Oldest and Youngest CAHS Members at Hall of Fame Induction

By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary

Oldest and youngest members of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society attended the June 4 induction ceremonies for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF), held at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. George Neal, now 96, inducted as a Member of the Hall in 1995, flew his beautiful custom-painted Chipmunk in for the occasion. The flight earned him recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest active licensed pilot. The Chipmunk was on display at the Skyservice hangar, converted to a giant banquet hall for the induction. It was one of four historically important aircraft at the event. The others were a Beaver on floats, a restored Lockheed 12, and a CT-114 Tutor from the Snowbirds.

Eleven-year old Nadine Carter has been instrumental in getting recognition in Stouffville for Roy Brown, the last town where he lived. Brown was inducted as a Member of CAHF at the ceremonies. Nadine’s work has also led to the Last Post Fund purchasing a plot in the Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto where Brown’s remains are interred. This summer the Fund plans to erect an appropriate marker there for his grave.


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At the June 4 induction ceremonies for Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, shown at right is George Neal, now officially recognized as the world’s oldest active pilot. At centre is Nadine Carter with her father, Dave, at left. Nadine was given a complimentary one-year membership in CAHS in appreciation for her work in seeking recognition for Roy Brown. (Rick Radell Photo)

Also inducted in 2015 as Members of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame were Jim McBride, founder of Midwest Aviation; “Father of the Snowbirds,” career RCAF airman, the late Colonel Owen Bartley “O.B.” Philp, C.M., DFC, CD; and George Miller, O.M.M., CD, who served 35 years with the RCAF and succeeded Philp as Snowbirds commander.

Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson were honoured for their work with their company, AeroVelo Inc., which followed success of their human powered ornithopter by building of a human powered helicopter that won the $250,000 Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. For 33 years the prize had gone unclaimed. At the CAHF induction gala, they received the Belt of Orion Award for Excellence.


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Above, Todd Reichert is shown powering AeroVelo’s human powered helicopter to its record setting flight on June 13, 2013 at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. Half of their helicopter is now on permanent display at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. The ornithopter is on permanent display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy of AeroVelo Inc.)

As a footnote to the Hall of Fame induction and the CAHS convention, Nadine Carter, shown in top photo, went for her first flight in an airplane on June 29. It was provided by Lesley Page, a member of the First Canadian Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, the international organization of licensed women pilots. The flight was flown from Oshawa by Lesley in the Cessna 172 owned by Lesley and her husband, Jeff. Nadine was given the controls to handle three times. Joining her in the back seat were her father, Dave, and one of her sisters, 13-year old Clarice, who said, “That was the greatest thing I have ever done!”

Lesley and Jeff were recently honoured with a COPA Award of Merit in recognition of their extensive efforts to introduce youth and women to aviation, as well as for their leadership that had resulted in Oshawa Airport being named the 2010 “Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport” in the world.

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Shown above with pilot Lesley Page, Nadine has stated, "What I remember most is that when we landed and I got out of the plane, all I wanted to do was get back in and take off again!"