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11-03-2015, 20:29

SKYCRAFT AIR TRANSPORT, LTD.: Canada (1972-1994)

Robin Thompson establishes SAT at Oshawa Airport in Ontario in 1972 to offer cargo and charter services in support of the Canadian automobile industry. Operations are maintained, at first with Cessnas and then, beginning in 1975, with a fleet of, what by decade’s end totals 3 Douglas C-47Bs (military DC-3s). Two of the three are sold beginning in 1981.

Upon takeoff from St. Louis on January 9, 1984, the last C-47B with two crew loses power; before an emergency landing can be made on a highway, the left wing strikes a pole, causing the aircraft to crash through a fence and against a highway embankment (one dead).

It will later be determined that, during the lost plane’s refueling, Jet-A fuel was used instead of 100LL avgas.

In January 1985, company officials decide to begin scheduled third-level passenger services. Two Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirantes are acquired and in July twice-daily flights link the company’s base with Montreal, Ottawa, and Windsor. An affiliation is started with CPAir, Ltd. and daily Oshawa to Windsor frequencies are initiated. To handle the charter side, two DC-3s are purchased from Genair, Ltd.

International service begins in April 1986 as scheduled daily flights are inaugurated to Detroit. In July, the carrier changes affiliations, moving into a new relationship with Air Canada, Ltd.

A Shorts 330 is acquired from Time Air, Ltd. in June 1987 and placed into service while a larger Shorts 360 joins the fleet a year later in 1988 and is assigned to the Oshawa to Windsor service.

In 1989-1990, additional charters are undertaken as President Al Graham’s nonscheduled fleet is increased with the addition of 1 Piper PA-23 Aztec, 1 Piper PA-31T Cheyenne, 1 Cessna 402, and 1 Cessna Citation. The Shorts 360 is withdrawn in 1991. In 1992, Chairman Thompson oversees 100 employees; however, recession causes severe traffic and financial reversals. The company closes down in February 1994.

SKYFIELD AIR COMPANY: Russia (1997-1998). Skyfield is established at Moscow in late 1997 to provide domestic and regional passenger charters. Revenue flights begin with a single Tupolev Tu-134A. The carrier fails during the fall of 1998 following the Russian government’s devaluation of the ruble in August.

SKYFREIGHT (TROPICS INTERNATIONAL): United States (1981-1985). Edward G. Harris establishes Skyfreight at Miami in 1981 to provide scheduled Douglas DC-3 all-cargo flights to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas. Charter and contract service flights are also undertaken to other Caribbean destinations.

The scheduled frequencies cease in 1984 and the company goes out of business in 1985.