Helenbar Lake Plane Crash
On June 29, 1946 a RCAF flight lieutenant (Lt. William "Hugh" Mackenzie),
was flying a Gloster Meteor from Kauskasing in northern Ontario to
Toronto. The Gloster Meteor was the first jet plane developed by the
British and the only allied jet to see combat in World War II. His plane
was caught in a severe thunderstorm and he lost his way. When the plane
was about to run out of fuel, he made a crash landing in Helenbar Lake.
Miraculously, he lived through the crash and managed to survive for three
weeks on the shores of Semiwite Lake.
Search planes never found him but he was rescued on Flack Lake by a
fishing party from Laurentian Lodge. The pilot, who had made his way to
Christman Lake heard the party and managed to gain their attention. Most
of the aircraft was removed by the military, but the wing-tip fuel tanks
can be seen at the end of the portage on Helenbar Lake. They are now
protected by the Provincial Parks Act. This accident was the firsat jet
plane accident in Canada.