And I Shall Fly is the autobiography of one of Canada's best-known aviation personalities, Z.L. "Lewie" Leigh, winner of the McKee Trans-Canada Trophy.
The story begins with Prairie barnstorming, followed by an attempt to start a flying operation on the East Coast. In the 1930s he was one of a handful of intrepid pilots flying down the Mackenzie Valley and into the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic. He became Canada's first qualified instrument pilot, and trained the first class of Canadian airline pilots in the art of instrument flying. The first pilot hired by Trans-Canada Air Lines in 1937, he offers a fascinating inside view of the early operational trials of the fledgling airline.
In the war years Leigh flew Hudsons on coastal patrol, then became a key figure in the establishment of the RCAF's over-seas airmail service carrying mail to Canadian troops in Europe and North Africa. In the postwar years, he was a guiding light in the RCAF's Transport Command, involved in such developments as the Korean airlift, Arctic re-supply flights to northern bases and the DEW Line, and the acquisition of Comet jet transports for the RCAF.
Lewie Leigh's career spans the development of aviation in Canada from the pioneering days of bush flying, map in hand and without benefit of radio, to the jet age. His story is a nicely crafted mixture of entertaining personal anecdotes and solid Canadian aviation history, as seen through the eyes of a leading participant.