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    Vertical Horizons (by Douglas M. Grant)
    Vertical Horizons (by Douglas M. Grant)

    Vertical Horizons (by Douglas M. Grant)

    Regular price $59.95

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    In 1945, following years as an instructor, Carl Agar was honourably discharged from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and moved to Penticton, British Columbia where he began looking for flying opportunities. A first attempt to start a flying club never took off but Agar and his partners Barney Bent and Alf Stringer were determined to get off the ground. They began looking at commercial ventures and in 1947 Okanagan Air Services (OAS) was formed to provide instruction and contract work. After a rough start - while demonstrating fruit spraying, Agar crashed a helicopter into power lines - the company got a break in May 1948 when the Fraser River floods swamped the valley and OAS received a mosquito-spraying contract. From there the company flourished, going on to fly the first unaccompanied commercial helicopter ferry flight from Canada to the U.K., monitor polar bears in the High Arctic, provide offshore oil rig support during monsoons and, at the company's high point, operate in over 33 countries with 600 employees and 126 helicopters. Back home, Agar opened the Mountain Flying School in Penticton, which is still in operation today and has trained thousands of civilian and military pilots from all over the world.

    This is the remarkable story of a group of small-town entrepreneurs who would leverage a single Bell 47 into Okanagan Helicopters, the largest helicopter company in the world. The company pioneered the commercial application of helicopters and its descendants continue as world leaders in rotary aviation. Author Doug Grant worked for the company for decades and created this comprehensive history of one of Canada’s most important contributions to aviation.

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