Item AAAB3532 - Maurice McGregor interview : [Stoddart, 1978]

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Maurice McGregor interview : [Stoddart, 1978]

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  • sound recording

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  • 1978 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T3222:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Early aviation : Maurice McGregor RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Maurice McGregor discusses: his background- born in Victoria in 1911, attracted to the romance of flying after the Lindbergh flight; learned to fly from friend Hal Wilson- description of his first day of flight school; getting his private license, then his commercial; 1930- barnstorming out of Ladner, Roscoe Turner story, aerobatics; establishing his own flying school in Vancouver, but never really succeeding with that; operating a flying school in Victoria at Gordon Head; training Chinese pilots at this time- got to know the Chinese community, so he was asked to go to China to teach flying, but could not go because he was accepted by the R.C.A.F. for a navigation course; Prime Minister Bennett cut back on money for aviation, many people laid off; desire of many non-permanent R.C.A.F. men to go to China. TRACK 2: Maurice McGregor: China offered new opportunities for young pilots, ones that were not available in Canada -- but government in Canada would not allow pilots to go; government's cancellation of mail contracts; first air shows- Lulu Island in 1930, Trans Canada Air Pageant; worked briefly for Airland Manufacturing Company; Paddy Burke crash- he almost went on that flight; Ernest Eve- started the Ford Tri-motor operation, McGregor's father also involved in this company; became an officer in the 111 AC Squadron, R.C.A.F. non-permanent in Vancouver- involved doing tactical exercises, instrument flying, aerobatics; search-and-rescue missions; maps were very poor when he first started; many forced landings; surviving in plane crashes- needed to be tough; flying up the coast in the early '30s; fishery patrol. CALL NUMBER: T3222:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Early aviation : Maurice McGregor RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Maurice McGregor: anecdote at McKay Lake- mechanical difficulties, tricky maneuvering; engine problems a few times- adventures connected to these experiences; getting involved in hauling fish from the north- experience with a snowstorm while bringing fish down to Kenora, competition between companies involved in this business, story about snarling huskies in a search-and-rescue; came back to the coast to open a base at Burns Lake- difficult days in the Depression; flying in dangerous weather conditions; anecdote about falling 30 feet out of a plane during a near fatal landing. TRACK 2: Maurice McGregor: more on story about the landing in which he and his passengers fell into the water; growth of Canadian Airways; making the transition from being a bush pilot to a commercial pilot; working for TCA after it took over Canadian Airways; he flew the Vancouver-Seattle route for TCA; moving to Winnipeg to deliver mail; became captain on the first official night airmail service on the Vancouver-Winnipeg route; trained by Americans for awhile; became supervisor of area between Winnipeg and Vancouver; outbreak of war- his role in training pilots, selecting radio range sites; then moved east, supervised various other regions during war. CALL NUMBER: T3222:0003 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Early aviation : Maurice McGregor RECORDED: [location unknown], 1978 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Maurice McGregor: more on the growth of TCA- expansion of passenger flights; anecdote about flying Senator Gray Turgeon in 1935; expanding TCA service to all over the world; getting lost in Brazil right after the war; expanding to the Caribbean in 1948; after being with TCA for 15 years, he joined Canadian Pacific as director of development- first task was to negotiate agreements with foreign countries so CP could fly to these places; CP could not survive on travel to the Orient alone; going over to Pakistan to help them establish a first class airline- difficult, but interesting experience. TRACK 2: Maurice McGregor: more on his experiences in Pakistan and setting up an airline in this country; going back to B.C. and establishing his own company that concentrated on flying up the coast; selling his line to Northwest Industries; favourite planes he flew; impressions of CP Air, Air Canada; final thoughts about aviation history in B.C.. (End of interview)

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Paul Stoddart, 1977 & 1978


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

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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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General note

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

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Accession number(s): T3222

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speaker: F. Maurice McGregor, interviewer: Malcolm Paul Stoddart

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