Pacific Western Airlines Ltd.

PWA Logo

Airline started by Francis Russell "Russ" Baker

He amalgamated many airlines, to form PWA

Lots of history books out there, and Web Pages, on the history of this Airline, so will not spend time repeating it here.

But something they don't have, I can guarantee, Is a movie of a DC3, CF-EPI, owned by Queen Charlotte Airlines in 1954.

PWA took over this airline in 1955 so this airplane was technically a PWA plane.

PWA Logo

I have a movie of this plane on the tarmac at Terrace Airport
Finally added it to YouTube, and added a link to it below.
The reason this movie is extra special, Is this plane crashed in flames, Sunday, June 23, 1957,
After trying to take off from Port Hardy Airport, on their way to Vancouver Airport, the crew had elevator control problems,
and turned around to land back at Port Hardy's runway 15.
Sad to say they didn't all make it.
This plane crashed and was written off.
The accident killed 2 of the 3 crew, and 12 of the 15 passengers.
13th worst accident in Canada at the time, 24th worst today.

Douglas R4D-3, CF-EPI
Even though it was in OCA colours, PWA had bought the airline June 30,1955 for a reported $1,500,000.00
Info below and picture above, from Hugh MacCallum
“I worked in YZT (Port Hardy) 1979-83 for Alert Bay Air Srvc “ABAS” which became Gulf Air ,then AirBC -all in a 2 year span.
Had also worked for BCAlines in Tahsis for 6 weeks & left 6 weeks before they shut down. ;
and Georgian Bay A/ways, McCully Avn; ABAS 1968-1969

Cause of the accident was a Ground Control Lock Block on the Rudder, that was not removed.
Coroners Jury claimed it was caused by human error, they blamed the accident on the Captain of the plane, Gerald Wilfred Allen, For not removing the rubber block.

Douglas R4D-3, DC3,
C-53D-DO, c/n 7408
First flight for this plane, 1942

12 Passengers Killed:

  • Victor William Shiels, age 45
  • LAC, Robert Joseph Waite, age 28, RCAF Station Holberg, BC
  • David Varney, age 56, Vancouver BC
  • Leo Francis Turcotte, age 39, Port McNeil, BC
  • Michael Rutkowski, age 36, Mahatta River BC
  • Albert Harry Plummer, age 35, Coal Harbour, BC
  • Connie On Lee, age 60, Port Alice BC
  • John William Laybourn, age 48, Mahatta River BC
  • Mrs. Marjorie Eileen Cavers, age 36, Port Alice BC
  • A. Boyko, age 45, Mahatta River BC
  • Julius Anton Bohler, age 50, Mahatta River BC
  • LAC, John Aris Ogden Gibson, age 39, RCAF, Station Sea Island, Vancouver BC

Pilots killed:
*Captain, Gerald Wilfred Allen, age 36, Richmond BC (shown died at Quatsino?)

*Co-Pilot, Lawrence Douglas Roland, age 23, Vancouver BC

Survivors- 3 passengers, and the Stewardess, Pat Wilson, age 23 from Vancouver BC.

PWA logo, ca 1955

CF-OBG, Noorduyn Norseman MK V, with Pacific Western Logo,
docked at the wharf at Kemano Beach, ca 1955-56
Photo courtesy Jim Hanna, from Australia.
c/n 29-1
Originally sold to Ontario Provincial Air Service in June 1945, sold to Central BC Airways, in July 1951.
Then PWA in 1955.
Taken out of service in May 1970.

Colour Photo from Jim Hanna

CF-BYM, #949, last Stranraer in service with RCAF until Jan 20, 1946
sold to PWA from Queen Charlotte Airlines takeover
Crashed 2:20, Tuesday afternoon, Oct 1, 1957, into trees and burned, taking off from Sovereign Lake, BC
killing 4 occupants, plane written off.
They were on a salvage trip, of 2 pontoons, on a previous wreck of a PWA Beaver, from 1955
flown by Hugh “Hughie” Russell.
Fatalities, PWA crew:
Capt William S. Cooper, age 37 from Vancouver
served with RCAF in WWII
Manager of PWA seaplane base in Prince George, from 1955-1957.
son of Syd Cooper, long time Ranger and Inspector of Licensed Scalers, in Prince Rupert Forest District.

Capt Ian Watt, age 48, from Prince George, Chief of PWA Operations in Prince George. Bush Pilot for over 30 years at the time.

First Officer- Russell Stewart, age 26, from Burnaby

Engineer, Keith Douglas, age 24, from Vancouver

Some YouTube Video links below, of PWA's DC3 taking off from Terrace BC and landing at Sea Island Vancouver BC
8mm movies taken by Bud Walker, ca1956-57

First one is a longer video of next 4 combined -PWA DC3

PWA, DC3, CF-EPI loading at Vancouver Airport, winter 1956-57

PWA DC3 Taking Off from Terrace Airport, ca 1956-57

PWA- DC3 landing at Sea Island Vancouver BC Airport, ca 1956-57

Taking off from Terrace BC Airport taken from inside the DC3, 1956-57

I think this is an Electra that is shown sitting on the Terrace Tarmac in one of the videos above
but only a guess, as I am not a plane expert.
if you know more please correct me.

4 Engine Plane flying over Terrace Kitimat area, possibly PWA Electra, ca 1956-57 http://youtu.be/4PObRUU0RfE

the first video above. PWA, DC3, CF-EPI loading etc. needed to have a correction made, sent from Ken Pickford
Here is what Ken had to say, and I appreciate the correction

“The first video, titled PWA DC-3 CF-EPI loading luggage at Terrace etc. is not Terrace. It's very definitely Vancouver airport (on a rare snowy day), taken looking north from the old south terminal. The big hangar visible in the distance was an RCAF hangar on the north side of the main east-west runway. You can also see the south slope of the city of Vancouver in the distance beyond that hangar (Vancouver airport is on Sea Island in Richmond, just south of Vancouver).
Also, in the first 2 or 3 seconds of the video, you can see the nose of another DC-3 parked to the right of the PWA aircraft. That's a Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-3.
And in the video that includes all 4 of the shorter videos joined together, the same segment showing the PWA DC-3 at the end has some additional footage just before the camera pans to the right to the PWA DC-3. You can see a 4-engine Trans-Canada Air Lines Canadair North Star (Canadian-built version of the Douglas DC-4 with Rolls-Royce engines) parked on the ramp facing towards the camera. The two TCA aircraft make it very clear that it's Vancouver.”
Ken also spotted I had the last 2 links reversed, which is now corrected as well.
Ken worked for Canadian Airlines for 25 years.

  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 10:45
  • by dlgent