British Columbia, Canada
 Aircraft Companies,
 and Airplanes
ca: 1920's to 2012


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Aircraft Section Home Page

Airline Companies
Queen Charlotte Airlines
Associated Air Taxi
Conair Aviation Ltd.
BC Air Lines Ltd.

BC Airways Ltd.
Pacific Western Airlines Ltd.
Trans Provincial Airlines Ltd.

Western Straits Air
Westinghouse Airways
Air Caledonia
Canadian Pacific Airlines
Pacific Airways Ltd.

Helicopter Companies
Okanagan Helicopters Ltd.

Transwest Helicopters (1965) Ltd.
Vancouver Island Helicopters
Northern Mountain Helicopters
Quantum Helicopters Ltd.

Aircraft Repair Shops
Associated Aero Services

Aircraft Sales Company
Vancouver Aircraft Sales Ltd.

Airport-Seaplane Bases
Patricia Bay, Catalina Graveyard

Sea Island

Pilots - Owners Bios
Herman Joseph "Slim" Knights
Robert Benjamin "Bob" Gayer
Arthur John "Jack" Moul
Ashton James Ward "Jim" Spilsbury
Ronald F. "Ron" Connelly
Leslie George "Les" Kerr
Francis Russell "Russ" Baker
John Francis "Jack" McMahon
Edward Percy Hector Wells
William Frederick "Bill" Waddington

BA Concord and RAF Red Arrows
May 1985, taken from QE II

Bristol Type 170 Freighter
First Around the World Flight

Corporate Jets
BC Tel-Telus

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Ronald Frederick "Ron" Connelly

b- Apr 2, 1931 in Port Alberni BC
d- Apr 3, 2011, Langley BC
Ron owned Connelly Dawson Airways Ltd.
and they bought Yukon Flying Services.
Became Great Northern Airways.

He started out as a Bush Pilot.

One article says he started flying
 at Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island,
where Slim Knights and Arthur John "Jack" Moul
had a flying School.
Now we know Ron knew Slim from this contact
Ron also flew for Associated Air Taxi in Vancouver.

One of the first of 5 owners/shareholders
of Conair Aviation Ltd.

A more complete compilation of his history below

Obituary and Pictures above submitted by
Ron' s Daughter, RJ Lundquist, with Thanks

She then sent me a copy of an application to the Yukon Transportation Hall of Fame,
Compiled by an old friend of Ron, Joe Redmond.

"Ron Connelly (1931-2011) was actively involved in Yukon aviation for over 50 years.
In the mid 1950's he was a pilot with Pacific Western Airlines, based in Whitehorse.
In 1958 he was a founding partner of Connelly-Dawson Airways (CDA),
on the purchase of Callison Flying Services, Dawson City.
In 1960 CDA began air mail service to Old Crow from Dawson
and acquired DC-3, CF-CPY, for charter flying from Dawson.
In 1962 his company extended its irregular scheduled service
to include Inuvik and Sachs Harbour.  
In 1965 CDA merged with Range Airways (Calgary)
and purchased Yukon Flying Service (Whitehorse),
to become Great Northern Airways (GNA).
Ron sold his share of GNA in 1966 at which time this company
was the largest air charter company in the Territory,
 with bases in Whitehorse, Mayo, Dawson, Ross River and Inuvik.

                     In 1966 Ron trained as a helicopter pilot, in Whitehorse,
and in 1967 formed Trans North Turbo Air (TNTA),
with partners Chuck Hankins, Alex Kapty and Gordon Davis.
TNTA was the first Yukon operator of turbine equipment,
with the now well known Jet Ranger.  
TNTA is in its 46th year, presently operating 15 helicopters,
from 7 Yukon bases, headquartered in Whitehorse.
Ron served as President of TNTA from 1967 to 2005.

                      To emphasize the scope of Ron's other aviation ventures,
he was a founding partner, in 1969, of Conair Aviation Ltd., of Abbotsford,BC.
In 1984 Conair  had the world's largest fleet of fire fighting aircraft,
with 50 fixed wing and 15 helicopters.  
In 1978 Conair bought Frontier Helicopters of Watson Lake.
 Ron served as Vice President of Conair from 1972 to 1994. 

                       In summary, Ron Connelly was, for 50 years, a pilot, owner/partner
of both fixed wing and helicopter companies, in the Yukon.
From his early 20's to his mid 70's,
he was a hands-on principal in these endeavours.
It is safe to say that no other individual
equals his Yukon aviation business accomplishments,
in either scope or longevity."

Thanks RJ for sharing this.

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Created Jan 15, 2012
Revised Mar 16, 2014

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