Former Thow jet to medevac patients around globe

Darron Kloster

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Chris Connor has paid $1.6 million for a jet once jointly owned by disgraced financial adviser Ian Thow.

The Victoria entrepreneur and his wife, Trish, are in the process of taking over Life Flight International Inc., a charter medevac service his mother, Isabel Connor, has operated out of Sidney for 15 years.

Isabel Connor had leased the eight-passenger, 1979 Citation II Cessna from Thow on occasion to fly foreign patients out of Canada and to bring Canadians back home.

The jet, which can be modified to carry two patients and emergency medical personnel, had been mothballed in Vancouver for more than 18 months after the Thow financial scandal unfolded. Chris Connor bought the aircraft Aug. 10 with partners.

Thow, a former senior vice-president with Berkshire, took millions of dollars from clients and used it to fuel a lavish lifestyle of private jets, helicopters, mansions and boats. The former adviser, still under investigation by the RCMP, left the country in the summer of 2005 and set up home in Seattle after filing for bankruptcy. He left behind clients and creditors who claimed he owed them in excess of $32 million.

Connor bought the jet from a former pilot who co-owned the aircraft with Thow, but refused to reveal the partner's name, saying the seller did not want his name associated with Thow.

Life Flight International has flown patients around the world, including Korea, Japan, China and Australia. Isabel Connor, 64, a critical care nurse for 33 years, wants to retire, said her son.

Chris Connor is also offering charter flights for business and leisure travellers.

The company employs three pilots and 30 contract staff consisting of doctors, paramedics and other medical specialists.

Call 661-2183 or check



Ian Thow takes flight