Book on Spartan Air Services in the Works

Author Robert Stitt has written several articles about aircraft operated by Spartan Air Services and has recently had a book published on the history of the Boeing Fortress with RAF Coastal Command. Robert is now working on a book describing all of Spartan’s aircraft and operations in detail and is keen to make contact with former Spartan employees or their relatives willing to share memories, photographs, logbooks, newsletters and other items.

Please contact him at


Here are some other aviation projects underway. Their authors welcome your help!

Harold E. Wright would like information on the location of the records of the Magee Trophy Committee from the 1939-42 period. He would also be interested in knowing of any pilots or aircraft with a connection to Saint John, NB, from the 1917-1975 period. Contact him at

Elizabeth Chen is looking for some photographs. She writes: “In 1958/59 my Father Squadron Leader Douglas Leckie RAAF was flying in the Snowy Mountains Australia in the Beaver VH-SMB, this plane is now C-FTCW.” Do you have any records or photos of this aircraft? Contact her at if so!
 Matt Jolley (for Fred Aldworth) is looking for help tracking down an individual aircraft history or squadron records for aircraft DH-82-C, construction number 1339, that flew with No. 33 EFTS in Caron, Saskatchewan then was sold to civilian and registered in the USA as NX82CS. Please contact or if you can help.
Jake McLaughlin is spearheading “a project inviting anecdotes about Canada’s short-lived history of naval aviation from those who were directly involved or whose friends or family members might have been part of that world. If you know of anyone who fits in either category, would you be kind enough to direct them to the website on which anecdotes can be posted. We’ll collect, review and publish the results. Any proceeds from the outcome will be dedicated to funding a memorial to the story of Naval Air in Canada.”


My film debut

I am sitting in the Ottawa International Airport (YOW – my favourite airport code!) after a whirlwind trip to my hometown, and am now awaiting a flight to my newly adopted hometown of Edmonton.

Not much would have lured me away from the chaos of my first house and all the accompanying DIY projects, but I can’t turn down an exciting opportunity (by history geek standards). And being interviewed for a documentary on one of the world’s most interesting aircraft trumps tearing down ceramic wall tiles – as fun as that was!

I first heard about this proposed ‘bio-pic’ on Douglas DC-3 “Sister Ann” last June when I was stranded in Regina on my For the Love of Flying book tour. Through the magic of the internet a film production crew from Colorado Springs found my website and contacted me. After all, “Sister Ann” aka CF-POY was registered to Laurentian Air Services from 1971 to 1980.

Since then we have stayed in touch and when it came time to conduct interviews in Ottawa, they asked me to speak to the DC-3’s importance in Canada, the type of work it did with Laurentian, and so on. And while the timing for me wasn’t the greatest – my hairdresser found various colours of paint stuck to my strands yesterday! – it is perfect for the history of the Dakota, Dak or Gooney Bird. This year marks its 75th anniversary and in July 50-odd aircraft will do a mass fly-in at Oshkosh. Gosh!

It will be many months before they wrap up interviews in India and other locations, and piece together the footage they’ve collected. In the end, I’ll be a tiny piece of the puzzle, just one talking head among many in a feature-length documentary. And it’s so cool (in a history geek kind of way).

© 2011 Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail. All Rights Reserved.