Item AAAB3529 - Gordon Ballentine interview : [Stoddart, 1978]

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Gordon Ballentine interview : [Stoddart, 1978]

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  • sound recording

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  • 1978 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T3219:0001 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Gordon Ballentine discusses: background -- born in Vancouver, first interest in airplanes; got involved with an airplane club and met Don MacLaren; first job for MacLaren was as a crew man in; 1928; learning to fly; rebuilding an old H boat; met Harold Davenport; fisheries patrol; losing planes and pilots in the early days; story of the Queen Charlotte Islands crash that he was in when he ;was a crew man- quite an adventure; aircraft technology at the time (early 1930s); Queen Charlotte Islands -- seeing an Albino crow. TRACK 2: Gordon Ballentine: anecdote about Moresby Island incident; fisheries patrol- worked there in the summer, even when he was a Canadian Airways pilot in 1938 and 1939; enjoyed the fisheries work; Indians in the Queen Charlottes and northern Vancouver Island; f;irst pilots were all with the Royal Canadian Air Force; Aero Club stories; flying in the Cariboo; the Zeballos gold rush; ski flying planes vs. flying float planes; describes some characters of early ;aviation in B.C.; competition between Yukon Southern and Canadian Airways; coastal flying was more prevalent at the time; flew Junkers through Winnipeg in WW II; operations in the interior were very s;mall; weather conditions when flying are very important; early radio communication.; CALL NUMBER: T3219:0002 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Gordon Ballentine discusses: patrolling the fishing industry; little drinking on planes; mechanic not always on flight; air engineer exams- he passed, but never really did mechanical work; me;rging of different airlines; longevity of engines; planes he flew with Canadian Pacific; de-icing process- some bad experiences with ice. TRACK 2: Gordon Ballentine: continuation of a story about fly;ing across the Rockies; search and rescue operations; did not expect to make money out of flying -- he just loved it; only damaged a plane once, in 1938; Canadian Airways ran a very good operation; de;scription of his first flight, and his first solo flight; glider school- how it started, his involvement in it; Aircraft Charter Services; competition between airlines; story about flying a commercial; plane after he retired; as a young pilot, he was very cautious; landing a plane in very poor visibility.; CALL NUMBER: T3219:0003 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Gordon Ballentine discusses: story about former attorney-general Wismer; carrying a hidden gun; during war, you had to guard all the airplanes; guns were eventually not carried by pilots; dif;ferences in training now and in the early days of aviation- learning through soaking up the knowledge of others; different medical standards today; airplanes were much more individual in the old days; Canadian Airways sent him down to Seattle to take a course- learned a lot; Canadian Airways- a very good operation; the Flying Seven -- women pilots; bombing practices using flour; barnstorming; merg;ing of different airlines. TRACK 2: Gordon Ballentine discusses: the Prince George run- he had sole discretion over how he got there; differences in aircraft; radio equipment description; oxygen on p;lanes; uniform he wore as a pilot with Canadian Airways; lay-over period between flights; Lloyds, the insurer of airlines used to have a lot of say in airline operation; weight of load was not a preci;se science; getting lost on the way to Zeballos; searches; pilots were the 'individuals' of their generation; opinion of the union; solo bottles.; CALL NUMBER: T3219:0004 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Gordon Ballentine discusses: the one time he flew after having a couple of drinks; Zeballos gold rush story- very bad weather, shipping gold out; survival equipment; pilots needed to be sensi;ble in the old days; overloading of smaller aircrafts is a big problem. (End of interview) [TRACK 2: blank.];

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Paul Stoddart, 1977 & 1978


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  • Transcript on file.
  • Reference cassette copy available in container 000443-185.

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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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Excerpts from this interview were used in the sound program "From Jericho Beach to Swanson Bay", T3794:0001.

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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): T3219

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speaker: Gordon Ballentine, interviewer: Malcolm Paul Stoddart

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