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Max Ward, who went from bush pilot to international charter carrier, dies at 98

EDMONTON — Max Ward, a Canadian aviation pioneer who went from flying bush planes to creating his own charter airline, has died.

Family friend Jacquie Perrin says Ward collapsed yesterday at his home in Edmonton and died shortly after in hospital, surrounded by his family and 20 days short of his 99th birthday.

Ward was born Nov. 22, 1921, in Edmonton.

He was first and foremost a Yellowknife bush pilot who northerners still credit for helping to open up the Northwest Territories.

He built his business into a regional carrier then into Wardair, Canada’s largest charter airline.

Wardair was eventually driven out of business, but it paved the way for upstart airlines to serve routes that the country’s two major carriers did not.

His awards include the Order of Canada, the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Trans-Canada trophy, Canada’s oldest aviation award.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

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