Category Archives: CAE

Have a Look! CANAV’s Fall/Winter 2021-22 List — It’s a Blockbuster Season. Also … Norseman Update, CAHS History, Bill Wheeler, Neil A. Macdougall, Austin Airways, Fox Moth Discoveries, Les Corness Treasures, James Bay Airlift, Canadair CL-260 Re-Discovered, John Ciesla’s fantastic Transportation Files, Ghost Canso/Bush Caddy Update

Welcome to CANAV’s Fall/Winter 2021-22 booklist. As usual it includes all the standard CANAV classics, with some excellent deals, especially for Air Transport in Canada at a give-away, all-in price. There are numerous new offerings, all enticing for the serious fan. It’s hard to say which is the real standout of the bunch., but I’m tending (for one) towards Chris Hadfield’s The Apollo Murders. I’ve just started to read it and I’m reminded right away (as far as writing style and enticing content go) of Ernie Gann’s Fate is the Hunter. That’s about as grand a compliment as I could give any aviation/space author. I think you need this book, but so do you need a boxload of others from this fall’s list. Take a look, you’ll see what I mean … stock up for winter.

Hot Off the Press … Red Lake Norseman Project Finale!

Norseman CF-DRD finally has been fully refurbished and again graces the Red Lake waterfront at the head of Howie Bay. To see this week’s posting, google: Kim posted an update to Save DRD – Red Lake’s Norseman icon
Please drop a few bucks in DRD’s gofundme kitty while you’re there. How painful will that be? Not at all, but you’ll have helped push the project fund to its goal of $50K, a target that a couple of years ago must have seemed so impossible. Not today it isn’t! Cheers … Larry

Canadian Aviation Society: Beginnings

Canada’s premier aviation history organization for 60+ years has been the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. Lately, I came across two historic documents that reveal some key CAHS history. Have a look at the minutes of the society’s original meeting, when it was known as “The Early Birds of Canada”. This was a name suggested by the original US-based “Early Birds of Aviation”, which included pilots who had flown prior to December 17, 1916. Soon, however, we realized that this name would restrict the breadth in coverage, so the more general, all-encompassing “CAHS” name was adopted at our second meeting. To my knowledge, none of those mentioned in the minutes are still with us. The second document from a few months later in 1963 is under the CAHS banner and states the society’s rationale. These documents were printed on a 1950s “spirit duplicator”, so it’s a miracle that they haven’t faded away to nothing by now.

A Few Photos by the Great W.J. “Bill” Wheeler, CAHS No.5

Bill Wheeler (right) and Neil A. Macdougall were two of Canada’s leading aviation writers, editors and historians. Rick Radell took this wonderful photo of them at the 2011 event at the CWH in Hamilton, when Bill so deservedly was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Bill Wheeler (1931-2020, CAHS No.5, Member Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, etc.)) spent more than 40 years as editor of the Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. As such, he really was the beating heart of the CAHS. He also spent a tour as CAHS national president. Residing in Markham since the 1960s, his day job in his younger years was commercial illustrator for such publications as Toronto’s legendary “Star Weekly”. He also produced some renowned book covers, and his illustrations fill our Journal from the early 1960s onward. For today, here are a few of Bill’s ordinary airplane photos, of which there are too many to count. We early CAHS members had much in common. While many had been involved in the development of early aviation, others were more the “arm chair” type, sharing such pastimes as reading aviation books and magazines, taking in airshows and CAHS events, being enthusiastic aviation photographers, etc.

When we met in 1962, Bill was still earning his living as an artist and illustrator. Happily, before long he got into teaching art, then enjoyed a long career at West Hill Collegiate in east Toronto, finishing as art department head. Over the decades as a hobby photographer he amassed other photos from countless sources. All these he kept lovingly in huge albums. For example, here’s a very rare photo that he saved ages ago of Leavens Brothers famous Pitcairn PAA-1 Autogyro CF-ASQ.

Leavens had started on a farm near Belleville, Ontario in the late 1920s, then moved to Toronto’s Barker Field and Pelee Island on Lake Erie. Leavens became legendary delivering supplies and mail to Pelee, teaching thousands of young Canadians to fly, and leading the way for years in spruce budworm aerial spray campaigns, and in aircraft sales and service.

Leavens’ sole Pitcairn had come to Canada in 1932, then spent more than 20 years doing everything from joyriding at country fairs to spraying and – as you see – banner towing. A bit of self-promotion is going one in this scene – Leavens always had a flying school. Thanks to Bill, this rare Pitcairn photo survives. I doubt that few in 2021 have ever before seen this one. Here also is an old b/w print from Bill’s collection showing a JN-4 on the Leavens farm in the late 1920s. One or more of the Leavens may have learned to fly on this old crate.

Here are three nice Bill Wheeler snapshots taken at Toronto’s Malton Airport c.1960. First is one of the Department of Transport’s beautiful little Piper Apaches, CF-GXV. This was an early Canadian Apache, having entered the CCAR in 1957. It served the DOT into 1965, then had a long list of operators including Calm Air in Manitoba and Drumheller Air Service in Alberta. It was missing from the CCAR by 1976. What was its fate, I wonder? Its registration eventually was assigned to a Maule. We always thought that this DOT colour scheme was the best over the decades. The only complaint here is the tiny registration. One would think that the DOT of all outfits might have known better.
Bill’s nice shot of a pair of DOT Beech 18s at Malton: CF- GXT is nearest. Just beyond is the old Canada Customs shack at Malton’s north end. Looming in the background is the recently built Skyport hangar. It’s still there in 2021 “GXT” was ex-RCAF 1540. It served the DOT 1957-69, then St. Félicien Air Services to August 19, 1971, when lost in a northern Quebec crash. Types like the Apache and Beech 18 were work-a-day DOT planes. Inspectors used them daily to travel around to dozens of airfields. They were used for check rides for private and commercial pilots getting qualified. They tested new radio or nav equipment, etc. As time passed, the Apaches and Beech 18s were replaced by newer planes such as the Aztec and Queen Air. This is one of those photos printed on a popular paper from back in the day that was somewhat mottled, so (as you can see) it’s not easy to read small details like registrations. Photographic paper makers were always trying out such new surfaces, looking for marketing gimmicks, but if only they’d stuck with a nice flat, glossy surface our photos would have more archival value in the 2020s.
Here’s a snap that Bill clicked off on the Genaire ramp at Malton showing one of the prototype Found FBA-2C bushplanes in the early 60s. CF-OZW crashed at Parry Sound on Georgian Bay in 1965. This really shows the Found for the tough little bushplane it was. It remains so to this day — a few of Founds built in the early 1960s still are at work in the bush. The first detailed history of Found appeared in Air Transport in Canada (1997). Then, in 2017 Rick Found wrote a further history – the “inside story” that he entitled Bush Hawk. With these two histories, the Found story is well covered.

Bill and Charlie

Charlie (left) and Bill out at Buttonville airport (near Toronto), where Charlie kept his beloved little CF-LVI. Looks as if this day he was doing some tinkering with LVI’s engine. Charlie was an ace of a tinkerer. Two finer Canadians one would be hard-pressed to find.

If the CAHS had two real pals from Day 1, those were Bill Wheeler and Charlie Catalano. While Bill was teaching, Charlie was a fellow who did almost anything. Once, he was managing a theatre where we held some early CAHS meetings, at other times he was repairing radios and TVs, yet again he was tinkering with a system of lights under the wings of his war surplus T-50. He’d fly over Toronto at night with the lights spelling out various advertising messages. Charlie was an innovative fellow. He and Bill were real CAHS stalwarts. There could have been no society without such members. For many years Charlie kept his own little 1945 Aeronca at Buttonville – CF-LVI. He flew it summer and winter. He and Bill made many a flight together. Here are shots that Bill took of Charlie’s “Airknocker” on skis, then towing a banner promoting a CAHS Convention some time in the 1960s. Last heard of in 2018, “LVI” was based in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

A History of Austin Airways

It was a big deal publishing CANAV’s short history of Austin Airways back in 1985, then adding to the details fairly substantially in Air Transport in Canada (1997) and The Noorduyn Norseman (Vol.2, 2013), but there’s much more to know about this great company than CANAV’s efforts. Long before I had a clue about it all, in the 1950s Neil A. Macdougall (1927-2021) of Toronto was covering the Austin story. By this time, Neil, having begun in aviation while in high school in Vancouver during WWII, was well known as a polished, professional aviation journalist.

On assignment from “ESSO Air World”, Neil did an in- depth study of Austin, visiting the company from its base at Toronto Island Airport to Sudbury and other points north. He talked to many of the key Austin people, flew in Austin aircraft, did all the photography, then put together this solid company profile. For the periodical genre, this is as good an air operator istory as you’ll find. If any writer in our so-shallow “social media” era could do half as well, he’d be a winner.

Here’s Neil’s finished product as it appeared in the January – February edition of the prestigious “ESSO Air World”. See what a professional writer and photographer at his peak could do out in the field 60+ years ago. Also, see Neil’s obituary at the end. Talk about a solid Canadian’s life well lived.

Fox Moth Discoveries

It’s always fun to come across any new airplane photo. Out of the blue, these two just popped up lately from Bill Wheeler’s files – a couple of D.H.83 Fox Moths. These planes were from the small batch built at Downsview in 1945-46 as DHC was getting back into civil aviation after its booming war years had come to a sudden halt in August 1945. Right away business in the north started to roll again, so airplanes were needed. While the DHC design team was working on what would evolve into the Chipmunk and Beaver, there was a small market for old pre-war Fox Moths. DHC turned out 53½ of these useful planes. Many went north, including one to Yellowknife for a young pilot, Max Ward.

I wonder who got this lovely air-to-air shot of Fox Moth CF- DIW? Notice the chief detail that makes this a Canadian-built version – its attractive sliding canopy. “DIW” was around Toronto when we were kids. Dave Marshall, a young fellow flying a DC-3 at Malton for the Abitibi Power and Paper Company, sometimes flew “DIW” (that looks like Dave in this shot). In 1959-60 it was based at Maple airstrip just north of Toronto. Its fuselage was red, the wings and tail feathers were yellow. I took a nice landing shot of “DIW” at one of the local fly-ins about 1960. Dave was flying that day. I happily used that shot in my first book, Aviation in Canada.

Fox Moth CF-EVK had a long career but it’s a bit of a complicated story. “EVK” had begun as the very prototype D.H.83 Fox Moth — G- ABUO. It came to Canada in May 1933, became CF-API, and that winter joined General Airways of Rouyn to toil in the northern bush. In 1937-39 it was in BC with Ginger Coote Airways, then returned to Ontario, where it hauled sturgeon in 1939 for Baillie-Maxwell of Nakina. Starting in 1940, it worked for Leavens Brothers from their Larder Lake base in northern Ontario. Damaged in a wind storm at Barker Field in January 1950, it was rebuilt by Leavens to D.H.83C standards, acquiring a new identity — D.H.83C No.54. This transpired when the salvageable parts of “API” were mated with the 54 th and last fuselage built by DHC. Re-registered CF-EVK, it appeared in DOT records as D.H.83C No.54. In 1959 it was listed in the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register to L. Lavoie of Amos, Quebec. Its C of A was current to March 1960, so it’s sometimes described as Canada’s last commercially- operated D.H.83C. After 1960, nothing is known about “EVK”. I once heard that it was destroyed when the shed it was stored in burned. Here, “EVK” looks very spiffy on skis, place and date unknown.

Three More Glorious Les Corness Photos

As usual, hardly a week passes that I’m not salivating over another of Les Corness’ wonderful old black-and-whites. First is a really classic scene from the early years of “modern” air transportation in Canada. A crowd of well-wishers is seeing off TCA DC-3 CF-TDT at Edmonton’s famous downtown airport. Here’s your basic definition of “airport security” in Canada c.1950. Delivered initially to the RCAF as FZ558 in late 1943, “TDT” next served TCA 1946-61. I photographed it in Winnipeg when it was in its final weeks with the company in September 1961, just before it was sold to Matane Air Service in Quebec. Last heard if, “TDT was derelict in Nassau in 1971 as N7709.
Next is another classic Les Corness Edmonton airport scene c.1960 showing Wardair’s Bristol Freighter CF-TFX loading a Bell 47. Great ramp action and content, right, even it Les botched his focus a titch. Happily, “TFX” eventually was saved for posterity. Today, it flies on forever atop its pylon at Yellowknife.
Since Edmonton was an aviation crossroads, hardly a day passed that it attracted some exotic transient airplane. Les must have been on Cloud 9 when he spotted this beauty one day – N5546N, a rare civilian Martin B-26 Marauder executive conversion. Having originally been USAAF B-26C 41-35071, in 1946 it was acquired by United Air Lines, then other owners followed. In 1949 it participated in the Bendix Trophy Race. From 1951-56 (or so) it served the Tennessee Gas Corp. I suspect that this was the period it visited Edmonton – there was much oil/gas industry corporate air travel to and from Edmonton and Calgary from the 1950s onward (to the present). Eventually, N5546N was acquired by the Confederate Air Force in Texas and restored to CAF warbird standards. It flew again in WWII markings in 1984. Airworthy B-26s were so rare that it a grave shock when N5546N crashed near Odessa, Texas on September 28, 1995. That day it was airborne with the pilot and four others aboard. It seems that power was lost in at least one engine, causing the plane to go down uncontrollably. All aboard perished.

Northern Aviation in 1977

In 1977 Hugh Whittington, the renowned editor of “Canadian Aviation” magazine, asked three writers to cover Canada’s Northern and Arctic Aviation scenes. Hugh Quigley headed for Yellowknife, Ted Larkin for Resolute Bay, and I for the heart of James Bay country along Quebec’s Great Whale River. This was a super opportunity for us. Besides, it always was a privilege to work for Hugh and Canada’s premier aviation trade magazine.

To start, I connected with SEBJ – la Société d’énergie de la Baie James – in Montreal to make arrangements to fly into its vast hydro development region, get briefed about what was going on up there, and how my transportation and lodging would go. In a few days I was at Dorval, where I met the man running SEBJ’s air transport operation, the legendary Frank Henley. A hardcore aviation fan and renowned aviator/businessman, Frank was keen to fill me in and get my flight north organized. Only recently he had set up an exclusive SEBJ corporate air operation using several Convair 580s. Their main task was to fly personnel, freight and mail back and forth between Dorval and SEBJ, with stops at Quebec and Bagotville.

This assignment was one of my first big breaks in aviation journalism. Even though I was getting published in the aviation press, there rarely was more than a few dollars in it for any piece of work. By comparison, Hugh was offering $750 for the SEBJ assignment. Our stories appeared in his November 1977 edition. My trip really panned out, including some very good flying in the Convairs, a couple of commercial Hercules, and some Bell choppers. I had one heck of an exciting few days. Here’s what I turned out for Hugh:

Forty-four years later? By now, the SEBJ that I saw in 1977 long-since has been producing hydro electricity for Quebec, New York and Ontario. The project has gone on to additional phases and still is on-going. Of course, the aviation scene is much changed. Long gone are the Convairs, DC-3s, Otters and Hercules. Today, such types as the PC-12, King Air and Dash 8 serve the region. Many of the fellows I met also have departed, from Frank Henley to Blake Smiley and Roy Heibel. Frank’s now a member of Quebec’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Roy later died in a helicopter crash.

Some of the SEBJ aircraft came to dramatic endings, including CF-DSX. Following SEBJ and other northern projects, in 1984 it became N39ST with Trans America, then was S9-NAI with Transafrik working in diamond mining regions of South Africa. On April 9, 1989 “NAI” was hauling fuel for the Angolan Air Force when it came under fire near Luena airfield. With two engines ablaze, it crash-landed. The 4-man crew survived, but that was the end of what once had been a famous Canadian Hercules.

The other “Herc” that I flew in on SEBJ, PWA’s CF-PWN, also had a bad ending. As N920ST, by 1989 it was doing shady work for the CIA. On November 27 that year was approaching Jamba airport in Angola. The “Aviation Safety Network” summarizes what happened: “The aircraft, flown by Tepper Aviation’s chief, reportedly was carrying out a flight on behalf of the CIA to provide the Angolan UNITA guerrilla forces with weapons. It crashed while coming in to land at Jamba. These flights were flown at night at a very low altitude to avoid MPLA radar detection. The runway at Jamba was dirt, the approach was over trees, and the portable runway lighting was probably marginally adequate.”

Here’s a page from Air Transport in Canada with photos of some commercial Hercules having Canadian connections, some quite sad. These days you can order “ATC” at a real bargain. Get this 2-volume, 5 kg, 1030-page treasure (usually $155++) for these all-in prices (pay by PayPal, etc. in Canadian dollars): Canada $65.00, USA $80.00, Int’l $160.00. No one ever has regretted having “ATC” on his/her bookshelf, and what a spectacular gift this duo always makes.

Canadair Revelation

Back in 1995 we published one of the grandest corporate aviation histories – Canadair: The First 50 Years. It really is a lovely book and will be treasured for decades by those who own the 24,000 copies that came off the bindery at Friesen printers in Manitoba. However, there’s always the reality that no matter how we try, we never really can produce the “all singing, all dancing” aviation book. All that our Canadair can do it whet a reader’s appetite for more. Well, today here’s a bit more for the avid fan.

Just like all aerospace companies, Canadair created hundreds of projects “on paper”, few of which ever developed. That’s too bad in some ways, for some of these surely would have made grand successes.

Out in today’s aviation boonies are hundreds of Cessna Caravans, DHC Beavers, Otters and turbo Otters, Kodiaks, AN-2s and other such common workhorses. They serve niche markets in a hundred-and-one ways. They’re absolutely indispensible for isolated northern communities from Labrador to Alaska, across Africa and Latin America, in the Aussie outback, in Siberia, etc. Each type has its general history, even some fame and glory, but who knew, for example, that the Caravan had its beginnings in the late 1970s as a glint in to eyes of Dick Hiscocks and Russ Bannock of De Havilland Canada in Toronto? Strange but true. The fellows envisioned an Otter replacement, took their idea to Wichita, and the rest is history (you might not see this part of the Caravan story in any official Cessna history).

All very interesting, but did you know that the first such brilliant and serious idea for an Otter replacement hailed not from Hiscocks/Bannock, but from Canadair at Cartierville in suburban Montreal? This was the Canadair CL-260 utility plane of 1970. As a builder of Sabres, Argus and CF-104s, who would expect the great Canadair to be dabbling with such a “small fry” project? That I do not know and nearly all the Canadair old boys from that era by now have passed. Does anyone out there know the details? Failing all else, here’s a nifty bit that emerged lately from the depths of the CANAV archives.

CL-260 Turbine Otter Caravan

Wing Span: 54’ 58’ 52’1”

Length: 43’2” 41’10” 37’7”

All-up Weight: 8000 lb 8200 lb 8000 lb

It’s just another fantasy airplane by now, but “what if” Canadair had produced the CL-260? Would it have changed the world long before the ubiquitous Caravan, and the other light utility planes that serve today? It’s always fun to speculate. Anyway, here are the GA drawings direct from Canadair. Who will be the first keen modeller to give this one a try? If you dare try and follow through, please send me some photos for the blog.

JFCiesla’s albums | Flickr

Have a look at John Ciesla’s fantastic transportation files. Lots of wonderful Canadian content from the great airliners of the 50s-60s to streetcars, busses, you name it. Many a trip down memory lane!

Bush Caddy Update

The last time I updated the story of the “Ghost” Canso of Gananoque, one of the photos (taken by Nick Wolochatiuk) shows a bit of a sorry-looking yellow Bush Caddy in the hangar beside the Canso. CANAV reader Jim Golz has found the story behind this interesting airplane. It’s a classic “cautionary tale” in detail, including some questions about of aircraft certification competence at Transport Canada. Use the blog search box to find our original story by entering “Bush Caddy”. Here’s the link that reveals this really amazing story … not to be missed by any true history fan, or anyone who aviates in kitplanes: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/news-and-publications/eaa-news-and-aviation-news/bits-and-pieces-newsletter/12-25-2019-wing-spar-failure-on-a-bushcaddy-l-164

Hot News from CANAV Books December 2017

Just so you know, good readers … CANAV is pushing a few new
books that you should know about. Have a look at these gems. Also,
you can listen to bush pilot/photographer Rich Hulina being interviewed
this week on CBC NW Ontario about his spectacular new book. Click
here for a nifty bit of Canadiana … http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1111491651510

Blog 1 Bush Flying Captured Facebook ad-1

Bush Flying Captured, Volume 2, by Rich Hulina … If you don’t yet have your
copy, be sure to jump in and what better time, right! Many of you already
have Rich’s Volume 1, so you know what to expect. By now, Volume 1 is out-
of-print — some folks are kicking themselves for missing out, so latch on to
Volume 2. This has to be the most beautiful book of bushplane photographs
and info that we’ve seen in a mighty long time. My take? Canada’s aviation
book of 2017! Here’s a bit more: If you’re a follower of aviation in the bush,
mountains & tundra, and of Beaver, Otter, Twin Otter, Pilatus. Helio, Beech
18, Widgeon, Goose, Cessna, DC-3, DC-4, C-46, CL-415, BAe748, etc., this beautiful book is for you. 100s of colour photos, scads of lovely air-to- airs. A gem and a bargain for any aviation fan with a pulse. 216 pages, large format, hardcover. $50.00 + $14.00 postage anywhere in Canada* + tax $3.20. Total $67.20 Payment: PayPal to larry@canavbooks.com, or post your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6 (2 or more books: flat rate $16.00)

Blog 3 The Flight 981 Disaster

The Flight 981 Disaster: Tragedy, Treachery and the Pursuit of Truth

Samme Chittum covers the horrendous DC-10 disasters of the early
widebody era. Things hit the headlines on June 12, 1972, when American
Flt96 nearly crashed near Windsor, Ontario. Concluded the NTSB: “The
improper engagement of the latching mechanism for the aft bulk cargo
compartment door during the preparation of the airplane for flight. The design
characteristics of the door latching mechanism permitted the door to be
apparently closed when … the latches were not fully engaged, and the latch
lockpins were not in place.” This was not taken nearly seriously enough so,
on March 3, 1974 a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed in Paris – at the time the
world’s worse loss of life in an airline accident. Cause? Same.

The author explains in detail how the DC-10 almost was scuttled by these
crashes, how the investigations went, how industry and government colluded
to minimize the bad PR, how forensic works in such messy events, how good
investigative reporters can positively influence results, etc. Even victims and
survivors are profiled. Other DC-10 messes also are covered, with the
narrative finely interwoven, e.g. the DC-10 crash at Sioux Falls.

If you follow airline history, you’ll want a copy of this gem of a research effort.
You can park it on your bookshelf right beside something like John
Newhouses’ The Sporty Game, which includes further disturbing history of
the DC-10. Happily, as we all know, the DC-10 survived all its early woes to
become one of the great jetliners. 232 pages, hardcover, notes, index.
$33.50 + $12.00 postage anywhere in Canada + tax $2.37. Total $49.87

Blog 2 Flying to Victory

Flying to Victory: Raymond Collishaw and the Western Desert Campaign
1940-1941 Mike Bechthold. The great Canadian WWI ace commanded the
RAF desert air force in the rough and tumble early days of the war from
Egypt across to Libya, etc. A war of Gladiators and a few Hurricanes against
a very capable (contrary to mythology) Italian force supplemented by the
Luftwaffe. How Collishaw fared, how he was recalled, the dirty politics in the
RAF, etc. 280 pages, hardcover, photos, notes, biblio and index. The No.1
Canadian book this year covering the air war. $48.00 + $12.00 postage
anywhere in Canada + tax $3.00. Total $63.00

Blog 4 CAE Story

You may not yet have your copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story.
Here’s a book that will amaze any serious reader. It’s already been hailed as
the finest “biography” in print covering any of the world’s aerospace
manufacturers. Beside the important story of the development of the flight
simulator and CAE’s leading role in that story, starting as a pipsqueak player
back in 1947, you’ll enjoy reading about CAE’s involvement in all sorts of
other products and services.
Did you know that CAE manufactured major airframe components for the
L.1011 and KC-135? Overhauled Air Canada Viscounts, and USAF fighters
and trainers? Ran its own airline? Was in the automotive and forestry
industries? Developed control systems for naval and commercial vessels?
Produced the hand controller (still in use) for the Space Shuttle and ISS?
Once you read this book, you’ll have the inside story about this great
Canadian company and be amazed at CAE’s tremendous diversity (to say
nothing about a small Canadian company developing into a world leader).
Here’s a bit more info: Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story A full-out effort covering one of the world’s great aerospace manufacturers. You won’t find many aviation books as beautifully produced or all-encompassing. The list of activities, subsidiaries and ups ‘n downs is incredible. The book brings you to the present, when CAE has the lion’s share of the commercial flight simulator market, and operates flying schools and simulation centres, helping to ease the worldwide pilot shortage. The great CAE pioneers and the generations of CAE employees are honoured by this beautifully-produced book. 392 pages, hardcover, large format, 100s of photos, glossary, bibliography, index. A serious book bargain at $65.00 + 14.00* + tax $3.95 Total $82.95

 J.P. Bickell: The Life, the Leafs and the Legacy New bio of this great Canadian who made his first fortune in grain c.1900, then went into mining, building McIntyre of Timmins into Canada’s leading gold miner. Along the way he acquired to Toronto Maple Leafs, etc. However, his role in aviation is outstanding, whether barnstorming with his WWI flying buddies in the 1920s, pioneering in corporate aviation (Stinson Reliant, Grumman Goose, etc.), wartime aircraft production in  the UK alongside Lord Beaverbrook, his leadership in building Lancasters at Malton, then backing of Avro Canada beginning in 1945. A well written and well researched book about a true Canadian business hero who did it all. 238pp, hc, photos. List $24.95 CANAV price $23.50 + $12.00 postage + $1.77 Total $37.27

You’ll enjoy any or all of these beauties. So … do yourself a big favour and keep
reading actual books! Don’t let the internet turn your brain cells to mush, right. All the best and keep in touch… Larry

See CANAV’s main Fall/Winter booklist here: https://canavbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/books-new-canav-list-2017-18.pdf

*Payment info: Pay directly to larry@canavbooks.com if using PayPal. If not, mail your cheque to CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto ON M4E3B6.

Postage reminder … 2 or more books: flat rate $16.00 anywhere in Canada. For US and Int’l orders … email me for shipping charges: larry@canavbooks.com

Canada Council Shenanigans: CAE Story Rejected, Small Canadian Publishers Need Not Apply + New Book Review + More on Canada Post at the End

 

Canada Council logoEach year the Canada Council presides over the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year’s finalists came from among hundreds of submissions in the non-fiction category. Finalists mainly were books published by one American company and American branch plants in Canada:

Mark L. Winston’s Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, from the giant American publisher, Harvard University Press.

Ted Bishop’s The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder, and Our Relationship with the Written Word, from the Canadian branch plant operation of giant American publishing conglomerate Viking/Penguin/Random House — Viking/Penguin Random House Canada.

Michael Harris’ Party of One: Stephen Harper and Canada’s Radical Makeover, from the Canadian branch plant operation of giant American publishing conglomerate Viking/Penguin/Random House — Viking/Penguin Random House Canada.

David Halton’s Dispatches from the Front: Matthew Halton, Canada’s Voice at War, from McClelland & Stewart, a subsidiary of American branch plant operation Penguin — Penguin Random House Canada

Armand Garnet Ruffo’s Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird, Douglas & McIntyre, a subsidiary of Howard White’s BC-based Harbour Publishing

Good on the winning authors. However, Armand Garnet Ruffo’s Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird appears to be the only actual all-Canadian title this year. His publisher, Howard White, of BC’s Harbour Publishing/Douglas & McIntyre is a true Canadian success story all the way. Having begun as a kitchen table publisher, Howard has built up his company, which is a major operation doing important books. The company has some 600 titles to its credit.

As far as US publishers and their Canadian branch plants taking home all but one of the Governor General book awards, good on them as well. They met the Canada Council’s specs. However, it seems a bit goofy of the council that, at the bottom end of the book publishing “food chain”, small all-Canadian, internationally acclaimed publishers such as CANAV Books get the bum’s rush out of Rideau Hall regarding the Right Honourable David Johnston’s Governor General’s book awards. Here’s the story.

Since 1981 CANAV Books has published 36 important Canadian titles honouring Canada’s aviation heritage. CANAV has established the standard for publishing in its niche. Several of its titles are official best-sellers and all have been reviewed glowingly in the Canadian and international press. Besides my own CANAV titles, I’ve published seven other Canadian authors.

For the first time since 1981, in 2015 I decided to enter a book in the Governor General’s awards competition, non-fiction category. I submitted Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story which, by the initial feedback, meets the mark as an authoritative, finely-produced piece of work covering a major Canadian success story. CAE itself is Canadian to the core. By now it’s “way up there” in the big leagues, having started humbly in a grubby little war surplus hangar in 1947. So … The CAE Story certainly warranted a good look as a real book entered in the the Governor General’s awards.

Months went by with no word from the Canada Council. Finally, in late October 2015 the finalists were announced, Bee Time from Harvard University Press in Massachusetts taking top prize. CANAV had no word about the awards celebration, etc., dead silence until, that is, I received a letter from the council dated May 4, 2016, explaining how The CAE Story did not even qualify as a Canadian book worthy of the Governor General’s consideration.

In its letter the Canada Council explains: “The publishing house does not meet the eligibility criteria established in the program guidelines”, since, “over 25% of titles published by CANAV Books were written by owners, family or employees of the publishing house.” Apparently, The CAE Story is not a real book. Can you imagine? Guidelines … what in the world, eh! Does the Governor General know about his organization’s arbitrary rule freezing out an important niche in Canadian book publishing?

The fix seems to be in at the Canada Council. Instead of encouraging legitimate, homegrown Canadian book publishers, it’s partying with its mainline/A-team US book publishing pals, while small Canadian players summarily get thrown under the bus by draconian fiat. It looks like a bit of a crock up at the Canada Council. The organization needs to get back to the basic business of encouraging (not squishing) legitimate, world-class, Canadian book publishing.

Let’s hope the Governor General might take the Canada Council to the wood shed for a good straightening out. Maybe then we can get the “Canada” back into “Canada Council”, eh.

Meanwhile, the worldwide press and our loyal readership continue to comment. Today, I heard from aerospace professor, writer, blogger (“Passion Aviation: Blogue aéronautique de Pierre Gillard”) and photographer, Pierre Gillard, who reviews The CAE Story:

Infatigable, Larry Milberry s’est lancé dans la rédaction de l’historique du célèbre fabricant de simulateurs de vol CAE. Après les deux ouvrages de référence consacrés au Noorduyn Norseman, voici donc un autre sujet diffusé dans la série « Aviation in Canada » relatif à une entreprise établie au Québec. L’histoire de la compagnie débute à l’aéroport de Saint-Hubert où CAE occupe un hangar situé le long du chemin de la Savane pour y effectuer de la maintenance et du reconditionnement d’appareils électroniques issus de surplus militaires. La compagnie prend ensuite de l’expansion, notamment, en étant associée au développement de tours de transmissions destinées au système de navigation LORAN dans le nord-canadien. Puis les activités commencent à se diversifier dans d’autres secteurs industriels comme la télévision, par exemple, et, simultanément, CAE s’établit dans de nouvelles installations situées à Ville-Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Avec l’acquisition de l’Avro CF100 par l’Aviation royale canadienne débute réellement le développement de l’expertise de CAE dans le milieu des simulateurs de vol. C’est assurément cette activité qui rendra la compagnie célèbre dans le monde entier. L’auteur détaille donc méticuleusement la chronologie des différents projets de simulation, qu’ils soient civils ou militaires. Mais il n’oublie pas en chemin le volet humain de l’aventure de CAE grâce à de nombreuses entrevues et récits de membres du personnel qui viennent rehausser le texte d’histoires vécues et d’anecdotes. Il détaille aussi les nombreuses autres activités, souvent un peu moins connues, de la compagnie que ce soit dans le secteur médical, les centrales nucléaires ou la maintenance d’aéronefs à Winnipeg, par exemple. Même s’il manque l’un ou l’autre contrat dans l’immense énumération détaillée de l’ensemble des projets de simulateurs de vol, ce livre va au-delà des attentes que l’on peut avoir pour ce genre d’ouvrage. Tout comme l’ensemble de l’œuvre de Larry Milberry, “The CAE Story” est un incontournable et deviendra, très certainement, une référence mondiale en ce qui concerne l’histoire des simulateurs de vol.Canav Books, Toronto, ON, 2015, 392 pages, environ 750 photos. ISBN 978-0-921022-44-2.

You can see CANAV’s years-long Canada Post lamentations by scrolling back to various blog items. Have you heard today (June 22) that Canada Post CUPW this summer is threatening another strike? Talk about depressing, eh. Yesterday yet another neighbour brought me my very important First Class mail, which he had received from the letter carrier. Should we really be giving these well-paid public employees another raise so they can regularly deliver our private mail to other people’s houses? To tell you the truth, we’re getting a little tired of Canada Post’s “Get to Know your Neighbours” mail delivery plan. Someone needs to whip this once-wonderful public service back into shape, but to where, to whom do we turn for help?

CAE News and Views

Photo 1 Kapadia Book Cover 5-2016

CAE retiree, Mehr Kapadia, has published an important memoir covering his lifelong career in engineering. Entitled An Old Engineer Remembers, Mehr describes the book understatedly as “a short history of what early real-time computer control systems and electronic systems engineering were like”. This is a serious “must read” book for anyone with a professional connection to these themes, who’s in the overall business world, getting into engineering as a young person, or simply interested in “what goes on” in an industry that touches our lives every instant of the day. Who wouldn’t be interested, right?

Mehr outlines his younger days leading to his first job as a junior software man at English Electric in the UK, then covers subsequent jobs, such as automating underground processes at a mine in Arctic Norway. As his story unfolds, he illustrates how computers and software evolved, but also includes interesting anecdotes about all the travels to do with his work — what people are like in different corners of the world, all the great learning experiences as one travels hither to thither, etc.

Eventually, Mehr moves to Canada to begin a lifelong career with CAE. He describes much about how software-oriented projects are conceived, bid upon, then won or lost in the market place. He adds graphic descriptions of all sorts of projects, especially where computer control systems are paramount, such as controlling flight simulators, shipboard machinery and weapons control, machinery and electric power transmission for the great James Bay hydro project of the 1970s, the same for vast hydro systems in as China, the USA, Venezuela, global air traffic control systems, etc.

Mehr enjoyed CAE from Day 1, including such aspects as its international mindset, observing: “The easygoing internationalism is one of the nicest things about working in Canada … a company like CAE is too large to exist by solely relying on the Canadian market. It had to become truly international right from its early days, so an internationally flavoured staff was a big plus. We could always find someone to speak and understand almost all the major world languages and cultures.”

CANAV’s own Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story is already recognized as the benchmark for the company’s general history. However, what Mehr’s book does is explain things in depth vs my book’s sweeping view. So … these two books are nicely complementary. Anyone who already has The CAE Story will delight in Mehr’s book, mainly for its detailed explanations and opinions about such leading edge projects as how, with CAE as prime contractor, Ontario Hydro computer-automated its great nuclear power plants of the 1970s, how the Canadian Forces did likewise with its fleet of new “City Class” patrol frigates, or how Transport Canada automated air traffic control from BC to Newfoundland. While The CAE Story has something to say about such topics as flight simulator visual systems, Mehr’s book drills down into that and such other special CAE topics as computers – how they have evolved, which types suit particular projects, etc.

An Old Engineer Remembers is necessary reading for anyone with an interest in what CAE has achieved over its seven decades. Any employee or retiree really needs a copy … point finale! Certainly, every present executive and CAE board members must read this book. Without doing so, their education “will be sadly lacking”, as one of my old-time high school teachers used to say. The book’s also highly recommended for students beginning any level of engineering studies, and for engineering department heads who should seriously consider it as obligatory course reading. Naturally, not all is “rosy” with Mehr’s coverage, for CAE does come in for its criticism, especially regarding management (e.g., decision’s badly made, or, CAE’s need “to continuously fight the bureaucratic tendency … to play safe”). Every company needs its retirees to write about their working careers, and Mehr Kapadia has done so royally.

Get your copy of An Old Engineer Remembers here . This book is a few dollars very well spent and I had my copy delivered within a few days. Meanwhile, if you still don’t have your copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Storyclick here to order online.

CAE Prestige Club Gala

: The Prestige Club’s Mike Cregan (left) works the registration table at CAE on May 26. Long a devotee of CAE heritage, Mike was an invaluable part of CANAV’s push to produce its landmark history of CAE.

The Prestige Club’s Mike Cregan (left) works the registration table at CAE on May 26. Long a devotee of CAE heritage, Mike was an invaluable part of CANAV’s push to produce its landmark history of CAE.

On Thursday, May 26, 2016 members of CAE’s Prestige Club held their grand annual dinner at the plant on Côte de Liesse in Montreal. Prestige Club members have put in 25 years with the company (I met one retiree with 42 years on the payroll).

Attending this year’s event, I was able to meet (for the first time in person, in several cases) many CAE people who had helped me complete a company history that was as authoritative as possible. Shaking hands with the likes of Byron Cavadias, Mike Cregan, Bob Duthie, Frank Morrow, Dave Tait, Bob Kemerer, Jack Shlien, Rolf Vissers and Les White was an amazing honour.

A small corner of the Prestige Club crowd during cocktail hour. As you can see, it was all about conviviality.

A small corner of the Prestige Club crowd during cocktail hour. As you can see, it was all about conviviality.

CAE pioneers Dave Tait and Jack Schlien. A Arriving from New Zealand, Dave joined CAE in 1958, following a stint at NRC/CARDE analyzing interception scenarios for the Avro Arrow. Jack started in 1968. Both rose to senior positions.

CAE pioneers Dave Tait and Jack Schlien. Arriving from New Zealand, Dave joined CAE in 1958, following a stint at NRC/CARDE analyzing interception scenarios for the Avro Arrow. Jack started in 1968. Both rose to senior positions.

Mike Cregan greets Bob Barnard, two key supporters when it came to various historical topics and fact checking as the CAE book. Bob joined CAE from the RCAF in 1960, his first of many projects being the Argus Tactical Crew Procedures Trainer. The TCPT now is on display in the museum as RCAF Station Greenwood.

Mike Cregan greets Bob Barnard, two key supporters when it came to various historical topics and fact checking as the CAE book. Bob joined CAE from the RCAF in 1960, his first of many projects being the Argus Tactical Crew Procedures Trainer. The TCPT now is on display in the museum as RCAF Station Greenwood.

George Morrow joined CAE after a short service stint in the RCAF. There, his first great adventures were navigating 408 Squadron Lancasters across the Arctic. While at CAE, he also had a long career with 401 Squadron at St. Hubert, where he rose to be LCol Morrow. George travelled to the Prestige Club dinner from his home on Vancouver Island.

Frank Morrow joined CAE after a short service stint in the RCAF. There, his first great adventures were navigating 408 Squadron Lancasters across the Arctic. While at CAE, he also had a long career with 401 Squadron at St. Hubert, where he rose to be LCol Morrow. Frank travelled to the Prestige Club dinner from his home on Vancouver Island.

Here I am with Byron Cavadias, who ran CAE Electronics Ltd. longer than anyone and, basically, laid the foundation for the company as the world knows it today.

Here I am with Byron Cavadias, who ran CAE Electronics Ltd. longer than anyone and, basically, laid the foundation for the company as the world knows it today.

Bob Duthie and I. Byron assigned Bob many crucial projects, the unusual Iranian CH-47 Chinook flight simulator included. Bob’s work took him to the far corners of the world over the decades – par for the course for CAE people.

Bob Duthie and I. Byron assigned Bob many crucial projects, the unusual Iranian CH-47 Chinook flight simulator included. Bob’s work took him to the far corners of the world over the decades – par for the course for CAE people.

One of the 40 or so tables at this year’s Prestige Club gathering included (seated) company pioneers Bob Kemerer, Jack Shlien, Byron Cavadias and Gilles Sevingy.

One of the 40 or so tables at this year’s Prestige Club gathering included (seated) company pioneers Bob Kemerer, Jack Shlien, Byron Cavadias and Gilles Sevingy.

This year’s many Prestige Club door prizes included several classic CANAV titles. These fellows were the lucky winners! Take at look at this great photo by CAE’s Noella Theriault and dwell on the fact that, even though CANAV Books has been labouring since 1981 at producing best selling Canadian books, the Canada Council in Ottawa does not consider it to be a real book publisher. Our world-class titles are not eligible for the Governor General’s Canada Council book awards.

This year’s many Prestige Club door prizes included several classic CANAV titles. These fellows were the lucky winners! Take at look at this great photo by CAE’s Noella Theriault and dwell on the fact that, even though CANAV Books has been labouring since 1981 at producing internationally acclaimed Canadian aviation heritage books, the Canada Council in Ottawa does not consider CANAV to be a real book publisher. Our world-class (often best selling)  titles are not eligible for the Governor General’s Canada Council book awards.

I’m still hearing from people in the know with their informed critiques of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. Lately, when Mehr Kapadia first got in touch, it was by way of his comments about the book. He comments:

Dear Larry … my congratulations. Your recent CAE history really is a great, well-researched book. I’ve found it most interesting going through the early history from long before I joined the company. You have to be complimented for the effort and care that you took. We Canadians have a bad habit of not blowing our horn when we achieve something great. As I might have mentioned, I am of the opinion that CAE probably was the world’s best systems engineering company for many years. I think I can say that, as over the years I dealt with most of the best large US and UK engineering companies and I never came across any as good as us.

Still don’t have your copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story, order online here!

Evolution of an Aerospace Company History

 

CAE dust jacket

No sooner does any history get into print than the author starts hearing from the readership. Some have fresh material to contribute about some topic covered, others are pointing out the author’s sins of commission or of omission. All this is important stuff and provides an author with a close-in take on how a book is faring.

Over the decades the great Fred Hotson gathered tidbits and insights from his readers about his wonderful book, The De Havilland Canada Story. The book had its roots with Fred’s modestly-published 50th anniversary of DHC. Then, as the Dash 8 began taking shape at Downsview in the early 1980s, DHC president, John Sandford, asked Fred to expand on his “50th” effort. Late in 1981 I was brought into the picture as publisher. Mr. Sandford let us know that he needed the book for the Dash 8 rollout, so don’t even think of missing that deadline.

Working with Fred, editor and designer, Robin Brass, and such artists as Pete Mossman and Ron Lowry, I set my sights on the Dash 8 rollout. Somehow, it all panned out and The De Havilland Canada Story was delivered three days before the Dash 8 ceremony of April 19, 1983.

Publisher Milberry, DHC President Sandford and author Hotson at the Dash 8 rollout. The Dash 8 and the DHC book developed simultaneously and rolled out together on April 19, 1983. Plane and book are still going strong.

Publisher Milberry, DHC President Sandford and author Hotson at the Dash 8 rollout. The Dash 8 and the DHC book developed simultaneously and rolled out together on April 19, 1983. Plane and book are still going strong. New copies of the book now are available via Viking Aircraft in Sidney, BC.

No sooner was the book in print, than Fred was wanting to get our fast-selling first edition “cleaned up”. Our second edition included numerous tweaks, still more were added in a third. As the years passed, Fred faithfully kept on top of his story to the point that, in 1999, we ended with such a pile of DHC history updates, that not a fourth edition, but a whole new book came about, re-titled De Havilland in Canada. Since then, more than 15 further years have floated by, so yet another major makeover of Fred’s book beckons.

So it has happened with Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. Launched last September 30, the book has panned out nicely so far. Major criticisms mainly are of perceived omissions – why not more details about this project or that, why so much about such and such, etc. Of course, that’s where subjectiveness arises – everyone’s a critic, right. Were ten authors to write ten histories of CAE, there would be ten completely good, but, different takes, yet all ten still wouldn’t satisfy some readers. However, it’s rare that even two takes are ever made about a company’s history. So … for now, Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story is “it”.

Among the many readers from whom I’ve heard since the CAE book appeared last September is Roy Lefebvre, a company retiree, who specialized in flight simulator evaluations and installations. Formerly an RCAF CF-100 pilot, Roy loved his time getting flight simulators to work at their best. He even was involved with Air New Zealand’s amazing DC-10 “terrain model board” flight simulation system. In the book I also describe one of Roy’s visits to TWA to evaluate and tweak its B.727 simulator. On p.213 is a beautifully staged photo by Pierre Giroux of this shiny new CAE “sim” with the cockpit crew looking sharp and ready to “fly”. But who was this crew? So far, no one could remember their names, not even the folks at the TWA museum in Kansas City, Missouri, whom I asked. Finally, however, we have cracked into this mystery with one name.

 

The TWA crew on the flight deck of their new 727 full flight simulator at CAE in Montreal during the acceptance phase. Until now, we didn’t know the fellows’ names. Now we know that senior TWA Captain George André is in the left seat. (Pierre Giroux)

(Click to see the picture full screen.) The TWA crew on the flight deck of their new 727 full flight simulator at CAE in Montreal during the acceptance phase. Until now, we didn’t know the fellows’ names. (Pierre Giroux)

This is what Roy Lefebvre wrote to me on March 25, 2016:

While leafing through “CAE” recently, I noted the picture at the bottom of page 213 and now recall the name of the pilot in the captain’s seat – it’s George André, whom I had gotten to know, when he was the TWA pilot in charge of CAE 727 sim procurement and acceptance.

I had been involved in the marketing process with TWA in Kansas City, and developed a great respect for George. He was a prince of a man, but you had to work hard to learn much about his background. I did learn that he had flown the SR-71 Blackbird, but George wasn’t revealing too many details back in those days.

So, today I did a google George, and what a resume! I found that in 2013 he published an amazing personal story, Wingspan – from J3 to Mach 3. In 2014 he had spoken to the Missouri Aviation Historical Society, which summarized his main accomplishments: “Over his impressive flying career, George has served as a USAF fighter pilot, Lockheed Martin test pilot flying (among other types) the SR-71 Blackbird out of Groom Lake, a longtime airline pilot for TWA, an airshow pilot, and the oldest Reno air-racer in show history — among many other achievements. The presentation was truly magnificent and shed light on some of the greatest milestones in American aviation from someone who flew them firsthand.”

As well as being the CAE pilot assigned to TWA’s 727 sim, I worked with marketing to help secure this contract, which was a first for the 727 from a mainline US air carrier. Among other “firsts”, with this project CAE introduced the popular Fortran computer language, which was considered a breakthrough. This led to some difficult times during in-plant acceptance, in that the less efficient (but user friendly) Fortran overloaded our computer, resulting in some apparent shortfalls, where I felt compelled to support George. This was the first time I felt the squeeze between us and the customer.

Last week, even more details about the photo and the TWA 727 “sim” emerged. Earlier I had tracked down George André and had a great chat with him. I ordered a copy of Wingspan, and George promised to add his own details about the p.213 photo. Here’s what George sent:

Hi Larry … The picture in question is not the one I envisioned.  I am in the left seat and my flight engineer, who was my assistant in the program, is Stacy Patterson. At the time, Stacy was the 727 flight engineer training manager, later to become the 727 pilot training manager. In the third seat is a TWA simulator engineer/technician whose first name I remember is Tom, but I forget the last. Being forty years ago, I have no idea who might be around to ask.

Regarding some stuff from the CAE book- I was tasked to be the project manager for the acquisition of two 727 advanced simulators for TWA purchase around 1976. The only viable contenders were Link, which had furnished all of our previous simulators, Redifon in England, and CAE.

Link obviously felt it had the job, hands down, and that was evident by the apparent lack of enthusiasm in pleasing us in order to win the contract. Redifon wanted badly to gain a foothold with a major US carrier, and bent over backwards. This, delightfully, included considerable wining and dining, hosting at the Paris Air Show and about anything else my team desired.

In the end, I believed CAE with a new DEC computer had the most promise for achieving the nirvana in simulation. Having a simulator so advanced that it would replace the entire flight envelope, meant, primarily, that it could be used for landings. CAE was most co-operative. Together we developed an advanced instructor station that greatly modernized the instructor tasks and capabilities.

After many months of construction and proving runs, and nearly full time residence in Montreal for me, we had our machine. The biggest glitch would turn out to be the new computer, which had a lot of growing pains. I would personally take a lot of heat for my CAE decision, putting faith in a new computer design, but, in the end it all worked out.

I spent many enjoyable work and social sessions with Byron Cavadias and David Tait, and regret not staying in touch with them. At that time I was involved with the restoration of my WWII Bücker Jungmann biplane. Byron informed me that the famed Adolf Galland, a senior Luftwaffe commander in WWII, was a CAE representative in Europe. Byron kindly informed the General of my plane and we received a nice letter from Herr Galland, saying that he had flown the plane and had good memories thereof. I still have that letter somewhere.

Some comments in the CAE book differ somewhat from my recollections, which could be erroneous on my part. You point out how United achieved first Phase III simulator approval in the early eighties with a CAE unit. This is what I remember. United did achieve the first approval of a simulator for the landing maneuver around 1979, but it was done with a Link unit with a staff of four 727 pilots and numerous (10, I heard) engineers from Link. We were trying to beat them to the punch. I was the only pilot on TWA’s effort and had the help of one CAE engineer. We did all of the tests and downloaded reams of data to prove the simulator replicated the aircraft with high fidelity.

I personally hand-carried several heavy boxes of evidence to FAA headquarters in Washington and presented our request for approval. It was given and we achieved the second landing approval behind United, sadly a few weeks later. To this day, it is one of my proudest professional achievements. Subsequently we were able to completely train a 727 pilot totally in a simulator, a feat unheard of in earlier times. Cheers … George

 

 

Ancient CAE 737-200 Flight Simulator Still Doing Valuable Work after 45 years

CAE and Eastern Provincial Airways staff with the new EPA 737 flight simulator at the factory early in 1976 during final approval and acceptance. (Ed Bermingham)

CAE and Eastern Provincial Airways staff with the new EPA 737-200 flight simulator at the factory early in 1976 during final approval and acceptance. In 2020 this vintage “flight sim” remained in daily use at CAE’s Vancouver (YVR) training centre — some 45 years later! (Ed Bermingham)

The cockpit of the EPA 737 simulator during approval at CAE in 1976. (Ed Bermingham)

The cockpit of the EPA 737-200 simulator during approval at CAE in 1976. (Ed Bermingham)

In the 1970s CAE remained a tiny competitor in the flight simulator world dominated by such giants as Link in the United States and Redifon in the UK. Nonetheless, CAE was winning a few contracts and already had a reputation for delivering high-quality products.

Initially introduced in Canada by Nordair in 1968, the Boeing 737-200 soon was delivering outstanding service and profits to Canadian operators — CPAir, EPA, Nordair, PWA and Transair.

So far there was no 737 “flight sim” in Canada, but the 737 was gaining in popularity, so training demands were increasing. Finally, in 1975 CAE won a contract to supply Halifax-based Eastern Provincial Airlines with a 737-200 full flight simulator to train its pilots.

EPA 737s CF-EPO and CF-EPP at Wabush in 1975.

EPA 737-200ss CF-EPO and CF-EPP at Wabush in 1975. (Larry Milberry)

CF-EPL landing at Toronto. Two since have "gone for pots and pans", while CF-EPP was wrecked while landing at Gander in 2001. Even though nearly all the early Canadian 737s by now are long since retired, the CAE ancient sim on which hundreds of 737 pilots trained since 1976 remains in daily use. (Larry Milberry)

CF-EPL landing at Toronto. Two of these three 737s since have “gone for pots and pans”, while CF-EPP was wrecked while landing at Gander in 2001. Even though nearly all the early Canadian 737-200s by now are long since retired, the ancient CAE/EPA sim on which hundreds of 737-200 pilots trained since 1976 remains in daily use. (Larry Milberry)

Unless Canadian operators were doing sim training in the US, pilot training and qualification upgrades mainly still were being done expensively in the airplanes as “OJT” — on the job training. Having its own sim instantly enhanced training at EPA. Delivered early in 1976, the sim remained in Halifax at least into 1984. Other  737 operators bought time on it, so it turned into a valuable cash cow for EPA.

In 1984 EPA was sold to Canadian Airlines International of Vancouver. Some time thereafter, EPA’s 737 sim was shipped across Canada to Vancouver.

The 1976-model CAE Boeing 737-200 flight simulator as it sits today in the Air Canada training centre in Vancouver. Note that it remains in its vintage Canadian Airline International colour scheme.

The 1976-model CAE Boeing 737-200 flight simulator as it sits today in the Air Canada training centre at Vancouver. Note that it remains in its vintage Canadian Airline International colour scheme. (A.T. Jarvis)

the present day cockpit. Note that the basic instrumentation remains, while numerous improvements have been added (compare with the original version above). (A.T. Jarvis)

The present day cockpit. Note that the basic instrumentation remains, but how numerous improvements have been added (compare with the original version above). (A.T. Jarvis)

The old-fashioned looking instructor's station in the 1976 sim. Clunky, but it works. (A.T. Jarvis)

The old-fashioned looking instructor’s station in today’s sim. Clunky, but it works. (A.T. Jarvis)

Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story

To get your personal, signed copy of this spectacular Canadian aerospace history, please go to our home page http://www.canavbooks.wordpress.com  Or … contact author Larry Milberry at larry@canavbooks.com  The CAE Story will give you years of enjoyable reading. This is Canada’s and one of the world’s finest aerospace corporate history  — you’ll agree when you start turning the pages!

Photo Gallery: Canada’s Historic 737-200 Fleet

This series of photos illustrates some of the many airlines whose pilots have  trained for nearly half a century on this reliable old example of CAE technology.

Canada's first Boeing 737 was Nordair's CF-NAB. This historic 737 soon was serving points from the High Arctic to the tropics. 737 operations on ice were pioneered by Nordair. Sadly, "NAB" is long gone -- who would ever dream of saving such a valuable piece of Canadian air transport history, right! (All, Larry Milberry)

Canada’s first Boeing 737 was Nordair’s CF-NAB. This historic 737 soon was serving points from the High Arctic to the tropics. 737 operations on ice were pioneered by Nordair. Sadly, “NAB” is long gone — who would ever dream of saving such a valuable piece of Canadian air transport history, right! (All, Larry Milberry)

CP Air's 737 C-GCPT landing at Vancouver in September 1986.

CP Air 737 C-GCPT landing at Vancouver in September 1986.

Transair 737 CF-TAO at Toronto on January 5, 1974.

Transair 737 CF-TAO at Toronto on January 5, 1974.

NWT Air 737 C-GNWT waits at Winnipeg on November 14, 1990 for its next DEW Line re-supply mission. NWT Air today is part of FirstAir, whose 737-200 pilots still train on the famous old CAE sim in Vancouver.

NWT Air 737 C-GNWT waits at Winnipeg on November 14, 1990 for its next DEW Line re-supply mission. NWT Air today is part of FirstAir, whose 737-200 pilots still train on the famous old CAE sim in Vancouver.

NWT eventually was sold to Air Canada, so adopted the new owner's fleet colours. These NWT Air 737-200s were  at Yellowknife on August 18, 1995 (C-GNWN nearest).

NWT eventually was sold to Air Canada, so adopted the new owner’s fleet colours. These NWT Air 737-200s were at Yellowknife on August 18, 1995 (C-GNWN nearest).

Pacific Western Airlines was a major Canadian 737-200 operator, which also trained pilots in the EPA sim over the years. Here, C-GJPW waits at Edmonton "Muni" on May 17, 1987.

Pacific Western Airlines was a major Canadian 737-200 operator, which also trained pilots in the EPA sim over the years. Here, C-GJPW waits at Edmonton “Muni” on May 17, 1987.

Canadian North uses the Air Canada/CAE 737-200 sim. Here C-GDPA 737-200 (formerly of Dome Petroleum) arrives at "YFB" Iqaluit on a February 2006 quick turn-around from Ottawa bound for Rankin Inlet and Yellowknife.

Canadian North uses the Air Canada/CAE 737-200 sim. Here C-GDPA 737-200 (formerly of Dome Petroleum) arrives at “YFB” Iqaluit on a February 2006 quick turn-around from Ottawa bound for Rankin Inlet and Yellowknife.

RCAF Commits to the Most Advanced in Simulation Training

To give a sense of the depth in technology development in simulation training today, check out this recent item from Defence News: “Canada Setting the Scene for Future Pilot Training Program”It discusses where Canada’s air force is going in simulation training, when considering such fleets as the CH-147F Chinook, CC-117 Globemaster III and CC-130J Super Hercules.

For the broader history about the evolution of flight simulation, order yourself a copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story, 2015’s blockbuster aviation book of the year.

Flight Simulators Save Lives

SAS ConvairBefore the airlines had fully embraced flight simulation about 1975, many aircraft were lost unnecessarily in training accidents. In Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story, such dreadful cases as the Air Canada and Air New Zealand DC-8 training flight crashes are cited. Someone could write a lurid book about all those avoidable accidents.

From the 1950s the airlines took a good 25 years before concluding that such advanced pilot training must be done only in a modern flight simulator equipped with motion and visual systems. Some airlines came kicking and screaming to the flight simulation table, but that era finally had become ancient history by 2015.

In doing some misc. research lately, I came across yet another crazy mishap caused by taking up a crew-in-training in an expensive airliner, then introducing them to a dangerous scenario. This involved an SAS Convair 440 training instructor at Stockholm retarding the power on one engine as the Convair lifted off. Usually, such challenges to the pilot-in-command were not announced in advance.

This incident involved Convair 440 SE-BSU on November 1, 1969 (shown above is a fine period view of “BSU” taken by my old photography pal, the late, great Wilf White of Glasgow). The accident report (available at the Aviation Safety Network) concludes: “An engine failure was simulated during the takeoff (at V1). The yaw was corrected and the Convair lifted off the runway. When airborne, the left wing dropped slowly, causing the aircraft to drift to the left. Power was restored to the No.1 engine, but the left wing hit the ground and the aircraft crash-landed. The nose and right main gear collapsed.”

End result? One lovely Convair 440 unnecessarily wrecked. Happily, the four pilots aboard survived, but with many similar training flights since 1960, there were tragic outcomes. In another of the hundreds of such crashes over the decades, on February 6, 1992, USAF C-130B Hercules 58-0732 crashed near Evansville, Indiana, while simulating engine failure during an in-flight training session. This “real life” exercise cost 16 lives. Although they have clearly been slow learners, today’s airline and military operators finally are with the program, almost all such training now being done “in the sim”

You can get the big picture about how the airlines gradually adopted flight simulation, by ordering yourself a copy of Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story, 2015’s blockbuster aviation book of the year.

 

ETSA Comments on Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story + the Ottawa Citizen gives it a nice nod.

A few days ago I was elated to hear from the European Training and Simulation Association about The CAE Story. There couldn’t be a more important such organization in the world, so how encouraging it is to have ETSA’s blessing for the CAE book. ETSA secretary, Steve “Wilkie” Wilkinson,  comments :

“I have just finished reading an absolutely fantastic book written by one of our ETSA Members, Larry Milberry from CANAV Books, entitled Aviation in Canada – The CAE Story.

This recently published authoritative history is packed with facts about the major simulator manufacturer and is enhanced by a wealth of interesting photographs.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the simulator industry, who is keen on aviation, or who just wants a good read! Further details, together with details of how to obtain your own copy are given here.”

For and on behalf of the European Training and Simulation Association,

~ “Wilkie”

Earlier, in the Ottawa Citizen of October 9, business writer David Pugliese gave a welcomed “mention” to our new book:

“CANAV Books has just produced a new volume to its Aviation in Canada series. This one deals with one of Canada’s most successful aviation firms, CAE… This is Volume 7 of the series begun in 2008. Like all Aviation in Canada books, this one is lavishly illustrated with rare photos, both in colour and black and white. It is a whopping 392 pages.

There is lots of inside information … There are even some strange tales from the 1960s such as the deal CAE had to produce a simulator for Jugoslovenski Aerotransport (JAT). The company didn’t have the $1.5 million for its simulator so it paid CAE in canned meat, which was then sold.”

What a treat! To read the full story click here.

CAE: “A great company & a family affair”

Fred von Veh chats at the book launch with C. Douglas Reekie, CAE’s longest-serving CEO (1967-85), who retired in 1995. Fred served many years with Stikeman-Elliot, the law firm which for decades had such a prominent influence on CAE’s affairs.

Fred von Veh chats at the book launch with C. Douglas Reekie, CAE’s longest-serving CEO (1967-85), who retired in 1995. Fred served many years with Stikeman-Elliot, the law firm which for decades had such a prominent influence on CAE’s affairs.

On September 30 CANAV Books officially launched Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story. We had the ideal venue — the Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Ave. in downtown Toronto. Gus Corujo, who is the ideal fellow to cover any such aviation event, took most of the photographs, which you can see on his blog gusair.com.

Chris Hadfield with RCMI President, Gil Taylor. It was great having Chris on hand, since he had pioneered with the CAE-developed “3 degrees of freedom” Canadarm hand controller used on the Shuttle and ISS.

Chris Hadfield with RCMI President, Gil Taylor. It was great having Chris on hand, since he had pioneered with the CAE-developed “3 degrees of freedom” Canadarm hand controller used on the Shuttle and ISS.

CANAV supporter Tom Appleton (left) had a long career at de Havilland Canada, where he influenced such key programs as the DHC-5 Buffalo (test and demo pilot, etc.). Tom later was vice-president at Bombardier of that company’s amphibious division and in 2015 was Chairman of the Board at Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. With tom is Dr. Richard Goette, who teaches history at Canadian Forces College and for years has been prominent in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.

CANAV supporter Tom Appleton (left) had a long career at de Havilland Canada, where he influenced such key programs as the DHC-5 Buffalo (test and demo pilot, etc.). Tom later was vice-president at Bombardier’s amphibious division and in 2015 was Chairman of the Board at Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. With Tom is Dr. Richard Goette, who teaches history at Canadian Forces College and for years has been prominent in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.

Key family members throwing in their support at the book launch: Milberrys Foster, Owen, Marin, Simon and Amanda with U of T staff alumnus Dr. Jack Pitre in the red sweater.

Key family members throwing in their support at the book launch: Milberrys Foster, Owen, Marin, Simon and Amanda with U of T staff alumnus Dr. (and Grampa) Jack Pitre in the red sweater.

Then, Shannon, Owen and their dad, Simon, taking off a few minutes to catch up on the Blue Jays.

Then, Shannon, Owen and their dad, Simon, taking off a few minutes to catch up on the Blue Jays.

Publisher Milberry (right) with Trent Horne. Fred von Veh and Trent were the Bennett Jones lawyers who kept the publisher from self-destructing as the CAE project came down to the final stretch.

Publisher Milberry (right) with Trent Horne. Fred von Veh and Trent were the Bennett Jones lawyers who kept the publisher from self-destructing as the CAE project came down to the final stretch.

Fans Donald Hall, Lillian Roberts, Sheldon Benner, Gordon Roberts and Chris Hadfield.

Fans Donald Hall, Lillian Roberts, Sheldon Benner, Gordon Roberts and Chris Hadfield.

Early Reaction from Our Readers

There already have been many supportive comments about the CAE book (so far the nitpickers have been keeping a low profile):

Former CAE CEO C. Douglas Reekie observes: “I am impressed with what you have accomplished. You deserve a great deal of credit for undertaking this task and for doing it so well. There should be a medal for you for perseverance.”

Notes Fred Moore, the test pilot who, as a young man, helped CAE salvage the CF-100 flight simulator, when the project was on the brink of collapse, “What an impressive book full of historic detail and a wealth of photos. On top of that, it’s an easy, entertaining read.” Fred is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

General W.K. “Bill” Carr, DFC, founder of Canadian Forces Air Command, and also “a Hall of Famer”, simply observes, “The book is fantastic!”

Long-serving CAE evaluation pilot, Roy Lefebvre, notes: “Thank you, Larry. I have received my CAE book and can only say that it surpasses my fondest expectations. The quality of the book is exceptional.”

Dave Tait, who joined CAE in 1958 and eventually was a senior vice-president, writes: “You are very well regarded by the Canadian Aerospace Industry, including by a large number of retired CAE employees and much of the present staff. I am pleased that you stayed with your project. Thank you for this valiant effort.”

Robert “Bob” Hodge submits a detailed, almost page-by-page review of the book, which brought back for him a tidal wave of memories. I’m hoping to hear similarly from others, so that small gaffs can be corrected and new history added for any future version of the book. In part, Bob writes: “To me, CAE was the most exciting and interesting place to work from 1965 to 2002. The variety of research and technological developments, plant expansions, etc., going on were seemly endless.”

Here are a few of Bob’s “Memory Lane” observations:

Page 27 … Eileen Jensen in the lower right photo  was the executive secretary to Robert Cooke. She also assisted the telephone operators in the days when you actually spoke to a real person when calling CAE.

Page 32  … In the Resolute Bay photo I see Ken Robinson (far right ). I drove him to and from work for 5 years.

Page 34 … My artwork- CAE plant (since this diagram includes the  first “Elephant House” plant addition, it’s not quite from 1954, but a few years later).

Page 37 … I set up this photo with the plant maintenance guys for our photographer, Ed Birmingham, for that year’s company Christmas card.

Page 40 – I actually flew a Link “Blue Box” and took it to 4 CAE shows.

Page 82 … Robert Kemerer photo … I can’t thank him enough. I owe my CAE career to him.

Pg 91 … the C-141 Starlifter trainer panels became first Illustrating job at CAE. However, the job also brings back some sordid memories.

Page 100 … Byron with my first simulator model based on the motion system built in our model shop by Ziggy Rheul, and Steve Bradford.

Page 109 … Frank Borlace was my manager in Technical Publications before I moved to marketing. Frank was a dear friend and an extremely wise mentor. We  spent many hours playing music on keyboards and synthesizers. I’m the good looking guy in the background.

Page 115 … The F.28 illustration was my rendering. I also created artwork for most of the plaques CAE required.

Page 125 … The two “unknown” fellows here are Brian Welsh (left) and (myself wearing the pink short and bell bottom pants).

Page 161 … Slight error: the L1011 sim used a 6-DOF motion system.

Page 172 … I got to fly a mission on this Huey sim, but made a very hard landing.

Page 181 … I was one of the test subjects for Andy Lippay, while he was doing human engineering for the Canadarm controllers.

Page 182 … In this photo, Jim McLaughlin was a wonderful and powerful baritone. Any time he would break in song, everyone within earshot would stop and listen.

Page 183 … I not only got to meet the astronauts who visited CAE, but got to play with their toys. That’s me in the White Room photo.

Page 186 … This pilot “Morton” impressed me by flying the helicopter with the CAE 3-axis controller without having practiced before Pierre Giroux and I went to the NRC to record the historic moment.

Page 226 … CAE sports: I played fastball with Paul Hamilton, Don Amos and Barry Noonan the last 2 years we had a team in the Montreal Industrial Recreation Association. Later, we started a touch football league, but had to quit after 3 years due to injuries. CAE also had a couple of great bowling leagues under Frank Watts and Jim O’Donnel.

Page 254 … Pierre Giroux and I took these aerial photos from his Cessna with the doors removed and some creative co-operation from ATC at Dorval.

Page 267 … Almost froze to death in Chatham to get these pics with Pierre. The ADATS driver had to leave the hatch open because of exhaust fumes. Same page … the Emirates trainer artwork was done by Ed Tiger. In my books Edwas the most talented tech illustrator.

Page 272 … One long night to get this shot with no actual pilots. In fact, one of the stand-ins was my office clerk.

Page 292 … Aerial shot. Our oldest son, Bradley, worked for CAE for 7 years, including at the Bombardier Training Centre, performing updates and morning ready tests. Our daughter Tara was at CAE in the control systems sector. My wife, Gail, was in accounting before leaving to raise our children. So … CAE was really a family affair, as it was with so many other employees. CAE remains a great company and now it has a great and informative book to tell its story.

What Else Is Up So Far in October?

On October 5 I joined some of CAE’s people for an exclusive tour of the Vintage Wings collection at Gatineau airport near Ottawa. VW CEO, Peter Allen, was our guide, giving a running commentary about each of the aircraft from Tiger Moth to Swordfish, Lysander, Hurricane, Spitfire and Sabre. Later that day I spoke briefly to the CAE contingent, each of whom received a copy of the CAE book.

The CAE people take a break during their meeting in the Vintage Wings library to flip through their copies of “The CAE Story”.

CAE people take a break during their meeting in the Vintage Wings library to flip through their copies of “The CAE Story”.

Peter Allen of Vintage Wings briefs some of his CAE people about the museum’s WWII Fleet Finch trainer.

Peter Allen of Vintage Wings briefs some of his CAE guests about the museum’s WWII Fleet Finch trainer.

Peter’s guests with the airworthy Vintage Wings F-86 Sabre, which Chris Hadfield has been flying since 2008.

Peter’s guests with the airworthy Vintage Wings F-86 Sabre, which Chris Hadfield has been flying since 2008. (CAE Photo)

Peter’s guests with the airworthy Vintage Wings F-86 Sabre, which Chris Hadfield has been flying since 2008.

… On the same trip, I met up with my old book publishing compatriot, John McQuarrie. As sometimes has happened over the decades, we each had a new title out at the same time, so we traded books in the bar in the Hilton Lac Leamy. John’s 2016 book will be a spectacular trans-Canada photographic cavalcade. See magiclightphoto.ca for info about John’s wonderful line of books.

On the same trip, I met up with my old book publishing compatriot, John McQuarrie. As sometimes has happened over the decades, we each had a new title out at the same time, so we traded books in the bar in The Hilton Lac Leamy. John’s 2016 book will be a spectacular trans-Canada photographic cavalcade. See magiclightphoto.ca for info about John’s wonderful line of books.

Next morning Hugh Halliday picked me up for a drive into the Gatineau hinterland, mainly to spend a couple of hours at Kingsmere – the legendary get-away that William Lyon Mackenzie King built for himself back in the early 1900s. Here is a view up to the great man’s abode.

Next morning Hugh Halliday picked me up for a drive into the Gatineau hinterland, mainly to spend a couple of hours at Kingsmere. This national heritage site is the legendary get-away that William Lyon Mackenzie King built for himself back in the early 1900s. Here is a view up to the great man’s abode.

Hugh “among the ruins”, which King collected from demolition sites around Ottawa in the early 20th Century, then reconstituted in the Gatineau Hills.

Hugh “among the ruins”, which King collected from demolition sites around Ottawa in the early 20th Century, then reconstituted in the Gatineau Hills.

CAE Book Makes the Cross-Country Trip from Manitoba to CANAV

CAE Book arrival 18-8-2015 P1090300Bully for Friesen Printers of Altona and their friends at Day and Ross trucking for getting the CAE book (all 5 tons of it) delivered to CANAV at noon today!

Here is your publisher and author (moi) in the warehouse with the first book out of the box. Aviation in Canada: The CAE Story, as I see it, probably is my best effort since 1981 – tops among about 35 various titles (my expert bibliophiles will know what I mean). But …  The CAE Story is not a book for the faint of heart. It’s an in-depth history for the in-depth reader.
CAE Book arrival 18-8-2015 P1090304Who got to celebrate first today with The CAE Story? A bunch of fired-up Milberry types on the front porch of CANAV Books world headquarters — 51 Balsam Ave. in Toronto. This was actually a pretty fantastic little crowd to help me get such an important ball rolling.

For all you keen fans with your CAE book orders already in the CANAV “system”, your copy will be in the mail this week. For those of you who haven’t placed your order, you can purchase your copy online. Thanks as always for your great support and let me know what you think, OK!

All the best!

Larry