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Last Commercial Operation of the Hercules Division at Pacific Western Airlines
(submitted by S. Russell)

On April 21, 1984, Pacific Western Airlines operated the final Hercules flight with aircraft CF-PWN from the Panarctic Oils base camp at Rea Point on Melville Island NWT N75’22” W105’44” to Edmonton International Airport. It was an historic event as the Hercules Division was another  structural component that had built the airline.

Photo is 383 in Rea Point just before departure

L-R:   F/O Jim Semeniuk, CAPT Roy Reaville, Proj Mgr Stu Russell, S/O Bill Webster, Maint Crew Chief Brent Kirkpatrick, Engineer Robin Bergdahl,  L/M Ron Howe

Photo in Edmonton YEG after arrival

L-R: PM Stu Russell,  , S/O Bill Webster,  Engineer Robin Bergdahl, S/O Jim Semeniuk, Capt Roy Reaville, L/M Ron Howe, Mgr Herc & Resupply Al Philpott, Chief LM Vern Kuzio, Capt Rick Simons, Maintenance Crew Chief Brent Kirkpatrick and our girl Nancy:

Registration / CF-PWN / Tail number 383 / MSN ser # 4129

Born L100-10 L382B March 1966 Marietta Georgia - Zambian Air Cargos
Operated by Pacific Western Airlines March 1969 / 21 April 1984 – with a couple of lease outs in Alaska in between
Died as N9205T L100-20 L382F Nov 1989 Jamba Angola - Tepper Aviation

FYI on the times message YOX Rea Point / CSC Cisco ice strip / WRN Warren Point / LOI Lougheed Island

Last Telex Flight Times

CF-PWK rig haul at Bent Horn NWT.  This oil discovery made by Panarctic on Cameron Island was the only oil field to be commercially produced in the Canadian Arctic

Hercules Reunion June 10 to 12, 2016
Location - Ramada Edmonton Hotel & Conference Centre
Address: 11834 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB T5G 3J5
Phone:(780) 454-5454.

Feb 5, 2015 - C-GHPW - The L-100 Hercules flew for First Air will be sold for parts.  Sad.
See the news  article

Jan 31, 2015 - Pictures from the 2011 Reunion

June 2, 2014 - Herc Badge by Rob Reid

Nov 1, 2013 - Rea Point Operations
A gift from the City of Calgary Archives - Our Herc Operations with Panarctic Oils at Rea Point


Hercules Pictures

PWN on Final for Landing

PWX Loading

Pacific Western Airlines and the Lockheed Hercules L-100 Commercial Air Freighter
In 1967 Pacific Western Airlines became the first commercial air carrier in Canada licensed to operate the civilian L-100 version of the Hercules C130 military cargo lifter.

Pacific Western crews flew a total of six Hercules freighters into more than 108 countries around the world. The aircraft flew over 90,000 air hours and 26 million miles and carried more than 800,000 tons of outsized cargo and bulk fuel shipments world wide.

The Hercules aircraft were flown onto fresh water and sea ice runways in the arctic, gravel, sand and unprepared surfaces in underdeveloped countries and operated in temperatures as low as minus 68F in northern Canada and plus 134F in the African deserts.

They operated the aircraft in varied locations around the globe and experienced life in strife torn areas as far away as Angola, Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and Zaire, as well as such exotic locales as Amsterdam, Athens, Beijing, Cairo, Christchurch, Damascus, Darwin, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Prague, Singapore and Warsaw.

The cargo loads were as varied as the destinations and included everything from sheep and cattle to nuclear reactor parts, submarines, grapes, gold, killer whales, jet engines, oil rigs, helicopters, gasoline, diesel fuel, dynamite, relief supplies, monkeys, fish, beer, wigs and almost anything else that would fit in the cavernous cargo compartment.

The crews who flew them, maintained them, managed them and kept them busy were a unique brotherhood who shared tents on the arctic ice, dined in some of the finest night spots on the planet and enjoyed the best flying any group of aviators could ever dream of. The long hours and inclement operating conditions brought together some of the most professional individuals in the aviation industry and the best aircraft to get the job done.

The amazing capabilities of the Hercules aircraft and the ingenious efforts of the Pacific Western Hercules management and crews allowed PWA to develop a new cargo market that led to the introduction of the Boeing 707-320C International Air Freighter in 1972. 

Their combined contributions put PWA on the cutting edge of heavy equipment airlift for the expanding oil and gas frontier drilling operations in Canada’s high arctic and marked their place in history as Canada’s premier heavy lift cargo carrier for many years to come.

From the moment PWA took delivery of their first new L100-10 aircraft, CF-PWO, at the Lockheed factory in Marietta, Georgia, in 1967, to the arrival of their first new L100-30 C-GHPW at the same locale in 1978, PWA developed a solid reputation for high quality, strong work ethic and proven results. Their 17 year aviation adventure spanned the globe and propelled PWA into the forefront of the global cargo industry.

The PWA crews and their dependable Hercules aircraft cut the trail for others to follow.  

The memories of the aircraft, the era, the crews and their adventures will never be forgotten. In honour of Oscar PWO, Nancy PWN, X-ray PWX, Romeo PWR, Kilo PWK & “387”HPW.   Rest easy old friends, clear blue skies & long white contrails behind you.

Stuart Russell - Hercules Canada Reunion Association – 18 September, 2003

Stu and Knut - 2004.

I had asked for some great Herc pictures and this is one of several that he sent!

Hercules Reunion 2007
The PWA Hercules group held another successful reunion held at the Edmonton Inn  on Sep 14 to 17, 2007.  Under the leadership if the intrepid Stu Russell and with much assistance from others including Knut Ohm and Brian Benay, they brought the gang together in fine fashion one more time.   I am sure it will not be the last one for this group.