We are the West
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A Website Dedicated to the People and History of Pacific Western Airlines

This website is created, funded and managed by the former employees of Pacific Western Airlines.  The target audience is that membership.  If you have any contributions or comments, please submit them to the Webmaster.   We wish to say thanks to our many generous contributors, supporters and readers.  We are also on Facebook This very dynamic group has many involved and interactive members. 

While you are visiting, you may want to play the
 Pacific Western Airlines Song


August 14, 2018 - PWA Reunion Picnic 2018
From the desk of
Glynis Santee. I had a wonderful time at the PWA reunion yesterday!! Great to see everyone.


August 14, 2018 - Missing Bag at Reunion -  Bag is found - thanks for all the help.

 


August 12, 2018  PACIFIC WESTERN AIRLINES 2018 - PICNIC/REUNION
By all accounts, this memorable events was an overwhelming success. Kudo and thanks to Gale and all the organizers - volunteers who made this happen. Thanks to Neville Gosling and Gale Brisseau for the photos.
 


July 10, 2018 - Boeing 737 at Norman Wells.
That is KCarson enplaning for the trip south. Photo Credit N. Dargie


July 4, 2018 Edmonton Muni Ramp Reunion.
From the desk of Dennis Erickson: History has been made at Fawn Meadows RV Resort Delburne AB. First annual Pacific Western Airlines YXD ramp reunion has been held and was very successful with many great airplane stories of properly loading an airplane on time.  In the early 70's, the airline service into Canada's north was booming. Communities such as Inuvik, Yellowknife, Norman Wells, Resolute, Cambridge Bay, Uranium City and others saw strong growth. PWA saw this opportunity and put cargo aircraft such as 732 and later 742, the 727's, Hercules and Lockheed Electra freighter aircraft. It was this ramp crew that loaded and off loaded tons of cargo, baggage and mail. In terms of tonnage, it was probably the biggest ramp operation in the system. Add into that the 20+ daily Airbus flights and regular domestic schedule, this crew was some of the hardest working guys in the system.

June 29, 2018:  Map to Hazelmere RV Reunion Picnic Site taking place August 12, 2018
https://goo.gl/maps/z4E91mmM3Jm


June 29, 2018 - Boeing 737 - C Model Calgary
Boeing 737-275C C-GBPW parked at YYC from the Rob Rindt collection. Triple hybrid!Canadian titles, nose cone, and blue belly. America West cheatline, and PWA tail logo.


June 7, 2018 - A Poem from D. Currie (Capt Ret.)
 
Off to MEXICO with BOB ROWE

Behind us there's two hundred faces
Beholding our jet break left
The snapping thunder of our JT 8ís
Has left the odd one, full of breath

What a buzz, 300 feet
Directly over the hotel pool
Everyone looked up, some of them waved
Perhaps someone said, `those fools'

Maybe we were a little low
Though well left of the tall TV antenna
With the plane on its side the logo would show
Advertising is always such a dilemma

The last time I flew out of here
Was Ď71, in slow old red Aeronca
Snapping out of the turn Bob and I split for Mexico
Behind us, West End, Grand Bahama

For the last two days we've been partying back there
We know lots of the people that waved
Fifteen years ago, my plane was 200 knots slower
Back then I wasn't so bold or so brave

But Bob had said, `Letís do it!'
Which meant a steep turn as soon as we got air
Standing up in front of Captain Fransbergen
We're going to make quite a pair

Rolling right we cleared the palm trees
The wheels went in the wells
The flaps came up and so did our speed
As we roared right over Jack Tar's hotel

I'll never forget all those startled faces
As our Boeing dominated the tranquil scene
Bursting into the blue above the shoreline
Of the Caribbean, placid, emerald green

Sometimes I hate being a co-pilot
Some captains can make you feel below
But as we leave a thousand, I'm way up high
Thank you Bobby Rowe
30 April 1985


June 6, 2018 - Hercules Working in Bangladesh by J. Sproat.


June 5, 2018 - From the Herc Reunion 2004 (by S. Russell)
L-R Garry Mathewson, Cliff Beck, Knut Ohm, Bryan Benay, Ernie Yurkiw, Stu Russell, Tom Rait, Al Philpott, Harry Beck


March 26, 2018 - Edmonton Industrial (Muni) Airport YXD in June 1971.
Photo Credit Anthony Hickey, Aviation Photographer


February 11, 2018 Unveiling of first Boeing 737 with Marie Hryciw Lass January 1967.
Marie was a F/A 1961 -1967


February 11, 2018 Annual Reports
Mike Wainwright (son of staff member) advises his dad collected numerous PWA company annual reports dating back to the 50's. If anyone wants them, let me know. Mike lives in Merritt, BC.


January 28, 2018.   Pictures of a/c 740 later to be part of the West Coast Reef. Taken at YYC by Anthony Hickey - Aviation Photographer


January 28, 2018 - DC-7 Overseas Ops
Regarding the picture of a DC7 in front of a Swissair DC8 on an european airport and why it might have been there, I can contribute the following:
In July of 1964 I flew on a Pacific Western DC7c from Frankfurt to Toronto via Shannon and Gander and returned to Frankfurt in August of 1964 on a DC6B. The flights were chartered by AFS (American Field Service), an international student exchange organization headquartered in New York, to transport exchange students between the US and Europe. It was a memorable experience for me and although I did not follow an aviation career I have been a private pilot for 45 years and have owned aircraft ever since then.
M. Sutter Granbury, Texas



January 23, 2018 PWA Alumni Staff Reunion Picnic Get Together - Surrey BC.
From the Desk of Gale Brisseau.
*********************************************
Do We Need a PWA Reunion?  - Yes, we do!
Date: Sunday August 12, 2018
Time: 13:00 - 23:00
Place: Hazelmere RV Park
18843 8th Avenue
Surrey, BC
This will be an Alumni ReUnion Picnic Get Together and I have rented the Picnic Shelter and Group camping and picnic area for the day. If anyone wants to bring their RV, sites are available to rent, I believe the cost is $50 for the night. Arrangements to be made at 604 538 1167.
More details will be available later as to jobs for volunteers etc. We are trying to keep it simple. BYOB/pot luck and i am looking into having a food truck for people who do not want to bring food. We will need to get an idea of numbers but i am thinking If we get 100 people the cost will be $10 pp.
I took the pictures below yesterday of the venue so you can get an idea.
Watch this space for updates and further details.


January 23, 2018 - A poem from Capt Dennis Currie - retired.
AT THE MUSEUM WITH TWO FOSSILS - PWA Herc Reunion 2011

745 appeared so small as we climbed the maintenance stairs up her starboard side
She seemed hardly much larger than the F 86, sitting in the old XD hanger inside
Wayne and I squeezed into the 737 cockpit, careful not to bang our heads
ďI used to think it was bigger than thisĒ, I agreed with what he said

Wayne is in the left seat, Iím in the right
Hung over from drinking Captainís Rum with Wylee and PJ all night
Wondering if thatís why we felt so at home
Remembering launching in this rocket ship from this ancient aerodrome

Remembering all the great guys we flew with who were gone
Amazed at what we got away with for so long
Knowing if we could just start it, we could fly it all right
If only we hadnít partied like Herc Rats at the XDI last night

Of course thatís why we came here, to relive the Herc
Hard to imagine all that fun with a C130 was our work
Or that this swept wing jet airplane was another that we flew
Honoured to be, two of the few

To have flown in the High Arctic where Franklin was lost
The historic search that continued for years, no matter the cost
We had won over the frigid weather, searching for oil
A hundred and thirty years later in relative comfort, compared to their toil

Low and over where men had watched their sailing ships crushed
In a Hercules, transversing the same frozen Northwest Passage we rushed
Drilling for black gold to quench our shipís thirst
So detached from the brave men who staggered through first

To me we were some of the boldest men of our time
Adventurers in the High Arctic, like sailors, but flying
Perhaps it was hard to be humble when youíve seen the world at the top
Pulled throughout the Canadian Arctic islands by those huge Hercules props

Departing 745 Wayne and I went back into the museum, which we are now a part of
No longer doing that job we most loved
Glad to be here alive to relive it again
Admittedly embarrassed at the times when we had complained

Capt. Wayne Caswell (retired)
Capt. Dennis Currie (retired)
745 C-GIPW (retired)
 


January 22, 2018 - YVR Reunion Event
Under the guidance of Gale Brisseau, a Summer 2018 Reunion event is being organized for a TBA location in Vancouver. Watch this space for updates.



December 27, 2017 - Boeing 737-200 Cargo Aircraft courtesy of A. Hickey.
 


December 6, 2017 Some of the fleet sourced by D. Dertien.
 


Curtiss - C46

Douglas DC-4C

B737-200

B707-320C

December 1, 2017 - The Russ Hill Hotel - Gatwick
Greeting card from the B707, DC-7 and C-130 crew hotel at Gatwick. (by J. Kapeller)


November 18, 2017 - A 737-200 Come Home
An article from the Vancouver Sun.  Walt Lazaruk went to the CA desert and recovered the flight deck of a former PW Boeing 737, returned it to Richmond BC and built a flight simulator. He now wants to pass on his creation. (submit by J. Harrowar)
Wanted Loving Home for a Boeing 737 Cockpit and Flight Simulator
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/wanted-loving-home-for-boeing-737-cockpit-and-flight-simulator


November 4, 2017 - From the Desk of Peter Lema.
Memories of the P W A Social Club in Edmonton (YXD)
Throughout the 1960's, 70's and 80's; we had a very active and involved Social Club at YXD. We had several hundred employees working for the airline; as this was the main base for Northern Operations. The Club's coffers were always in the black; all employees were automatically members.....with $1.00 deducted on every paycheck. In the early years, the Club parties (Spring Break-Up), (Fall Freeze-up) and (Christmas) parties were held at the old Airliner Hotel or at dingy Community Halls. By the 1970's, (thanks to Sales Department Ron Moore) we decided to go "first-class" and start having our parties at the "Mac" (One of Canada's great Railroad Hotels) (The MacDonald Hotel) The Main Ballroom was all decked out and the buffet featured Alberta Standing Rib Roast and all the trimmings.....  Don McKenzie and his 12-piece Brass Band provided great dance music....these were great parties; attracting 350/400 employees and spouses (all dressed to the "nines") From then on; all parties were booked at this great location. My daughters (Joanne 15) and (Kathy 13) were the "coat-check" girls one year at the Christmas Party......putting out a "cup"......they made a mint; "Let's do it again Dad" !!
Circa 1962, the Social Club came up with the idea of: "A Picnic Day in the Mountains". Our Chief Executive at that time was: Jim Robins. He gave us the use of a PWA plane for the day. CF-PWE, a 55 seat C-46 was fueled up by ESSO (for free)....Captain Dean Maclagan and F/O Mel Neidig donated their services.....along with 2 flight attendants (Names ?) The event was well promoted; but we only sold 35 seats.
$5.00 per passenger covered everything......the flight, on a beautiful sunny Sunday (June 21st); Edmonton-Jasper-Edmonton and a full KFC picnic in Jasper. Note: this aircraft was the largest ship to ever land at Jasper!!
Some hiked; others biked; others went horse-back riding....while others remained at the Jasper Swimming Pool with their 'cough-medicine". Dean and Mel put on a "high-board" diving display at the pool......which was very impressive. We departed from the Jasper Airport at sunset.....the plane at the very end of the runway......both engines at full-power.....aircraft shaking......brakes released.....and we headed down the runway......and perhaps (?) raising the landing gear to get airborne. We flew over the Columbia Icefields......headed east to Red Deer......then north to the High Level Bridge and into the Muni.......(all VFR). The flight deck door remained opened and all got to go "up-front" to witness the marvels of Aviation.
A memorable day and a memorable flight!!
Peter Lema President


October 21, 2017 - Two posters from the Vancouver Aviation Show PLUS a brass door cap and the label from a Captains Reserve exclusive Kelowna wine - contributed by J. Vanderhill
 

October 15, 2017:   Herc on a sand runway (from N. Peterson)


September 15, 2017 Loadmasters
In honour of the recently departed Rod Pilling, the Magnificent Seven, a group of former PWA loadmasters celebrated his life in Calgary on Aug 12, 2017. From L-R: Ernie Yurkiw, Knut Ohm, Norm Geiger, Stu Russell, Terry Martin, Glenn Peters, Wayne Carter


September 2, 2017 Boeing 727 at Edmonton Muni C-1975


August 31, 2017 From Capt. Terry Reece.
Terry made contact with the Webmaster regarding one of our senior flight crew members:  Jean Robert.
Hello: For those old timers. Jean Robert is in Assisted living in Bellingham WA @ 702 32nd Street, #208 Bellingham, WA. 98225.  Jean is battling cancer. He has lost use of his voice for the main part, but can whisper. His email is: jean80robert@gmail.com . I know he would appreciate a note.  Jean Robert is now 84. Flew Bristols on the DEW line and L382 Hercules.  He lost his eye on loan to ASA in Africa. Went to Fairbanks.  Flew round engines L382. B737 at Interior AIA. Mark Air. He was born on Great Bear Lake and raised by nuns after his mother died of TB. She was native. Best regards Captain Terry Reece ( Interior, Alaska International, Mark Air)
----------------------------------------------
P. Lema advised he knew Jean Robert c1959. He flew the C46 and the DC-3. 


August 28, 2017 - B707 Cargo Ops.
It's Nov 1972 and PWA is flying beef to Europe and bringing Spanish grapes back to British Columbia.


August 20, 2017 - New Uniforms CSA 1977


August 17, 2017 Pacific Western Tours Prince Andrew.


August 16, 2017 Speedbird: PW-TZ Merge


August 15, 2017 - From the 1979 Annual Report


Aug 6, 2017 - Edmonton
From Ann Bidlock and authored by Michael Bidlock, we have this amazing video of Ann's retirement party. Definitely a good time by all. Congrats Ann. Watch it here: 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75l1eXv9RtEZkVBV01HUURiaXM/view
If your player does not work, try this link.


July 16, 2017 - Looking for recollections on Thomas Peter Hayes - flight crew 1950's
From the Desk of Ann Patching - Australia. She is the daughter of a pilot Thomas Peter Hayes from the 1959 era of the company and wishes to know more about his life in Canada. Email  any recollections or information you might have.
*********************************
Wondering if you may be able to help me.
My father was a pilot for Pacific Western in 1959 flying a DHC-Beaver between the logging camps of British Columbia and Seattle. He would ferry the loggers from the camps for their breaks and also carried the payroll for the logging company.
He was an Australian citizen and passed away just over a year ago now. I am trying to trace his time in the US and Canada as I am coming to scatter his ashes in Canada, a place which he had wonderful memories of.
I have made numerous enquiries to different Government Departments in both Canada and the USA but it can take months and months for any information to arrive, and as yet I have no firm information to start working from.
I am not sure if he lived in Vancouver or Seattle. I do have a photo of the car he owned at the time but arenít sure whether itís a US or Canadian number plate.
I do have a copy of his passport and photographs which have him pictured with other twin prop Beechcraft A18A (Seaplanes) which were owned by Pacific Western.
Ultimately I would like to know who he worked for, where his work took him and where he lived, places I would like to see whilst I am there.
When I saw your site I thought that just maybe you might know how I could further investigate this lead. I do remember that he told us that he had a women give birth on one of the trips he piloted which I thought maybe someone of that vintage may have remembered.
I will attach some photos and if there is anything you may be able to do or send me in the direction of someone who may be able to help I would be so grateful.
I have made contact with an external Canadian researcher in the hope that he will be happy to work with me on issues relating to immigration etc as I donít have the approval to do so living in Australia and because my father has not been deceased for more than 20 years, which is a Canadian Government requirement. I have heard nothing back as yet but only reached out a day or so ago, so will hopefully hear back from them this week.
Below are some photos that may or may not be of any assistance.
Anything you may be able to do to point me in the right direction or help in any way, would be so graciously appreciated. I am awaiting information from the Australia Department of Defence (where he was trained as a pilot) with his pilotís license number. I donít even know whether he was able to fly on that Australian license whilst in the US/Canada or whether he would have needed one issued by the Department of Civil Aviation in the US/Canada.

I also have a photo which I am getting a copy of which shows my father standing/getting into the cockpit of a DHC Beaver plane. Although there are no identification markers on the plane I thought it may jog someoneís memory. I will forward these 2 items when they arrive

Kindest regards
Annie Patching (Hayes)
Benowa QLD 4217  Australia

Beach 18A Kitimat - photo Thomas Peter Hayes


July 14, 2017 - 1960's Gatwick
1960's aircraft photos by Ken Fielding at London Gatwick. The Boeing 727-121 would later become fleet number 721 / CF-PXD.

May 30, 2017 - Yellowknife - early 70's
Sent by L. Chan and found on a YK Memories Forum. Thanks to A. Philpott for sending the names of the YZF Check-In Agents.


Morris Huculak, Don Clunnie, Dwight Denton
(thanks to all for the hints)

May 24, 2017 - The Sign from YMM
This object was found and rescued by Sonny and Deb Hauser and is in the process of being sent to the Alberta Aviation Museum.


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