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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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Alberta Aviation Museum Tour


 
 

Aviation Oral History

The aviation history of Alberta lives on in the stories of some of its pioneers. Punch Dickens, Walter Bennett, Ray Farrell, Vera Dowling, and Harold Heacock share the aerial experiences of yesteryear in the following video excerpts. All video interviews featured on this site come courtesy of the Alberta Aviation Museum.



Punch Dickens
A New Airfield – "Punch" Dickens
Punch Dickens tells how the Edmonton Municipal Airport was born, becoming the first municipally owned airfield in Canada.
Watch | Read




Walter Bennett
Wartime Airfield Construction Part 1: Building Up the Workforce - Walter Bennett
Mr. Bennett describes the airport construction projects in Edmonton during the early stages of the war.
Watch | Read | Biography




Walter Bennett
Wartime Airfield Construction Part 2: Building Up the Hangar – Walter Bennett
Mr. Bennett explains the order of construction and how all the pieces of the hangar went together.
Watch | Read | Biography




Rae Farrell
The Canol Pipeline Contract – Ray Farrell
Rae Farrell discusses the Canol Pipeline Contract.
Watch | Read | Biography





Rae Farrell
Rough Landing – Ray Farrell
Mr. Farrell describes a hazard that could happen when flying from the north to the southern areas of the province.
Watch | Read | Biography




Vera Dowling
Passing the Test – Vera Dowling
Vera describes the testing process she had to go through to get her pilot's license.
Watch | Read | Biography




Vera Dowling
The Wellington Bomber Incident – Vera Dowling
Vera recalls an incident in which she had to deliver an unsafe Wellington bomber to another airbase.
Watch | Read | Biography




Vera Dowling
Vera Dowling: UFO Pilot – Vera Dowling
An interesting and amusing story about Vera’s experience as a flight instructor in Edmonton.
Watch | Read | Biography




Harold Heacock
The Mk V Norseman – Harold Heacock
Harold describes the Mk V Norseman aircraft that the RCMP used for its northern air service.
Watch | Read | Biography




Harold Heacock
The Challenges of Northern Flight – Harold Heacock
Harold describes the challenges of flying in the north.
Watch | Read | Biography





Harold Heacock
Landing in the Spring – Harold Heacock
One of the jobs that Harold regularly undertook was to fly the Norseman into remote locations, airlifting in medical supplies and personnel, and taking patients out.
Watch | Read | Biography




Harold Heacock
Ice Floe Rescues – Harold Heacock
Harold tells the story of a daring ice floe rescue.
Watch | Read | Biography





Harold Heacock
Joe Coombs and Canso River Landings – Harold Heacock
Harold remembers a pilot named Joe Coombs, who flew a Canso flying boat for the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Watch | Read | Biography




Harold Heacock
Landing on the Mud Flats – Harold Heacock
Harold recounts a rather foolhardy, but ultimately successful, landing he made at Fort Chipewyan.
Watch | Read | Biography




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Alberta's Aviation Heritage

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