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 This truly is an historical document,  to bring back the past life of Gander during WWII so vividly for us to read.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.