The Stephens Glider


Jack Stephens, Bart's son, recalls -
These photos were taken on Sept. 8 1931. The glider was built by Bart Stephens in his backyard on Queen St., St. James, and that is him in the brown coveralls to the left. The pilot is Carl H. Lindgren (Biggar Sask) who was an early pioneer in gliding in the West, and came to Winnipeg to teach my father how to fly. I have a couple of good stories about incidents relating to the glider. I met Carl in 1982 in Hughenden Alberta. I was told that this was the first glider built and flown in Manitoba. Dad (now deceased) Barry Albert (Bart) Stephens is an Honorary Member of the Winnipeg Flying Club. He worked for TCA/AirCanada as an air engineer (Inspection) at the Winnipeg Overhaul Base 1943 to around 1970.
In a letter from Bart's sister Rosemary, dated Feb.1 1990, she talks about Bart building the glider in their house at 427 Inglewood St. St. James. She writes:
" I remember so well Bart building ailerons and the body and wings of the glider. I remember because I passed them every day in stages of growth in our long hallway to the kitchen. I can still smell the 'glue' which was really a varnish for sealing the wood."
Then she goes on to say,
"I remember when the bush pilot Konnie Johanesson flew the glider from Portage La Prairie to Stevenson Airport field."
Considering the distance involved, about 70 kM, that story may be apocryphal.