Chinook Flying School First Solo Pin

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Item Description:

Medium:Metal Length (inches):0.75 Width (inches):0.3 Height (inches):0.5

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I found this small gold pin on eBay and on a hunch, I purchased it believing it was somehow connected to the small school where I originally learned to fly.   In researching this pin, I was suprised to learn of a rich history of a very unique time in Calgary’s aviation history. 

In 1978 I obtained my Private Pilots licence at the Aviation School of Canada located at the Springbank Airport (CYBW).  The school was housed in a small in-expensive red tin hangar with an ATCO trailer for offices and classroom facilities.   I recall at the time we called the flight school “Chinook”  which was a mystery to me until just recently. 

The Aviation School of Canada was owned at the time by Peter Bawden, a former Calgary Member of Parliament and Calgary oil tycoon.   Mr. Bawden had previously purchased the operating certificates of a well known and established Calgary based flying service called Chinook Flying Service Ltd.    

Peter Bawden then changed the name to Business Flights Ltd. and operated several Lear 35 and King Air aircraft from the old Boyd & Fielder hangar, which he also aquired.   He later built a new world class FBO on the expanded site which he called Executive Flight Centre.   

The flight school division of Chinook Flying Service Ltd had already moved out to the newly opened Springbank Airport and was also aquired by Peter Bawden.   The name of the flight school was changed to the Aviation School of Canada, however the name  “Chinook”  continued informally at Springbank.  

"So, after all that... Your pin dates from sometime between 1945 and 1949. Franz designed that logo himself (heavily influenced by the logo from Laurentian Air Service in Ottawa, where he learned to fly before the war). Sometime around 1949 that logo disappeared from use, however the pin was available until around 1965.“    Trevor McTavish

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