Lamb Air Ltd.
was an airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...
that began operations in 1934 in The Pas
The Pas is a town in Manitoba, Canada, located in Division No. 21, Manitoba in the Northern Region, some 630 kilometres northwest of the provincial capital, Winnipeg, near the border of Saskatchewan. It is sometimes still called Paskoyac by locals as the first trading post was called Fort Paskoyac...
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
and went out of business in 1981.
Tom Lamb was the son of Thomas Henry Peacock (THP) Lamb, who had emigrated from England in the late 19th century. THP Lamb turned from school teacher to fur trader and in 1900, started Lamb's Store in Moose Lake, Manitoba
Moose Lake is a small native community located on the northern limits of the Saskatchewan River Delta on the western shore of South Moose Lake about 74 km Southeast of The Pas in Manitoba, Canada...
. Tom and his brothers and sisters grew up in northern Manitoba and worked for their father.
Tom Lamb left school before finishing grade 3. Later in life, he would make the comment, while giving his acceptance speech when receiving his honorary Doctorate of law from the University of Manitoba, "If I had only gotten to grade 4". At the age of 10, Tom had his own team of horses and sleighs and would haul fish with grown me. He would have to use fish boxes to step up on to be able to load his sleigh.
One of the Lamb family's businesses was "logistics and transportation". Fish, lumber, trees, fur and supplies needed to be hauled by any and all means. Dog teams, horses, boats, trucks and tractors were used. In the 1930s there was a transportation revolution happening. The aircraft was making its way into northern Canada. The first time Tom Lamb saw an aircraft he realized its potential. In 1930, Tom bought his first aircraft - a Stinson SR8. In 1930, Tom Lamb travelled to Winnipeg to learn to fly. To keep costs to a minimum, he lived in a tent behind the Winnipeg Flying Club. When he returned to The Pas and checked himself out on the Stinson.
In 1935, Tom incorporated Lamb Airways Limited. The airline had some name changes throughout the years and Tom became one of the best known Manitobans, if not Canadians, in the world. His adventures have been documented in books, a television documentary and even a song.
Lambair grew by public demand, as there was no other means of transportation for fish to market at the time except horse-drawn sleighs. Airplanes shortened the time to market and ensured higher quality fish to the large North American market. While transportation of fish, fur, trappers and fisherman were its primary business, the largest expansion of Lambair was during the construction of the mid-Canada line during the 1950s. The airline served all of Canada and parts of the United States and Greenland during its years in service. Lambair continued to haul fish, but its primary cargo was people - Inuit families from Resolute, Northwest territories to the far Arctic island hunting camps; equipment - oil drilling rigs to Sable Island from Halifax and food supplies. Medical evacuations and emergency mercy flights also accounted for a substantial amount of the company's traffic from the far north.
As development in the north progressed, Lambair opened new bases and served Wabowden, Thompson, Churchill, Norway House and Gillam as well as The Pas. These bases were established to serve all of northern Manitoba and the North West Territories (and current day Nunavut). It carried out its own maintenance operations in its hangers at Churchill, Thompson and The Pas and in 1965 built a new headquarters at The Pas.
Lambair was Canada's oldest airline still under the original ownership. Upon the death of Tom Lamb in 1969, the founder's six sons, all pilot-engineers, (in order of age, Greg, Donald, Dennis, Jack, Doug and Connie) managed the airline. By 1979, Lambair had a fleet which included Bristol Freighters, Curtis Commandos C-46s, Fairchild F-27, Twin Otters, Otters, Beavers, Cessna 180s, Bell G4A helicopters, BN Islanders, Aztecs and DC-3s. The planes were purchased from all over the world including Norway, England and Afghanistan. This fleet offered the greatest variety of aircraft to look after the traffic of the north, according to Donald Lamb, President of Lambair, in 1973. The combination of heavy freight aircraft with short takeoff and landing aircraft, to the fast light instrument flight rules (IFR) twin engine planes allowed the company to take on assignments for governments, oil companies, mining operations and continue to haul passengers throughout the north. The helicopters were for prospecting, hydro-electric development and forestry operations.
The airline served all of Canada and parts of the United States and Greenland, supporting the isolated communities of northern Canada. Their motto was "Don't ask us where we fly, tell us where you want to go".
In 1965, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...
) produced a television show called "The Flying Lambs". It was shown on the series called Telescope.
On May 22, 1969, Tom Lamb received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba. He had had less than three years of elementary schooling.
Jack Lamb has recorded his story in a book "My Life in the North".
The four surviving Lamb brothers were recognized for their contributions to the development of northern Canada and received awards for their service from the Government of Nunavut at a banquet on 14 April 2007 in Rankin Inlet.
On 30 May 2009, Thomas Lamb was inducted posthumously into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame
Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, based in the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada, commemorates and honours those whose accomplishments in aviation contributed so much to Canada's development as a nation...
. The award was accepted by Tom's son Greg at the ceremony in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.
Lamb Air operated many aircraft.
Stinson may refer to:*Stinson, Ontario*Stinson Aircraft Company*Stinson Lake, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, in the town of Rumney*Stinson Municipal Airport, San Antonio, Texas*Stinson Theatres, a Canadian movie theatre chain...
- C-46 Commando
The Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando was a transport aircraft originally derived from a commercial high-altitude airliner design. It was instead used as a military transport during World War II by the United States Army Air Forces as well as the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps under the designation R5C...
- De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter
The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada. It was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, but was overall a larger aircraft.-Design and...
- De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
The DHC-6 Twin Otter is a Canadian 19-passenger STOL utility aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air. The aircraft's fixed tricycle undercarriage, STOL abilities and high rate of climb have made it a successful cargo, regional passenger airliner and MEDEVAC...
- De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada, primarily known as a bush plane. It is used for cargo and passenger hauling, aerial application , and has been widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft...
- De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Turbo Beaver
- Beech 18
- Various Cessna
The Cessna Aircraft Company is an airplane manufacturing corporation headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Their main products are general aviation aircraft. Although they are the most well known for their small, piston-powered aircraft, they also produce business jets. The company is a subsidiary...
- Fokker F27
The Fokker F27 Friendship is a turboprop airliner designed and built by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.-Design and development:Design of the Fokker F27 started in the 1950s as a replacement to the successful Douglas DC-3 airliner...
as built by Fairchild
- Noorduyn Norseman
The Noorduyn Norseman is a Canadian single-engine bush plane designed to operate from unimproved surfaces. Norseman aircraft are known to have been registered and/or operated in 68 countries throughout the world and also have been based and flown in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.-Design and...
- Britten-Norman Islander
The Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander is a 1960s British light utility aircraft, regional airliner and cargo aircraft designed and originally manufactured by Britten-Norman of the United Kingdom. The Islander is one of the best-selling commercial aircraft types produced in Europe. Although designed in...
- Bristol Freighter
The Bristol Type 170 Freighter was a British twin-engine aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company as both a freighter and airliner, although its best known use is as an air ferry to carry cars and their passengers over relatively short distances.-Design and development:The...
- Piper Aztec
-Accidents and incidents:*On 18 April 1974, Aztec G-AYDE was involved in a ground collision with BAC One-Eleven G-AXMJ at London Luton Airport after the pilot of the Aztec entered the active runway without clearance. He was killed and his passenger was injured...
- Aérospatiale Gazelle
The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat light helicopter, powered by a single turbine engine. It was designed and manufactured in France by Sud Aviation . It was also manufactured under licence by Westland Aircraft in the United Kingdom , by SOKO in Yugoslavia and ABHCO in Egypt...
- Aérospatiale Alouette II
- Bell Helicopter