Friday, September 30, 2016

They Were First At The Crash Scene

Sometime you find the nicest gems when you are just looking for something entirely different. Recently we just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Sabena OO-CBG accident which was recorded by Rogers TV. While we were checking YouTube to see if Rogers had put something up, we discovered an old Land & Sea production back some 25 years ago. It was about two trappers that were first on the scene just hours after the accident happened. This lost video is a real treasure indeed. For your enjoyment.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

70th Anniversary of Sabena Crash

Sept. 18 marks the 70th Anniversary of the historic Sabena crash which occurred when a DC4,OO-CBG, while on approach to Gander airport, crashed into the wilderness some 25NM SW of the runway in 1946. There were 44 people on board including the flight crew.16 survived but were severely injured. Unable to call for help they remained alive surviving the weather, the mosquitos and lack of food for 2 days before rescuers found them and administered assistance. Detailed information can be found on our website describing the rescue mission.

The GAHS will be hosting a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary on this date at the 103 SAR hanger under the authority of 9 Wing, Gander. Invited guests will include the Belgian Ambassador and USCG personal. During the ceremony, the GIAA will dedicate two streets at the airport in honour of two individuals who were instrumental in the rescue mission's success. In addition, 103 SAR will fly the ambassador and special members of the group to the crash site for an aerial viewing. Although this is a private ceremony due to Base security reasons, Rogers TV will be documenting the entire proceeding for public viewing on the Rogers local public channel. USCG is also celebrating its 100th anniversary by noting this rescue mission was the first time a helicopter was used in a civilian rescue. USCG then adopted the helicopter as its main rescue vehicle leading other countries to follow suit.

This was an historic aviation crash in not only was the helicopter proven to be a useful rescue aircraft but other aviation regulations were developed in the field of airport approach procedures and mandatory crew rest regulations. Civilian Ground Controlled Approach radar, the first in the world, was introduced at the Gander airport shortly after. Another role Gander played in aviation's history.

Monday, July 25, 2016

GAHS Has A New Director On Its Board

We would like to introduce you to Captain Josiah (Joe) Goodyear, our newest director, to our board effective immediately. Many who are from the area may have known Joe, son of Joe & Claris Goodyear, as a young lad who grew up in Gander. Joe is a retired officer of the Canadian Forces and is now working as a reservist for 9 Wing as their Heritage Officer. Joe has come to our attention for his work with us in liaison with 9 Wing on our planned Sabena Memorial Anniversary to be held on Sept 18 this year.  Joe was invited to be a director on our Board and has accepted his appointment. Joe's family of the Goodyear Humber Stores fame, was an integral part in the history of Gander airport.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Something New Coming To The NAAM in Gander

GAHS is planning on bringing something new to the NAAM. In conjunction with the help of individuals at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWH), a digital model for the flight simulator is being constructed to portray Gander during WWII showing all the buildings and runway layout. In addition airplanes and buildings for additional models for the post war airport up to the new terminal opening and another for the present day. The 3 models will be incorporated into the present flight simulator to enable you to fly into and land at Gander in 3 different eras. These models  will also be displayed on a flat screen monitor, for those not familiar with flight simulators, to view a video of what the old airport town looked like, by taking a visual tour of the airport, to be shown in a continuous loop. This should be available in 2017, as well as a 3D table model of the airport, all to be displayed at the museum. Be prepared to take a trip back in time to the old Gander.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Canadian Geographic Magazine

The Canadian Geographic magazine's cartographer has informed us they working on an article about the evolution of Gander and its airport. They have asked us for some historical air photography to show how the town and airport have evolved. We here at GAHS are more than enthused with this project. We have spent the last few days uploading information to assist them. Unfortunately the better the quality the better the result. Most of our images of the airport are not in the best of condition but all we can do is try. Their main interest is aerial images from the late 30's, 40's and 50's to portray this evolution. If anyone has good quality aerial images they wish to share, please pass them along.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Gander Airport Project

We have been in contact recently with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton ON. They are seeking our assistance in compiling information on the graphical layout of Gander Airport during the war years for a project they are getting underway. Their intent is to present a 3D simulated version of Gander during the war years to be available for all to see. This is as big of a compliment to Gander’s history that we could ever imagine. We are so looking forward being a part of assisting in the creation of this project. We ask everyone’s assistance in passing along to us photographic information on Gander up until 1958. there is no such thing as a bad photo that shows our historical past.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

B377 Stratocruiser

To give you an idea of what a B377 Stratocruiser, the world's first double decker airplane, looked like , inside and out, go to this link and watch a 1950 PAA promo film about this airplane . The B377 was used by both PAA & BOAC and made flying all the more comfortable for those that could afford the airfares. They were a frequent visitor to Gander Airport back then and they were a very impressive airplane to watch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Slide Show of Paul Bunyan In Action

Recently, a lady from Ontario was going through some photographs of her late father Ted Kelly. She knew that during the mid 50’s he had worked in Gander installing Radar equipment at the RCAF base and assumed that some of his photos were taken at Gander. She contacted us to ask,if we were interested, she would contribute his photos for our website. We jumped at this opportunity. The photos were of a Seaboard & Western DC4 that went into a ditch while taxing. What these photos shown mainly was DOT’s crane Paul Bunyan lifting the DC4. We have made a slide show of these photos on our website which shows the Paul Bunyan in action . This indeed warrants a look by anyone interested in the airport’s history.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Phyllis (Penney) Gaul - NL’s First Female Pilot

Last August (2015) we put a page on our website with reference to Phyllis (Penney) Gaul who in 1947, while working with KLM in Gander, became the first female in Newfoundland to get her pilots licence. Maybe a few of you have already read about her. This is to advise everyone that we have updated this page to include a better photo of her, documents showing her letters of permission from the Newfoundland Civil Aviation Authority to take flying lesson, permit to fly solo and a recent video of a BC CTV feature of her still flying at the age of 88. This item is definitely a worthy item in Gander Airport’s history.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Inflight Refuelling

It will take some time but we will eventually relate to everyone, the important role Newfoundland played in the startup of world wide commercial aviation. We Newfoundlander’s are more known for our role in nautical history, especially telling it’s story of the settling of North America by Europeans. Little do people realize that Newfoundland’s role in aviation outweighs this nautical story. As an example, today’s military air force use of inflight refuelling, in the strategic planning of world wide conflicts, was as a result of attempts to start a commercial aviation industry to transverse the North Atlantic back in the 30’s. In flight refuelling was started during the late 1930’s to solve the problem of those giant flying boat’s take off weight problems with extra fuel loads. Eventually larger land based aircraft eliminated this problem but the military caught on to this development and perfected it to transport fighter jets over long distances for present day military situations. It just blows our minds as to how happenings at Botwood and Gander in 1939 led to military procedures that we take for granted as ordinary aviation evolution. When you talk about the startup of commercial aviation, include the word ‘Newfoundland’ in your story.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Link Updates

We just finished updating our links in the right hand column. We have added Lisa Daly's blog 'Plane Crash Girl’. Lisa is an Aviation Archaeologist and is a contributor to our website. Her latest piece deals with a Digby bomber that crashed during the war very near where the Czechoslovakian IL18 crashed in 1967. This looks like this will be a very interesting blog to follow in the future. We also added a link to our Twitter account. This account has been in effect since last summer and is raising a lot of interest around the world. We have followers from as far away as California, Vancouver, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Turkey, Germany and the UK. Just goes to show that people from everywhere are curious about Gander Airport's history.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gander Commonwealth War Graves

We have updated the Gander Commonwealth War Graves webpage in the Ferry Command section in the WWII era to include a link where you can view the records of those who lie at rest in the cemetery (located at the bottom of the page). Highlighted names of the military personal will lead to photos of the grave markers. These records have been documented by Genealogical & Historical Data of the Newfoundland’s Grand Banks Site and we take the liberty of making use of this information by accessing their wonderful website. Our appreciation and thanks go out to those who researched this data.

Friday, January 15, 2016

New York Times Article on Gander Airport

Doing research on articles for the GAHS website sometimes brings the greatest pleasure when you find a nugget that we didn’t know existed. Such is what we found quite recently when browsing for past news items, we happen to come across this article in the NY Times about Gander Airport written 10 years ago. Reading the news item from such a prestigious news paper, it made us realize that Gander Airport still resonates with it’s past history. Something that is still remembered and understood by those who you would think might consider us as insignificant. Just goes to show just how rich the airport’s history really is.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Gander's First Aircraft Landing Jan 11, 1938

We make note that Jan 11 will be the 78th anniversary of the first aircraft to land at Gander airport by Captain Douglas Fraser in his Fox Moth VO-ADE. This date is very important as a most significant event in Gander Airport's history and to the town itself. Events such as this should always be remembered because in most cases it eventually affected us all.