CBC Digital Archives

Prospectors: out of the canoe, into the bush plane

They were intrepid and resourceful pioneers who took to the skies: carrying passengers, mapping new territory, hauling necessities, discovering hidden gold and carrying out daring rescues. The CBC Digital Archives salutes some of the many bush pilots who made monumental contributions to the exploration of uncharted Canada.

"Like tying wings onto a canoe" is how Lloyd Rochester, a pioneer flying prospector likens the advantage bush planes afforded the prospectors seeking new finds in unexplored territory. In 1978, CBC Radio's Between Ourselves examines the reciprocal relationship between the two ventures, as mining entrepreneurs and bush pilots worked towards expanding within their fields.
• Dominion Skyways, mentioned in this clip, was founded by the Molson and Eaton families under the guidance of Hartland de Montarville Molson, who was president of the company until it was bought in 1938 by Canadian Airways.
  • Prospectors Airlines was started up in 1927 by Bobby Cockeram and Lloyd Rochester. Cockeram was keen to use bush planes for mineral exploration after he and Rochester flew from Sioux Lookout to Red Lake in September of 1926 in one hour, as opposed to the six days it had previously taken him to get there by canoe.

Medium: Radio
Program: Between Ourselves
Broadcast Date: July 22, 1978
Guest(s): Lee Bladen, Dave Bollock, Paul Davoud, Johnny Fauquier, Ken Molson, Lloyd Rochester, Tim Simms, Doreen Troop, Walter (Babe) Woollett
Host: Bill Kehoe
Narrator: Patrick Esmond
Duration: 41:59

Last updated: February 10, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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