Item AAAB3522 - Cyril Charter interview : [Stoddart, 1978]

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Cyril Charter interview : [Stoddart, 1978]

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  • sound recording

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  • 1978 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T3213:0001 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Cyril Charter discusses: his background -- born in 1916 in China to medical missionary parents; moved to Canada, 1919; to Oyen, Alberta in 1921; describes the first aircraft he ever saw; anecdote about Captain Paddy Burke; joined an aviation club at his high school in Vancouver through urging of Robert Pike; Robert Pike's 'Vancouver AeroTeck' school; Cyril's attendance at the aviation ground school; did some janitorial work at the aviation school to pay his way; getting his flying hours so he could obtain a private pilot's license; helping build an airplane for Turner and Madill; took; night school courses and tried to make his way in the flying world, mid-'30s was a difficult to time to want to be a pilot; 1937 -- taken on as staff of Coate's Limited; going to work in the Yukon for Northern Airways in 1938 at age 22 as an air engineer -- worked there for 3 years, learned a lot, first real job in the 'bush'; working at Boeing, then joining the army; went up to Fort Smith in 1945 as a base engineer for Canadian Pacific Airlines; working in Yellowknife; in 1946-47 he was offered position of chief mechanic in the B.C. district with headquarters in Vancouver.
TRACK 2: Cyril Charter discusses: working as chief mechanic in Vancouver; plant at New Westminster (worked there before he was in Vancouver); closing of the plant at New Westminster, 1944; New Westminster plant was working on an operation known as Western Air Command; in any frontier boom, transportation always plays a vital role; more about his days with Yukon Airways; anecdote about Harry Oakes, the millionaire.;

CALL NUMBER: T3213:0002 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Cyril Charter discusses: story about the mail carrier, the Steerman (cont'd); uses of the Steerman; story of a parachute deal and the dropper, Jack Rolle; long anecdote about adventure with Les Cook -- almost losing a plane, difficulties putting on a new prop, getting out of a deep canyon, fixing the engine. Going back up north before the Vancouver job opened up in 1947: good career decision to go up to Fort Simpson; getting to know Grant McConnachie; flood in the Fraser Valley in 1948 -- exciting period for Canadian Pacific. TRACK 2: Cyril Charter: CPA in the early '50s; almost taking jobs in Sidney and Honolulu, but fate intervened; the death of the Comet series; supervising an overhaul of CB [CP?], re-activating his pilot's license; supervising the Dew Line contract -- Fort Nelson and Norman Wells; stories about the Dew Line time in his life; over to England to buy Britannia aircraft [Bristol Britannia turboprop]; back to Canada in 1958 and went right on crew of the Britannia maintenance; then overhaul supervisor until retirement. With CP Air for almost 32 years, plus another 11 years with other aircraft services. Stories about events and happenings during his years in the aircraft business. Mentions his first ride in an airplane. (End of interview)

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Paul Stoddart, 1977 & 1978


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  • Transcript on file.
  • Reference cassette copy available in container 000443-184.

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No access restrictions apply. [WAS: Closed until publication of Sound Heritage Series no. 28, ca. 1980.]

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Copyright Status: Copyright B.C. Archives.

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General note

Interview recorded as research for Sound Heritage Series no 28, "The Magnificent Distances".

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Accession number(s): T3213

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speaker: Cyril Gladstone Charter, interviewer: Malcolm Paul Stoddart

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