[[people:mcmahon:john_francis_1914]]

John Francis McMahon

  • b- Aug 3, 1914 , Edmonton, AB.
  • d- Nov 21, 2008 , Lions Gate Hospital, Vancouver BC.

Click to Show Bio

Jack joined RCAF in 1937 and was a Member of the Alouette Squadron 425. He was stationed in England where he met and married Patricia Following the war Jack returned to Canada eventually settling in Vancouver BC.

RCAF pictures of Jack and his crew (crew pictures from Jacks Autobiography)


Cadet Ball, at Saanchin Agricultural Hall, Friday Mar 14, 1941 Jack McMahon in the middle


Aircrew at Tholthorpe


Memorial for lost aircrew at Tholthorpe



He spent a lifetime career in the Aviation field. He extended his passion for aviation and learned to fly Helicopters in addition to airplanes.

He established Transwest Helicopters in Burnaby BC. in 1965, which is still in operation today. (Tim McAvoy took the company over around 1985, and had until his death around 2001, Transwest was sold by Tim McAvoy's wife to a European buyer who operated out of Chilliwack BC until moving to Oliver BC in 2011)

After a distinguished flying career, Jack worked as a helicopter broker until 2006.

I had a phone call from Jack's son, Denis “Denny” McMahon, who contributed the pictures above and the following information about his father.

“As a youth he rode the rods across Canada and worked in a camp clearing land in the 1930's. He joined the RCAF in 1937 and was posted to the Queen Charlotte Islands, Jericho, and McLeod AB. before he went overseas in 1944. He trained at Dishforth Yorkshire and then was posted to Tholthorpe airbase, where he was made a pilot of a Halifax bomber. He was nicknamed the 'old man' by his much younger crew.

After the war Dad returned to Canada and moved out to Vancouver in 1947. It was just after this time, around 1951, that he became involved in the early aviation business at the South Terminal Vancouver Airport and first worked for Bob Gayer , at Associated Air Taxi in 1952. He went on to form his own company named Vancouver Aircraft Sales Ltd. and this later changed to Western Airmotive. It was at this time in the mid fifties that Denny McCartney worked for my Dad.
My father knew all the people on your website very well and I recall meeting a few of them when I was young.”

Below directly from Jack's Autobiography:

“After this time I joined Can Arc Helicopters as Operations Manager and after retiring from the business I became a helicopter broker and founded a company by the name of “World Wide Heli (Services)” (in 1985) that I operated quite successfully from my home for many years.”

The company served the Aircraft Industry as a broker, and derived its revenue by arranging the sale for various aircraft companies of any equipment which may be surplus to their requirement or on the other hand find aircraft that may be required to fulfill a possible contract. He charged 2% commission for this service.

Jack in his basement office, Mar 3, 1971

He describes in his bio, he worked for Associated Air Taxi, Western Air Motive Charter and Maintenance Co., Incorporated 1952, both based at the South Terminal in Vancouver.

In the 1950's he made trips to Wichita Kansas where the Cessna factory was located. He sold Cessna until the late 1950's until he also became interested in the Mooney Aircraft, made in Kerrville Texas.

He sold Western Air Motive Charter in 1963 and became a mutual funds salesman for a short time. In 1964 he bought the controlling interests of an inactive Calgary Aviation company and moved the business to the West Coast keeping the name because of the advertising value… this was “Transwest Helicopters”.


Jack on wind in front of service hangar


Jack McMahon beside “Marwell” Cessna 180


Jack McMahon in Pilot's seat of a “Marwell” Cessna 180. Marwell was a Construction Co. in Vancouver, (assume this Co's plane)


Jack, pilot of a fixed wing airplane


Jack at Vernon Airport. This was one of his earlier charter trips flying his friend Joe Whitehead to the Municipal Engineers 10th annual convention


Jack in his basement office, Mar 3, 1971

Patricia McMahon, nee Cooney

  • b-
  • d-
  • m- May 21, 1945


Jack and Patricia, 1945

(2 Sons and 2 Daughters)

Most pictures and a lot of info here courtesy of his son Denis “Denny” McMahon



Frank McMahon

  • b-unk
  • d-unk


Frank McMahon outside house on 116 Ave in Edmonton


Frank McMahon, 4th from the right with an Orchestra in Edmonton, ca 1910

Rose McMahon

  • b-unk
  • d-unk

Thomas “Tom” McMahon (Brother)

  • b- un
  • d- unk



Rosemarie Burton, nee McMahon (Sister)

  • b- unk
  • d- unk



  • Last modified: 2016/11/08 17:23
  • by agent76