CF-104 Starfighter presentation kicks off Waterloo aviation seminars

John Valade demonstrates engagement tactics during the seminar. Eric Dumigan Photo
On Saturday, Jan. 30, 3 Point Aviator at Region of Waterloo International Airport, kicked off a monthly seminar program with an exciting presentation on flying CF-104 Starfighters in Europe and 1 Canadian Air Group. 

3 Point Aviator co-founder Glen Oliphant started the seminar with company updates. Most notable was the exciting acquisition of a Globe Swift. The aircraft, built by Temco, was restored by the Swift Foundation in 2005 and features a 180 h.p. Lycoming 0-360 engine. This will allow 3 Point Aviator members training on a complex tail-dragger with hydraulic gears and flaps. The Swift will be on-line by late spring. 
Co-owner and coach, John Valade, continued the seminar with a presentation on his experiences flying the CF-104 Starfighter in Europe during the 1970s and early 80s. Flying with 421 Red Indian Squadron, Valade shared his experiences of flying the 104 on the deck at 450 knots across West Germany. 
Encounters with friendly aircraft as well as Eastern Bloc countries made for some great stories. Valade’s love of the CF-104 was evident as he talked about the aircraft’s performance and strengths against the aircraft he came up against. He often engaged friendly F-4 Phantoms, F-16 Fighting Falcons and others. 
He also touched on the 104’s reputation of being a “widow maker” with great insight into why losses of aircraft were higher than usual. 
Valade transitioned to the CF-18 Hornet which he flew for a time in Europe. His notes on the technological differences between the Hornet and Starfighter gave great insight into the challenges experienced by RCAF fighter pilots at the time, transitioning from a century series fighter to a modern aircraft with a cockpit dominated by computer screens. After leaving the Canadian Armed Forces, Valade worked for Bombardier Aerospace as a training development manager and a training captain on the CRJ 200. 
Future seminars will be held on the last Saturday of every month and will include subjects like advanced tail-wheel techniques, TC 2016 recurrency exam and elementary maintenance. 
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