Austin Airways is the exciting half-century story of Canada's oldest airline, and the first thorough treatment of a major Canadian airline from fledgling days to the present. In 1934, the midst of the Depression, brothers Chuck and Jack Austin rather boldly began flying operations from the Toronto waterfront with a pair of small biplanes. Soon their activities expanded to Sudbury and the mining country, then eventually into James Bay and along the coasts of Hudson Bay, where commercial aviation had yet to make its mark. What began as a small bush operation, flying prospectors, trappers and other charter customers, is today an important scheduled carrier, still based in the territory it has served for so many years.
Author Larry Milberry traces the development of Austin Airways through the eras of such early bushplanes as the Waco and Fairchild, and later types including the Norseman, Anson, Canso and DC-3, to today's Twin Otters and BAe 748s. The book includes a splendid collection of colour and black and white photographs, many of them taken by Austin pilots and engineers on their travels through the North, as well as colour profile paintings of the major types flown.
Austin Airways focuses on the skilled and loyal people who built the airline into one of Canada's most successful bush operations: legendary bush pilots and mechanics like Rusty Blakey, George Charity, Frank Russell and a host of others. It deals with them, their aircraft and Austin's many flying activities, including trapping, fish-hauling, forestry, mineral exploration, missionary and medical work, and tourism. Austin Airways is sure to delight anyone with an interest in the lore of bush flying and in Canada's Northland.