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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 10, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Wtdnodgy, January 10, 1973 THI IFTHERIDCJ HEKAIB is day of Canadian bush pilot just about over? Br J.4V W.ALZ New York Times Service OTTAWA The increasing incidents of downed and lost aircraft in the frozen and now entirely dark Canadian North has called into question the role of the time-ho-o'-ed bush pilot. No fewer than 75 searches condacied by h e Canadian military this year have brought new pressures tn the federsj government to modernize tie frontier-style civil aviation that "opened" the North and still prevails over an expanse of six million square miles of bleak land and ire-clogged sea. Federal authorities are still InvestJsstmg the crash in No- rezaber of s lighr aircraft on a mercy mission from an arctic sea Island in the Territories. Three died a pregnant Eskimo u-omafl being evacuated to a hospital in Yel- lowknile, a nurse and an Eski- mo boy. aged 14. Tne pilot. -Mar- tin Harwell, was rescued afier enduring 32 days o' subzero cold in the wilderness. The German born who learned to fly in the Luft- waffe, cams 10 Canada in 1967, made his way to the North and became one of that special breed of aviators tie Cana- dian Bush Pilot. Tne finding of the lost plase and its Icae survivor ended a massive search involving mili- tary and civilian planes, scores of volunteer squatters and oth- er bush pilots. "The bush pilot has become a folk hero to said one Otta- wa official. "He has been to the Canadian North what the Pony Express rite was to the Am- erican west. But his day is about done.'1 The stubbornly Independent hUih pilot has always consider- ed (he cruel climate a challenge and he has not been one to 1st regulations ground biro, I' he could help it. "If you can get the plane's nose in the air. the tail will fol- low." a Bush Pilot of long expe- rience once told a reporter. Vsually such boasting was backed by real courage and great skill. Northerners are confident the bush pilot opened up their land. But times and sentiment are changing. "The present rough-and-resdv systsrn saves many, but kill! others unnecessarily." com- mented Colin Alexander, pub- lisher of the News of the North, a newspaper in Yellowknife, al- ter Hartwefl's rescue. Last year the Canadian Arm- ed Forces Search and Rescue Service was alerted limes. There were 33 major searches, of which 31 were for Civilian aircraft. Twenty-eight wera found and 322 lives were saved. The cost to the Canadian tax- payer was Sll million. The bush pilot is by no means the only cause of tie mishaps. The Arctic region is taking ia a growing number of prospectors, o i 1 exploration and drilling c T e TV s. government agenis, Ecboo! teachers and airplane crews. Oitea planes the only means of flying in food and con- struction materials, or flying out sick personnel. Officials report planes are often overloaded to heat bad weather, and flights from iso- lated points are attempted in the face of storms. Tne white- arctic equivalent of a desert sand storm is a fre- quent hazard. IT, recent years, the sports- man-sightseer with a pilot in- experienced in northern flying, often the plane s o'.mer, has caused Canada's aviation over- seers increasing alarm. On 32 occasions last year, searches were mounted for "foreign'' (usually American) planes in trouble why? on rccreg'joaal flights over Canada. The consensus is list tougher are rn order. Air- craft are not required (ss thev are now ta the United States) to install emergency locator transmitters, which Bead radio beeps from downed aircraft. Pi- lous in the north are not re- quired to file flight plans, or notify a responsible person of their air movements. Licensing regulations are loosely en- forced. In Ottawa, where a special I n t e rdepartmental committee has been looking Into the prob- lem, there has been no decision on who should be principally re- sponsible for search and rescue. Tne Department of Transport which supervises all civilian fiying. could have jurisdiction and the armed forces is also involved. The cause of Hariwell's crash Is being investigated. On fi flight from Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island to Yellow-knife, he had 550 miles to cover. Search places, hampered by muci bai weather and dark- ness, covered an area of square miles. On Dec. 9, tha plane was located 200 miles off course by the crew oi a mili- tary plane os a njutuM flight. Tne plane's Lnstrumenu! picked up i weak radio Eignal from the wrecked plane. After completing this 74th search o: the Nonhwesi Terri- tories in 1572. Brig. Gen. Ram- ssy Withers o! Canadian Forces Northern Regioa Head- quarters he would recom- Ejeuo 6 pem-jsne-ji search and res-rje base be established in The Dearsst bast has been Edmonton, about 200 miies to the WHEN SHOP SAFEWAY! KIDNEY BEANS TASTE TELLS 14 R. oi. tini SPECIAL TANG CRYSTALS GRAPEFRUIT, ORANGE and GRAPEFRUIT, GW.PE, PINEAPPLE ond GRAPEFRUIT 3.75 or. Nel Wt. Pkgi. SPECIAL FLAKED TUNA FISH SAVOY LIGHT 414 oz. Nrt Wt, Tin SPECIAL SLICED PINEAPPLE TASTE TWS CRUSHED or WEFTS 14 R. Km SPECIAL SAFEWAY'S YOUR BEST PLACE TO SAVE SAFEWAY BRANDS of TEA and COFFEE CHEESE ciiiii AD oe: uc j SYRUP DRINKS KIDNEY BEANS GROUND COFFEE SAFEWAY ALL PURPOSE, 1-lb. pkg. "I wt. pkg. fcfor INSTANT COFFEE AIRWAY TO-oi. net wt. jar TEA BAGS CASINO, BLACK, Pko. of 100 2 cup bag: 12-oz. net wt. pkg. SAFEWAY PRICE..................each ORANGE JUICE BEL AIR CONCENTRATE 6! 4-fl. oi. tin 501.00 for CHICKEN PIES MANOR HOUSE ALSO BEEF or TURKEY 8-oz, net wt. pkg. 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