Wings Magazine

Family of 7 bush pilots to be honoured for rescue missions in Manitoba

March 10, 20008, Winnipeg - A Manitoba father and his six sons will be honoured this month by the Manitoba Aviation Council for their  pioneer role in aviation.

March 10, 2008
By Bill Redekop

March 10, 20008, Winnipeg – A Manitoba father and his six sons will
be honoured this month by the Manitoba Aviation Council for their
pioneer role in aviation.

Tom Lamb and his boys flew bush planes in thousands of northern
rescue missions for the sick, wounded, or stranded.

Lamb started his business in 1935.

He once shuttled 16 beavers as part of a program to restock the
animals into lakes around The Pas, Man.


At 1,800 metres, the beavers started escaping from their

The family also once evacuated actor and MP Tina Keeper to a
hospital when she was a little girl suffering from pneumonia.

“They pioneered northern flying,'' said Jim Campbell, who flew
bush planes in the 1960s and is well-acquainted with the Lamb
family's heroics.

“Tom built a company when no one else did. His boys wandered all
over the Arctic in their float plans and ski planes. Now there are
runways but not back then,'' said Campbell.

As the story about the beavers goes, the curious animals
clambered over Lamb's feet, stood on hind legs to inspect the
control panels, and hopped onto seats for a better view.

When Lamb arrived with the beavers at his home in The Pas for a
stopover, his three daughters invited their classmates over to help
dress the animals in petticoats and baby clothes.

Then when his plane finally started landing on lakes to drop the
them off, they wouldn't get out of the plane. Like  dogs in cars,
the beavers loved it, and scrambled back up onto the plane's
pontoons every time Lamb pushed them into the water.

The dinner honouring the Lambs is March 13 at the Western Canada
Aviation Museum in Winnipeg, where surviving Lamb family members
will be presented with the aviation council's Pioneer of Flight
Award 2008.

“We feel quite humbled and very appreciative for the honour,''
said Jack Lamb, 74.

Tom Lamb died of a heart attack while on holiday with his wife in
Honolulu in 1969.

The airline company, Lambair Ltd., went out of business in 1981.
Calm Air took it over and continues flying many of its Manitoba

The Nunavut government honoured the Lambs, who all learned how to
speak the Inuit language, with a ceremony last year in Rankin Inlet.


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