The versatile Beech 18, which first came to Canada in 1937, quickly became one of the worlds most famous light twins. Hundreds operated in Canada as airliners, corporate aircraft, military trainers, transports and bushplanes on wheels, skis and floats. Starrat Airways was the first to fly the Beech on floats and skis. The Beech E 18 became one of the most popular corporate aircraft in the 1950-1960 period.
A Beech 18 was involved in one of Canada's most dramatic misadventures. On November 8,1972 Gateways Aviation CF-RLD left Yellowknife on a mercy mission carrying two Inuit patients and a nurse. When the plane failed to arrive an extensive search was mounted which eventually took 1,479 flying hours over 1.25 million square miles with negative results. On December 7, 1972 a Hercules on a routine mission picked up the ELT of the crashed plane. Shortly after two rescue specialists were dropped but unfortunately only the pilot was still alive.