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The Accidental Airline - Spilbury's QCA (by Howard White and Jim Spilsbury)
The Accidental Airline - Spilbury's QCA (by Howard White and Jim Spilsbury)

The Accidental Airline - Spilbury's QCA (by Howard White and Jim Spilsbury)

Regular price $37.50

Price includes delivery in Canada

> 1989 winner of the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional BC Book Prize

His books with Howard White made a bestselling author out of Jim Spilsbury – the British Columbia Coast's legendary pioneer, painter, photographer, aviator, inventor and raconteur.

Spilsbury bought an airplane in 1943 when wartime restrictions prevented the use of his boat to visit the upcoast camps and settlements where he repaired radios. From this innocent beginning grew Queen Charlotte Airlines and, when he sold the business to Pacific Western Airlines twelve years later, it was the third largest airline in Canada.

This is the history of the accidental airline and those incredible years of flying, growing and scrambling. There's the trip from Vancouver to the Queen Charlottes (Haida Gwaii) and back that took eleven days and three airplanes; the Waco covered with lamp-black, inside and out; the fatally jinxed Supermarine Stranraer; and the twelve-gallon ice cream sundae in the muskeg. There are tales of mercy flights, tragic crashes and miraculous rescues and escapes, and many entertaining details of the luck, business skill and hard work needed to keep an airline aloft.

Affectionately known as "Queer Collection of Aircraft" by the loggers, pregnant homesteaders and touring 1950s movie stars who rode its ungainly ‘Flying Boxcars’ through rain and fog, QCA beat out the competition to reign for one glorious decade as the queen of the booming post-war Coast. There's never been an airline quite like QCA and there's never been a flying story quite like The Accidental Airline.


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