MRO & Completions

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From the single-passenger, wood-and-steel tube flying machine known as the Silver Dart of the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) to the 88-passenger CRJ-900 Regional Jet made by Bombardier Aerospace, building and maintaining aircraft have been a part of Canadian history for the past 100 years.
Lorne started his career early in life, leaving home at the age of 16 years to join the Canadian Army as a "Boy soldier". He started his initial technical training at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario as a vehicle mechanic but soon transferred to the aviation side of maintenance.
James Wall was born in Brandon, Manitoba on March 22, 1933 and has spent his entire life in this city graduating from high school in 1951. In 1950 Jim earned his Private Pilot’s licence in a short 30 days and 25 hours of flying time. In 1951 he earned an Air Cadet International Exchange trip to England, Scotland and Wales. These were early indications of the ability, determination and skill that Jim possessed. He worked at the airport as a gasman, hangar attendant, aircraft washer and mechanic's helper. The money went into building flying hours (at a cost of $8.00 per hour) by barnstorming with other pilots on weekends, ferrying aircraft and taking people for rides. Jim moved up the ladder of success and was soon employed as full time Apprentice Mechanic earning the princely wage of 25 cents per hour.
It has always been airplanes for Barry Marsden. Since he was a teenager in the Creston Valley in the 1950s he’s been looking to the sky and finding inspiration in flying machines and the people who fly them. Born in Vancouver and raised in Creston, B.C., Barry embarked on his career path in 1954, by holding flags in farm fields for agricultural sprayer planes to aim at, before becoming an airplane mechanic and pilot.  Barry began his aviation career as a mechanic and pilot with Skyway Air Services of Langley, B.C, where he also flew several stints overseas.  He graduated from the Southern Alberta Aerospace Institute as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME), and also logged more than 9,500 hours as a commercial and airline transport rated pilot, all in aerial forest fire control and other specialty spraying operations.
Andy Russell was born in Montreal on June 2, 1926. During the 1930's while attending school Andy obtained a part time job in a commercial radio sales/repair shop located in La Prairie near Montreal. The owner, an electronics engineer, was eager to impart some of his knowledge to his young apprentice. In future years electronics became Andy’s specialty because of this exposure.
William (Bill) Walsh, born October 28, 1930, grew up in Halifax, NS. At that time Halifax Airport was located within the city perimeter. Bill often visited the airport in hopes of getting a ride in a Gypsy Moth. In 1946 he and a friend travelled to Moncton, New Brunswick to purchase one hour of instructional flight time at the Moncton Flying Club. The cost of this was $8.00 - a full week’s pay. A little later Bill started his flight training at the Halifax Flying Club.   
Lawrence (Larry) Thériault spent most of his working career in Quebec and Atlantic region. He was born on October 03, 1938 in Berwick, Nova Scotia and grew up in South-West Nova Scotia.  He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1956 and worked as an Airframe Technician on DC3, DC4, C119 and CL44 aircraft. In 1967 Larry worked at United Aircraft and Pratt & Whitney Canada in St-Hubert, Quebec as an assembler and overhaul mechanic on helicopters, engines and as the experimental flight mechanic. He was surprised at the lack of training available for Aircraft Maintenance, and his interest in AME training started there. During this time he obtained his Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s licence by working part-time with local flying clubs and on private airplanes. During the period of 1973-76 Larry hired eight aircraft technicians and went to work on bush aircraft in central and northern Quebec repairing aircraft floats, rebuilding damaged aircraft and performing general aircraft maintenance. In this same period he became Chief Engineer for Brochu Air at St-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec. He later became Crew Chief with Air Transit, a commuter company in Montréal that flew Twin Otters between Montréal and Ottawa.

Dick, born March 16, 1928, grew up in Hague, Saskatchewan and worked on the family farm until it was lost during the great depression. At that time Dick learned fundamental skills that have carried him throughout his life, these included: How to adapt to difficult situations, the importance of grass roots communications, the importance of hard work and integrity, and how to repair equipment.
Barry Hewko was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up on a farm near the small town of Dugald, MB where he attended high school and formed his interest in aviation, especially helicopters. He began his aviation career in 1968 by attending and successfully graduating from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers program. He served the majority of his apprenticeship with Rocky Mountain Air Services (later called the Copter Shop) in Calgary concurrently while he was attending the S.A.I.T. program.

Ben McCarty was born in 1935 in Sussex, NB where he grew up and received his education. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in June of 1954 and served in the fleet air arm as an aircraft technician, attending Naval Aircraft Maintenance School in Dartmouth, NS. He trained on and maintained the Grumman TBM, Harvard, CS2F Tracker, T-33, Beech 18, and the F2H3 Banshee aircraft while in the navy.  After 15 years service he resigned and was employed by Survair Ltd. in Ottawa, Ontario maintaining DC-3, DHC-6, Douglas A-26, and Aero Commander aircraft. During this period he successfully completed the De Havilland Twin Otter, and Pratt and Whitney PT-6 courses.

Barry Lapointe was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1966 he graduated with honours from the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineers course. Barry obtained a commercial pilot’s license in 1967 and in 1968 became Chief Engineer at Air West Airlines, which later became Air BC.

Art Parry was a well-known personality in the Ontario aviation community. His career spanned sixty years during which time he made an invaluable contribution to aviation in Canada.

Robert W. Briggs was born in Moncton, New Brunswick on March 4, 1930 and was raised and educated in rural New Brunswick. He spent his young adult life working in logging and farming before attending George Brown Technical College in Toronto in 1950.
Gerry Wolfe started his aviation career with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940. He was posted to the RCAF Technical Training School in St.Thomas, Ontario for Aircraft Maintenance Training were he graduated as the Gold Medal Student. In late 1941, after various Canadian postings, he volunteered for overseas service and was posted to the RCAF 405 Bomber Squadron in England which operated Wellington, then Halifax, and Lancaster Aircraft.
Woody was born August 23, 1936 in Grandview, Manitoba and raised on a farm at Gilbert Plains, Manitoba. After high school he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954 and went to basic training at St. Johns, Quebec and then to Camp Borden in Ontario for training on Airframe Maintenance. Later that year he transferred to McDonald, Manitoba and in June of 1955 he was transferred to Germany to No. 3 Fighter Wing where he worked on F-86 Sabres and CF-100’s. He returned to Canada in February 1957 and was employed by Canadian Pacific Airlines in Winnipeg, Manitoba until they closed the base. He then joined Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg until December 1959 when cancellation of the Avro Aero Project by the Canadian government of the day caused lay offs. In January 1960 he accepted employment with B.C. Airlines in Vancouver and in March 1965 he was sent to Prince Rupert, B.C. as Base Engineer.

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