Skywest provides feeder services for a number of airlines around the country. They do also operate under their own name for some routes though so you do occasionally come across their aircraft in their own colors rather than those of their customer airline. I have shot a number of the aircraft over the years and here are some of them. The interesting thing is that they rarely seem to be in the same colors. I don’t know whether this is because they have changed their colors a number of times or because they are leftovers from schemes they wore in other uses or from previous operators. Whatever the reason, there has been some variety.
I’m not sure what the long term prognosis is for the CRJs with Skywest. These jets are rapidly disappearing from service with various operators as larger jets with more seats are more affordable to operate. Skywest may have plans for them or may operate them on services that can justify the cost or maybe they will all disappear quickly and we will barely notice that they have gone.
Canadair were a company that put together some odd projects. Before they became part of the Bombardier family, they produced a business jet and a water bomber. The Challenger (which came from an earlier Bill Lear project) has gone on to spawn a large number of production aircraft of various types. The CL-215 is a different story.
Water bombers are a very useful tool in fighting fires. Within that sphere, the CL-215 has been a great success. That is not a huge world, though, so production has been modest. Even so, the original piston powered aircraft has gone through a turboprop conversion program and the current production model, the CL-415 has turboprop engines as well as airframe and systems enhancements. Production is at a low rate but they do still come out of the factory.
I was quite pleased to come across a couple of the planes that are still fitted with the original radial engines. The already chunky lines of the plane go quite well with the bluff profile of the piston engine – something the turboprop lacks a little. These planes weren’t flying. They were awaiting their next project. With the fire season approaching, I imagine it won’t have been too long after I saw them before they were back in action.