Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

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Austin Airways 1934-1987

Austin Airways 1934-1987

Photo by contributor George Nassas - Posted April, 2006

Austin Airways 1934-1987

Photo by contributor Brian Bockus - Posted June, 2017

Plaque Location

The City of Greater Sudbury
On the boardwalk near Ramsey Lake and Science North
100 Ramsay Lake Road

Coordinates: N 46 28.275 W 80 59.670


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

Austin Airways, a pioneering aviation firm, played a leading role in the economic development of the Ontario north in the mid-twentieth century. At first its main business was flying Toronto mining executives to remote northern sites. Based in Sudbury after 1938, the airline hauled freight, flew medical evacuations, fought forest fires, trained pilots and transported tourists. In the 1940s, Austin diversified into aerial photography, timber surveying, aerial prospecting, and ice reconnaissance flights over Hudson Bay. One of its pilots, the legendary Thurston "Rusty" Blakey, logged about 30,000 hours in the air during his 49 years with the company. Austin Airways was absorbed into Air Ontario in 1987.



Sudbury Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted January 9, 2015
This might be slightly off topic but I was a reporter for the Timmins Press based in Kapuskasing when I believe an Austin Airways plane crashed near Brunswick Lake. Among those killed were executives with the Johnson Wax company in Brantford, ON. I also thought the owner of Austin Airways died in the crash. The company apparently was scouting the possibility of building a lodge for employees at Brunswick Lake. I remember it took several days to find the crash site, which I believe was close to Hornpayne. I do believe there were survivors. There is a Wikipedia entry on behalf of Austin Airways, which includes a list of crashes, but not the one at Brunswick Lake. Perhaps there are folks who can shed light on this crash, which I believe happened about 1963 or '64. As I recall, it was believed the pilot has mistakenly tried to land on a lake he thought was Brunswick. But the lake was smaller. When the pilot tried to take off again, the plane clipped trees and crashed. Alan (Henderson) Windsor, ON trek202@gmail.com

> Posted November 26, 2013
Hi. My dad Barry Anderson flew for Austin Airways in the 70's. I am looking for any information that I can. It's his 65th birthday, and I want to get him something from Austin Airways. Can anyone help me in any way?

> Posted December 23, 2012
My name is Jean -Marie Arseneault (from acadian decent). I live at Valdor have flown commercially for 50 years and over 30 000 hrs and have flown DC 3s for over 20,000 hours, owned Aviation Boreal and Nordair Québec LTD and I was the pilot to land the first Basler turbine converted DC-3 on the last continent at the south pole. This was in January 2000 with my son Glen as copilot. Among the members of the nsf team a branch of NASA that we had as passengers were the famous astronauts Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 and Owen Garriot of Skylab missions. The second expedition was taking the billionaire Ted Turner and his wife from Punta Arina in southern Chile to Argentina base Marambio in Antarctica. Yes I knew Captain Pauli. I was operating out of La Grande Airport at the time and flying a DC-3 to James Bay hydro projects sites in the area east of James Bay on a day of February 1977. Captain Pauli had stopped for refuelling at La Grande airport (called LG2 at the time). I remember I was parked just behind him at the refuelling site. We had met in the past at Timmins airport and at Great Whale River (now called Kuujuarapik) on the Quebec side of Hudson Bay. He was a nice guy. Like all pilots do, we started to talk about weather conditions and local runway conditions at our destinations. Bob mentioned to me that he was a bit concerned about the ice runway markings at Sugluk (Salluit) and they were very hard to spot in whiteout conditions and I remember him saying that the runway was in the middle or on a centre line of the fjord and being so far from either side of the bay beaches that it was next to impossible to use the beach barerocks as low altitude reference on final approach and he mentioned that runway centerline markings line to the south side of the runway was in his opinion not long enough. I remember saying to him to be careful. After refuelling was done, he took off going north. A couple of days later I heard what had happened. I was so shocked that I had to take one day off to recover from that marking sad event. I have never heard or never look for the investigations results. It was so sad. Merry Xmas with good memories of Mister Pauli. Best regards to the family.

> Posted December 29, 2011
Mark Daly worked as a crewman for Austin Airways from Jan 1976-April 1976 on a DC3. Pilots were Sykes, Bob Paulie, Bob Young, Charly Twa, Des Cartner, Joe Deluce. just a few names I remember, these guys might remember me as I was run out of town at sunup from "Great Whale River Quebec" and flown to Timmins on the company's Cesna 402 executive liner. April 1976, I was 17 years old and was fooling around with the Inuit girls my age.

> Posted July 23, 2011
I have wondered about CF'IMQ Ivan Queen Mike. And JHb the canso I have lost my log books for site 500 Winisk. But I do have Austin airways biography history.
Jim Blain Lovell@bell.net.

> Posted July 23, 2011
Does anyone have any information on Bob Mitchell. He was brought up in South Porcupine His father was a pilot for MacIntyre Mine and the plane was stationed at Porcupine Lake. His friend was Chuck Charity, George Charity's son. My name is Donald Lightbody Brought up at Dome Mines LTD. Also,any information about ED AR He used to fly into Porcupine Lake in around 1929-1930. You can reach me at memere_92@hotmail.com. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Donald Lightbody

> Posted January 14, 2011
My grandfather George Charity flew for them as well. out of South Porcupine...he survived the CF-ILQ wreck.

> Posted February 21, 2010
Worked for Austin Airways 1980 in Timmins Ontario. Now live in Sutton Ontario

> Posted January 24, 2009
Charlie Cambell, ex raf, South Porcupine. Did he fly in to Austin Lake for fishing? 1957 or so? Was not a Beaver. Is my memory fading? I was 12 years old, front seat, dad+brother in back, canoe lashed between pontoons. Great memories. Recommend a new fly in for me+grand kids? swinewpyne@hotmail.com
Thanks, Bob Pyne

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