When many military pilots returned from the First World War,
they worked to establish a civil aviation industry. But laying
the foundations for such an industry proved a challenge as there
was no clear vision of what it would do. Air
service was more informal in the beginning, with aviators
covering a wide range of tasks such as providing demonstrations
during the summer fairs, transporting cargo, rescuing those lost
in remote regions, delivering the mail, and carrying passengers.
When a need was found for more established commercial air
services, like in the Peace River region, other former war
pilots created companies and immediately initiated tough
competition. Added to these challenges was the fact that it
remained expensive to keep aircraft in the air.
Added to these difficulties was the economic depression of
the 1930s that reduced the amount of activities for aviation
companies in Alberta. The supply of surplus aircraft and parts
that was available right after the war was exhausted and
replacements were expensive. Fewer communities could afford to
pay for demonstrations during the summer fairs, and few
passengers were found.
It was becoming more and more difficult to make a living in
this flight-related business during these early
decades of aviation in Canada.