Punch Dickins is famous
for his exploratory flight into the far reaches of the Arctic
region: the enormous area of land that was at that time,
represented by an unmarked empty space on the map.
The journey was organized by Dominion Explorers limited,
Northern Aerial Minerals Exploration, Cyril Knight Prospecting,
and Nipissing Mines. These companies worked to bring in the
Hudson’s Bay fuel and caches needed to carry out the extended
Dickins used a Fokker
seaplane that was chartered from Western Canada Airways. The
team included Lieutenant Colonel C.D.H. MacAlpine, who was the
president of Dominion Explorers, Richard Pearce, editor of the
Northern Miner, and W.B. Nadin, engineer and passenger.
They set out on 28 August 1928.
The flight took the men over the vast barren bands of the
Arctic that no southerner had ever travelled before. The region
had nearly no inhabitants, and the only vegetation that existed
was willows, lichen, grass, and moss. They landed on unmapped
lakes and completed the 6,400-kilometre trip in 12 days.
After the flight, Punch Dickins won the McKee Trophy, which
recognized those who have made a significant contribution to
aviation in Canada.
Rough Landing – Ray Farrell
Rae Farrell tells of a danger related more to Canada’s climate than to the bullets of enemy soldiers and planes.
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