Flying Canucks III (by Peter Pigott)
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“In the five years since the Flying Canucks series began,” says Pigott, “I have never ceased to marvel that everything connected with aviation in Canada took place in the proverbial blink of an eye.” It is barely eleven decades since Casey Baldwin became the first Canadian to achieve sustained flight, and only 90-odd years since J. Dalzell McKee and Earl Godfrey made the first flight across Canada.
The ‘flying Canucks’ in this volume include some legends of aviation lore, like James Richardson and Gordon McGregor, as well as a few whose exploits are less known, such as the Norwegian-born Bernt Balchen. ‘Babe’ Woollett and Art Schade represent that special breed, Canada's bush pilots, and Donald McDonald, who flew in defence of Ceylon, speaks for the many Canadian World War II fighter pilots. The aerial achievements of Casey Baldwin and Don Muir serve as bookends of a century of aviation and embody the unconquerable spirit of every era of flying.
If there is a conclusion to be drawn from this intentionally eclectic compendium, it is that courage and audacity are timeless human traits. Flying Canucks III gives the reader a glimpse at the lives of some exceptional human beings – who also happen to be aviators. As Babe Woollett said, “I certainly hope God meant man to fly. Otherwise, I've made a bloody fool of myself all of these years for nothing.”