Jim Partridge

Historic plane returns home to Trail

The 1934 Puss Moth has returned home to Trail for the first time in over 50 years.

An iconic symbol of Trail history made a brief stopover at the city’s airport late Thursday afternoon, much to the delight of onlookers and staff.

Ben Cox and his partner Anne Marie Liszczyk, both aviation aficionados from England, flew a 1934 Puss Moth onto the Trail airstrip in a mission to return the aircraft home for the first time in 50-plus years.

The de Havilland DH Puss Moth, previously owned by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. (CM & S, later Cominco Ltd.), was a modern wonder in the 1930s when the company used the three-seater for mineral exploration in the country’s northern regions.

The plane was bought by a gentleman from Spokane in 1958, and since that time, it’s been housed south of the border.

After Cox became the Puss Moth’s owner a few years ago, the U.K. duo have booked summer vacations together to travel the Pacific Northwest and Alberta via the light utility aircraft.

“I’d known about it (Puss Moth) for 20 odd years,” said Cox. “I became friends with the previous owner who’s gotten elderly and wanted to sell it a couple of years ago. So I bought it, and this year we wanted to see where it lived.”

When the couple first landed at the Trail airport, Liszczyk felt uncertain about her surroundings – but her apprehension was brief.

“I wasn’t sure where we were, so we went around to the terminal right after we landed,” she explained. “An elderly gentleman, inside, was nudging his wife, saying “Oh my gosh look, there’s a Puss Moth, there’s a Puss Moth,”  Liszczyk laughed. “We were only here for a short while before someone recognized it.”

After parking the aircraft off the runway for the night, the couple returned to the airport Friday morning with plans to fly back to Spokane by noon.

Before that happened, a handful of airport workers, Pacific Coastal Airlines employees and a few locals, were treated to an up-close-and-personal look at the historic airplane and a chat with its new owners.

“I’ve done a lot of work to make it useful for trips like this,” said Cox. “It’s pretty conventional to fly and very capable because it carries a lot of fuel, has lots of room for bags and can go a long way.”

The de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth is a British three-seater high-wing monoplane designed and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company between 1929 and 1933.

It flew at a speed approaching 200 kilometres per hour, making it one of the highest-performance private aircraft of its era.

See PUSS, Page 3


The CM & S’s use of airplanes for early exploration of the north was unique in the mining industry and played a prominent role in advancing the establishment of working mines in what was a very remote part of the industry in Canada, said Jamie Forbes from the Trail Historical Society.

The company’s bush pilots were brave and adventurous and can be described as true pioneers in Canada’s aviation history.

“This is national aviation history not just part Trail history,” said Forbes. “It’s part of our Canadian mining history and there’s none left that I know of. It’s important to us and to our country.”


Just Posted

Free Family Day fun for Greater Trail

Public skating in Rossland and Trail are a few of the free offerings for families this weekend

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Rossland library gets rave reviews on renovation

A lot of hard work led to this day, says a library board member

Tell the Times

Web Poll: Do you stay in town or leave for holidays like Family Day?

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read