I am now in my 79th year and wondering how I got here so quickly. So here are the salient highlights as I remember them, leaving out most of the mundane crap I hope.
I was born in in 1939 in Sydney, Nova Scotia (the steel city of the east at the time) as the only son of a steel worker father in a family with five sisters at the start of World War 2. My only recollection of the war a vague remembrance of closing the curtains one night after some type of air raid warning.
I made high enough grades in high school to be accepted into the ROTP (Regular Officers Training Plan) which traded a university degree for five years of military service. Ended up with an Electrical Engineering degree and a commission into the Canadian Army as a Lieutenant in RCEME, the maintenance side of the Army. Before joining my unit I married my childhood sweetheart, Joan, the best decision I have ever made. She was a definite keeper, 57 years and counting.
The Canadian Army at that time was not far past their infancy in using light aircraft and helicopters for artillery spotting and armored reconnaissance. However, due to numbers they also trained their maintenance officers as pilots to test fly aircraft after repair and maintenance. Fortunately , I was offered this golden opportunity and happily accepted. I was trained in fixed and rotary wing flying and enjoyed every minute of it. I was employed then as a Maintenance Officer/Test Pilot for eight years, three of which were in West Germany during the Cold War in 4CMBG (Canada’s suicide brigade) south Of Hannover in a little place called Soest.
Forces integration into the CAF (Canada’s Armed Forces) from three separate services (Army, Navy, Air Force) effectively closed off any chance of further flying training and I was off into maintenance postings with air units. The last 15 years of my 34 year career was spent in various headquarters positions, from technical member in the CPF (Canadian Patrol Frigate Program) and maintenance authority for all CAF radial engine aircraft to manager of an Aircraft Maintenance Management Information System (AMMIS).
Retirement in 1990 allowed me to spend more quality time with the family, our three daughters, four grandkids, and two sons-in-law. My long time hobby of rebuilding insurance right off vehicles has degenerated to mechanical work only, no more body work or painting. Curling has come and gone and except for cutting the grass, plowing snow, maintaining my equipment, and toys, and taking good care of my bride, I am left with DC3 Airways which I joined in 2004 and my MP flight plans and friends. I am enjoying both.