A glimpse of the future of bush flying occurred in October 1925 when men and equipment were urgently required in Red Lake before freeze up. Ground transportation was not able to provide service and no commercial operators were available, therefore, arrangements were made for the Ontario Provincial Air Service to carrry out the job - the only non-forestry operation of the service.
One of the OPAS fleet,G-CAOA, logged 2,251 hours over its nine years of active duty which is the greatest number of hours of any HS-2L. Although most of the H-boats were involved in the work of forestry, fire detection and suppression a few of them had more colourful experiences as rum runners during American prohibition. Others saw civilian service in China, Peru, Phillipines, Portugal, and the United States.