Captain Harvey Evans was only eighteen years old when he earned his commercial pilot's licence in 1952, just as the aviation industry was emerging from the shadow of WWII, and he racked up an impressive 20,000 hours of flying time before filing his final flight plan in 1994. It was a remarkable and distinguished career that began in the old days of bush flying, bouncing around northern Canada on a wing and a prayer in biplanes full of frozen fish, then moved on to the early days of commercial helicopter work and extended into the time of flying by computer. Over the course of his career Evans had plenty of adventures. He describes one that happened on June 16, 1960, when a private plane carrying a fisherman and his young son had gone missing near Flin Flon: 'The Air Force had called off the search at the end of fourteen days...The next morning I was flying...right over Tartan Lake where the missing aircraft had been heading and...much to my surprise a little figure came running out onto a bald rock and started waving frantically'. The boy had survived at the wreck site without food for two weeks, first nursing his badly burned father then sleeping beside his corpse.
The rescue was national news and made Evans a brief celebrity, but most of his story is that of an elite pilot replete with clear and absorbing descriptions of the jobs that made up his long working life. By the time he retired in 1994 he had been flying 42 years, doing every kind of job in every part of the continent, making him one of the most respected chopper pilots alive.