Province Mourns Passing of Daryl Smith, Founder Pacific Coastal Airlines

Feb 10, 2020

Photo: Pacific Coastal Airlines

Editor’s Note: The British Columbia Aviation Council is deeply saddened by the loss of one of its greatest supporters and multiple award winners – a true entrepreneur and pioneer. Ad Astra.


Photo: Pacific Coastal Airlines

SMITH, DARYL LEONARD (July 26, 1939 – Feb 01, 2020) The Smith family is saddened to announce the recent passing of its husband, father and grandfather, Daryl Smith. Daryl passed away peacefully at the age of 80 with his loving wife Doreen and immediate family by his side at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Born in Port Alberni, Daryl lived and worked in many communities along the BC coast before settling in Powell River in 1975.

A former truck logger, Daryl decided to obtain his pilot license and begin his career as a “bush” pilot where he accumulated thousands of flight hours and came to know the BC coast like few others. Inspired by its rugged coastlines, natural beauty, and fearsome dangers, it was a perfect canvas for a life filled with adventure and discovery.

Throughout his early flying days as a seaplane charter pilot and flying salesperson, Daryl was constantly searching for an opportunity that eventually materialized itself in the creation of Wilderness Airline, Canyon Airways, Powell Air, and finally Pacific Coastal Airlines. From its inception, Daryl was clear that Pacific Coastal, known to many as Pasco, would seek to support the people and communities it served. That spirit of giving is deeply embedded in its corporate culture and supported by its dedicated team of employees.

Photo: Courtesy PCA

Throughout his career, Daryl made a significant contribution to the development of the aviation industry in B.C. and was a recipient of the British Columbia Aviation Council (BCAC) Robert S. Day Trophy in 1998, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Photo: BCAC

Despite his success in aviation, Daryl was truly an equipment operator and logger at heart. He was a builder of businesses. He knew what he wanted to do and he knew how to do it. He had unquestionable competency in anything that made sense to him. He had a fierce desire for knowledge, mental and physical strength, determination and daring. A deep thinker and concise communicator, there was never any doubt about where he stood. He was tough but fair, discerning, wise and extremely generous.

To his family Daryl was a loving and steadfast husband, father and grandpa. He and Doreen created a close and loving family, to which he brought his personal ethics and integrity, his self-effacing ‘bigness’, and always his kind heart. As the family grew with spouses and babies, so did his happiness. He was a man at peace with his life, a man who lived as he wanted to live, and did right as he saw fit. He has lifted us all by his example.

Daryl is survived by his wife of 58 years Doreen, three children, (Quentin, Nevil and Spencer), five grandchildren (Coral-Leigh, Kai, Reese, Kalissa and Aiden), and sister Carolynne (Gerry). He was predeceased by his beloved father Charles, mother Olive, and son Sheldon. His family acknowledges this remarkable man and will honour him every day through fond memories and in the way they live their lives.

A service and reception in Daryl’s memory will be held at 1 pm on Friday, February 14th, at the Powell River United Church. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honour his life and work are invited to make donations in his name to Canuck Place or BC Children’s Hospital.