During a Beaver trip, Ayers received a radio message from his wife Helen that he had been accepted into the famed provincial air arm. After training at Sault Ste. Marie headquarters in July 1966, he became a White River base pilot and soon added another de Havilland to his logbook, the much slower DHC-3 Otter. One pilot suggested replacing air speed indicators with calendars. “The Otter took bigger loads, of course, but just didn’t have the climb in hot weather and noise from the R-1340 got be deafening after a while,” Ayers said.

During his Air Dale era Ayers had watched Turbo-Beaver CF-OEA at Wawa and White River. Ironically, the same “Kerosene Kat” became his first turbine and he logged 7,000 hours on 25 of the 27 in service with provincial air service. He relocated to Sudbury in 1971 to fly the DHC-6 Twin Otter and by 9174, accepted “regional pilot” management position and along with check pilot duties, became more familiar with Twin Otters, DHC-2 Mk III Turbo-Beavers, Beechcraft 100s as well as Canadair water bombers. Ayers never encountered an airplane he considered unpleasant regardless of size or horsepower. ...

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