Orville Pulsiver Biography

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This Biography was first published in the CAHS Newsletter and was reproduced here with the permission of the Newsletter’s editor.

Orville Bates Pulsifer was born in 1910.  In Wittenburg, Colchester County Nova Scotia. After completing high school Orville spent two years attending the night school at the Gugenhynme Aeronautical School and Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  While there he arranged to work washing and polishing aircraft in exchange for flying lessons.

On returning in Halifax, Orville obtained his pilots license from the Halifax Flying Club, located at the old Halifax Civic Airport.  In 1937 Orville and a group of licensed pilots founded No.116 Auxiliary Fighter Squadron at Halifax

With the outbreak of war Orville went to training at RCAF Trenton and RCAF Borden. After obtaining a 1A all types, Flying Instructor category ticket he was held in Training Command as Commandin Officer of No. 13 EFTS at Pendleton, Ontario.

As commanding Officer, Orville had to recommend two officers every month for overseas duty. In an effort to get into action Orville recommended himself for two consecutive months. He then recieved an order to report to Training Command Head Quarters immediately.  After receiving a reprimand and told not to do it again, Orville recommended himself for overseas duties for a third month and had his command taken away and the $1.00 a day command pay.  He was then put in command of standardization flight for all Elementary Flying Training Schools in Canada.

Orville accumulated over 3000 hrs. while in training command.  The long list of aircraft he flew while he was in service include: Tiger Moth, Fleet Cornnell, Yale, Harvard, Lockheed 10 and 12, and the Hurricane.

In the post war years Orville always worked for himself in owning his own companies.  His civilian flying career saw him fly a wide range of fixed wing aircraft: singles and multi-engines, flying boats, floats, wheels, skies, etc.

Some of Orvilles’s accomplishments over his 62 years of aviation include: aerial photographing and mapping.  A lot of his work lead to the development of the Nova Scotia Aviation Forestry Service.  Orville sold 98 aircraft in Canada, and he helped to pick the location for the Halifax International Airport.

Orville has had a full life outside aviation as well.  He was the founder of Sparkling Springs Ltd.  (bottled water).  He also invented machines for the mining industry and was active in prospecting.

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