1961 and sold to Ontario Central Airlines in 1965 and registered CF-OWE. Withdrawn from use in 1970. Sold in 1977 to Ilford-Riverton Airways, Winnipeg, Manitoba and re-registered C-FOWE. Sold in 1983 to Northland Outdoors and then sold in June 1984 to R J Franks, Los Angeles, California and re-registered N691RF. Sold in 1986 to Jonathan Seagull Holdings, Vancouver, British Columbia and re-registered C-FOWE. On 30 May 1986, the aircraft was damaged in a landing accident at Plymouth Harbour, United Kingdom but was repaired and returned to service. In March 1989 it was registered once again to R J Franks, and re-registered N69RF. Sold in 1990 to Flying Catalina Corp, Los Angeles and operated until 1992. Sold in 2000 to Wilson Edwards, Big Spring, Texas. As of 2001, the aircraft was airworthy.[12]

de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver[edit]

de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter[edit]

Douglas DC-3[edit]

  • CF-YQG c/n 4654. Built as a Douglas R4D-1 BuNo 05054 for the United States Navy. Struck off charge on 30 April 1946 and registered NC62001.[17] To Crane Co in 1951 and then to Beldex Corp and registered N99U. Sold in June 1963 to John F Oyster Manufacturing Co, Pittsburgh.[18] Bought by Ontario Central Airlines in July 1969 and re-registered CF-YQG. Re-registered C-FYQG in 1980, passing to Nunasi-Central Airlines in March 1987 and served until October 1996.[17] In 2007, the aircraft was owned by Buffalo Airways and in store at Red Deer Airport.[18]
  • C-GCKE Originally built as a Douglas C-47B-20-DK for the USAAF as 43-49942. To the RAF as KN270, later to the RCAF, retaining RAF serial. Bought by Ontario Central Airlines and re-registered C-GCKE, in service until December 1984. In service until December 1985 then leased back to Ontario Central Airlines until March 1986. Leased to Perimeter Airlines Inland until May 1986. Leased to Ata Construction Lted, Norman Wells, Northwest Territories until 1989, then to Calm Air. Later sold to Randy Daoust, St. Albert, Alberta but registration cancelled in 1995. As of December 2008, registered as N47HL Bluebonnet Belle and operated by the Commemorative Air Force, Midland, Texas, United States.[5]
  • C-GSTA c/n 10201. Built in 1943 as a Douglas C-47-60-DL for the USAAF as 43-24339. Transferred to the RCAF in September 1943. Sold to the RAFO in 1969 and allocated serial 502. Sold to a Norwegian owner in 1972 and registered LN-TVA. Bought by Ontario Central Airlines and registered C-GSTA. Sold in 1991 to SADELCA, Colombia and re-registered HK-2663X. Sold in 1992 to SAEP and served until 1994 when placed in storage. Served at one time with AeroVanguardia. In April 2004, the aircraft was in service with ARAL.[19]

Fairchild 82[edit]

  • CF-AXL Ontario Central Airlines operated this aircraft along with CF-AXM. Both were purchased from Canadian Pacific Air Lines in 1947. AXM crashed during take off at Kenora Ontario. AXL was sold in 1954 and is currently preserved at the Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

Grumman Goose[edit]

Noorduyn Norseman[edit]

Piper PA-18 Super Cub[edit]

Piper PA-23 Apache[edit]

Stinson Reliant[edit]

  • CF-OAY was operated by Ontario Central Airlines. It was in service in October 1954.[24]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 23 December 1950, Noorduyn Norseman CF-CPS crashed at Kirkness Lake, Ontario,[25] killing the pilot and his passenger.[21]

On 22 October 1951, Norseman CF-BTH was destroyed in a landing accident at Red Lake when it hit rocks at night.[21]

On 20 December 1957, Norseman CF-DRE crashed on landing at Ball Lake, Ontario, seriously injuring the pilot and killing three passengers. The aircraft was destroyed.[21]

On 25 July 1958, Norseman CF-IRH was involved in a mid-air collision with Norseman CF-BZM of Parsons Airways on approach to Kenora Airport. CF-BZM was written off, but CF-IRH was repaired and returned to service.[21] Of a total of 15 people on board the two aircraft, the worst injury was a broken arm.[26]

On 26 March 1960, Norseman CF-IRH crashed at Red Lake, Ontario and was destroyed.[21]

On 19 June 1974, Norseman CF-BHU crashed at Sachigo Lake, Ontario due to fuel mismanagement. The pilot was injured and one of the two passengers were killed.[21]

On 19 August 1965, Norseman CF-OBO was destroyed in a landing accident at Island Lake, Manitoba. The pilot was seriously injured.[21]

On 15 February 1983, Douglas DC-3 C-FBKX was damaged beyond repair in a crash landing near Shamattawa, Manitoba following an engine failure following which the overloaded aircraft was unable to maintain flight on a single engine. The aircraft was on a non-scheduled passenger flight, all four people on board survived.[27] As of July 2009, the hulk of the aircraft remains on site at 55°58.18′N 92°31.65′W / 55.96967°N 92.52750°W / 55.96967; -92.52750.[28]


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  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah "A brief history of each individual Norseman". Norseman History. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
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  28. ^ "Abandoned Plane Wrecks of the North". Ruud Leeuw. Retrieved 25 July 2010.