02/28/2009. Remarks by Ron Dupas:
From the book "The Pas - Gateway to Northern Manitoba" published in 1983. Account written by Tom Lamb's sister, Hilda.
"In the year 1935 Tom was feeling the need for quicker transportation and so, at the age of thirty-seven, he took flying lessons. He soon had his pilot's license and bought his first plane, a beautiful four-seater Cessna. What a convenience it was and before long he had a charter service license and had more work than he could handle... so more help was engaged, including a licensed air mechanic."
"Unfortunately, some... years later this first plane was 'washed out''... when for some reason he failed to gain sufficient altitude and landed in the trees, but thankfully no one was hurt and his three passengers were put up at Cumberland House while Tom paddled down the river to The Pas. And, so, temporarily, his flying was over, but in 1945, he was into it again when he bought his first Norseman, the long-lasting and hard-working CF-BHS, then a Moth and from time to time other planes. In the meantime, his sons were growing into teen-agers, and one by one they took lessons and got their pilot's licenses... and Lambair grew and grew."
"Their motto 'Tell us where you want to go' has always been the story of this northern airline. (The full motto was "Don't ask us where we fly - tell us where you want to go. RD) Bases were at The Pas, Thompson, and Churchill, but in time Thompson became the centre of operations."
"One is safe in saying that very few square miles from Winnipeg to beyond the Arctic Circle have not seen a Lambair plane overhead. Endless loads of mining equipment of all kinds and other supplies have been set down in many bleak spots that someday could be bustling mining towns, freight of all kinds transported and passengers of wide-ranging occupations and interests have looked down from Lambair planes on a cold and uninviting country, and many have seen mercy flights from far-ranging areas."
"As this is being written one trip comes to mind. Tom was in the South Indian-Wabowden area and not expected back for a few days, but suddenly the big Norseman flew in, flying low over the house and office, low enough to show one of the skis hanging loose. Immediately fire-fighting equipment and Dr. Crawford were rushed out to the base at Grace Lake. It was a tense moment as the landing on the frozen lake was made, on one ski, and the plane skillfully brought to a stop. He had flown in to bring a woman with a broken ankle to the hospital. She was strapped to a stretcher and from her place on the floor called up to Tom to ask what that noise was (the flapping ski). Giving her his famous smile he shouted back that the wind always made that noise! If the poor soul had only known that between her and eternity was the grace of God and a seasoned bush pilot!"
"...while (on a trip) in Australia he got wind of a plane which in the war had been shot down over New Guinea and though fully serviceable was for sale. He bought it and wrote to me that he knew he could have flown it home but Jennie (Tom's wife) wouldn't let him!"
"Lambair was expanding and many of their planes could tell exciting stories. One of which had bullet holes to show it had been in one of the wars in the Congo, in Africa, and this one Greg, the eldest of the brothers, along with another pilot and a mechanic, flew home, via Brazil for re-fueling and then up the east coast of North America."
"Another was flown from Norway and still another from Afghanistan, in this case Jackie (another brother) being the one of the pilots - all serviceable planes but struck off from the various air forces."