Bush to Boardroom
A Personal View of Five Decades of Aviation HistoryBook - 1992
For five decades, beginning in 1933, Duncan McLaren has been dedicated to planes. He serviced them, flew them, tested them, and later in his career, he leased, traded and bought them. McLaren flew the Canadian Arctic, the uncharted Labrador, and the bush country of the north for the Hudson's Bay Company. In World War II he was a civilian pilot doing the priority work of testing military aircraft. In 1953 he went to work for Central British Columbia Airways, soon to be re-named Pacific Western Airlines. His story includes the development of PWA from its beginnings as a bush line, its corporate acquisitions and the part it played in the construction of the DEW Line in the 1950s. In 1962 his aviation interests expanded with a move to the United States and the worldwide leasing of transport aircraft, including the conversion of the fleet to jet aircraft. Eight years later, McLaren was assigned, as president and CEO, to the financially troubled Interior Airways, of Alaska. He describes the State of Alaska's first bankruptcy and how he salvaged the airline.