Inside Air Creebec’s 5 Minute Dash 8 Flight

Almost everybody knows about the short hop between Westray and Papa Westray which is only 53 seconds long. While this holds the title of the world’s shortest scheduled flight, many don’t know about Air Creebec and the world’s shortest scheduled Dash 8 flight. It operates between Fort Albany and Kashechewan.

Air Creebec Dash 8
Air Creebec operates a five minute Dash 8 flight. Photo: Air Creebec/Simple Flying

Air Creebec is a Canadian regional airline. The airline serves 16 destinations with a fleet of 19 aircraft. However, what is especially interesting is the carrier’s six-mile flight from Fort Albany to Kashechewan. Before this story crossed our news desk, we’d not heard of the airline, so the Simple Flying team decided to take an in-depth look at Air Creebec and their five-minute flight.

Fort Albany to Kashechewan

Both Fort Albany and Kashechewan sit on the bank of the Albany River in Canada, close to the coastline. However, the towns are on opposite sides of a river. To add to this, the only way across the river is by boat, although if the river freezes in the winter, people can drive across.

However, while there may be limited ground access to the towns, Air Creebec offers a vital lifeline to them. The regional carrier connects the two with what is thought to be the world’s shortest Dash 8 flight.

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Air Creebec Dash 8
The flight is little more than a hop across a river. Photo: Air Creebec/Simple Flying

The flight

In Google flights, the connection is advertised as taking 10 minutes, however, sources indicate that the flight itself usually takes three to five minutes. Assuming the larger flight time of five minutes, this flight could take place 221 times in the same time frame as the world’s longest flight.

The distance between the two airports is merely six miles as the crow flies. However, the two runways are not lined up, meaning a Dash 8 pilot is not able to fly quite that straight. The airline connects the two towns up to four times a day.

Between the two airports, the flight time can be merely three minutes on a good day. A pilot at the airline told us that “if it is VFR we only climb to circuit height 1100ft ASL and reach 130 knots”. However, they added: “The longest I’ve seen on an IFR day (both airports have RNAV approaches) airtime can get up to 10 minutes in that case we climb to minimum IFR altitude. In this case, we’ll fly at 1500ft ASL (1400AGL) up to 150knots”.

Air Creebec Fort Albany Kashechewan
On bad days the flight can take up to 10 minutes. Photo: Air Ceebec/Simple Flying

The pilot went on to tell us: “We usually depart runway 28 CYFA and join an immediate right base for runway 07 in CZKE” and that “if another aircraft is doing the “hop” we usually just wait on the ground until they land if there is a conflict.” They also mentioned that “Most airports we fly to are to native communities”.

Air Creebec doesn’t just fly between these two locations, however. The flight is more like a bus service. In fact, it can either operate as a circle or there and back as a line. Both the linear and circular route take around four hours to complete including intermediate stops.

Air Creebec Fort Albany Kashechewan
The flight can be operated up to four times per day, running like a bus service. Photo: Air Creebec/Simple Flying

So who is Air Creebec?

Air Creebec was founded back in 1982. According to Transport Canada, the airline has a fleet of 19 aircraft, with 17 Dash 8s. The remaining two aircraft are Hawker 748 cargo planes. At the time of its launch, the airline was 51% owned by the indigenous Cree Indians. However, in 1988, the Cree bought the remaining 49% of the airline.

What do you think of Air Creebec’s six-mile flight? What is the shortest flight that you’ve taken? Let us know in the comments!

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Mike

Build a toll bridge….