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Advancement Of The Helicopter Industry.

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Carholme ------check your **** e-mails. :D


Blackmac -------Without going into great details here and this would not be the proper place anyway, I can say that I "cut Jim a whole lotta slack" because life had dealt him some real low dirty blows on a personal level. I sat with Jimmy, Fred Wayte and a good friend by the name of Chuck Ramsay, in a tent in LG-2, killing 2 -40 "pounders" all of one night after Jim was advised that his fiance had died on the operating table minutes before while having a heart birth-defect repaired. She wanted it fixed before they got married which was to be soon. He had treated her like she was a Goddess and she had thought the world of him. That was the second time that Jimmy had something dear ripped from his grasp and sometimes people get hardened to life after experiences like that....we all handle those things differently I'm afraid. He wasn't quite so tough though that night when his "mask" fell completely off and he had tears running down his cheeks as he tried to crack jokes and still be the tough guy. That was the only time in my life that I ever woke up with a hang-over and was happy that I had one.

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Thanks carlhome (is that newfanise for call home), my memory is not so bad after 35+ years.


Cap, wasn't Jim going out with Maureen's sister.


I knew Jack and the Missus from the navy days, Jack and I were on the same squadron.


I never really knew Jim on a real personal basis, the times were just not there for it to happen.


Emile L and I were close buddies over the years, my kids all knew him and he was referred to as Uncle Emile.


It's strange that all these guys were younger and now gone, three major prangs and I'm still here, go figure.


Carlhome, I do recall John having problems with his Dad who used to call on regular basis, when John was available. If you knew John I think you know what the problem was.


Cheers, Don

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Blackmac -------I was referring to #2.........you are referring to #1 who left him standing at the alter........literally. That was an "ugly" day. I grew up not far from Jim and let's just say that he made a few very close friends and adopted THEIR families after he left his original home. I never knew Jim when I was growing up, but knew the family by name.

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Cap/Jetbox; Further to my story of my first job with Viking.


On my way north in the latter part May 1970, I met an apprentice ame working for Mid-West Helicopters in Churchill and he was inquiring about getting his license (AME) and then his pilots license. He asked me what the prospects were with Viking and I had him get in contact with the company as we loved P/E.


On my way back from the north, begining of Sept., I got stopped in Geraldton by the OMNR to work on some late fires. I advised Viking and Earl J said he would send out a replacement. A few days later this newly minted pilot with all of 300hrs shows up to take my place, working fires and carrying around Nakina natives, one weighs 275lb and his brother was 250lbs. To make a long story short I wouldn't let him fly the helicopter as he had never worked a fire or had any real bush experience. We had the radio patrol (traffic) in Ottawa at the time, the students built up time on 47G2, thats were his time came from.

I told him the machine was slated for another job and would go back to Thunder Bay to have the floats put on after the fires were over in a couple of days. I actually told him I didn't want him getting into an accident and possibly getting hurt real bad or dead.

When a pilot lacks experience on whatever, he has a hard time relating to what the experienced guy says and usually thinks the person is over stating the facts. This person was really pissed as I would not let him fly at that time.

Once back in Ottawa and with a new hoard of pilots to train during the winter months and get ready for the following season, I became an assitant to the Ops. Mgr.

We obtained a contract in the territories for three machines to do gravity survey's.

This being an ideal setting for low time pilots to gain experience, I chose three newly minted pilots with around 200hrs for the job. Back then we were getting paid to ferry a/c to the job.

I told them that here was an opportunity to gain a tremendous amount of experience in the bush and the arctic.

They all picked up around 350hrs and came back with big grins at the end of contract.


The first pilot was Don Venturi in Geraldton.


The following season the pilots were Mac Forgie (R.I.P.), George Ball,ex bus driver from Toronto now with the Coast Guard and finally Don Ventur's brother in law (R.I.P) from blind river. He got killed out west when flying into the sun, clipped a tree top on landing approach. Mac Forgie was the apprentice ame I met in Churchill on the way north.


As Disney said, it's a small world isn't it.


Cheers Don

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Good story concerning Mac. He was also a good friend and frequent visitor to our home..........and Godfather to one of my kids. I was told that a lot of the information Mac passed on over the radio about what was happening to the a/c, was a huge help in determining what the problem was with the S-76's of the time. He passed that on as he was going down with final words for his wife.

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