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Port Angeles Public Library - Biographical Files
These are selected items from the Northwest Biography files at PAPL.

Fairchild, Bill

Unknown paper, Jul 21, 1961 - Webster, Esther, "No matter what the job it's no barrier for Fairchild"

Bill Fairchild took over the Angeles Flying Service and Port Angeles airport operation in 1953. This article includes a photo of Fairchild and describes his many flying activities. He is currently involved with an aerial glacial survey of the Northwest being conducted by the University of Washington.

Air West, Dec 23, 1966 - Connelly, Dolly, "The master of Olympus"

Air West is a publication of West Coast Airlines. This article includes photos of Bill Fairchild (closeup and at work flying) and describes his Angeles Flying Service operating out of the Clallam County Airport. Fairchild is agent for West Coast Airlines on its daily flight between Port Angeles and Seattle. The article includes stories of Fairchild's glacier flying adventures, calling him "the Northwest's glacier pilot." Since 1960, Fairchild has flown a U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist on an annual check of glaciers in Alaska, flying at low level for aerial photography.

Port Angeles Evening News, Feb 7, 1969 - "Obituary - William R. Fairchild"

Bill Fairchild was born on April 28, 1926, in Buhl, Idaho. His family moved to Port Angeles in 1941 and he graduated from high school there. This article describes Fairchild's start in flying. He died in a plane crash on February 5.

Port Angeles Daily News, Sep 5, 1975 - Paxon, Don, "National park sites named for aviator Fairchild"

A 6,900 foot peak just NE of Mt Carrie in the Bailey Range of Olympic National Park has been named for the late Bill Fairchild. A glacier on the peak and the creek which originates at the glacier have also been named for him. The move to name these unnamed points in Fairchild's honor began shortly after his death. Fairchild was one of 10 who died when the early morning flight of the air taxi service he created crashed on February 5, 1969. Fairchild was a passenger on that flight. This article discusses Fairchild's early flying and says he was best known for his mountain and glacier flying. Austin Post and Edward R. LaChapelle, who headed the U.W. research on the Blue Glacier of Mt Olympus, dedicated their book, "Glacier Ice" to him. Fairchild's method of taking off from the Blue Glacier became known as the "Fairchild sleigh ride" and millions around the nation saw it as one of the climactic scenes in a two-part show in the "Lassie" TV series. The Port Angeles airport has also been named for Bill Fairchild.

Port Angeles Daily News (Chronical section), Oct 8, 1975 - "Naming Landmarks After Local Pilot Is Fitting Tribute"

One of the main sponsors for naming the three landmarks in Olympic National Park after Bill Fairchild was Austin Post, Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. This article (erroneously) says that the Fairchild Glacier was where Fairchild made the first glacier landing in Washington state, and later hundreds of landings to support scientific research projects. (It was the Blue Glacier on Mt Olympus.)

Port Angeles Daily News (Chronical section), Oct 8, 1975 - LaChapelle, Ed, "How it all started"

The author met Bill Fairchild in 1955, while doing the first glacier studies on the Blue Glacier of Mt Olympus with Dick Hubley. Fairchild at that time was supplying trail crews by airdrop and Hubley contracted with him to drop supplies to the glacier. In 1956, while laying plans for a major glacier study on the Blue Glacier in connection with the International Geophysical Year, LaChapelle suggested to Fairchild that he become a true glacier pilot, landing and taking off from the glacier. They reached an agreement on the condition that LaChapelle furnish the skis, which were an expensive item because they had to be retractable for landing on the Port Angeles airport runway. This article contains stories of Bill Fairchild's flying adventures.

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