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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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Arctic Survey

Punch Dickins in Fort FitzgeraldPunch 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 exploration.

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.

Rae Farrell

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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Alberta's Aviation Heritage

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