No matter how indifferent a tough old bush pilot may seem to the so-called “romance of flight,” deep in his heart he’s a poet when at the controls of his aircraft. Flying the magnificent, but challenging waterways of British Columbia’s coast adds a further demand on skill and character, and it is such a breed that have operated the many coastal seaplane airlines during the years described in these pages.
Meet Daryl Smith, a logger, who entered this flying world as a fledgling bush pilot, and within a few short months owned an airline and was “scud-running” the coast with the best of them.
In an industry with a history of take-overs and buy-outs; of little guys combining and becoming one big guy, Smith managed to stay one step ahead of the pack. He ended up as an owner of the only regional carrier to remain standing after a succession of take-overs, first by AirBC and the by Air Canada. His airline survived a turf war for dominance in Canada’s skies involving Canadian Pacific Airlines, Pacific Western Airlines and Canadian Airlines International- a business war that changed, forever, the coastal flying industry in this province and the domestic air services in all of Canada.
Former coastal seaplane pilot, Jack Schofield, claims that Daryl Smith’s adventures and achievements are proof of the notion that breathing the fog and drizzle of the rainforest, from 50 feet over the trees, builds character and creates a special breed of entrepreneur. Journey Log is Schofield’s fifth book since he hung up his own headphones and pursued a publishing career with the founding of Aviator Magazine, and authoring three west coast bestsellers, one which garnered a BC book award.