Trans Provincial Airlines

British Columbia, Canada

Trans Provincial Air Carriers Ltd
changed to Trans Provincial Airlines Ltd.

TPA Logo ca 1985

Company founded in 1960 (1962 in one article)

Known as TPA anytime I talked about them

Garfield “Gary” Reum, Lloyd Johnstone, Ray Skoglund and Doug Chappel, obtained a charter license and formed Trans-Provincial Airlines.

Doug Chappel was their Pilot and Manager, and Peter Dychakowsky their Mechanic.

When I came to Terrace in 1969, Gary Reum owned the Chevrolet Dealership, which was located across from the old Skeena Hotel, on Greig Ave.

William “Bill” McRae bought Ray Skoglund's shares. Bill McRae was involved in logging in the area.
Helene McRae sent me updated info on original owners
Apr 2013, with thanks.

Old DC3 on left, and Trans-Provincial's Otter, right
taken Apr 1972, at the Terrace Airport, from the Okanagan Helicopter Hangar.

Building on the right was the TPA hangar at the Terrace Airport, the hangar burnt to the ground, early 1988?
Wonder which DC3 that was on the tarmac?
Leland “Lee” Myers emailed me Aug 2015, and it turns out he worked there, and he says it was CF-KAZ, c/n 19345, C-47A-75-DL

Company Colours, Bright Yellow with Dark Blue trim

Trans Provincial Airlines was an airline based in Prince Rupert, BC, that was purchased in 1993 by Harbour Air.

TPA bought Omineca Air Services Ltd. of Burns Lake, ca Jan 15, 1970
Fleet of 20 aircraft and 60 employees after the purchase.
Bought 2 Otters, 2 Beavers, Cessan 185, and a Piper Super Cub.
Bill Harrison formed Omineca in 1956

TPA sold to Jim Pattison Group of Companies Dec 20, 1979. 19 aircraft at the time.
Pattison had just bought AirWest, and Pacific Coastal Airlines.

Oct 30, 1980 they became a subsidiary of Air B.C. Ltd., which Jim Pattison Group formed at that same date, joining 6 companies under Air BC Ltd name.

1974 TPA had:

  • 2- DC3's,
  • 1- Fairchild F27A,
  • 1- Piper Aztec,
  • 1- Beech 18,
  • 7- DHC-2 Beavers,
  • 4- DHC-3 Otters,
  • 5- Grumman Goose,
  • 2- Cessna 185,
  • 1- Cessna 180,
  • 1 Piper Cherokee

1974 Head Office PO Box 310, Terrace BC

Regular Scheduled Passenger Service, Prince Rupert Seal Cove and Stewart, Alice Arm, Masset and Sandspit.
Bases at Prince Rupert, Prince George, Smithers, Sandspit, and Ocean Falls.
They also ran chartered flights.

1987 they had a base in Port Hardy
scheduled service to Rivers Inlet, Bella Bella, Ocean Falls, Prince Rupert, and SE BC mainland

Dave Marko, TPA Manager, Jan 1970

First Pilot- Doug Chappel was their Pilot and Manager

Ronald Gladstone “Ron” “Ronnie” Wells
b- July 11, 1911
d- Apr 16, 2006 in 100 Mile House
married to Irene (Rene) Wells
daughter, Nancy, son Blaine,
Aviator, Adventurer, and Photographer.
Chief Pilot for TPA, and a Legend in Bush Flying.
Coke Bottle Glasses, and 2 hearing aids!
By 1969 he had 10,000 hrs in the Otter alone.
When he died, he had 40,000 air miles, over 45 years.
His father was also a pilot.
Oct 1959 he flew north of Edmonton to the Arctic coast near Paulatuk, and recovered a 12ft mammoth tusk. He had to wade thru 150 yds of icy water.
It wouldn't fit in the cabin of the plane, so he lashed it to the floats, and flew it out that way, to his base at Fort Good Hope.
His son Blaine Wells became the owner of the tusk. He was in Chilliwack BC at the time. He came from a Pioneering Chilliwack Dairy Farming Family.
In WWII, He was a Flight Lieutenant, RCAF,C/22667. Awarded Air Force Cross, Jan 1, 1946. He enlisted in Vancouver, Jan 18, 1941

Ron's Father- Edwin Allen Wells
b- Aug 4, 1870 New Westminster BC
d- Jan 17, 1942 in Chilliwack BC, age 71
son of Allen Casey Wells, (1837-1922) Sardis Pioneer
and Sarah Manetta Hodge
Allen came to Chilliwack/Sardis area in 1866.
Mother- Gertrude Eliza Kipp
b- Mar 11, 1871 in Chilliwack
d- Oct 1, 1918 in Sardis BC
Edwin Allen remarried Margaret Smith
Edwin took over his father's dairy farm Edenbank.

Ron's 6 Brothers:
1. Ray Edwin Wells
b- July 23 1894
d- Nov 22, 1992
2. Allen Victor Wells,
b- 1896
d- 1902
3. Carmen Willard Wells,
b- 1898
d- 1902
4. Clarence Casey Wells,
b- 1902, Edenbank Farm, Sardis BC
d- Nov 11, 1976 in Chilliwack, age 74
Co-Founded Radio station CHWK, in 1927.
Established an aerial photography business in 1950's.
5. Gordon Edward Wells,
b- ca 1905
d- May 16, 1985, Prince Rupert, age 80
6. Oliver Nelson Wells,
b- 1907
d- 1971 in Inverness Scotland
Oliver took over his grandfather's dairy Edenbank to 1970's
Oliver wrote many books, bred Ayrshire cattle.
From all this we can see Ron Wells came from old BC Stock.
When my brother came to Terrace his neighbour in the Kalum Apartments, was Ron, his wife and daughter Nancy.
His daughter Nancy baby sat my niece Dawn Gent.
My brother tells me he flew with him to Trutch Island, quite a few times. He related the story below
On all these trips, Ron would take off from Lakelse Lake, once in the air, and at the proper altitude, and heading,
he would pass the controls over to my brother Don, who was not a pilot, and Ron would read the newspaper.
Ron would glance at the gauges once in a while. When they arrived at Trutch, he would drop the paper, and land the plane.
He said after a few trips, He noticed Don was watching the gauges like a hawk, and then even quit doing that.

Max Neubacher
aka “The Red Baron”
b- Aug 4, 1923 at Memel, Lithuan county, in East Prussia
today Memel is known as Klaipėda, Lithuania
d- Oct 22, 1990
One of 5 children, 3 brothers, 1 sister.
Went to University for 2 years studying engineering.
He flew for the Lutwaffe in WWII, and spent some months in a prisoner of war camp.
He took extensive glider training in Germany over 500 hours.
He immigrated to Canada in 1964.
First in Vancouver, coming to Terrace Mar 9, 1965.
May 1972 to 1977, he flew for Skoglund Logging.
He became part owner and Chief Pilot of a Charter Company in Terrace, “Terrace Air Ltd.”
It was owned by Max, Cliff Sharples, Ray Skoglund, and Les Handberg was also involved in early 1980's.
They had a Cessna 206 on floats, and a Cessna 182.
They were looking for a Cessna 185.
In May 1988 they bought C-FEYQ, DNC-2, Beaver.
Terrace Air Ltd. started in Sept 1977.
Mar 7, 1990 their operating license was cancelled.
Max left in 1989, and went working for TPA.
He spent over 20 years as a bush pilot.
Oct 22, 1990, Max went on a medical flight to Telegraph Creek, to pick up Karen Hawkins, and 2 of her children. Aaron 3, and Leanne 8 for a medical check-up.
Total of 4 people were on board.
She left her husband and 10 year old son at home.
It was a white twin engined Piper Navajo. It was not found for 4 years, until Aug 1994.
Dave Newman, an Okanagan Helicopter pilot, spotted the wreckage and identified it by a binder inside, 24 miles NW of Terrace, near the Alaska border.

I flew with Max once into Greenville, landing on the Nass River, it was high water, and logs as big as houses were floating past as we landed on floats.
He wasn't scared, but I sure was!
There is now a Max Neubacher Way, the road into the Terrace Airport, named in his honour.
1978, He was Regional Air Chief, of the BC Provincial Emergency Program in Terrace.
wife- Birgit Neubacher.
Lived in Timberland Trailer Park in 1991
He flew in air shows, trained with Pat Johnston, son of local Pioneer, Ted Johnston.
he got his Private Pilot Licence Aug 5, 1966
Commercial License July 31, 1969.

Bob Janes,
Flew for TPA, quit, worked for BC Tel / Telus, now retired from the telephone industry.
Bob told me he used to fly Beavers into Kemano.

James “Jim” J. Siddle
Jan 28,1954 he was flying for Central BC Airways when his plane sank in Butedale
He was the only survivor, on the Goose.
He was an ex RCAF flier, ex Ontario bush pilot.
He was married, 3 children, living in Vancouver at that time.

Steve Bull

Lawrence Veitch (Pilot of a Goose in Jan 1977)

Gene Storey (Check Pilot in 1980)

Ayliffe E. “Pat” Carey (see below)
b- Sept 1903, near Bristol, birth registered at Chipping Sodbury Reg Dist., Gloucester, England
d- Oct 9, 1999, age 96
married Jan 8, 1929, Myrtle Hyancinth Topley
b- 1911, Edmonton AB
daughter of Samuel Edmond Topley and Lois Ann Roper

they had a daughter Dorothy Carey
b- Oct 1, 1938
d- July 12, 1938 in Chilliwack

other children, Glorinne, Donnie, Robert, and 2 others

Pat's Father- William Thomas Ayliffe Carey,
b- Mar 20, 1875 in Bristol England
d- Feb 9, 1957 Vancouver BC, age 81, widow
May 1902 he was Postman in Bristol England
Mother- Ellen Carey, nee Jeffries, (Jefferies?)
b- Feb 8, 1879 in England (Mar in one record)
d- Sept 1962
married bet July-Sept 1902 Thornbury Reg dist, England
shown divorced
Pat's sister- Marguerite Mary Carey,
b- Nov 1904 in England
married July 29, 1930 in BC to Alexander Purganie
sister- Kathleen Carey,
b- Oct 2, 1912, in Chilliwack BC
d- Feb 20, 1981 in Chilliwack BC, age 68
married James Dyble
Grandfather- William Edward Carey
Grandmother- Jackson
1911 family living in Chilliwack
Pat and his Father, mother etc, emigrated in 1908

William James Dicks- see accident below
b- May 3, 1934 Winnipeg MB
d- Sept 21, 1964 Trapper Lake BC
buried in Winnipeg MB

David Napoleon LaCasse- see accident below
b- Apr 27, 1924 North Vancouver BC
d- Dec 13, 1968 near Shaft Creek, BC
son of Napoleon LcCasse, b- Quebec, and Florence Whibley, b- England

  • Bill Ross
  • Peter “Pete” Dychakowski
  • Mel Johnstone
  • Stan Fletcher
  • Elwood “Woody” Graham, Director of Maintenance, Pr Rupert, 1972
  • George E. Heath
  • Diane Elkins
  • Norma Randall

Planes I have found registered to them:

CF-RHW, Otter 445, Aug 8, 1964, re registered as C-FRHW

C-FKLC, Otter #255

C-FDFC, c/n 13218

C-FTCW, c/n 646, DHC-2, Beaver

C-FGHZ, DHC-2, Beaver, c/n 759

C-FKDC, c/n 1080, DHC-2, Beaver

C-GHCT, c/n274, DHC-2, Beaver

CF-UAZ, c/n 95400, Grumman Goose
manufactured Feb 1940

C-FEFN, c/n 1157, Grumman Goose

C-FJOS, DHC-2, DeHavilland Beaver, c/n 1030

C-GYQS, c/n 13060, Bristol 170 Freighter, MK31M, c/n 10203
1987- Oct 1,1990
Now in Reynolds-Alberta Museum (2010)

G-BISU Bristol 170 freighter MK31, c/n 13218

C-FKFJ, Convair CV-580

CF-KAZ, DC-3, c/n 19345, C-47A-75-DL

CF-PWH, DC3, c/n 2198, see link below

C-FRWH, DeHavilland DHC-3, Otter, c/n 445
crashed near Smithers BC, June 12, 1981
first flight 1964., plane repaired, no injuries.

C-GKIY, Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain,
crashed 39 mi N of Terrace BC, Oct 22, 1990

C- GYQY, Bristol 170 Freighter Mk.31, c/n 13134
Ran off runway while landing at Bronson Creek, June 21, 1988
First flight, 1953, 6 on board, no injuries, written off.

Grumman G21 Goose
C-FBXR, crashed at Fern, Oct 8, 1979

C-FUVJ, twin engine Grumman Goose,
crashed at Digby Island Airport, Prince Rupert, on a flight from Kitsault, heading to Seal Cove,
They were making an unscheduled stop at Digby Island, to drop a couple passengers for connecting flights.
Aug 30, 1979, killing 7, injuring 3.
10 seat plane. 9 and a passenger on board.
Crashed 2.5 km NE BC Hydro right of way, in isolated bush on the island.
Maintenance Error blamed, left hand gas tank had been shut off during routine maintenance.

Oct 14, 1966, Ayliffe “Pat” Carey flew an Otter into a gully between 2 rock faces at the 3,500 ft level, near Stewart BC.
He was age 65 at the time.
Carey was a part time magistrate appointed Jan 1964 in Stewart.
Feb 1965 he was Coroner in Stewart.
He flew with PWA before TPA.
He was on a 30 mi trip from Granduc Mine to Stewart.
Spent a night at the crash site without a sleeping bag.
35 years experience at the time.
Described as a tough old bush pilot.

This accident made Ripley's Believe it or Not

From McRae Collection

Another Accident I did not find obviously in my research.
“My name is Kathleen Rae, my father was William Dicks and he was a pilot who also worked for Trans Provincial Airlines, and his plane crashed Sept 21, 1964.”

and another from Maggie Baxter Apr 29, 2020
David LaCasse flying an Otter for TPA on December 13 1968 crashed and died at Schaft Creek (near Stewart); passenger survived. Write up is in Omenica Herald Dec 18 1968 front page. And death cert is on BC Vital Stats.

Company went into receivership on March 19, 1993.

Photos courtesy Brian Wolfe, Ladysmith BC

  • Last modified: 2020/04/29 16:29
  • by dlgent