Rod Digney’s Monday Memories #78
For many years, the north field at Hunt Club and what is now Paul Benoit Driveway was the home base of Canadian aviation pioneer Laurentian Air Services. The founders of LAS began operating at the Hunt Club Field in 1919, incorporated in 1936 and actually owned the entire airport for several months in 1937-38. From the beginning of my time in Ottawa in 1966, the LAS property was a beehive of aviation activity as the company serviced the many bush and survey aircraft flown by it and its subsidiary companies. There were few fences and one had only to ask permission from any of the friendly managers or maintenance personnel to be able to virtually wander and take photographs at will. LAS ceased operations in the late 1990s and today, the only trace of LAS is the iconic metal hangar that formed the background of many a photo and is today part of the Iogen complex.
The Laurentian Air Service (LAS) property at the north field always hosted at least one of the company’s Beaver and Otter aircraft. Nov 1972.
LAS Cessna 180J C-GCAH in front of the iconic LAS hangar. Oct 1974.
The back yard at LAS was always a treasure chest of aircraft parts, floats, skis, you name it. DHC-3 Otter CF-APQ (c/n 201), acquired earlier from Norwegian carrier Wideroe, is seen awaiting repairs at YOW in Oct 1974 following a crash in Newfoundland a few months earlier.
LAS bought, sold and maintained numerous examples of the rugged de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, including many surplus US Army aircraft. Beaver C-GUJV (c/n 1643) is still flying on the west coast today. 3 Nov 1978.
Laurentian’s famous Grumman G-21A Goose CF-BXR hauled VIPs and wealthy fishermen to remote camps from Ottawa and other points for many years. It had previously served the US military and the RCAF during WW II. July 1970.
A rather worn looking DHC-2 Beaver, CF-HOE (c/n 630) in one of LAS’s standard liveries is seen at YOW 31 Aug 1979. Shortly afterwards, it was sold to a Swedish operator as SE-GXX.
The only reminder of Laurentian Air Services at YOW’s north field today is the rebuilt hangar that is now part of the Iogen complex as seen from Avro Jetliner Private.