Andrew Carswell, a Second World War veteran who helped make Canadian aviation among the safest in the world died last week in care in Toronto. The 19-year-old Carswell bailed out of his crashing Lancaster over Germany in 1943 and helped organize two escape attempts. After returning home, he rejoined the RCAF and flew Cansos off the B.C. coast, earning the Air Force Cross for the tricky rescue of the crew of a fishing boat that sank near Galiano Island. He was at least as famous for his work for Transport Canada after leaving the service.
In 1977 Carswell secretly investigated bush carriers in Northern Ontario, revealing lax oversight, poorly trained pilots and dangerously deficient maintenance. His report led to the creation of a Royal Commission on Air Safety which ultimately led to the creation of the Transportation Safety Board.