I’d like to thank Brian Camphaug, Bill McKeever, Rick Tyefisher and Al Nelson for providing some of the photos. Select More Photos in the menu to see images provided by David Thompson. If anyone would like to provide additional images, send me an email. You’ll get full attribution.
Click on any of the images to get a carousel.
Quite a few of Viking’s employees were ex-navy. Are any of them here? Check out the comments at the bottom of the page to find out. Lakehurst N.A.S. New Jersey – 1951. Image provided by Brian Camphaug.
On the floor at Spartan Air Services, Uplands. Year unknown. Image provided by Brian Camphaug.
The old barn, Orleans, Ontario – 1969.
Left, Gary Nixon, a Viking pilot, and Gerry O’Neil, right, one of the engineers, in front of the old barn – 1969.
Wolf was already doing transmission overhauls in our new shop while we were painting. He stopped for the day and shared a beverage with us.
Wolf, our component overhaul expert, Stuart Johns, Beaver, a young Mark Camphaug, Larry Camphaug, Bill Clifford, Richard Thompson – Bells Corners, December 1969. We were all very proud of our new facility in Bells Corners.
We all moved from Orleans to a former Bells Corners cabinet factory in December of 1969. Thanks to Peter C. Hill for this drive-by picture of the place taken in 2010.
Thanks to Brian Camphaug for two of the early pictures, one from N.A.S. Lakehurst (1951), and another floor shot of Spartan Air Services in Uplands (year unknown). The barn was our first hanger, east of Ottawa near Orleans (early 1969). It was just a stone’s throw from the old schoolhouse, which was our component shop and office. Peter C. Hill was kind enough to capture the image of Viking’s former Bells Corners facility as it appears in 2010.
Who knows anything about VikingAmerica? This machine was in Kansas City MO the previous winter. Bill Mckeever flew this 500C in Hudson Hope, BC – summer 1980. Image by Bill McKeever.
Taken near Hudson Hope BC summer of 1980. Note N number registration and VikingAmerica decal. Previously GOE?, one of the couple of pale yellow C models. Larry had it in Kansas City MO the previous winter. Image by Bill McKeever.
A nice shot of a D doing what it does best. The cargo pod was the best thing that ever happened to it. Image by Bill McKeever.
Helair lives on with C-GUVR as the base aircraft after the demise of C-FDNF. In the background Earl Bush departs. Taken west of Wawa – winter 1980. Image by Bill McKeever.
Over Gros Morne National Park. Why Bill – and many of us – fly. Image by Bill McKeever.
Dave Cruickshank doing a maintenance check flight in front of Pasadena base – spring 1978. Image by Bill McKeever.
Apple Valley, California ferrying 3 new D models to Winnipeg, June 1998. Jack McCormick and wife in one aircraft, Manfred Kettler in another and Bill and his brother in the last.
C-18 powered FZXE (was this an ex Skyrotors machine?) at the family cottage on Lake of the Woods. Image by Bill McKeever.
GGNY taken west of Baker Lake, late summer, 1979. This aircraft was a personal favorite of the site author. Image by Bill McKeever.
30 miles off the coast of Newfoundland on a Fisheries contract – spring 1978. Image by Bill McKeever.
This is the reason many of us went south. Refueling on a Newfie Tel job. Image by Bill McKeever.
Bill McKeever has submitted images from his collection taken over the many years he flew for the company. Thanks, Bill!
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – formerly Upper Volta
Ouagadougou, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) – John Juke, second from right. Marc Pigeon, to John’s right. Is that Earl Lozo 3rd from left? Earl Lozo and John Juke ended up on the Conoco job in 1975. Image provided by Brian Camphaug.
Ouagadougou was one more WHO contract. Here, the helipad. Image provided by Brian Camphaug.
Bobo Dioulasso flying club. Tony Dempsey in the foreground. Tony is currently the chief engineer at Niagara Helicopters. Image by Bill McKeever.
Control panel for spray/dump system. Image by Bill McKeever.
Fuel stop in Mali – winter 1979. C-FFSO was one of the United Helicopters ships that started the Oncho contract, which was initially a joint venture. Image by Bill McKeever.
Viking operated fixed wing too. Gerry Gill and his Pilatus Porter on a lonely strip somewhere in West Africa – winter 1979. Image by Bill McKeever.
Tom Johnson route checking Bill McKeever in Togo. Tom was an American who flew OH-6s in Vietnam. Tom later passed away in Lama Kara. Image by Bill McKeever.
Pete and Jan Hairsine departing Bobo on an overland trip from Africa to the UK in the VW combie. Pete was an ex Alpine base manager and was the lead pilot in Tamale for several years. Image by Bill McKeever.
Starting in the early to mid-’70s, Viking had a tremendous amount of equipment in Africa, working for World Health in the west…
The Conoco camp was in the north, 90 miles west of Eyl.
Camps are camps the world over.
The Eds with two of our umbrella boys. The umbrella boys were responsible for shading the surveyors from the sun.
There was always something breaking down, but always a way was found to fix it.
Looking across the bay from La Siesta Motel – early morning. At the time (1975) it was the best place to stay in Djibouti, but we couldn’t always get rooms. Today, the palm trees along the beach are gone. The tower in the upper right is the mosque pictured in my sidebar.
Somewhere in downtown Djibouti.
Djibouti – Governor’s Mansion
A lonely camel wanders around the outskirts of Djibouti.
and Conoco Oil in the east, with plenty in between. Here’s a link to a satellite shot of our 1975 campsite. It’s recognizable for the hill that overlooked the site. We used that hill as the camp landmark, since it was visible from almost anywhere we worked. Jean-Marc Pigeon got caught out in the dark one night, and we lit up camp for him to find us in the blackest night. The Conoco strip is to the north-east. All of Conoco’s wells came up dry. Oil exploration in the same area continues (article temporarily unavailable) but I doubt that anything substantial will ever be found.
CF-ODM Somewhere over Newfoundland in 1969
Taking a well-deserved break after a day off.
A pilot works his ass off…
…while an engineer uses an air hose.
In the fall of 1969, we picked up CF-JFD in Uranium City. It needed work, so Lorne Ward & Brian Andrews performed the miracles.
Meanwhile, back in 1969 when men were landing on the moon, Lorne and the author landed in Newfoundland with an expense account and a G2.
That’s Marc Pigeon catching a few rays during a break. He was piloting C-FODX, on floats. In the background, Northern’s S-55 with bucket attached is ready to cash in on the flight time.
Many of our burnout ops ended up looking like this – successful.
This is probably Airspray’s B-26 out of Alberta.
Some Dom-Peg Bell 206s, Viking 500Cs, and Viking’s Bell 204, flown by Harv Easton, behind Helair’s DNF on floats.
Another line view. Our fuel vendor ran out of turbo drums, and ended up supplying fuel in the blue and white drums. I recall there being quite the discussion on whether the drums were lined or not. They were. Is that a Shirley Gazelle? It’s CF-CCZ.
Bow Helicopters 212 “Foothills Lady” on the tarmac at Dryden’s airport.
Northern Helicopters S-55
Lambair’s Alouette II C-FYDO getting fuel on the tarmac in Dryden.
Heading off for points unknown, but somewhere on the fire line.
Tanker 43, owned by Conair, provided by the B.C. Forest Service.
He smacked that rock good and hard. Fortunately, injuries weren’t serious.
This Cessna 185 C-GSFA ended up on a rock after running out of lake. It was brand-new, owned by Slate Falls. Fortunately, a passenger’s banged-up chin and the pilot’s broken foot were the only injuries.
A Canso makes a drop and disappears into the smoke. Probably a Flying Fireman Canso.
Rick Tyefisher, a young apprentice with Lambair Ltd. in 1974, has provided the images he captured while working with all of us on Dryden-18. For many, this was our first time at the big show, and to this day remains in my memory as a pretty good experience. Many new techniques for aircraft management and use on large fires were experimented with and adopted in later years.
Bell 204 DZE
Bell 205 MWB
Bell 206A JRH
Bell 204 DZE
Bell 206A JRH
Twin Otter VTL
Thanks to Al Nelson for providing access to some of his images of Midwest Helicopters. If anyone would like to provide more Midwest photographs, send me an email. You’ll get full attribution.