Pioneer of Mississauga taxi industry dies in plane crash
by Mike Beggs
Mississauga taxi industry members were saddened by the loss of veteran multi-plate owner Ron Chamberlain, whose private plane crashed on the property of Brantford Airport, November 13. Chamberlain, 76, and his wife Mildred (81), both died in the crash.
Airport workers discovered the plane around 8 a.m.. OPP and other emergency services were called to the scene, where the aircraft was found on the grass beside the runway, it’s nose smashed in. The Brampton couple was in the cockpit.
One resident told CBC he had heard a plane “circling and circling the airport” around 1:30 a.m. – possibly in efforts to activate the runway’s lighting system, before making a descent into the dark, and falling snow.
A father of three, Chamberlain started out as a driver, before launching Skyway Taxi, in Malton. He subsequently purchased the rival 7-11 Taxi and combined the two into one brokerage, before selling out to Peel Taxi in the mid-‘80’s.
He managed his 12 taxi plates for many years, but had nine left at the time of his passing.
“Ron was a pioneer of the Mississauga taxi industry,” says All-Star taxi manager Mark Sexsmith.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the crash of the Piper Arrow, one of three small planes owned by Chamberlain. TSB’s Ken Webster told CBC they would be looking into the weather at the time, the plane’s maintenance history, and whether he was doing instrument flying or using a visual approach.
Chamberlain was a highly experienced pilot who flew out of Burlington Airport.