Tony Powell was born on March 16, 1955 in Charlottetown, Labrador, NL, on the Northeast Coast of Canada, son of the late Benjamin and Effie Powell. Together they had nine children - seven boys and two girls. Six boys become bush pilots. Tony is married to Ida Powell, and they have one child, Ramsey, who is a medical doctor.
Tony will take you on his life's journey. His stories are captivating, inspiring, and heart-wrenching. He never faltered in achieving his dreams and aspirations.
Tony has a great love for family and history. His greatest qualities are his positive attitude and calm nature, never allowing negative thinking to weaken his strengths and defeat his goals.
Tony's early years took him to the rich fishing ground off the shores of Labrador. At the tender age of seven he would accompany his dad and the crew to haul the cod traps in an ol' 10-metre motorboat. At age fourteen he was fishing as a share-man on his dad's longliner in the furry seas of Northern Labrador.
At age seventeen Tony was guiding sports fishermen from all over the world, fishing for trout and Atlantic salmon in our rich Labrador rivers and streams. Their excitement became his enjoyment.
Tony begin his career as a commercial pilot at the age of twenty. His love of flight included seven years with Labrador Airways, coupled with three years flying the mission plane out of North West River, Labrador.
Tony's dream was to have his own flying service. Pursuing his dream, he became owner/Chief Pilot of Labrador Travel Air, an aircraft charter company. With the newly constructed Trans Labrador Highway along our shores, Labrador Travel Air became history.
He has 45 years of flying experience and 27,000 hours of flight time on over 30 different types of single-and multi-engine aircraft on wheels, skis and floats, including a commercial helicopter licence, often logging 1500 hours in a single year. In Tony's years of flight thus far he is very proud to have a proven record of never having any injuries to his passengers or himself.
Tony continues to fly seasonally on a legendary Beaver seaplane for Portland Creek Aviation, and has his own PA-18 Super Cub C-GTFP.
I invite you to come experience first hand Captain Tony Powell behind the controls of the legendary de Havilland pistonpowered Beaver during the seventies without heaters in -50ºC temperatures. Watch him perform many lifesaving mercy flights while battling some of nature's most severe weather conditions anywhere on the planet. His described flights will surely capture the attention of the most avid flyer as we witness him survive engine failures and even a crash landing amongst the huge trees in Labrador.
Come live out in real time his heroic shipwreck. Sit on his modified Mach Z Ski-Doo and feel the adrenaline flow through your veins as you race for dear life up the big mountain in the Race on the Rock at Marble Mountain, NL.
At age forty-eight, Tony was diagnosed with fourth and final stage cancer. Learn of his prognosis, and his courageous determination to survive. Experience his fight to beat the odds.
Throughout Tony's recollections you will travel by air, water and land, experiencing historic events and fatal airplane crash scenes in Labrador, including the story of his Grandfather Powell sailing onboard the Dorothy Duff while delivering a load of salt cod fish to the Mediterranean Sea during WWI. It will surely chill you to your core.
Tony will welcome you to his childhood family home where you will find pure love overcoming many of life's obstacles. Find out the true meaning of perseverance, courage and strength.
Tony has shown us what life's struggles are all about and how he survived them.
This book is a true reflection of living our lives one day at a time. Each day we all journey Against the Wind and survive the storms of life.
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About the Author
When Tony was a boy the main mode of transportation along the Labrador Coast was by a Team of husky dogs or snowshoes.
A travelling doctor and nurse visited our community once during the winter by dog team, and once during the summer by boat. The first scheduled Aircraft passenger service was Labrador Airways by single engine Otter in 1970 winter time only.
Table of Contents
About the Author ix
A Note from a Friend of the Author xv
Chapter 1 Early Days 1
Chapter 2 We Lose Everything in a House Fire 7
Chapter 3 Moving to Square Islands 14
Chapter 4 My First Hunting Trip 17
Chapter 5 Sad News Arrives 21
Chapter 6 Tony Gets His First Boat and Motor 26
Chapter 7 Tall Ships Enter Square Island Harbour 32
Chapter 8 First Trip to the Snowmobile Races in 1969 35
Chapter 9 First Flight 38
Chapter 10 The Easter Snowmobile Races 42
Chapter 11 First Hydro Engineer Arrives in Charlottetown 47
Chapter 12 Grandfather Herbert W. Powell 50
Chapter 13 Port Hope Simpson Sports Day 1974 58
Chapter 14 Sailing North on the MV Boavista 64
Chapter 15 Fishing at Ironbound Islands, Northern Labrador 74
Chapter 16 Iron Bound islands Shipwreck, 1975 80
Chapter 17 Tony Goes to Flying School 99
Chapter 18 Float Endorsement 107
Chapter 19 My First Landing Home in the Pilot's Seat 112
Chapter 20 Commercial Pilot Training 116
Chapter 21 Hired by Labrador Airways 121
Chapter 22 The Fun Has Begun 124
Chapter 23 Windbound at Nain 130
Chapter 24 Search and Rescue North of Nain 136
Chapter 25 Blowin' in the Wind 142
Chapter 26 Last of the Ole-Time Bush Pilots 146
Chapter 27 Engine Failure in the Piston Otter 154
Chapter 28 End of Float Season 159
Chapter 29 Mercy Flight in the Mission Plane 161
Chapter 30 Historic Aircraft Tragedy 1939 164
Chapter 31 Rescue Flight in the Red Wine Mountains 169
Chapter 32 The Ocean Ranger Tragedy 173
Chapter 33 Tony Goes IFR, Spring of 1982 176
Chapter 34 Checked Out on the DHC-6 Twin Otter Floatplane 183
Chapter 35 Overnight Caribou Hunting Adventure 186
Chapter 36 Aircraft Seized, Pilot and Hunters Jailed 190
Chapter 37 Fun Flying in My Citabria 193
Chapter 38 Low-Level Mercy Flight on New Year's Day 195
Chapter 39 Close Call Flying Between Sept-Iles, QC, and Goose Bay 198
Chapter 40 My Cessna 185 Adventures 204
Chapter 41 My Worst Aircraft Accident 210
Chapter 42 Search for Missing Boy on the Gilbert River 215
Chapter 43 Flying Sport Fisherman 219
Chapter 44 1987 Argo ATV Trip to St. Lewis Falls 222
Chapter 45 New State-of-the-Art Robertson Steel Aircraft Hangar 227
Chapter 46 Flying Home My First Twin-Engine Aircraft 229
Chapter 47 Cool November Bath 231
Chapter 48 My Longest and Toughest Ferry Flight 235
Chapter 49 Fatal Day 249
Chapter 50 Meeting the Love of My Life 259
Chapter 51 Snowmobile vs Airplane 265
Chapter 52 Search for Missing Boat Over the North Atlantic Ocean 267
Chapter 53 Quick Flight to Halifax with a Broken Engine 270
Chapter 54 Rescue Mission on a Cool Winter Night 272
Chapter 55 Training To Be a Helicopter Pilot 274
Chapter 56 Charlottetown's Worst Accident 281
Chapter 57 Hoisted Out of the Trees After Prospecting for Gold! 285
Chapter 58 Tony Rides His Snowmobile Five Hundred Kilometres for the Drag Races 288
Chapter 59 Tony Diagnosed with Fourth and Final Stage Cancer 295
Chapter 60 Tony Crowned King of the Hill 312
Chapter 61 Cain's Quest: World's Toughest Snowmobile Endurance Race 318
Chapter 62 Tony's Narrow Escape on the Hawke River 330
Chapter 63 Another Aircraft Missing in Labrador 335
Chapter 64 Summary of Memories 342