NWT prospector and pilot who met Elvis and Beatles passes away

Carl Clouter, a man who flew for decades in the North, helped to start a mining company, and shared a stage with the Beatles, has passed away at the age of 78.

Fortune Minerals, developer of the Nico mine outside Whatì, was founded partly on properties owned by Carl. Born in Newfoundland before moving to the NWT in 1975, he launched Edzo Air in partnership with Behchokǫ̀ residents in the 1980s.

Carl passed away on October 15 at the James Paton Memorial Health Centre in Gander. He had cancer.

“Carl was part of the great Canadian legacy of northern bush pilots who provided the transportation link to isolated communities and exploration camps,” said Fortune Minerals, of which Carl was a founding director, in a statement.

“Carl had a unique amiable charm and care-free disposition that will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.”

Carl began his working life in the military. In 2015, he described to Edge magazine how he became a singer with the Canadian Tattoo and thereby met some of the world’s leading stars.

In the early 1960s, the Tattoo opened for the Beatles.

“They were just another bunch of guys playing music. I don’t think anybody there at the time realized where they were going,” Carl told the magazine. “Although they were good. They were different. They were English.”

At the Seattle World’s Fair, Carl added, he shared an elevator with Elvis.

Carl met his wife, Norma, while on leave from the military. They were married in December 1965. He is survived by Norma, daughter Heather, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, among many other family members.

In an obituary, his family called the move to the Northwest Territories Carl’s “stepping-stone to all that was accomplished in his life.”

Alongside his work as a pilot and prospector, he became a sentencing justice of the peace in Behchokǫ̀ and a coroner.

Asked by Edge in 2015 if he had any regrets, Carl said he wished he had come North sooner.

“Had I known, I would’ve come here right from getting out of the army,” he said. “That’s the only thing I regret.”