Ronald Murray Boyd was not only a good friend, he was a helicopter pilot who discovered the wreckage of Toronto Maple Leaf Bill Barilko's aircraft on June 7, 1962, about 100 kilometers north of Cochrane, Ontario, Canada. The wreckage, which had been missing for 11 years, was a Fairchild 24 belonging to the other occupant and pilot in command, dentist Henry Hudson. There were various searches for this aircraft over the years when people thought they saw "something" in the massive forest areas in Ontario, but on this day, the fallen Fairchild was finally discovered.
Ron Boyd (accompanied by his engineer Phil Weston) spotted the Fairchild 24, and for the first time Bill Barilko's wreckage was officially discovered. They marked the location on a map, and threw toilet paper rolls out of the helicopter in order to "mark" the area so they could find it by foot. It was all they had on board. Then they landed and proceed in by foot. They found the plane and both skeletons at the wreckage site. The pilot's skeleton was in the left seat, covered in moss, and Barilko's skeleton was scattered over the top...his skull shattered.
Below are the photos along with documents sent thanking Ron for his discovery.. *** Click on MAP THIS button to see the location of the wreckage on a map ***
In addition to this discovery, Ron was the first helicopter pilot to test fly the Imax mount and camera for the helicopter, and he did a lot of testing and development with the mount. He eventually flew for the filming of a lot of Imax films that were shown at Imax theaters. He did TV and movie work as well. Some shows that had combating helicopters he actually flew both parts, snapping on a different colour for the "other" helicopter.
Ron was a natural at flying. He soloed after only 3 hours of instruction, and was crop dusting at 15 hours. He was active in fighting forest fires in Northern Ontario. He was involved in many government Park Burns, including the first one in a Provincial Park in Canada. A Park Burn is the controlled setting of fire to a forest in order to clear out the dead undergrowth. He flew many dignitaries and politicians from Premiers to Prime Ministers. He flew film crews for many photo and video shoots including the filming of the top of the CN Tower being mounted and the maiden voyage of the restored Lancaster in Hamilton. Because of his many jobs with the government, at the time he was flying, his aircraft was the only civilian aircraft to have a permanently installed government radio.