Associated Air Taxi

British Columbia, Canada

Robert Benjamin "Bob" Gayer started Associated Air Taxi Ltd. in 1946, his wife Louise was General Manager of the Company.
Around 1948 he amalgamated with Port Alberni Airways (started by Jack Moul and Slim Knights).

Associated Air Taxi was bought by Central British Columbia Airways Ltd. in 1953. Late 1952 PWA applied to the Air Transport Board to buy Associated Air Taxi Ltd. of Vancouver. Central BC Airways Ltd. was founded in 1946 in Ft. St. James in Northern BC. 1953 this became Pacific Western Airlines, PWA operated by Francis Russell "Russ" Baker

Unknown Man hold Associated Sign

1952, left- Herman Joseph “Slim” Knights, shaking hands with Russ Baker, right. Slim was the Uncle of Grant Walker. He married Bud's younger sister, Thora Walker. photo taken by Bud Walker Looks like front of Associated's G44 Widgeon. Grant worked for Associated, the summer of 1958.

Front Desk, Associated Air Taxi
Front Desk, Associated Air Taxi

CF-GHY single engine plane, CF-GHY was an
Aeronca Sedan (model 15AC) per Dave Hilchie, see below.

Photo above ca 1951-52, taken at Sea Island, Richmond BC by Thomas Raymond “Bud” Walker
Incidentally, the picture of the low wing twin on floats to the right of the picture of the Aeronca Sedan tied to the log boom is a Cessna T-50 Crane, another Second War ex RCAF type, used for pilot training. They were very uncommon on floats and I can't imagine it had much of a payload in that configuration. Of course it always operated at sea level as long as it stayed over the chuck and probably flew at least one trip in ground effect all the way … God help you if you lost an engine because it wouldn't go far on one - with a load or at altitude. I've heard they were pleasant to fly when everything was going well. Dave Hilchie​

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) opened in 1931 on Sea Island

1954, Sea Island

CF-OBM, Noorduyn Norseman V 1954, Sea Island. Ayce and Grant Walker sons of the photographer Bud Walker.

Associated Air Taxi, Austin Delivery Van, taken 1952 “Richmond 1551” on the door, which was the Company Phone Number. From online search 1948-1950, this appears to be a A40 10CWT van (A= Austin, 40 = 40 Hp) Dinky Toys made a #472 copy of this van.

Using a Farm Tractor to push planes around,Delivery Austin Van on left,Grumman G44 Widgeon on right

Owner- Robert Benjamin "Bob" Gayer

Herman Joseph "Slim" Knights

Ronald F. "Ron" Connelly and Denny McCartney flew for Associated

Many of these are pilots referenced news articles and the like.

Pilot George W. Lutz, of Vancouver, was sued after an accident May 9, 1949, by widow and children of Lorne Thomas McLean, who was awarded $47,900 in damages McLean was a 33 year old Logging superintendent plane crash landed at “Bohn” Point, southwest of Forbes Bay, Homfray Channel, Vancouver Island. Pilot broke both his legs, but he lived.

Pilot Ken Kirk of 2348 E 49th st, rescued a logger on a boat in Bute Inlet, Sept 21, 1950

Pilot Stu Phillip flew an Eronca Sedan aircraft on a mercy mission, June 1952

Pilot, Dave Floyd, and Al Grieg, both of Sea Island,flew a mercy flight Jan 16, 1952 from Britannia Mines to Vancouver. They flew a Waco ambulance Plane

Pilot Ken Quest, age 24, flew Jan 4, 1952 made a mercy flight from Squamish

Pilot Lawrence Walter “Larry” Mantie of Vancouver(b-1926 in Saskatoon SK, d- Aug 22, 1985 Powell River BC; see contributed note below on this man) along with Captain Albert E. Wehner of Jervis Inlet, were rescued by the SS Princess Elizabeth, Feb 27, 1950 they were flying a light Aeronca, amphibious plane. They were flying from Nelson Island where Capt. Wehner was living, to Vancouver. Wehner was a German born Scientist,who was seeking gold treasures, all around the world, at that time.

Pilot Dennis Pierce made a medical flight from Cracroft island, Oct 1948

Pilot Mac Willard flew a mercy flight June 1951

Received a phone call and email from Dennis McMahon Apr 25, 2012 and he informed me that his father John Francis "Jack" McMahon worked for Bob Gayer, at Associated Air Taxi.

Ad from Jack McMahon's file from Denny

This information made Grant remember another name, Emerson Wallace, who worked at Associated. He was a WWII Fighter Pilot. He had a wife Pat, and a son. According to Grant he was always a happy guy. Stocky build.

Associated CF-BQH, Twin engine plane, Beech A-18A
Plane identified by Lars Opland, with thanks

I think this is CF-BQH landing or taking off
on the Fraser River, at Sea Island

Side of an Associated Air Taxi plane,I think it is CF-BQH above
Pilot, name unknown

Associated Air Taxi, G44 Grumman Widgeon

Associated Air Taxi and Associated Aero Services Display ca 1951-52

CF-BDL, Left- in hangar for repairs, right- On floats ready to fly.

Bud Walker beside Associated's G44 Grumman Widgeon airplane

Re. the picture of Bud Walker standing in front of the aircraft described as an Associated Air Taxi Goose, the aircraft is actually the little brother to the Goose, the Grumman G44 Widgeon. That one has the original Fairchild Ranger engines, the 6-440 C5, and the after-market Aeromatic propellers. They were reputed to be tricky little aircraft in terms of their water handling and prone to porpoising and all-in-all more of a handful than the Goose, but they were popular on the coast. Most were later converted by STC to the lycoming Go-480 geared flat six engine, which was considerably more powerful than the Ranger, but also cursed with a low TBO and very expensive overhauls. But the Lyc could take a constant speed, full feathering prop, which made a world of difference in the single engine performance. Sorry to ramble on so … Dave Hilchie ​

Unknown plane in front of hangar
Then this info came in from Dave Hilchie, Cumberland BC:
Re. your interesting site, the “unknown airplane in front of hangar” pictures, near the bottom of the page, is an Avro Anson Mk V. These were WWII training aircraft used by the RCAF and several hundred were licensed for civilian use after the war. The aircraft in the photo has additional window area added in the nose, most likely for aerial photography work. They were useful and well liked in general but due to an all plywood construction were reduced to a handful still operating by the early sixties. There's one flyable Anson left in this country, with the Museum people in Hamilton. The mark fives had Wasp Junior engines, which eventually became more valuable than the aircraft, due to deterioration of the plywood airframe and no doubt ex-Anson engines are still flying on Beavers etc.
Also the pilot Lawrence Mantie mentioned halfway down the page was well known and highly respected around the Vancouver area. He was the Chief Pilot for Crown Zellerbach for decades, flying their Goose CF-BAE for many thousands of hours. Tragically he died in a takeoff accident at Powell River airport in his private Harvard circa 1985, after he had retired from CZ. note- British Aeroplane Engines Ltd. behind this hangar.

Republic Seabee entering the water at Sea Island ramp

Close-up of a pilot's window

==== Misc Info ==== Norseman CF-GVT, operated by Assoc Air Taxi destroyed four miles west of Lulu Island, BC. on June 26, 1952. Pilot had engine trouble after he stopped to fix a gas cap. He set off a flare to call for help, it landed on the plane and burnt it up. CF-BDL, Waco ZQC-6 custom Forced landing in trees due engine failure near Garibaldi Stn,. BC Apr 13, 1953 CF-BDP, Waco, ZQC-6 custom withdrawn from use Aug 10, 1952 It was used in an old movie “Bush Pilot” per Lars Opland

  • Last modified: 2021/06/12 15:05
  • by dlgent