S.R. (Rick) Found
I remember it like yesterday my first flight. When I left the Canadian Navy at age twenty in 1965 I ended my first career as a sailor. My three-year tour left me with three character traits, honesty, courage and confidence, and no defined career path, only a clean sheet with a lot of ambition to do something of value.
I joined the family business, which was in full production of the recently certified light utility freighter the FBA-2C, at the rate of .65 cents an hour. It was made clear to all concerned that I was the lowest payed employee on the shop floor and to be shown no favour as an apprentice. I learned more about tools and how to use them in three months than I did in three years with my previous employer. Then fate struck.
I cut out a coupon from Time Magazine. The coupon offering to pay five U.S. dollars for a one-hour introductory flying lesson to the bearer of the coupon at an accredited flying school. The only accredited flying school I knew of at the time was Central Airways based at the Island Airport. I presented the coupon to the dispatcher, who studied it, far to long in my naive opinion, and sank in spirit when he raised his brow and said that this only covered five dollars of a flying lesson. I wanted to die right there in front of him. “Flying lessons are six dollars an hour at Central Airways”, he squealed in his high pitched heavily accented voice. I came back to life and from my meager earnings I surrendered the ransom, (minimum wage went to a dollar an hour around this time). I flew with John Skeen in a Cessna 150 for a glorious hour, an hour that started a process that changed my life. I searched the office and garbage for coupons and learned where every accredited flying school in the area was located and finally settling back at Central Airways.
Between 1965 and 1970, I flew in the Middle East, Southern Europe, North Africa, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, and a lot of Canada as far north as Alert. I had experience on PBY’s, DC-3’s and was endorsed on the DC-4.
When I joined Air Canada in 1970 I had accumulated over four thousand hours of flying time. When I retired in 1997 I had over 20,000 hours total flying time, having flown most aircraft in the company fleet from the DC-9’s to the 747.
My third career as a licensed stockbroker bond trader and senior financial planning adviser started in 1995 two years before I retired from Air Canada in 1997 and ended in 2010.
Then, with the support of my family, I embarked on my fourth career as an author.
On the floor of the shop in 1949
Flying in the North
With the Bush Hawk in 2013
Please contact me if you would like to learn more or to leave a comment.