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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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First airmail in Alberta

Katherine StinsonWhile Katherine Stinson was performing at the Calgary Exhibition in July 1918, it was announced that she would carry mail in her airplane from Calgary to Edmonton, marking the second time in Canada that mail would be delivered by air. Three weeks before, mail had been carried via air from Toronto to Montreal.

At 1:03 p.m. on July 9, Stinson took off from outside Calgary, travelling fourteen and one-half kilometres before she had to land with engine trouble. Her mechanic arrived, fixed the problem and she was on her way again in the evening.

Katherine Stinson flies first airmail in Western Canada
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A large white arrow had been erected at the racing oval in Edmonton to direct Katherine to the place she was to land. After a two-hour and five-minute flight, she arrived and touched down successfully. The crowds gathered to witness the event rushed her airplane, sweeping aside the police. The famous pilot was escorted to a platform for a ceremony celebrating her victorious delivery of 259 letters.

Stinson agreed to stay on for the city’s fair and performed all her stunts to the delight of the crowds.

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