As you enter the BC Farm Museum the first thing you notice is the Skyway Tiger Moth hanging from the ceiling. There is a very interesting story on Art Seller’s in “Art Seller and the Skyway Air Service Story”. Story by Jack Meadows, from the West Coast Aviator Magazine.
Art Seller was a determined visionary who conceived of a flying service business while still a prisoner of war. His vision established a world class company whose influence continues to this day.
Art Seller was born in Saskatchewan on November 1, 1919. As a fighter pilot flying Spitfires from Britain, soon after ‘D’ Day, on June 17, 1944, he was shot down by ground fire over the beachhead. He became a Prisoner of War in Eastern Germany.
On his return home in 1945,he took advantage of the postwar flying boom, he formed the Royal City Flying Club at Vancouver Airport. It had one war surplus Tiger Moth. Later, a second Moth was added. In 1947, he moved to Langley. He might almost be considered the father of the present day bustling Langley Airport for, in 1947, it was only a grass field with no buildings other than a couple of old farm privies Art used as offices.
Seeing a way to make huge money in crop dusting, he converted a Tiger Moth for the job. The very one we have here at the Museum.
In 1952 he started looking into water bombing, using retardant with his smaller aircraft, and by 1965 had established himself in Abbotsford
In 1968 he suffered a stroke, and handed the business over to a consortium led by Les Kerr, whom he had taught to fly and who had become a spray pilot with the company. This new company changed it’s name to Conair Aviation. Having dropped the crop spraying side of the operation, Conair has remained a world leader in the water bombing and development industry.
For the full “Art Seller and the Skyway Air Service Story”, see the sub section to this article.