Canadian wins Gardiner at CHC Summit
By Paul Dixon
March 26, 2013, Vancouver - The CHC Safety and Quality Summit is a global event, but at this year’s ninth annual event, top honours went to a Canadian. The awarding of the Dr. Peter Gardiner Aviation Student Grant is always a highlight at the summit, and this year’s winner is Daryl Grymonpre of the Aerospace Engineering Program at Ottawa's Carleton University.
By Paul Dixon
The prestigious grant is co-sponsored by HFACS Inc., CHC, and the University of Southern California's Vertibi School of Engineering in memory of Dr. Peter Gardiner. When Greg Wyght, then CHC's VP of Safety, was in the process of creating CHC's first in-house safety summit, he talked to leading academics and industrial professionals around the world. Peter Gardiner's name kept coming up and the program of occupational risk management he had created at the Southern California Safety Institute impressed Wyght as the path to follow. That first CHC Safety Summit, restricted to CHC employees, drew 35 attendees. Realizing they were onto something good, CHC opened the doors to all comers the next year and the event has grown exponentially, attracting well over 800 delegates to this year's event at Vancouver's Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina.
|Carleton University student Daryl Grynmonpre was awarded this year’s Dr. Peter Gardiner Aviation Student Grant. From left are: Scott Shappell (HFACS), Daryl Grynmonpre, Doug Weigmann (HFACS), Duncan Trapp (CHC).
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Daryl Grymonpre remembers watching planes fly overhead in the high blue prairie skies as a child. From an early age he was thinking of a job in aviation, learning to fly at Harv's Air while in high school. From high school he went to Seneca College in Toronto for the four year Applied Science in Aviation program, but after graduation he realized that he was still a long way from where he needed to be. Today he is a first-year student in Carleton University's Aerospace Engineering program and manages to work part-time as a flight instructor.
The road to the Bayshore started in Wings magazine; "I keep up with the aviation news" relates Daryl, "I was looking at Wings magazine on-line one day, going through my regular checks of news and headlines and I came across the opportunity to apply for the Dr. Peter Gardiner Student of Aviation Grant. I took a look at it and thought I might have a chance at it, so I wrote the 500-word essay, which was hard to do because you want to write more than that. It took quite a while to find the right words for an issue that is quite close to my heart. The idea was to discuss the theme of the conference [Predictive Safety to Avoid 'the Inevitable'], which fit perfectly with my feelings on the subject."
The award was presented to Daryl at a VIP reception by Dr. Scott Shappell of HFACS and Duncan Trapp, CHC VP Safety and Quality. In his remarks, Trapp said that "there were more than 40 top-quality submissions and it was really difficult to get down to the top five, but Dylan came out ahead. His enthusiasm for aviation and safety was very clear." In his remarks, Shappell remembered Peter Gardiner, his passion for safety in aviation and the force that was unleashed from that first gathering only nine short years ago. "Peter was actually a mentor to Doug (Weigmann) and I from way back. Peter was safety before safety was cool. I remember the early days of this summit and Peter would come here and give talks. For those of you who knew Peter, he was a true gentleman. I wish I could be Peter Gardiner. It is really an honour for Doug and I to partner with CHC to provide this scholarship in Peter's name. He was truly a friend to all of us and I know if he were looking down right now he would be so ecstatic. We used to talk about this summit back when it was much smaller, now it's getting bigger and bigger, and we used to joke that we’d never be able to turn it off – the CHC Safety Summit will be here forever, and Peter will always be a part of that.”