RCAF announces pilot for 2020 CF-18 Demonstration Team

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has announced the appointment of Capt Dan Deluce as the pilot for the 2020 CF-18 Demonstration Team.

Early flying experiences with his father led Capt Daniel Deluce to pursue his private pilot's license at 16. RCAF Photo
Early flying experiences with his father led Capt Daniel Deluce to pursue his private pilot’s license at 16. RCAF Photo
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Capt Daniel Deluce

Deluce has been an avid aviation fan his whole life. Coming from a large aviation family, he was especially interested in fighter aircraft growing up thanks to his grandfather who was a RCAF Hurricane pilot during the Second World War.

Born and raised in Toronto, Ont., Deluce attended many airshows throughout his life and his fondest memories are of attending the Toronto airshow with his family, during which he was always envious of the people who got to fly above the crowds over his hometown.

Thanks to his father, a commercial pilot of forty years, Deluce started flying aircraft as a child. Beginning with basic aircraft handling and aircraft attitudes, his father’s lessons eventually evolved into family trips flying small floatplanes into fishing camps with Deluce or one of his siblings at the controls. It was these early childhood experiences in aviation that led him to pursue his private pilot’s license at 16 years old.

Studying chemical engineering at the University of Toronto only strengthened Deluce’s desire to fly high performance aircraft. To him, aviation represented the most amazing blend of science and technology, nature, and the human desire to push the limits. After graduation in 2006, he completed his civilian commercial pilot license with a multi-engine instrument rating.

Deluce then moved to Northern Ontario to work for an air charter and medevac company. After many long months working as a dispatcher, he started flying as a co-pilot on a PC-12 aircraft. He continued flying with the company until 2010 when he was accepted into the RCAF and was given the opportunity to follow his dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

After completing basic and second language training in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., Deluce began flight training in 2012. Upon completion of phase II flight training at 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Moose Jaw, Sask., he was selected to fly jet aircraft and continued training on the CT-155 Hawk where he would go on to receive his RCAF pilot’s wings.

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In 2015 following successful completion of the Fighter Pilot Course on the CF-188 Hornet at 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., Deluce was posted to 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing where he served for three years as a combat-qualified element lead and tactical instructor pilot.

Deluce began his current position in 2018 as an instructor at 419 Tactical Fighter (Training) Squadron, teaching Canada’s newest aspiring fighter pilots under the NATO Flying Training in Canada program. He is currently dual qualified on the CT-155 Hawk and continues to fly the CF-188 in training and operational roles.

Deluce has actively trained throughout Canada and the United States with the Hornet, and has served on NORAD missions across Canada. In 2017 he also deployed to Romania as part of Operation Reassurance, Canada’s contribution to NATO enhanced air policing.

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