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wayne albertson articlesYukon Southern Air Transport

When I received the images for this issue from Terry one caught my interest. I had never heard of Yukon Southern Air Transport which is surprising since I am certainly familiar with the name of this airline’s founder, Canadian aviation pioneer, Grant McConachie. The expressway leading into Vancouver International Airport, Grant McConachie Way, is named in his honour.

Originally named United Air Transport, the airline carried freight and mail to remote northern areas from Edmonton with aircraft equipped with skis in the winter and floats in the summer. It was renamed Yukon Southern Air Transport (YSAT) in 1938 and expanded its service between Edmonton, Vancouver and the Yukon.

McConachie built airstrips in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson in northern BC to bring wheeled aircraft service to those communities.

The airline provided good service but never made a profit. It was acquired by Canadian Pacific Air Lines in 1941 and Grant McConachie was awarded a position on the Board of Directors. He became the president of CP in 1947 and continued to play an important role in Canadian aviation history.

Terry also provided the following list of Barkley Grow T8P-1 airliners that were acquired by CPAL. 

  • CF-BLV - built 1938 registered by CPAL 23/Dec/43, sold to H.R. Peats, Edmonton 28/Nov/49. The "Yukon Queen" ( pictured) is now preserved at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, AB.
  • CF-BMG - built 1939 register by CPAL 5/May/43, damaged beyond repair at Port Alberni, BC 1/Feb/47. Overturned at moorings.
  • CF-BMW - built 1939 registered by CPAL 8/Jan/43, sold to Associated Airways, Edmonton, AB, 8/Dec/49.
  • CF-BQM - built 1940 registered by CPAL 1942, sold to Associated Airways, Edmonton, AB, 20/Mar/50 is now preserved at the Hangar Flight Museum in Calgary, AB.
  • CF-BTX - buily 1940 registered by CPAL 2/Dec/43, damaged beyond repair at Lake Porcupine, AB 19/Oct/45 Engine failure after take off.
  • CF-BVE - built 1937 ex Prairie Airways 2/Nov/42, sold to F. Ambrose, Long Island NY, Feb/45. 

Sources and additional information:tmb cf blv

www.royalaviationmuseum.com
www.alaskahighwayarchives.ca
www.explorenorth.com
Barkley-Grow T8P-1 at Wikipedia
Canadian Pacific Airlines: Its History and Aircraft by D.M. Bain
(thanks to Arne Pederson)

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