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Terrace, British Columbia, Canada

Canyon City 1967
New Swinging Bridge Completed,
Base Station radio in the village
Now known as Gitwinksihlkw
Gitwinksihlkw is Nisga'a for “Place of the Lizards”.
The Oldest Nisga’a Community of Gitwinksihlkw was founded as a Methodist mission in 1877.
Gitwinksihlkw is on the north bank of the Nass River, and across from the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park.
Gitwinksihlkw is located 64 KM from the mouth of the Nass River.
Our mode of transportation, hauling large GE Base Station radios around, in these small Villages, was a wheelbarrow, borrowed from the Band Office.
Today Canyon City, Greenville and Kincolith all have road access.

Hartley Bay in 1967,
Base Station in use here, until Radio system and Switch installed in mid 1990’s
Hartley Bay / Gitga’ata part of the Tsimshian Nation
Latitude 53.42 degrees north, Longitude -129.26 degrees west

Hartley Bay is the only place I have come very close to dying at. On a trip into Harley Bay (my one and only!) Fraser Sutherland, Technician at that time, myself, and one other person, were flying in a single engine Otter. I was working for the Facility Department of BC Tel, at the time. We were landing in the bay, in the picture above, from left to right, or south to north.

The Pilot had radioed to the dock, letting any planes that were about to leave, know we were on approach. I had seen a plane at the dock, left side of this picture, when he made his fly by to check it out. I imagine he seen it too, thus the call was made. But I guess he got no answer. So anyway away we circled and made our landing.

When landing on floats, the front of the plane is kept up in the air, to prevent the prop from hitting the water, and to allow the plane to settle onto the floats, before powering down. With the nose in the air, visibility out the front is very limited. and since the pilots sat in the front right seat, he couldn't see out of the left front of the plane. But thank God Fraser could. He was sitting in the front left seat, I was in the back left, behind him.

As we just touched down on the water, under full power, Fraser looked to his left, and here was the plane, that was at the dock, only a few meters away, also under full power, taking off from the dock area, heading straight for us. Fraser hollered at our pilot, and at the same time the other pilot must have spotted us in his path. Our pilot made a sharp right turn, and the other pilot a sharp left turn. That saved my life, and maybe Fraser's and all of us. I still remember the prop from the other plane going by my window, close enough that it was all a big blur!

It was a close call, and I remember our pilot getting on the radio and really giving the other fellow hell. To top it off, it was the same airline! Anyway it was a trip I will never forget!

Installing the VHF radio for the first Radio shot into Kitsault for the mine, before the Passives were built

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  • Last modified: 2018/01/12 11:50
  • by dlgent