The guys in the maintenance hangar are working on an outside customer's airplane. It's a Beaver, not one of those stunning privately owned amphibs with a spotless retro paint job and a millionaire owner, but a working airplane, company logo on the tail and oil streaked all over the cowling. There's a joke that you don't have to teach the routes to a new hire at a bush company. They can just follow the trails of oil from place to place, left by the Beavers.
Maintenance folk always seem to like working on Beavers. I guess it's nostalgia and respect for the famous workhorse. And I guess they aren't too fiddly. I've flown the Beaver. I've also flown a Found, one of the recent attempts to replace the Beaver. Yeah, not there yet. And it's not as if most Beavers need replacing, just a little end of season TLC. I say something about the amount of grease on the airplane as I go by. They're quiet, probably trying not to bust a gut from accidental innuendo. We're not unaware that Americans use Beaver as a slang word for female genitals, but for me it's a great airplane, our national animal, the symbol on the nickel and a big chunk of our history first. It was trade in beaver pelts that drove the early Canadian exploration and economy.
They were used to make hats, and the pre-worn greasy ones, castor gras were the most valuable.
Last time I saw a privately-owned one it was parked between me and the FBO. As I walked by, admiring it, a man in his sixties asked, "What are you grinning at?"
"Pretty airplane," I said, as though it weren't self-explanatory.
"We come with it," said another man.
You know, if you wanted to get picked up by rich, self-confident men, an airport would not be a bad place to hang out.