An iconic plane seen commonly in northern Ontario's skies has reached a milestone anniversary.

The de Havilland Beaver, a high-wing propeller plane which is still commonly used by many outfitters across the north, took its first flight 70 years ago on Wednesday.

The Beaver is well-known for opening up the north; it also finds favour for its versatility in carrying nearly any type of cargo.

"I don't want to incriminate myself or anybody else, but I've seen things from oil tanks to four-wheelers [strapped to them]," said Brad Greaves, the owner of Ignace Airways, a northwestern Ontario charter company.

"Yeah, there's been some interesting things on the side of a Beaver." Greaves added that nowadays, any cargo strapped to the plane has to be approved before takeoff.

Brad and Karen Greaves

Brad Greaves (right) is the owner/operator of Ignace Airways, a northwestern Ontario float plane charter company. (Jeff Walters / CBC)

"It's my favourite aircraft," Greaves continued. "I've been flying for almost 40 years and if I had a choice of any airplane I've ever flown, the Beaver's the one."

Greaves said his business primarily uses the plane to transport people to remote locations in the region, but the Beaver's primary role is that of a bush plane — with the added ability to work on the water.

Greaves said his company is down to one Beaver aircraft — he and his partners used to run eight — but said it's the iconic bush plane.

"It's very attached to our family," he said. "[My children] grew up around those aircraft ... my oldest daughter, when she got married, her desire was not to be brought to her wedding in a limo, but to be brought in a Beaver."

Click here to listen to CBC Up North host Jeff Walters' interview with Brad Greaves, the owner of Ignace Airways and a long-time Beaver pilot.