AN AMAZING BUSH PILOT STORY FROM HUGH MACLENNAN

My last blog about Jake McDonald taking me to  meet some bush pilots has attracted some interest. In ACROSS CANADA  BY STORY I gave the learned opinion that “every successful Canadian non-fiction book must involve stories about bears, wolves, hockey players, and bush pilots”.

Hugh MacLennan knew this. He won two Governor-General’s awards for his non-fiction (plus three for his books of fiction), and paid careful attention to Canada’s North, and to the bush pilots who fly the freezing skies there.

I quote the following story by Hugh:…..

“When winter comes to this region, it does not come slowly, it strikes with a crack. I met a veteran of many years on the Mackenzie who told me that he once escaped having to spend an entire long winter in Aklavik by a matter of a minute. His was the last plane out, and as he stood on one of the pontoons filling his tank with gas, he suddenly noted ice forming on the water. He threw the can away, jumped into the pilot’s seat without even taking the time to screw on the cap of the gas tank, gunned the plane, and took off. The thin ice was crackling about the pontoons before he became airborne, and as he made his circle to head south he saw the pack ice thrusting in, and the lagoon from which he had risen turn opaque as though the frost had cast a wand over it.”

 

2 comments on “AN AMAZING BUSH PILOT STORY FROM HUGH MACLENNAN

  1. theumbrellaguy@rogers.com says:

    Wonderful Story Doug thanks

    sort of reminds of my first winter in Sudbury

    what is your timetable y these days

    ron

  2. Douglas Gibson says:

    Ron, good to hear from you. I’m happy to remind Canadians about our classic authors,which as you know I do in my books and stage shows.Right now Jane and I are in Toronto,eagerly accepting show dates that stretch as far ahead as 2021. But, after more than 200 shows, new dates are not as frequent as we’d like. So if you know any Festival, or Library, or private Book Club that might like me to come along, please get in touch! Doug

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