This website contains images of many of the thousands of aviation photos I took
and collected in the period 1955-1977, when I was much younger. This
is the story of how I came to possess thousands of aviation photos.
My interest in aviation started
one sunny summer vacation day when a friend and I slipped though a
gap in a fence to sit on the cool grass of the nearby airport in
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to watch the planes land and takeoff. This area
happened to be a part of the RCAF station there,
and so it only took a moment before a uniformed man strode over to we
two scared 10 year-olds to say we should not be there, but would we
like to look inside a B-25 Mitchell bomber before leaving? From that
day I was hooked.
The great DC-3 taxiing caper
When I got a bicycle, I was able to cover a lot more ground at the
airport. I began to frequent the employee lounges at the various hangars,
just to listen to the talk and read the magazines. One day, at the Trans
Canada Airlines hangar, one of the men asked if I wanted to ride up to
the terminal in a DC-3! So, I sat in the right-hand seat and steered the
plane down the tarmac! Thrilling!
Oh No, look what he's dragging home now!
As the years passed I made many friends at the airport. I collected
old magazines and parts from wrecked aircraft.
A birthday present of a camera began the quest to photograph every new
airplane I came across. Then I started a letter-writing campaign to
airlines and manufacturers to request photos. Corporate America was
generous back then. My parents were grateful I was fixated on airplanes
rather than "other things." (However they did become concerned
later, when my grades began to suffer because of too much late night
time tuned into my VHF (very-high frequency) receiver.)
"Lets take this route, Dad. There's more airports!"
When we travelled extensively by
car on summer vacations they stopped at every airport I discovered
along the way... I think they hoped I wouldn't discover many... but I
bought airport directories the same way they bought travel guides. I
found 'em all! More pictures! One of the most exciting
"finds" was when we drove by the Boeing plant in Seattle, Washington, USA,
and I saw brand new B-52's straight off the assembly line. (Much
later, when I attended college in Spokane, Washington I was treated
to daily views of B-52's flying out of Fairchild AFB. They were still
exciting to me then.)
Security alert! One time, at a USAF airbase near
Duluth, Minnesota, USA, I convinced my parents to just "cruise on
by" the guard at the gate... after all, he was waving everyone
else through! Soon a little blue jeep rushed up behind us and turned
on flashing lights and siren. Oh oh! We were all ushered into the
base commanders office to explain ourselves. Was I going to have my
precious film confiscated, and the camera too? I explained, well,
"all there was to take pictures of were some old C-46's, C-47's
and S-55's." We got a tour of the place and went on our way,
leaving behind one dejected security guard who was sure he had
There's that &%#% kid again: driving across the runway!
When I got my driver's license,
speed was added to my sorties to the airport. I could make more
frequent visits. I could rush there when I heard an unfamiliar motor
overhead or glimpse a strange shape in the sky, and get my trophy. My
dad's '57 Mercury was recognized by everyone at the airport. Even the
driver of the yellow security truck would wave when we passed on the
tarmac... oh yes, I drove everywhere I wanted to go, just like the
Some of you who
were not around then are used to the security environment that exists
today: chain link fences, security patrols, locked hangars, even
guard dogs. But when I was deep into aviation as a hobby there were
no such restrictions.
I get my wings. When my parents were tired of
asking me permission to use their car, my dad asked if I wanted a car
of my own. I said I'd rather have flying lessons! He agreed. I took
my instruction at the Edmonton Flying Club flying a Fleet 80 Canuck, CF-DQV. Who can ever forget the
thrill of the first solo? When I got to the point of doing circuits,
I did eight hours of them before the instructor, an ex-RAF Spitfire
pilot named Frank Elkins, asked if maybe I should move on to some
other things. (By the way, I got the car later any way.)
Through college and even early
years of marriage I continued to build the photo collection, although
my flying days came to end for financial reasons. But, sad to say, my
interest waned and the photos went into storage in the mid-seventies.
Even more sadly, I sold my collection of hundreds of aviation books
at used book stores to fund a few pieces of furniture for our new
house. How I wish now I still had all those books! But I do have the
photos and the negatives!
That's how I came to build this
web site... a way, finally, to share those pictures with other
aviation nuts like me.