Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gander's First Billboard

The approach path to Runway 14 (now R13) & departure  route for Runway 32 (now R31) was directly over the town's shopping centre. During the construction of the Eaton’s store back in the 50's, the marketing people for Eaton’s decided to take advantage of their stores location and made their roof top a giant billboard. Something unique in Nfld. On top of their roof they had ‘Eaton’s of Canada’ displayed in giant lettering to attract the attention of arriving/departing passengers with window seats that had a SW view of the town. Something different and innovative, an aviation billboard.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Season Greetings

With the Christmas season upon us, there is much reflection of past Christmas memories. To bring back some of these memories or to tell people of our Christmas experiences in Gander during the 1946-1958 era we link you to two pages on our website. One just recently posted and one from some time ago .

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Supermarkets

Aviation has a lot of firsts that happened at the Gander Airport but we have neglected to point other happenings in the airport town that occurred as a first for the province. Did you know Goodyear’s opened the first supermarket in the province, in the early 50’s, on Foss Ave.? Also the first escalator in the province was located at the new terminal opened in 1958. Some think it was at Woolworth’s in St. John’s but no, they came in second. The second supermarket in Gander  was the Co-op stores on the American side and on the Army side. The Gander Co-op is still operating today and is probably the oldest supermarket in the province. We sure would like to know more about these early co-op stores.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Birthday

The airport in Gander is celebrating a big milestone — marking 75 years of operations today.

Happy Birthday Gander Airport

Sunday, November 24, 2013

GIA Facebook

If you go to the Gander International Airport Facebook page, there is a very nice compliment made about our website dated Oct 15. It is encouraging to get these nice ‘pat on the back’ comments and we certainly do appreciate them. It is a privilege and honour to be apart of the historical aviation community.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Airport Tour For A New York Student

Just to keep everyone up to date, our website keeps gaining  attraction internationally. Just recently we received email from a young lady in New York (city) who is seeking her Masters degree and is studying the history of Decorative Arts and Design. She is writing a paper on Gander’s International Airport and particularly the role of the lounge during the post World War II travel boom of the mid fifties into the mid sixties. She has asked for our help in providing her with historical information about this subject. She will be arriving in Gander on Dec 1 to tour the Airport Lounge and we have been invited to attend by the Gander International Airport Authority. In addition we plan on a visit to the old terminal building plus to the old admin building site, the original terminal. We will be represented by Rick Stead, our Secretary. Just goes to show how much Gander Airport is known through out the world.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Air Travel, Back In Time

If anyone is interested what air travel was like back in the ‘old’ days, have a look at the picture gallery shown in a British newspaper recently. Although the photos are those of British Airways or of its parental airlines, they do show just how the aviation world grew. I am sure there are a few pictures like these out there floating around of the old airport in Gander. Keep looking in those old shoe boxes. Thanks to George Innes for this item.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lancaster Bomber

There are only 2 Lancaster Bombers remaining in the world that are still flying. One maintained by the RAF and the other by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Mike Mcanany sent us this link a few months ago which is posted on our website in the WWII Era. This is a video of a Lancaster flight taken over southern Ontario. Please take note of the restrictive accommodations aboard this aircraft. Also note the tail gunner's location on the aircraft at the start of the video. Vic Batston, who was a tail gunner on a Lanc during the war, said that once you got into the aircraft before take off, you were there all alone until you returned. If you had to bailout, you released the canopy which dropped away and you followed it. Because of limited space, smaller built men were recruited for this position. No protection, only plexiglass and no way out only via parachute. There were not many tail gunner survivors. Very chilling. Take a look at the video and enjoy the flight

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bon Fire Night

Happy Guy Fawkes night to everyone. Does anyone still remember that “Gert Big Bon Fire we had down on the Army side” way back when?  A celebration held by everyone in Nfld., not only in Gander, and lots of devilment amongst us kids. This was a night bigger than Halloween except for the candy but we had roast potatoes! If you you could get close enough to the fire.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Aircraft Accidents & Incidents

We just finished posting a piece about Airplane Accident & Incidents at Gander during the war and up to 1960. We thank Bob Pelley for the research and hard work he did in gathering all this data. From this information we noticed there is a record (Item 2.5) of a RCAF B24 crashing and sinking in Gander Lake on Sept 18, 1944. Well Tony, she is down there so go and get her. I am sure the North Atlantic Aviation Museum will be following these events with great interest.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Listen to Stuart McLean

Reading through the 30s ERA on our website, it take some time to get your head around just what was happening with aviation and the wonderment of the fore site that came into play. Lindberg flew across the Atlantic in 1927. The biggest passenger aircraft flying at the time was the Ford Trimotor. Yet in 1932 the British Government in agreement with Canada decided to build an airport in Newfoundland during the height of a world wide depression. In 1935, in the middle of the wilderness, with the only infrastructure being a narrow gauge railway, construction was commenced on an airport with the only workforce available being mostly unskilled workers. In 1938 these unskilled workers became carpenters, electricians, plumbers, heavy equipment operators and mechanics and had constructed four 5000 ft runways along with a three story administration/terminal building and one of the largest hangers in the world. Named the Newfoundland Airport, later to be renamed Gander by the military, was one the largest airports in the world to handle aircraft that weren't yet built. It led to the birth of trans atlantic commercial aviation. Stuart McLean summed it all up on his Vinyl Cafe show held recently at the Arts Centre in Gander, the contribution Gander Airport has made to the aviation world. To listen to his comments, follow this link.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Frank Tibbo's Columns on John Murphy

As promised, we have posted Frank Tibbo's columns on John Murphy. Without a doubt John fits our description as an aviation pioneer for his contribution to north atlantic commercial air travel. We would also like to add John Murphy's name in joining Group Captain Foss,  Dr. Samuel Martin, and USCG Commander Stew Graham as future Gander street names to be considered.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Aviation Archaeology

As a follow up to the Gander Lake Venture of Tony Merkle, we thought everyone that has an interest in the GAHS should be of aware of the archaeological work being carried out in the Gander area dealing with aircraft crashes during WWII and some digs in and around the old airport town site. This work is been carried out by Lisa Daly, an aviation archaeologist currently completing her doctorate degree at Memorial University. Her work is available on her website and we here at GAHS recommend you take the time to view her efforts. We will be placing a link to Lisa's site on this page for future reference.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sabena Crash Rescue Videos

We just posted links to video associated with the Sabena crash from news reels by Pathe Uk and a USCG documentary. When viewing these videos, take particular notice to one scene used in several of the videos, of a PBY landing on R32 with two very large hangers in the background. For those seeing these hangers for the very first time, these were the USAAF hangers located on the American side. Their location would be where the Airport Fire Hall and Terminal buildings are located today. Also pay particular attention as to how large these hangers where. It was an eye opener for me because I had forgotten how huge these buildings were. There must have been 8 or 9 of those hangers located on the American side. One of which was converted into a hockey stadium and used for years before relocating to the drill hall on Foss Ave. An Olympic size ice surface was no problem in these buildings.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gander Lake Venture

We have been communicating with Tony Merkle, an ex-Ganderite, about an underwater  exploration of Gander Lake. According to Tony, he has information that during WWII, a B17 and a B24 crashed and sank in Gander Lake. He is in the process of organizing such a venture to find and recover these relics. He is looking for as much information about all known crashes/locations plus also the possibility of the American military dumping other material into the lake at war's end. We ask anyone who can provide us with any information to please pass it along.The exploration will incorporate 3D Sonar imaging of the lake's bottom and use Nitrox equipped divers. This is an exciting and sophisticated venture that is worth keeping an eye on. Tony also says before work can commence appropriate permits must be given by the town and provincial government. We will be monitoring further developments and passing it along to all our readers.

Friday, October 4, 2013

New Corporate Sponsor

We are more than pleased to announce the Gander International Airport Authority has joined our endeavour in preserving the history of the airport town and it's airport by pledging their support in becoming a corporate sponsor to the Gander Airport Historical Society. This history lives on with their consideration and sponsorship. We thank you.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

John Murphy - 1923-2013

We are not about to make a habit of announcing obituary notices but an exception must be made in advising you of the passing of John Murphy. John was truly an aviation pioneer in commercial trans atlantic travel. He started his career in Gander in 1941 working for Ferry Command, After the war he became station manager for TWA in Gander, transferred to New York during the start of the jet age and later became TWA airport director responsible for LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark airports. As a hockey player he was exceptionally skilled. When televised hockey became available I don't think I ever watch Montreal Canadian's Jean Beliveau play without  thinking of John Murphy.  Frank Tibbo has written several columns for the Gander Beacon about John Murphy, his latest telling about his passing.  With Frank and the Gander Beacon's permission we hope in the future to have these columns available on our website.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GAHS First Annual Meeting

It gives us great pleasure to announce we here at GAHS have officially become a 'society'. The first annual meeting was held on Sept 17 and our elected executive is;

  • Jack Pinsent - President
  • Bob Pelley - Vice-president
  • George Innes - Treasurer
  • Rick Stead - Secretary

We would also like to announce that our corporate sponsor will be the Gander Home Finders Real Estate Co . We hope further corporate sponsorship will continue to help with our future endeavours.  The history of Gander Airport and it's original town is being kept alive by our sponsors.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lancaster Tragedy in Gander

We recently posted an article on the 1946 Lancaster Tragedy in Gander and added an addendum shortly after. As a side issue there was a reference to the vandalism of the Lancaster being parked in one of the old hangers where many of the instruments, etc. went missing, making the refurbishing of the aircraft very difficult. As a young lad growing up in Gander during this era, the exploring of such objects like a giant Lancaster bomber was one of our childhood airport delights. Being from the Army Side I doubt very much if I got to see this beast, that I can remember. The location of the hanger was on the American Side and we had our local turf rules, no visitors allowed unless accompanied by a local. The Station Area and Canadian Side were neutral areas. But as for the removal of the instruments I am sure the shiny glass and dials were the main attraction rather than for resale purposes. Just wondering if any of these instruments are still stored away in some attic.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gander Street Names Revisited

Visiting Gander recently, it was not difficult to notice the development of a new residential area being constructed just north of the old Navy Radio Station plus a new street being built paralleling Roe Ave. This might be a good time to review our original suggestion of street names that holds some historical value to the airport. To tweak your memory on this subject it was our suggestion to include Group Captain Foss,  Dr. Samuel Martin, and USCG Commander Stew Graham. Mr. Graham was the second pilot ever to fly helicopters, was one of the helicopter pilots who flew out Sabena OO-CBG survivors, and went on to become instrumental in developing SAR helicopter rescue procedures. For any of our readers wanting to also lobby the Town, please feel free to make these suggestions on our behalf.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Commander Gander

For those who attended or tuned in to the Gander Day celebrations, you might have noticed the mascot for the festivities , better known as Commander Gander, is a cartoon character beloved by all and promotes events during this special day. What a lot of people may not be aware, Commander Gander is not a very young bird, in fact he was 'born' during WWII and was the military mascot whose purpose was to boost moral for that time. Evidence of this can be seen on the various crests and patches worn by military personnel serving at Gander during the war. To view these special pages on our website, click on here and here to see the roles Commander Gander played way back then.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Research in Progress

Our main go-to-guy, Bob Pelley, who does the major researching on historical events for Gander Airport, reports that he has a bunch of projects he is working on and we should have lots to read in the next few weeks. After all, we have to give Bob a little holiday once in a awhile. I know that one document will be dealing with the emergency landing of a returning Lancaster bomber at the airport in 1946 which stuck and killed several people who were walking on one of the streets near the approach path to a runway. This was the first fatality at the airport involving civilians due to an aircraft accident/incident.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Festival of Flight

Aaah July. The weather a has been just great here in the Gander area making us all here just a bit lazy and too relaxed but we have not forgotten our viewers out there. A reminder to everyone The Festival of Flight will be celebrated on Gander Day, as usual, on Aug 1st to the 5th. An insert in the Gander Beacon gives a full schedule of events plus some comments from the organizers of this event. Gander Day has been celebrated with aviation as it's principal venue since it's original inception. We are confident that Councillor Gerry Parrott and his group will do a bang up job. Make sure you all get out and enjoy yourselves. Remember, the word 'Aviation' includes Gander in it's history and that is what we celebrate.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hockey in Gander

Just received an interesting email from Doug Wheeler about the history of senior hockey in Gander . Hockey played a significant role as a source of entertainment during the early years in the airport town. Doug's website also covers the history of senior hockey in Nfld as well and is worth while visiting. One of the hangers on the American Side was converted into an arena with natural ice. We would really like to get some old photos of this building if there are any available out there. For the information of all, we will be making Doug's website available from the GAHS website

Sunday, June 23, 2013

International Airport Proposed For Trepassey, NL.

There was a time when Trepassey was recommended to be the home of an International Seaplane Base. This was not an official recommendation but suggested by non other than the famous aviator Amelia Earhart. This information is noted in the Nfld Archive Webpage taken from the June 21, 1928 edition of the New York Times report of an interview with Amelia herself. Apparently from her experience flying into Nfld. and continuing on to become the first woman pilot to fly the North Atlantic, she proposed this location from her personal observations. At that time it was no secret that the British Government was planning an aerodrome (land or water) to be constructed in Nfld. for their proposed airmail link to North America so we assume she felt she would pass along a recommendation for their consideration. I don't think she was familiar with the frequency of fog in this area. Another feature which they found out after Botwood was established was that a seaplane base in Nfld. could not be operational 365 days of the year due to our winter ice conditions. This was a determining factor in their decision to construct a land base aerodrome.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gander Airport Older Than London Heathrow?

Watching a video on YouTube about the initial construction of London Heathrow Airport and learned this interesting fact. Work on this new airport commenced in April 1944 and was officially opened on Jan 1,1946 with the departure of it's first flight, eight years after Gander was opened. Heathrow's first terminal was a military tent. At the time Gander was a thriving airport with it's second terminal building. The video talks about the need for such an airport with the startup of commercial aviation worldwide. Gander Airport may have set an example for this necessity. Because the British were instrumental in the construction and operation of Gander Airport, one has to wonder if any of the lessons learned at Gander were passed along. Heathrow is a different place today.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

North Atlantic Aviation Museum

A very interesting article published in the Gander Beacon last week about renovations to the North Atlantic Aviation Museum carried out in the past year especially their new project, Hangar the Hudson Initiative . The GAHS is a big supporter of the museum and would ask people living here or visiting the Gander area to drop by and see for yourself why this history is so important. If not, visit their excellent website for a look around.The people of Gander should be very proud of the NAA Museum's effort to preserve the contribution Gander Airport has made to aviation. We applaud their work.

Friday, June 14, 2013

GAHS Board of Directors

We have added another director to the GAHS.  George Innes, a director on the  Gander International Airport Authority has agreed to join our group. He brings with him many years of financial organization experience to groups such as ours and is most welcomed. This brings our numbers to 6 which is the required number to form our official BoD where it will be formalized at a meeting to be held in the near future. At this meeting a new executive will be formed from among these members.

Members of the Board are:

  • Peter Hoyles
  • George Innes
  • Rev. Marion Pardy
  • Robert Pelley
  • Jack Pinsent
  • Rick Stead

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Addition to GAHS

Just to let everyone know Peter Hoyles has agreed to join our group to assist us in our endeavours. I met recently with Peter, along with Rick Stead, where we discussed our proposed model for the old airport town. Great interest was shown by both guys as they showed me some old documents on the original layout of the airport from the early 50s. These old plans will be vital in the model's construction  Also discussed was the potential and the need for this project to go ahead in order to preserve the airport's history. If you are in the Gander area and happen to run into Rick or Peter, say hello and pass along any comments or ideas you might have. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Feel Free to Contribute

Collecting old photos or items of historical value is always important in keeping our website interesting and informative. We are also interested in obtaining personal experiences about living in the old airport town. Our resources are limited so therefore we depend on our viewers to send us along anything they feel would be important in portraying the history of the airport. Photos having people in them are okay because in a lot of cases there is a building involved in the background or a particular area that would be of interest. We are sure there are many out there who have something of value for us.  Just send it along to our website's mailing address gahs.webster@gmail.com . Even a brief comment about life in old Gander for our blog would assist. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

VIP Visits at Gander

We just posted an interesting article about an unknown visit by the Queen in 1953 . The strategic position of Gander Airport as a refuelling stop led to untold visits by VIP and celebraties during this pre-jet aviation era. Doug Shepard, in an interview some years ago, related his experience having given a ride to Frank Sinatra to the Eaton's store where he bought a gift for his baby daughter Nancy. These are just a few examples of 'sightings' of VIPs that passed through the airport. The terminal in those days was an exciting place to visit. You would never know who you would see.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Posting Comments

Just some information for those who wish to post comments. Unfortunately we do not accept comments from anonymous individuals. Recently we have had to reject comments from those who chose not to include their identity. This is our policy and we must abide by it. We are not able to edit the Identity area but we will attempt to assist in showing an example.

Just your 'Name' is OK, the URL is not necessary. Anything other than the 'Name/URL' being filled in will not be accepted.

Your comments and suggestions are important to us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video clips

To view some interesting video clips from the early years of commercial aviation we would recommend that browsing the enormous library of YouTube can lead to some rare treasures. We would like to show some examples.

This is from a 1941 news reel during WWII. Ferry Command was a top secret military operation and Gander Airport which was associated with this operation was not to be identified.

The second clip is from a TWA promotion about the Super Constellation aircraft which was a familiar sight at Gander Airport during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

There are quite a few very good videos on YouTube that will let you get a glimpse of aviation in this era. If anyone finds something interesting be sure to lets us know so we can pass it along.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gander Beacon

We sometime forget an important entity in recording the history of Gander Airport we have been reading on our website. The Gander Beacon has been documenting this history through interviews with some of the pioneers of Gander Airport on how it all started, how they lived, right up to the present day, for the past 50 plus years. They annually compiled these stories in special editions published for the Gander Day celebration each year and have graciously agreed to permit us to reprint these articles. We owe the Gander Beacon a debt of gratitude for their efforts. Our hats are off to the Gander Beacon.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rianna wins 1st place

As a follow up to our previous item, Rianna Hickey writes  telling everyone she has won 1st place with the project we assisted on;

Hi, this is Rianna again.  I thought i should tell you that my project got 1st place at the heritage fair and now I go to the regionals in st. john's  May 3rd.  Thanks for your help!   If you have anything you think I should include please let me know.  Thanks.  I'm sending a picture so you can see.

Way to go Rianna. Glad to have helped.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Thank you Rianna

We received email this weekend from Rianna Hickey, a Grade 6 student from Whitbourne Elementary School, requesting our assistance by providing help with her Newfoundland Heritage project . Apparently her school does not have wireless internet and was unable to show the rescue pictures for her Sabena Airplane Crash project. We provided her with photos in time for her to complete her project making her a very happy little girl.  Please read her letter of thanks posted in the Visitors Comments from the link in the left column. It is very refreshing indeed and we appreciate it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Gander

Gander Airport is celebrating it's 75th anniversary this year. This was not intentional but this website coincidentally started up this year and we hope to contribute to this celebration. Any stories or photos anyone would like to pass along will be appreciated. We will report any information on these events as they become available. One on our main initiatives of the GAHS will be to have a model of the airport and all its buildings constructed as it appeared in the early 1950s.

Airport town of Gander - 1939

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hudson Bomber

The Hudson Bomber certainly could not be compared to the ‘B17-Flying Fortress’ yet this tiny bomber’s importance was significant in being the first military aircraft ferried from North America to Great Britain during WWII giving birth to RAF Ferry Command and putting Gander Airport on aviation’s world map. Two video’s that tell this story are available at www.amazon.ca  for those interested, entitled ‘Above and Beyond’, a CBC docudrama filmed in Gander and a PBS documentary ‘Flying the Secret Sky’. I am sure there are more videos available dealing with this subject but these videos are certainly worth watching.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nfld. Ensign

The flag raising ceremony at Gander Airport in 1949 mentions the first time the Canadian Ensign was officialy raised at the airport. Does anyone remember what ensign it was replacing? 

Newfoundland Ensign

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blue Jay

Our latest item on Blue Jay shows us another first in the aviation world for Gander Airport.  The first airport to use GCA as an approach procedure for civilian aircraft by civilian air traffic controllers. Frank Tibbo describes their unique talent to have pilots put trust in their ability to guide them to touchdown safely in adverse weather conditions. The DOT guys, trained by the Blue Jay staff, continued this talent. I never had the opportunity to see the Blue Jay guys in action but I did observe the DOT controllers who replaced them. An example of this was I heard one DOT controller, whom I will call ‘uncle John’, say during one of his approaches ‘…on the glide slope, on course. Continue present heading. The centerline [runway] is between you and the co-pilot…’.   Sometime casual but professional banter between pilot and controller eased a lot of tension in stressful situations. They were good. Oh, by the way, Frank Tibbo was one of these first DOT GCA controllers in Canada.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Roland Masse Story

I have just posted a piece researched by R. Pelley on a radio operator that worked for RAF Ferry Command at Gander during 1943 . The amazing thing about this story is it is told by a man who is 90 years old and he has related his experiences like it happened yesterday. This truly is an historical document,  to bring back the past life of Gander during WWII so vividly for us to read.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Airport Heating Plants

It might be interesting to note that the old airport town, for the majority of buildings, had piped in steam heat from four coal burning heating plants from various locations on the airport property. They were located at the RAF side, RR Station area, Canadian side and the American side. The Army side area residences were required to provide their own individual heat, supplied by coal delivered by the DOT.  In some of the photos you may have seen the overhead pipes. We are attempting to gather more detailed information on this interesting innovation that we know was the first of its kind in Nfld, and maybe in Canada. If anyone has any information, stories or photos on these heating plants, please pass them along to us. These heating plants were vital to the survival of the old town.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gander Terminal Article

A situation has recently occurred where we have come across an interesting piece on the Gander terminal on another website and felt our readers might like to view this document. We tried to get permission to republish this information but was unable due to copy write restraints. We did however get their permission to use their link for your viewing.

Why would we ask to republish this information on our site rather than just a link? Well, if we use a link, we don't have control over a website from discontinuing a particular web page at a later date. We would like to have all information published as a webpage on our site to always remain available. Hopefully we will get permission to republish this information in the future.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Street Names for Gander

To the uninformed, when the new town was built, the new town council made a policy that all street names would be named after pioneers of aviation with just a few exceptions ( Memorial, Elizabeth and Edinburg). I think it would be appropriate for this Society, when established,  to promote three other people to be considered for street names. Namely, Group Captain Foss,  Dr. Samuel Martin, and USCG Commander Stew Graham. Mr. Graham was the second pilot ever to fly helicopters, was one of the helicopters pilots who flew out Sabena OO-CBG survivors, and went on to become instrumental in developing SAR helicopter rescue procedures. We hope in the future to produce an article on this aviation pioneer for this website. Unfortunately USCG records for the second helicopter USCG Lt. August Kleish are incomplete and no history is available.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

OO-CBG Accident Report

The OO-CBG Accident Report has just been posted on the website . Tom Beard wrote a summary at the beginning followed by the official report itself. Some of the events that led up to the accident are very indicative of this era, that being this was the start of commercial air travel with a definite lack of accepted rules and regulations. Accidents like this were bound to happen before findings were noted, with lessons learned and recommendations enacted upon. One would have to notice the flight crew were very young, with little experience. Was age or the lack of experience an important factor or was it the fact that the crew being in operational status for over 16 hours, that created poor judgment caused by fatigue? It wasn’t mentioned as a contributing factor in the official report. However they did state that pilot error was the key to the accident with no recommendation to consider a maximum operational flying time.

Another point, not only was the accident the first by a commercial air carrier in the world but this report was the also first and only aircraft accident report made by the Government of Nfld. That should be a good trivial question for the aviation buffs out there.

Sure would like to hear comments on this one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OO-CBG Final Flight Path

I just received email from Tom Beard, a retired Lt. Commander from the USCG, who has sent us his research on the Probable Final Flight Path of OO-CBG . He has also collected more detailed information plus the accident report which I hope he will send along at a later date. If it does happen,  I certainly will be adding the information to this section.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sabena Rescue Photos

For those who went looking for those  Sabena Rescue Photos as listed in the update page, well, they are there now. Just a little bit of finger/brain trouble. The slide show is played through an Adobe Spry Widget which I don't have much control over. In my opinion it is a little too fast but that is easily corrected if you want to take over manually. Just click on the picture and the auto feature will stop. Now you will have to click for each photo after. You can also start the auto again by watching for the 'start' icon when moving the mouse over the photo. As for the slide show, if you read some of the USCG documents you will easily follow the story. The slide show is in chronological order as much as possible. I will have some film clips which I hope to add later. Right now we are waiting for copy write permission before that happens.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

American Side

A new photo has been posted in the American Side/Living Areas page, Galleries section, 1946-1958 era. The photo is an aerial view of the American Side , circa 1948. This could be considered as being in the 'priceless' category, donated by Ron Chafe. Just how many pictures are out there like this, buried away in those old shoe boxes. Eventually we will be building a model of the old airport as it stood in this era and those photos will be vital in piecing it all together. We ask everyone, if you have any of these pictures, please get them scanned and send them along to us. They are very valuable in documenting  the history of the airport.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The tea is good as well.

We have just added to Galleries in the 1946-1958 era - A Mystery Photo. It was contributed by Bob Pelley who discovered these photos in the USA. We have blown up the photo to try and show the faces of the individuals standing around in front of the terminal arrival/departure area.. Identifying some of these people may help us track down as to what this occasion might have been. We sure would like some input here to try and solve this little mystery.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Welcome to the coffee shop. Grab yourself a cup and have a chat with us.

I just completed a new section in the 1946-1958 era called Sabena Crash. Thanks to the US Coast Guard Assoc. for letting us publish this material. It is really worth reading especially the heroic effort made to save these  survivors. To me it was almost like reading a fiction book. This would certainly make a wonderful movie if the right people could read about these events. Another point about the ordeal was that it took 59 years to recognize officially the work of Dr. Sam Martin. That’s in it’s self is sad that the award had to be made posthumously. I might also add, there was some pretty fancy flying done by those helicopter and PBY flight crews.