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Now boarding! Airplane ice fishing shack turns heads on Sask. lake

This British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft, previously owned by Fort McMurray, Alta.-based Air Mikisew, is one of the more unique ice shacks in the province. (Ethan Williams/CBC - image credit)
This British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft, previously owned by Fort McMurray, Alta.-based Air Mikisew, is one of the more unique ice shacks in the province. (Ethan Williams/CBC - image credit)

The sky's the limit for Lee Saretsky.

Saretsky and his three friends — Derek Davis, Jordan Janzen and Jonah Alain — have turned a decommissioned aircraft into an ice fishing shack near Pelican Pointe on Last Mountain Lake, about 65 kilometres northwest of Regina.

The idea came from a listing for the plane — a British Aerospace Jetstream previously owned by Fort McMurray, Alta.-based Air Mikisew — that Saretsky saw on Facebook Marketplace in the summer of 2022.

From left to right, Derek Davis, Jonah Alain, Jordan Janzen and Lee Saretsky pose in front of their ice fishing shack aircraft.
From left to right, Derek Davis, Jonah Alain, Jordan Janzen and Lee Saretsky pose in front of their ice fishing shack aircraft.

From left to right, Derek Davis, Jonah Alain, Jordan Janzen and Lee Saretsky pose in front of their ice fishing shack aircraft. (Ethan Williams/CBC)

"It was a no-brainer right away," said Saretsky. "I sent it to [the] guys and we all thought it would be a great idea to turn it into a shack."

After purchasing the plane for $3,000, the group removed its insulation, wiring, wings and wheels and installed skis on its bottom, bench seating inside and two portable diesel heaters to keep the plane at a comfortable 20 C.

Benches line the sides of the decommissioned aircraft, which has four ice fishing holes and can hold up to 18 people.
Benches line the sides of the decommissioned aircraft, which has four ice fishing holes and can hold up to 18 people.

Benches line the sides of the decommissioned aircraft, which has four ice fishing holes and can hold up to 18 people. (David Houle/Radio-Canada)

Seretsky has even slept overnight in the plane, which he believes weighs about 1,800 kilograms — or about the weight of an average pickup truck — making it safe enough for the roughly 56 centimetre-thick ice.

Along with interest from neighbouring ice fishers, a post with photos of the plane has gained attention on Ice Shack Nation, a Facebook page for ice fishers all over Canada and the United States.

As of Sunday evening, the post had around 1,400 reactions and had been shared over 1,000 times.

"Usually the internet's got a lot of trolls on there, but [this has] been good," said Seretsky.

From left to right, Davis, Seretsky and Janzen fish inside the aircraft. The portable heater at the back and its duct system keep the inside temperature around 20 C.
From left to right, Davis, Seretsky and Janzen fish inside the aircraft. The portable heater at the back and its duct system keep the inside temperature around 20 C.

From left to right, Davis, Seretsky and Janzen fish inside the aircraft. The portable heater at the back and its duct system keep the inside temperature around 20 C. (Ethan Williams/CBC)

The inside of the plane is a fairly tight squeeze, but Davis said it can seat up to 18 people and has four holes bored in its floor for fishing.

"It's not the most practical, but it's great for the kids and stuff to put everyone inside and keep warm," said Davis.

Although the fish haven't been biting much, he's hopeful for better fishing conditions in March when the group takes the plane to a fishing derby in a different spot on the lake near Regina Beach.

Davis said they'll be making upgrades to the plane for next year, but he was tight-lipped about what that will entail.

"It's kind of top secret right now, but we've got some big plans," he said, laughing.