Category Archives: New release

Hot News from CANAV Books December 2017

Just so you know, good readers … CANAV is pushing a few new
books that you should know about. Have a look at these gems. Also,
you can listen to bush pilot/photographer Rich Hulina being interviewed
this week on CBC NW Ontario about his spectacular new book. Click
here for a nifty bit of Canadiana …

Blog 1 Bush Flying Captured Facebook ad-1

Bush Flying Captured, Volume 2, by Rich Hulina … If you don’t yet have your
copy, be sure to jump in and what better time, right! Many of you already
have Rich’s Volume 1, so you know what to expect. By now, Volume 1 is out-
of-print — some folks are kicking themselves for missing out, so latch on to
Volume 2. This has to be the most beautiful book of bushplane photographs
and info that we’ve seen in a mighty long time. My take? Canada’s aviation
book of 2017! Here’s a bit more: If you’re a follower of aviation in the bush,
mountains & tundra, and of Beaver, Otter, Twin Otter, Pilatus. Helio, Beech
18, Widgeon, Goose, Cessna, DC-3, DC-4, C-46, CL-415, BAe748, etc., this beautiful book is for you. 100s of colour photos, scads of lovely air-to- airs. A gem and a bargain for any aviation fan with a pulse. 216 pages, large format, hardcover. $50.00 + $14.00 postage anywhere in Canada* + tax $3.20. Total $67.20 Payment: PayPal to, or post your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6 (2 or more books: flat rate $16.00)

Blog 3 The Flight 981 Disaster

The Flight 981 Disaster: Tragedy, Treachery and the Pursuit of Truth

Samme Chittum covers the horrendous DC-10 disasters of the early
widebody era. Things hit the headlines on June 12, 1972, when American
Flt96 nearly crashed near Windsor, Ontario. Concluded the NTSB: “The
improper engagement of the latching mechanism for the aft bulk cargo
compartment door during the preparation of the airplane for flight. The design
characteristics of the door latching mechanism permitted the door to be
apparently closed when … the latches were not fully engaged, and the latch
lockpins were not in place.” This was not taken nearly seriously enough so,
on March 3, 1974 a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed in Paris – at the time the
world’s worse loss of life in an airline accident. Cause? Same.

The author explains in detail how the DC-10 almost was scuttled by these
crashes, how the investigations went, how industry and government colluded
to minimize the bad PR, how forensic works in such messy events, how good
investigative reporters can positively influence results, etc. Even victims and
survivors are profiled. Other DC-10 messes also are covered, with the
narrative finely interwoven, e.g. the DC-10 crash at Sioux Falls.

If you follow airline history, you’ll want a copy of this gem of a research effort.
You can park it on your bookshelf right beside something like John
Newhouses’ The Sporty Game, which includes further disturbing history of
the DC-10. Happily, as we all know, the DC-10 survived all its early woes to
become one of the great jetliners. 232 pages, hardcover, notes, index.
$33.50 + $12.00 postage anywhere in Canada + tax $2.37. Total $49.87

Blog 2 Flying to Victory

Flying to Victory: Raymond Collishaw and the Western Desert Campaign
1940-1941 Mike Bechthold. The great Canadian WWI ace commanded the
RAF desert air force in the rough and tumble early days of the war from
Egypt across to Libya, etc. A war of Gladiators and a few Hurricanes against
a very capable (contrary to mythology) Italian force supplemented by the
Luftwaffe. How Collishaw fared, how he was recalled, the dirty politics in the
RAF, etc. 280 pages, hardcover, photos, notes, biblio and index. The No.1
Canadian book this year covering the air war. $48.00 + $12.00 postage
anywhere in Canada + tax $3.00. Total $63.00

Blog 4 CAE Story

You may not yet have your copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story.
Here’s a book that will amaze any serious reader. It’s already been hailed as
the finest “biography” in print covering any of the world’s aerospace
manufacturers. Beside the important story of the development of the flight
simulator and CAE’s leading role in that story, starting as a pipsqueak player
back in 1947, you’ll enjoy reading about CAE’s involvement in all sorts of
other products and services.
Did you know that CAE manufactured major airframe components for the
L.1011 and KC-135? Overhauled Air Canada Viscounts, and USAF fighters
and trainers? Ran its own airline? Was in the automotive and forestry
industries? Developed control systems for naval and commercial vessels?
Produced the hand controller (still in use) for the Space Shuttle and ISS?
Once you read this book, you’ll have the inside story about this great
Canadian company and be amazed at CAE’s tremendous diversity (to say
nothing about a small Canadian company developing into a world leader).
Here’s a bit more info: Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story A full-out effort covering one of the world’s great aerospace manufacturers. You won’t find many aviation books as beautifully produced or all-encompassing. The list of activities, subsidiaries and ups ‘n downs is incredible. The book brings you to the present, when CAE has the lion’s share of the commercial flight simulator market, and operates flying schools and simulation centres, helping to ease the worldwide pilot shortage. The great CAE pioneers and the generations of CAE employees are honoured by this beautifully-produced book. 392 pages, hardcover, large format, 100s of photos, glossary, bibliography, index. A serious book bargain at $65.00 + 14.00* + tax $3.95 Total $82.95

 J.P. Bickell: The Life, the Leafs and the Legacy New bio of this great Canadian who made his first fortune in grain c.1900, then went into mining, building McIntyre of Timmins into Canada’s leading gold miner. Along the way he acquired to Toronto Maple Leafs, etc. However, his role in aviation is outstanding, whether barnstorming with his WWI flying buddies in the 1920s, pioneering in corporate aviation (Stinson Reliant, Grumman Goose, etc.), wartime aircraft production in  the UK alongside Lord Beaverbrook, his leadership in building Lancasters at Malton, then backing of Avro Canada beginning in 1945. A well written and well researched book about a true Canadian business hero who did it all. 238pp, hc, photos. List $24.95 CANAV price $23.50 + $12.00 postage + $1.77 Total $37.27

You’ll enjoy any or all of these beauties. So … do yourself a big favour and keep
reading actual books! Don’t let the internet turn your brain cells to mush, right. All the best and keep in touch… Larry

See CANAV’s main Fall/Winter booklist here:

*Payment info: Pay directly to if using PayPal. If not, mail your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Postage reminder … 2 or more books: flat rate $16.00 anywhere in Canada. For US and Int’l orders … email me for shipping charges:

CAE Book Makes the Cross-Country Trip from Manitoba to CANAV

CAE Book arrival 18-8-2015 P1090300Bully for Friesen Printers of Altona and their friends at Day and Ross trucking for getting the CAE book (all 5 tons of it) delivered to CANAV at noon today!

Here is your publisher and author (moi) in the warehouse with the first book out of the box. Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story, as I see it, probably is my best effort since 1981 – tops among about 35 various titles (my expert bibliophiles will know what I mean). But …  The CAE Story is not a book for the faint of heart. It’s an in-depth history for the in-depth reader.
CAE Book arrival 18-8-2015 P1090304Who got to celebrate first today with The CAE Story? A bunch of fired-up Milberry types on the front porch of CANAV Books world headquarters — 51 Balsam Ave. in Toronto. This was actually a pretty fantastic little crowd to help me get such an important ball rolling.

For all you keen fans with your CAE book orders already in the CANAV “system”, your copy will be in the mail this week. For those of you who haven’t placed your order, you can purchase your copy online. Thanks as always for your great support and let me know what you think, OK!

All the best!


BREAKING NEWS: CAE hot off the presses!

CAE cover

Friesen Gardens

 Friesen Printers in Altona has a 350,000-sq.ft. main plant with a well manicured frontage that even includes some commissioned art. All throughout the front offices is a wonderful collection of original Canadian art.

Friesen Printers in Altona has a 350,000-sq.ft. main plant with a well manicured frontage that even includes some commissioned art. All throughout the front offices is a wonderful collection of original Canadian art.

Begun in earnest in May 2011, CANAV’s history of CAE Inc. finally got on press on August 5, 2015. As usual, this included a trip for me to Friesens Printers in Altona, 115 km south of Winnipeg through glorious Manitoba farmland. In spite of some evident storm damage, the wheat, soya bean and sunflower crops were looking great and already some harvesters were in the fields. As I drove through Morris en route to Altona, a big PT6-powered Air Tractor was spraying some nearby fields, racing down its lines at crop level, then pulling up like a fighter plane to align for its next run.

Also as usual, I travelled to Winnipeg by WestJet, going each way in a comfy Boeing 737-700. These flights were pretty well at capacity – no surprise, eh. People are on the move in Canada more than ever, if WestJet is any indication. Needless to say, WestJet did not disappoint. I got an affordable fare and – out of the blue — an upgrade!

Friesen Trip 2015 Lobby

A visit to Friesen has many fascinating sides to it. The inviting main lobby, for example, includes displays of some of this year’s glitzier books.

Friesen Trip 2015 Ancient equipment

These printing industry artifacts from a century ago contrast with a late-20th Century artifact – one of the first Apple “desktops”, below. Dinosaurs from two different centuries, right?

Friesen Trip 2015 old time Apple desktop_LR

At 0830 on August 5,  my customer service rep, Aron Friesen, got me started with a short briefing as to how the CAE job would go. Then he introduced me to lead pressman Vern Zacharias, who was ready to show me the first of 12 ½ forms for approval. Looking over the sheet, it was clear that this job was off to a great start. By the end of Vern’s 12-hour shift, the first half of the job was done, including the dust jacket and endpapers. At supper time, the evening crew took over to print the backside of the many forms. The job was nailed down soon after Vern returned for his shift next morning.

Pressman Vern Zacharias checks a 16-page form just pulled from his press.

Pressman Vern Zacharias checks a 16-page CAE book form just pulled from his press.

The publisher stands by a pallet with about 2200 sheets. Then, the pallet is flipped by a specialized gizmo, so the backside can be run through the press with yet another 16 pages of CAE history.

The publisher stands by a pallet with about 2200 sheets. Then, the pallet is flipped by a specialized gizmo, so the backside can be run through the press with yet another 16 pages of CAE history.

Friesen Trip Altona 8 ... 4-6 August 2015 Flipping a slid for printing stage two

Here I am approving the endpapers. The whole process can keep a publisher going, but I wonder if this could have been my last such visit to Altona? Friesen has perfected the remote proofing operation to such a stage, that it’s really no longer so important to have the publisher on site.

Here I am approving the endpapers. The whole process can keep a publisher going, but I wonder if this could have been my last such visit to Altona? Friesen has perfected the remote proofing operation to such a stage, that it’s really no longer so important to have the publisher on site for such a job.

I’ve seen a lot of change at Friesen since they produced Air Transport in Canada for me in 1997. This year, for example, I saw the company’s flashy new 8-colour press. Meanwhile, there was some spacious empty concrete in another corner of the plant. The big, still-modern press that had been there in 2014 was gone – sold overseas. Nothing sits too still in any such a plant, where having the latest technology is not an option.

Friesen Trip Altona 10 ... 4-6 August 2015 new Manroland R900 8-colour press

Friesen’s impressive 8-colour Manroland R900 73” press. It prints both sides of a huge sheet in a single run.

Friesen Trip Altona 11 ... 4-6 August 2015 73

Here’s the 73″ sheeter which turns rolled paper into custom-size sheets. This is how costs are kept down for both manufacturer and customer,

Friesen Trip 2015 73

A mountain of sheeted paper, ready for the press.

Always a highlight for any visitor to Friesen Printers is the company’s “Wall of Fame”, where the covers of many recent books are on show. Of course, I always look to see if CANAV still is on show. Sure enough, there this year among covers about Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, hockey, boatbuilding and the paleo diet was Vol.2 of our Norseman series. Fun, eh!

Always a highlight for any visitor to Friesen Printers is the company’s “Wall of Fame”, where the covers of many recent books are on show. Of course, I always look to see if CANAV still is on show. Sure enough, there this year among covers featuring Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, hockey, boat building and the paleo diet was Vol.2 of our Norseman series. Fun, eh!

It’s always a pleasure to deal with this great company: check out Friesens online for more information about them.  Also, by now there are several informative CANAV Books Blog items covering  various trips to Altona, including for AinC: Evolution of an AirforceAinC: Bombing and Coastal Operations,  and AinC: Noorduyn Norseman.

As the schedule now looks, Friesens will be shipping the CAE book to me on August 19 (it still needs to get into the bindery). So I’ll start mailing out books the week of August 24. Get in your order for this beauty, which looks in many ways to be about the highlight of CANAV Books’ little efforts since 1981.

Cheers and have a great summer and fall, eh … Larry

Summer/Fall Newsletter 2015 and … Introducing Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story

CAE cover

Dear Reader,

I hope that all goes well with you so far through mid-2015. At CANAV things are hopping, the excitement being all about being our new CAE history. Any fan of Canada’s great aviation heritage will revel in this exclusive production, the largest so far in our 7-vol. “Aviation in Canada” series.

CAE Mailing Piece

If you have the other titles, you’ll know what to expect (in case you haven’t yet treated yourself to the series, there’s still stock). FYI, The CAE Story is not an official company history. However, neither were our world-class bestsellers Canadair: The First 50 Years, De Havilland in Canada and Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story.

Order your autographed copy of The CAE Story online today!

If you’re looking for some great summer reading, be sure to peruse the new CANAV general booklist. Check out such hot additions as Fangs of Death (439 Sqn), Lost: Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation, A Life in Canadian Aerospace and My Life and Times at Canadian Airlines. Other great selections? Air Transport in Canada remains in print and still at a $60 discount. This mighty publication (1040 pages) is the world’s single heftiest aviation history title. Only a handful of Hugh Halliday’s Typhoon and Tempest: The Canadian Story remain, so if you want some truly exciting RCAF WWII reading, don’t miss out on this wonderful production — a real icon in the category of books honouring our wartime air and ground crew. Also down to the last few original copies is CANAV’s highly-touted Power: The Pratt & Whitney Canada Story.

Another beauty that you’ll be sure to enjoy (and a bargain at $50) is Canada’s Air Forces on Exchange. Content-wise, this is one of the more far-out of Canadian aviation titles, e.g., in the “who knew” category. Here you’ll read about Canadians on exchange (or contract) from the USA and UK to such other nations as France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway on such types as the B-29, B-52, B-57, C-17, C-97, C-141, Britannia, F-4, F-5, F-102, F-106, Gladiator, Lightning, Mirage and Nimrod. With hundreds of photos this book will open your eyes to an important (if little-known) aspect of RCAF history. Some of the excitement includes Canadian pilots ejecting from the F-100 and F-105, chasing a UFO in an F-94, bombing Mau Mau in Kenya, ditching in the Mediterranean in a Hastings, ferrying a Javelin from the UK to Singapore (one Javelin is lost in the Bengali jungles), ferrying a B-57 from the USA to Pakistan and an RF-4J from the factory in St. Louis to Japan, test flying the EuroFighter in its early days, flying Tornados in Saudi Arabia and crewing on secret missions in the WB-50, WB-57 and SR-71. This may sound like “Believe It or Not” stuff, but it’s all solid history!

Besides building up your personal library, you also might consider donating a CANAV volume to your local public/school library. Needless to say, a set of “Aviation in Canada” wouldn’t likely be turned down! A positive way of spreading the word and making a difference, eh. Final reminder … be sure to check out CANAV’s free book offer on p.4 of the main booklist.

Need to get in touch?

CANAV Business Card

As always, feel free to call or email any time for further info: (416) 698-7559 or

And, as usual … good reading to one and all!

~ Larry Milberry, publisher

Fall 2014 Booklist + Important new title: A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992

Richmond Dust Cover for blog

Howdy, stalwart CANAV readers, and a big welcome to CANAV’s Fall/Winter Booklist for 2014-15.

Download your copy of this important list [this list now is defunct, contact for copies of our current lists] and have a close look at it. You’re certain to find some wonderful new reading here — real brain food for the serious aviation fan! Besides our new 2014 title, A Life in Canadian Aerospace (see below), check out how our collectible “Aviation in Canada”  series is shaping up from The Pioneer Decades to the Noorduyn Norseman.

Note all the good deals, including 1/2 price on CANAV’s famous RCAF trilogy Canada’s Air Force at War and Peace (hey … what a gift selection in the RCAF’s 90th anniversary). Also … check the list for important new books by Chris Hadfield (space), Tim Cook (Canada in WWII), Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail (bush and Arctic flying) and David New (RCAF WWII). Make sure to check out our free book offer on p.4. Good reading, all the best, and keep in touch

Larry Milberry, publisher

New Release – Just in time for the holidays!

**[now out of print, sold out]

Good news for all CANAV’s avid readers … we have just published an important new Canadian aviation title: A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992.

Here is a book to enrich any keen reader’s understanding of Canada’s legendary aviation industry from WWII to modern times.

R.D. “Dick” Richmond’s personal story, A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992  sets a new standard for the aeronautical autobiography. Dick tells his story from boyhood to joining the National Research Council early in WWII as a fresh aeronautical graduate. He works on such NRC R&D projects as re-engining a Fairey Battle with a Wright Cyclone. Moving to Fairchild, he has such challenging assignments as proving target-towing gear for an RCAF Bolingbroke, and producing (overnight) skis for rescuing some Ferry Command Hudsons stranded in Labrador.

The war over, Dick joins the design team for the Fairchild Husky bush plane, works on the Burnelli “flying wing” at Cartierville, then does landmark work on the prototype North Star. This is all new, fascinating history in which any CANAV fan will revel.

Other topics from the 1950s include Sabre III speed record flying in the California desert and the T-36, Canadair’s ill-starred twin-engine trainer developed with Beech for the USAF. Dick also works on the Argus and CL-41, before taking over development at Canadair of the Sparrow missile for the Avro Arrow.

With the demise of the Arrow, Dick joins Canadian Pratt & Whitney, where he is  involved with the PT6 and JT15D and their many uses, the Sea King for the RCN, Turbo Train, etc. In 1970 he joins Douglas Aircraft of Canada to head the DC-10 program. Next, he is at Spar on the seminal Canadarm program to the point of initial flight aboard “Columbia” in 1981. The latter part of Dick’s career has him back at Canadair working to salvage the Challenger. Such other programs as the CL-215 and Dick’s key role in getting the Canadair Regional Jet on the road to success also are included. In these chapters the book provides exclusive “insider’s” commentary about the controversial Canadair/DHC government takeover and how this ultimately was resolved by Bombardier.

A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992 takes you more intimately inside Canada’s aerospace industry than any book yet has done. It is beautifully-produced with many significant photos (you know how it goes with a CANAV title, right). Specs include: 190-page, 7×10-inch, hardcover,  dust jacket, detailed index. Canadian orders: $54.60 all-in (book $40.00, post $12.00, tax $2.60). USA and overseas CDN$57.00 all-in. If ordering, you can use PayPal ( or mail a cheque (any Canadian or US bank) to: CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4E 3B6.

Drop me a note if have any questions about this special new CANAV title. All the best as usual and I hope you’ve had a fine summer (or winter, if you’re Down Under) … Larry

Pierre Gillard’s Blog Features Ralph Clint’s Long-Lost Airliner Photos, A310s to the Boneyard, Readers React to Norseman Vol.2 + Initial Errata Details

The demise of Norseman 495, about which Bob Cameron of Whitehorse adds some details. (John Biehler Collection)

The demise of Norseman 495, about which Bob Cameron of Whitehorse adds some details. (John Biehler Collection)

All the best to CANAV’s great supporters over 2014! Thanks hugely to one and all of you solid folks, who go back to the birth of CANAV in 1981, but also to you many new fans/younger readers who are gradually getting to know CANAV and all it has to offer via its top-notch book list and always-informative blog.

For January 4, 2014 please note that I’ve added an addendum to blog posting “The Wartime Era Fades”. This is based on an obituary that I spotted in today’s newspaper. You’ll absolutely enjoy this item. Find it easily by using the search box.

Blog followers will love what Pierre Gillard is doing with Ralph Clint’s collection of old slides. Born in 1935, Ralph passed away in 2013. A long-serving TCA/Air Canada radio operator, Ralph was the commensurate aviation fan (nothing shallow for him) and one of CANAV’s hard-working researchers, proof readers etc. since the days of our Canadair North Star book.

Three cheers for Pierre, a professor at E.N.A. at St. Hubert, who does such a fantastic job with his blog. To see his fine gallery of Ralph’s airliner photos, have a look at this week’s headline offerings at his blog. Looks like most of Pierre’s “Ralph” photos were taken in the 1960s-70s at Toronto YYZ, mainly from the upper parking level of the original (now recycled) “Aeroquay” passenger terminal. This is really a great trip back into the days of such types as the stubby DC-9-15 and such Classic 747s as CF-TOA, a vintage -133.  Each photo was decently taken by Ralph and and has been nicely “tweaked up” by Pierre. As to “tweaking”, Pierre explains: “Most of Ralph’s slides are easy to scan and process because they are not Kodachromes. So, I can use a function to virtually wipe dust and remove scratches, which is totally impossible to do with Kodachrome slides. This saves a lot of time.”

This week Pierre also covers the dismantling of a couple of Air Transat Airbus 310s (“On démantèle à Mirabel”, A310 “au recyclage”, etc.). Who would believe that these seemingly modern airliners so soon could be over the hill but … I guess we’re all getting there. Something to think about, eh!

“Merci bien” CANAV people and good reading (as usual) to one and all … Larry

A Norseman Aficionado Weighs In

Norseman readers are gradually getting back to me with their comments about our new books. I’ve just heard from Bob Cameron of Whitehorse. Bob led a small team back in the 1990s restoring Fokker Super Universal CF-AAM (dormant since a 1937 accident) to flying condition. He and his pals then toured Canada in this astoundingly historic plane, a photo of which graces the cover of Aviation in Canada: The Formative Years. CF-AAM today is permanently on show at the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg. Last year Bob’s grand book, Yukon Wings, was published. You can read my review of this big-time beauty for more details.

Bob also is a veteran Norseman pilot, so who better to pass judgment on a Norseman book? Off the top, this is what he has to say: “The hi-lite of my Christmas was the arrival of your magnificent Norseman Vol. I! It is fabulous, and I am absorbing every millimeter of it!”

Encrusted remnants of Norseman 495 as they sit today on the bottom of Tagish Lake. (via Bob Cameron)

Encrusted remnants of Norseman 495 as they sit today on the bottom of Tagish Lake. (via Bob Cameron)

Bob adds some historic tidbits about the dramatic wreck of RCAF Norseman 495, pictured on p.151 of Norseman Vol.1: “That happened 40 miles south of here on Tagish Lake on St. Patrick’s Day, 1950. One guy was checking out another on skis. Unfortunately, they chose to shoot a landing too far off shore, in flat light, rendering depth perception next to impossible.” He then explains the final fate of 495. The RCAF salvage team stripped it of useful parts, then abandonned the wreck to settle to the lake bottom with the spring melt. If one flies over Tagish Lake today, the outline of 495 may still be spotted in the shallow water. Bob finishes: “Anyway, good work, Larry, I’ve waited a long time for a pictorial history of one of my favourite airplanes!”

 The Gremlins are About!

Several typical typos have been pointed out in the Norseman volumes. These inevitably seem to occur no matter how hard we try to correct them before printing. Thanks to former Norseman pilot Rodney Kozar for spotting these. The real clanger is the one referring to the great Dishlevoy/Magnusson Norseman website as, when that should be So please make a note (but do use both sites, eh).

In Vol.1: In Norseman Vol.1 p.119, the correct date for the Hazelton crash is the one shown on the grave marker.

For p.120 somehow the caption for Norseman 2477 got transposed. In an earlier version of the galleys the correct caption is in place — can you believe it! So how in the world did it end up with a caption for Norseman 2469. The desired caption is: Camping with 2477 at Crystal 1 in March 1942. From February 6 to April 4, 1942 this Norseman was on loan to Ferry Command for the Eastern Arctic airstrip/weather station survey. Postwar, it was CF-PAB. While serving Associated Airways of Edmonton, in August 1954 it was damaged beyond repair in a landing accident. (A.W. Baker Col.)

p. 197 – the correct month for the Nelles incident is August.

In Vol. 2 – p.11, line 2 of caption, change RCAF to RCMP

p.13 – lower caption, change Ontario to Canadian

p.14 – top caption for CF-OBG incorrectly gives the info for CF-OBF

p.17 – in the chart, change CF-UDD to CF-UUD

p.20 – lower caption change CF-SAN to CF-SAH

p.41 – at end of  CF-GUE entry, the Huron Air mention applies to above entry for CF-GSR

pp.62/63 – all registrations should read CF-EIH, delete CF-EIN

p.74 – CF-GUM Mark IV, change to UC-64A; CF-HFV change serial no. to N29-50; CF-SAHI V, change to CF-SAH  IV; CF-SAM Mark IV, change to V.

p.123 – lower caption change OK-XDB is OK-XBD

p.194 – lower caption, change CF-ORD to CF-OBD

p.239 – 2nd para, col.3 CF-DRD went on permanent display in 1992

p.246 – top caption change CF-GTN to CF-GJN

p.286 – lower photo, Norseman shown is CF-JIN, not CF-JEC

Pierre Gillard Reviews Norseman Vol. 2

 Probablement que, pour Larry Milberry, les 232 pages du premier volume consacré au Noorduyn Norseman avait un “goût de trop peu” car il a immédiatement embrayé, en solo cette fois-ci, avec un second volume ne comprenant pas moins de 304 pages ! Il restait donc beaucoup de choses à dire encore au sujet de cet avion de brousse produit à Cartierville. Et vous n’allez pas me croire quand je vous dirai que l’auteur a reçu des commentaires acerbes de certains frustrés mentionnant qu’il manquait de détails au sujet de quelques opérateurs “oubliés” par le récit!

Toujours est-il que ce second volume traite essentiellement des Norseman utilisés après la Seconde guerre mondiale par la Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC-RCMP), les opérateurs civils canadiens ainsi que les opérateurs étrangers, toujours avec le souci du détail et la minutie que l’on connaît à Larry Milberry. Une place importante est réservée aux résultats de nombreuses entrevues et échanges que l’auteur a eus avec des personnes pour qui cet avion était le gagne-pain. C’est ainsi que j’ai retrouvé une belle participation de mon ami Paul Gagnon, à ses débuts en qualité de pilote de brousse, dont des récits de quelques “aventures” vécues avec des Norseman.

Sur le plan des illustrations, un grand nombre de photos en couleur, dont certaines sont absolument magnifiques et relèvent du grand art, complètent les archives extraordinaires en noir et blanc publiées dans les deux volumes. Comme toujours, à la lecture des ouvrages de Canav Book, on peut se demander comment il est possible de rassembler autant de documents photographiques inédits. Avec ces deux volumes au sujet du Norduyn Norseman, Larry Milberry et Hugh A. Halliday ont définitivement comblé un vide historique pour cet avion construit au Québec.

For Pierre’s review of Norseman Vol. 1, click here.

Reminder to  UK and EuroZone bibliophiles … pick up your copy of Norseman Vol.1 and Vol.2 at  Simon Watson’s Aviation Bookshop in Tunbridge Wells, UK. Email: Or … visit Henk Timmers’ Aviation Megastore at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. Email:

Long Awaited Bell 47 History Now in Print

ImageThe appearance of a stand-out aviation history book was commonplace in decades gone by. Progressing into the 21st Century, however, not many such books make it beyond the concept stage. Even worse, knowledgeable and sympathetic “book people” are a dying breed. These days if I happen to mention about working on a new book, it’s possible for someone to interject, “I guess he means an iBook, right?” Well … not really, Buddyboy. What I mean is an actual book made of actual paper, ink and glue, that’s full of actual information that you will not find on that great seducer of feeble minds – the internet. But that’s another story and “way” over your head, Buddyboy.

Right now I want to talk to you about something real, not fanciful, definitely not a video game. I’d like to introduce you to the Grand Champion 2013 example of a fabulous new aviation book — The Bell 47 Helicopter Story. The creators are long-time CAHS and AAHS members Robert S. Petite from Alberta and Jeffery C. Evans from California. Bob and Jeff have devoted decades studying everything imaginable about the Bell 47, history’s most famous light helicopter, a type that’s been familiar on the Canadian scene for nearly 70 years. Our authors have their credits — they’ve been honoured by such groups as the American Helicopter Society International and by the Twirly Birds. Not surprisingly, rarely have Bob and Jeff missed a Helicopter Association International annual convention.


Whatever high award there might be for aviation history authorship in 2013-14, these fellows own it. To start, they thoughtfully explain how they did their research. Basically, they used all possible ways and means, from plowing through archival documents and personal records, to travelling all over doing face-to-face interviews, attending conferences, etc. Few (supposed) aviation researchers would go a fraction of the distance. Here’s what they tell us: “Data used … came from early handwritten and typed Bell production records, sales records, Bell flight reports for the preproduction Bell 47s, early Bell brochures, Bell press releases, actual typed progress reports to Larry Bell, Bell accident reports, Bell Rotor Breeze first edition … Bell 47 Customer Service Maintenance Clinics, Bell Helicopter Mechanics School and early Bell Ringer newsletters.” So … we’re guaranteed to be getting the solid goods about this mighty little piece of mid-20th Century technology called the Bell 47 and everything it has meant on the worldwide aviation scene. Bob and Jeff sought out the info, then beautifully laid out their final results in one of the most impressive aviation publications in a hundred years.

Any aviation fan over age 30 knows this fantastic flying machine. Failing all else, millions have seen Bell 47s doing joyrides at local town fairs. Somewhat older folks know the bubble-canopy little bumblebee from episodes of “MASH”, and that distinct Bell 47 sound still is dubbed in to helicopter scenes of TV shows and movies, whether the chopper shown is a Bell 47 or a Chinook!

I first met the Bell 47 in the headlines during Hurricane Hazel in October 1954. At that time, Toronto’s “Tely” and the “Star” ran photos of an Ontario Hydro Bell 47 saving stranded victims following Hazel’s rampage along the city’s Humber River. Being a Tely paperboy, I eagerly watched the story unfold. Decades later I met that very Bell 47’s pilot, the wonderful Bruce Best, who later was a CAHS Toronto Chapter stalwart. Over the years I’ve had great fun photographing Bell 47s all across Canada.

Bob and Jeff open their massive tome with an in-depth history of how the Bell 47 came about under two geniuses — Larry Bell and Arthur Young. The story starts in 1942 with “Ship No.1” at the Bell facility in Buffalo, NY. All the trials and tribulations are described, enough to discourage anyone from a career in aviation. Yet, Bell, Young and their solid team persevered. In March 1946 Bell 47 NC-1H won the world’s first commercial helicopter licence. From there the book carefully traces developments through endless R&D, modifications and certified models.

Canada’s first Bell 47 was CF-FJA, imported by Kenting of Oshawa in 1946. Carl Agar, whose company, “Okanagan”, would become one of the world’s great helicopter operators, soon brought in CF-FZX. Toronto-based prospector Sten Lundberg pioneered with a Bell 47 doing aerial electro-magnetic mineral exploration. Other Canadian operators appear as you turn pages loaded with incredible anecdotes and photos. The Bell 47 explores in the Arctic, goes aboard ship with the Canadian Coast Guard, supports mineral exploration, does forest seeding and fire suppression, crop dusting, hydro and pipe line patrols, search and rescue, etc. Its military career is covered under fire in Korea, but everywhere else, including with the RCAF. Bob and Jeff cover it all in depth, and so enchantingly that you just have to keep turning the pages. Their book also has the essential technical gen, including many illustrations from the engineering manuals.


The authors cover every imaginable version from the earliest 2-seat Bell 47B to the 4-seat Bell 47J Ranger. The transition to turbine power is described, so we see how the Bell Cobra gunship and Bell 206 Jet Ranger series had their beginnings. The last word explains how the Bell 47 is back in the headlines through the efforts in the US of Scott’s Helicopters, which in 2014 will be producing new Bell 47s. It all brings an interesting thought to mind: We all know about the Renaissance Man, now it seems there might be an argument for the Renaissance Helicopter — the Bell 47. Besides everything else, The Bell 47 Helicopter Story has a valuable appendix with such detailed content as production history and the specs for each version. Interestingly, of some 5000 aircraft manufactured from 1945 – 1974, more than 1000 remain.

This landmark book has been very nicely printed and bound by Friesens of Altona, Manitoba. Bare bones it weighs an amazing 2.9 kg. It’s a hardcover with dust jacket. There are 730 pages with 1200 b/w and colour photos. Sincere fans of aviation history owe it to themselves to get hold of a copy of The Bell 47 Helicopter Story. If you have not yet delved into helicopter history, a fast flip through this book will make a convert of you, so long as you have the least bit of gumption. Order your copy at or e-mail author Bob Petite in Leduc at

Cheers and good reading to you all. CANAV’s supporters are the best! Larry

Noorduyn Norseman – The Story is Far from Told and … Vol.1 Rates an “Airways International” Review


No sooner do we get a book into print, than readers pop up with supplementary material. This helps keep any story fresh and moving ahead. First to jump aboard re: Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.2 is H.E. “Herb” Smale. From London, Ontario, Herb joined the RCAF at Hagersville in 1946. Trained in radio, he requested a posting to the RCAF crash boat unit at 12 Group (Vancouver). Instead, he was sent to Fort Nelson, BC, far up the wartime Northwest Staging Route. There, one of his tasks involved the Station Flight Norseman in which he would got to ride along, sending radio messages over an HF radio set using a Morse key. (Double click on any photo to see it full size. Thanks to Andrew Yee for high-lighting these important new Norseman pix.)


Herb submits these photos of Fort Nelson Norsemans 3538, still in wartime yellow with the prominent radio mast (a trademark of BCATP wireless training Norsemans), and 2476 in its flashy new postwar aluminum-with-red paint scheme. Taken on strength in March 1941, 2476 is noted in John Griffin’s seminal Canadian Military Aircraft as serving that year with 119 Squadron at Yarmouth. In July 1942 it was on strength with 121 (Composite) Squadron at Dartmouth. A related in Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.1, from January 17 to 26, 1943 it was stranded due to weather on a desolate frozen lake, while being ferried by F/L S.A. Cheesman from the RCAF repair depot at Scoudouc, New Brunswick, to Goose Bay. Spotted by a patrolling Hudson on January 24, the crew soon was rescued.  Norseman 2476  reached Goose Bay on the 29th. Its ultimate fate presently is unknown.


Norseman 3538 joined the RCAF in January 1942, serving that year along the Northwest Staging Route. In January 1944 it began a stint with 4 Wireless School, where it flew from the RCAF satellite station at Burch, Ontario, not far from Brantford. Late in 1944 it supported Ex. Eskimo, a major cold-weather exercise in Northern Saskatchewan (Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.1). From August to October 1946 it conducted experimental aerial spray trials at RCAF Station Suffield in Southern Alberta (also in Vol.1). It’s noted as joining North West Air Command in August 1948. It was struck off RCAF strength in June 1953. From then into 1957 it served the Royal Norwegian Air Force as “R-AY”. Finally, it had a long career in civil aviation in Norway and Sweden, and today resides in the aviation museum at Arlanda Airport near Stockholm.

While he was at Fort Nelson, LAC Herb Smale’s request for an aircrew slot was accepted. In 1949-50 he trained at RCAF stations Clinton and Trenton in radio and air gunnery, then flew many years in Maritime Air Command on the Lancaster, Neptune and Argus. From 1965-68 he commanded 407 Squadron at Comox. As Colonel Smale, Herb finished his career as Base Commander Greenwood, retiring in 1974.

Airways Mag Jan. 2014 Meanwhile .. it’s encouraging to report the newest book review for Noorduyn Norseman, Vol.1. This has just appeared in the January 2014 edition of Airways International: The Global Review of Commercial Flight ( Written by “The King of Airways”, John Wegg, have a look at how it goes:

To paraphrase publisher Larry Milberry’s introduction, ‘More than 75 years have passed since the Norseman first flew and the brilliant design of Robert Noorduyn has become the enduring symbol of everything typifying the Canadian bushplane. The Norseman blazed new trails in the North, serving trappers, hunters, fishermen, prospectors, explorers, sportsmen, missionaries, medical people, policemen, government representatives, military personnel, and all others inhabiting or visiting Canada’s remoter geographical niches. Whatever these people needed, the Norseman carried it all. Inevitably, the saga of the Norseman arose, and every saga needs a good book, but none ever appeared.’

Until now, that is, and heeding what he calls readers’ complaints about his overly large books, Milberry has divided his subject into two volumes. The first covers the genesis of the Norseman and its career through Word War II and the transition into a more peaceful world. A dozen chapters examine all facets of this aircraft’s development, such as design, early sales and operations, Royal Canadian Air Force and US military service, commercial use during the war, and search and rescue operations.

As CANAV ‘regulars’ already know, Milberry’s approach is to combine facts from original documents with the stories of those associated with the subject, drawing upon logbooks and personal albums. The result is, as expected, another splendid title, the 33rd from this award-winning publisher.

Richly illustrated, with intelligent and well- researched captions to accompany the hundreds of period photos, this is a fact-filled and comprehensive account of bushplane history by two of Canada’s leading aviation writers (Halliday is a retired Canadian War Museum historian). Finally, the saga of the Norseman has been told in superlative style. I can’t wait for the second volume, which as a bonus is illustrated in color throughout.


Reminder to  EuroZone bibliophiles … pick up your copies of Norseman Vol.1 and Vol.2 at  Henk Timmers’ Aviation Megastore at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. Email:

D-Day at the warehouse…


The battle is won, Norseman fans … at noon on November 18, TransX pulled into CANAV’s warehouse from Friesen Printers in Altona, Manitoba, to unload Norseman Vol.2. Here’s proof positive — another 5853 pounds of Norseman books! This is a real beauty that no true fan of Canada’s great aviation past will want to miss.


The first copies already are shipped so, if you ordered in advance, yours will be arriving in a few days!

CANAV titles always make for great, impressive gifts, so get your order in for your aviation-minded pals, employees, customers, suppliers, etc. Download the order form here or order online.

Thanks for your great support and good reading to all … Larry

Noorduyn Norseman, Vol. 2 – hot off the press!

Publisher Milberry examines Vol. 2, hot off the presses!

Ye olde publisher Larry Milberry examines a sheet for Norseman Vol.2 … hot off the press, right, and always an exciting time!

Aviation in Canada: The Noorduyn Norseman, Volume 2 is off the press! The book, endpapers and dust jacket all were printed at Friesen in Altona, Manitoba on November 7/8. Next, everything will go down the bindery, get boxed and be on its way to CANAV in Toronto by the 18th. So get ready!

Reminder to  UK and EuroZone bibliophiles … pick up your copy of Norseman Vol.1 and Vol.2 at Simon Watson’s Aviation Bookshop in Tunbridge Wells, UK. Or visit Henk Timmers’ Aviation Megastore at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. 

Friesen pressman Guy checks endpaper proofs. Then, pressman Wade about to inspect a sheet just pulled off his press.

-3Have you got your order for Volume 2 in? Download the order form here or order via PayPal.