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Hornet Pilot Mourned

Capt. Thomas McQueen remembered as excellent pilot and officer

The pilot who died in the crash of his CF-18 Hornet near Cold Lake, is being described as an excellent pilot and officer.

Capt. Thomas McQueen was killed when his fighter went down during a low-level training flight. He was 29.

“He joined the RCAF as a pilot candidate 10 years ago, then became a pilot student. He completed flight training and all the requisite training to be a pilot on the CF-18 Hornet,” said RCAF spokesman Capt. Matthew Strong.

“The process to become a CF-18 pilot is quite stringent. I know exceptional pilots personally who have gone through the program and were unsuccessful. The ones who are successful are extremely talented and extremely intelligent people and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.”

His hometown of Fisherville, Ontario, near Hamilton, mourned his death and both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Gov. Gen. David Johnston both sent their condolences to his family.

McQueen was engaged to be married.

Bombardier Eyes Bigger CSeries

Air Baltic has its first CS300.
Air Baltic has its first CS300.

Bombardier isn’t ruling out building the CS500, a larger version of the new airliner that would compete even more directly with Airbus and Boeing single-aisle planes.

The comments came at the delivery ceremony for the first CS300 to Air Baltic.

“The industry always is looking for the next derivative and so we get the question quite a bit,” Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft said during the ceremony. He also said Bombardier needs to start cranking out the 360 airplanes it’s already sold.

So far, it’s only delivered four airplanes because of problems with its engine supplier Pratt and Whitney.

Air Baltic is getting 20 CS300s and would consider a bigger jet after it has all those. “We are very happy with the CS300 and then if Bombardier does something more then we are very happy to have a discussion,” said CEO Martin Gauss.

Bombardier CEO Allan Bellemare used the discussion to get a plug in for the $1 billion USD in financial aid the company has requested. He said the company could use the money to develop a new aircraft.

Stearman Donated To Museum

Skyway Stearman - crew and pilot
Skyway Stearman – crew and pilot

A Boeing Stearman of considerable significance to the Langley, B.C.-area flying community has been donated to the Canadian Museum of Flight at the Langley Airport.

The Stearman was owned by Skyway Air Services, the original operator at the airport and the foundation of the company that became global air tanker Conair.

“The importance of this machine to the community, to British Columbia, to Canada, is beyond description,” Mike Sattler, manager of the museum, told the Langley Times.

The aircraft was bought by Skyway founder Art Sellers for flight training in the 1950s.

It was donated to the museum by Art Sellers’s son David, who has special memories of the aircraft.

“We also used it for glider towing, and then my father actually taught me to fly in it when I was a young kid going to Langley High School, and I soloed in it on my 16th birthday in this same airplane,” he said.

The airplane is airworthy and will be flying again soon, said Sattler.

“It requires a little bit of light mechanical work to it, just because it’s been sitting for so long. It requires a little bit of paperwork, just because it’s been sitting for so long. But other than that, it’s fully functional right now and serviceable to fly,” he told the Times

“This machine will be seen in the skies of Langley again in short order.”