Polar Winds: A Century of Flying the North


“They were all gamblers and fortune seekers. They did things on their own — were independent people who wanted to be free to roam. They were good people, but, of course, some were loners or escapists. They all depended strictly on their wits.”
Joe McBryan, pilot and owner of Yellowknife-based Buffalo Airways, was talking about gold prospectors in the 1940s when he said this, but he could just as easily have been describing the aviators who have flown northern skies for over a hundred years. They were adventurers and pioneers, but also just men and women doing what was required to make a living north of the sixtieth parallel. Polar Winds uses the stories of these pilots and others to explore the greater history of air travel in the North, from the Klondike Gold Rush through to the end of the twentieth century. It encompasses everything from exploration flights to the North Pole in airships to passenger travel in jet liners; flying school buses for residential schools to indigenous pilots performing mercy flights; and from the harrowing crashes to the routine supply runs that make up daily life in the North. Above all, it is a unique history told through the experiences of northerners on the ground and in the sky.

This book will be available through your favourite bookseller in September 2014.

Polar Winds: A Century of Flying the North
Publications

For the Love of Flying


For the Love of Flying tells the story of Laurentian Air Services and its subsidiaries, Air Schefferville, Delay River Outfitters and more. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with Laurentian's owners, pilots and ground crew, author Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail explores this innovative company's colourful 60-year history from its founding in 1936 with biplanes through the 1990s when it operated twin-engine turboprops. This book is filled with lively flying anecdotes from the cockpits of the world's most recognizable bushplanes, including the Beaver, Otter, Douglas DC-3 and Grumman Goose. From daring rescues and close calls, to the filming of Hollywood's Captains of the Clouds, to the perils of flying Canada's most eccentric millionaire, Laurentian's pilots did it all. Interlaced with these fascinating accounts are the stories of back-country air tourism, the mineral and hydro-power boom in Quebec and Newfoundland-Labrador, and commercial aviation in North America. Click here to find out more and order your copy »
For the Love of Flying
Publications

Flying Away from it All


Middle-class motor tourists often ended up at holiday destinations frequented by the upper classes, much to the chagrin of the latter. As historian Earl Pomeroy wrote in the 1950s: “The aristocracy was quick to take fright and retreat before common clay, and sometimes fled into the remote wilderness.” Like frightened birds, some of the elite took to the air. Click here to read the full article »
Flying Away from it All
Articles

Being a Bertonite


The Yukon is startling, surprising and almost uncomfortably free. It’s a territory of intense weather and topography, of people looking to make their own paths, to escape family, or reinvent themselves. It’s a place that manages to defy all expectations even in this age of Google, Twitter and 24-hour media. The Berton House Retreat, located in Pierre Berton’s childhood home in Dawson City, offers a base for writers to explore the Yukon – and themselves. Click here to read the full article »
Being a Bertonite
Articles

Home, Sweet, Home


When Alana Gannon Schilf and Bob Schilf decided to move to Edmonton from St. Albert in 2009, they knew exactly what kind of home they wanted. "We really like the aesthetic of the mid-century modern," Gannon Schilf says. "And I always wanted a flat roof." They also knew where they wanted to live in the city: The desirable eastern edge of the Parkview neighbourhood. Read the full article in Avenue's January 2014 issue.
Home, Sweet, Home
Articles
© 2011 Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail. All Rights Reserved.
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