Ronald "Ron" Frederick Connelly

  • b- Apr 2, 1931 , Port Alberni BC
  • d- Apr 3, 2011 , Langley BC

Ron owned Connelly Dawson Airways Ltd. and they bought Yukon Flying Services, which became Great Northern Airways.

He started out as a Bush Pilot.

One article says he started flying at Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island, where Herman Joseph "Slim" Knights and Arthur John “Jack” Moulhad a flying School. Now we know Ron knew Slim from this contact Ron also flew for Associated Air Taxi in Vancouver.

One of the first of 5 owners/shareholders of Conair Aviation Ltd.

A more complete compilation of his history below.

Obituary and Pictures above submitted by Ron' s Daughter, RJ Lundquist, with Thanks Slim Knights

CONNELLY, Ronald Frederick Born April 2, 1931 in Port Alberni, BC passed away
suddenly but peacefully the morning after his 80th Birthday party on April 3, 2011 in
Langley, BC. He is lovingly remembered by his daughter RJ (Don) and his son Shawn
(Tammy) 5 grandchildren Casie, Sammy, Graeyson, Aydan and Morgan; his caregiver
and family friend Colleen; nieces, nephews, many relatives and good friends.
Predeceased by his wife Carol in 2008. Ron had a successful life in so many ways. He
was humble, helpful, hardworking and loyal. He inspired and helped many people
throughout his life. But most of all he loved his family and he will be greatly missed by all
who knew him. A Celebration of Ron's Life will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2011 at
11:00 a.m. at Victory Memorial Park Funeral Centre 14831 28 Avenue, Surrey, BC. …

She then sent me a copy of an application to the Yukon Transportation Hall of Fame, Compiled by an old friend of Ron, Joe Redmond. Ron entered the Hall of Fame in 2015

“Ron Connelly (1931-2011) was actively involved in Yukon aviation for over 50 years.

In the mid 1950's he was a pilot with Pacific Western Airlines, based in Whitehorse. In 1958 he was a founding partner of Connelly-Dawson Airways (CDA), on the purchase of Callison Flying Services, Dawson City. In 1960 CDA began air mail service to Old Crow from Dawson and acquired DC-3, CF-CPY, for charter flying from Dawson. In 1962 his company extended its irregular scheduled service to include Inuvik and Sachs Harbour. In 1965 CDA merged with Range Airways (Calgary) and purchased Yukon Flying Service (Whitehorse),to become Great Northern Airways (GNA).

Ron sold his share of GNA in 1966 at which time this company was the largest air charter company in the Territory with bases in Whitehorse, Mayo, Dawson, Ross River and Inuvik.

In 1966 Ron trained as a helicopter pilot, in Whitehorse, and in 1967 formed Trans North Turbo Air (TNTA) with partners Chuck Hankins, Alex Kapty and Gordon Davis. TNTA was the first Yukon operator of turbine equipment with the now well known Jet Ranger. TNTA is in its 46th year, presently operating 15 helicopters from 7 Yukon bases, headquartered in Whitehorse. Ron served as President of TNTA from 1967 to 2005.

To emphasize the scope of Ron's other aviation ventures, he was a founding partner, in 1969, of Conair Aviation Ltd. of Abbotsford,BC. In 1984 Conair had the world's largest fleet of fire fighting aircraft with 50 fixed wing and 15 helicopters. In 1978 Conair bought Frontier Helicopters of Watson Lake. Ron served as Vice President of Conair from 1972 to 1994.

In summary, Ron Connelly was, for 50 years, a pilot, owner/partner of both fixed wing and helicopter companies, in the Yukon. From his early 20's to his mid 70's, he was a hands-on principal in these endeavours. It is safe to say that no other individual equals his Yukon aviation business accomplishments in either scope or longevity.”

Thanks RJ for sharing this.

  • Last modified: 2016/11/06 18:30
  • by agent76