In RCAF Today 2019, we examine personnel retention, fighter procurement, future aircrew training and more!
At the annual gala induction dinner and ceremony for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2019, five individuals will be recognized for their contribution to Canadian aviation and be inducted as members of the Hall of Fame. The annual event will be held on May 16 at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
The venue for the annual celebration of achievement in Canadian aviation, on May 16, is Bombardier’s Centre de finition Laurent Beaudoin (Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre), 200 Cȏte-Vertu Ouest, Dorval, Que.
“In 2019, Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame will honour five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian aviation,” said Rod Sheridan, chairman of the board for the Hall. “Honoured this year are two fighter pilots of the Second World War who post-war continued in aviation development for the rest of their lives. As well, we will honour three individuals whose accomplishments in civil aviation have made advancements in the industry from the design and development of aircraft to building airlines.”
The 2019 inductions will be the 46th annual celebration of aviation accomplishment and will bring to 237 the number of Canadians who have been installed as members of the Hall. In addition, 23 organizations have been honoured for their contributions by receiving the Belt of Orion Award of Excellence.
Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame is located at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alta.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the event starts at 6:00 p.m.
David Charles Fairbanks, DFC (two bars)
Born in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1922 and raised in the United States, David Fairbanks enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in early 1941, earned his pilot’s wings and instructed in Canada before being posted to the U.K. He quickly established himself as an outstanding leader, and flying the Hawker Tempest fighter, he achieved 15 victories. He commanded 274 Squadron Royal Air Force before being shot down just before VE-Day, and three times was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Post-war he finished his degree in the U.S., then returned to Canada, working for Dominion Bridge and Sperry as well as rejoining the air force in the RCAF Auxiliary.
In 1955 he joined de Havilland Canada as a test pilot. It was in this role that Fairbanks contributed to the development and market success of that firm’s Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) technology products up to the DHC-7 turboprop airliner, commonly known as the Dash 7. For his work in this field, he was posthumously awarded Canada’s oldest aviation award, the Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy in 1976. Fairbanks died suddenly at the age of 52 in 1975, having left an indelible mark on the evolution of Canada’s aviation industry.
John Peter Holding, P.Eng. MSc, FRAeS
John Holding was born in 1943 and educated in the U.K., where he acquired a highly comprehensive and practical education in aeronautical engineering at the English Electric component of British Aerospace. That was followed by a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Manchester University in 1967. After 17 years in British industry, Holding was recruited to join Canadair in the development of the Challenger twin-engine jet aircraft. For the next 25 years he was a force for innovation, product development and engineering covering every project undertaken by Canadair/Bombardier and its wholly owned subsidiaries.
The scope of Holding’s involvement in the advancement of the Canadian aerospace industry as Bombardier’s executive vice-president for engineering and product development is difficult to overstate. Post retirement, Holding has served as an industry consultant as well as board member and chairman for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He continues to work to further aerospace engineering innovation in Canada and abroad. The recipient of several distinguished awards, Holding’s international recognition was complemented with an Honorary Doctorate, which he received from the University of Montreal in 2001 for outstanding achievements in aerospace.
Barry Paul Lapointe, O.B.C.
Born in Vancouver, B.C., in 1944, Barry Lapointe graduated with honours from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in aircraft maintenance engineering in 1966. After two years in the aviation industry, Lapointe founded Kelowna Flightcraft, now known as KF Aerospace. He has been responsible for the development over 48 years of an aerospace engineering and flight services organization based in Kelowna, British Columbia. He has built Kelowna Flightcraft into one of the largest Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul operations in the world, with adjuncts dedicated to military training, charter operations and commercial delivery. In 1974, he launched KF Air Charter and from 1976 to 2015 KF operated nearly 20 aircraft carrying cargo daily across Canada for Purolator and Canada Post.
Today, nearly 80 per cent of the pilots who obtain their air force wings each pass through the doors of the KF training facility at Portage La Prairie, Man. Lapointe earned his pilot’s licence at age 16 and by 21 held a commercial pilot’s licence. Chairman and CEO of KF Aerospace, Lapointe has 17,000 fixed-wing flight hours, and in 2016 he added a helicopter licence to his qualifications. Among his many awards, in 2015 he received the Order of British Columbia.
James McGregor “Greg” McDougall
Greg McDougall, the CEO of Harbour Air, based in Richmond, B.C., was born in 1955 in Santa Barbara, Calif. McDougall began flying in 1975 and co-founded Harbour Air in 1982. His name has become synonymous with excellence in water-borne operations both in Canada and internationally largely through his company. It is now the largest floatplane organization in the world, operating scheduled service from Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, Sechelt, Comox, Whistler and the Gulf Islands in B.C. McDougall began the firm as a modest charter operation after being laid off from his job as a commercial pilot. He has taken Harbour Air from its original limited scope to a scheduled carrier serving the coastal area of British Columbia and Washington.
Flying as a pilot himself during steady expansion of the company, he now has over 8,000 hours in his log book as a pilot and his company operates from 10 bases. Both McDougall and Harbour Air have received many awards for management, service, environmental responsibility and contributions to air safety. Harbour Air is a stalwart supporter of the British Columbia Aviation Council, and Greg himself was named as Tourism Employer of the Year in 2014 by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
William Philip “Bill” Paris, C.M.
Born in Ottawa, Bill Paris (1919-2010) devoted his entire life to Canadian aviation. As a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he served with distinction with 152 Squadron Royal Air Force in North Africa as a Spitfire pilot in combat, and later as a test pilot. Following the Second World War, Bill was a flying instructor in Canada and subsequently made his mark with the Royal Canadian Flying Clubs Association, of which he was secretary-general manager for over 20 years and president for the last five years of its existence.
Paris was heavily involved with Transport Canada in the evolution of the regulatory regime governing general aviation in Canada and the reinstatement of the Webster Trophy competition for achievement in Canadian aviation. He was a founding director of the National Air Museum Society and later served as president, making the case for a proper home for the then National (now Canada) Aviation and Space Museum. One of his best-known accomplishments was the management of the technical aspects of the Great London to Victoria Air Race in 1970. He was recognized for his efforts both internationally and in Canada, including investment as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1989.