Coming Together With Technology

By John Chalmers,

CAHS Membership Secretary

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has kept us apart with social distancing, the circumstances of the crisis have prompted us to use new ways of being together!

More and more we are seeing products such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and BlueJeans used for video conferencing, presentations, meetings and webinars. For example, this year our CAHS Annual General Meeting brought members together from across Canada with Zoom and the last few meetings of the CAHS executive have been via Zoom.

Airforce article 545However, in meetings recently I have begun to appreciate the value and use of Zoom and MS Teams. After my article about the Link Trainer appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Airforce, published by the RCAF Association, Bill Zuk of the CAHS Manitoba chapter was prompted to invite me to speak about the Link Trainer at a meeting of the chapter.

Edwin Albert LinkThat, in turn, inspired me to produce a PowerPoint show about the famed flight simulator, invented by Edwin Link and patented in 1929. So on August 27 I spoke from Edmonton to the meeting of the Manitoba chapter. In fact, online for the meeting were participants from five provinces, Alberta to Québec, and I incurred no time or costs for travel and accommodation to speak to a meeting based in Winnipeg!

CAHS Manitoba chapter president (and national CAHS secretary), Jim Bell, convened the meeting and operated Zoom, for which the chapter has a license. He and I rehearsed a couple of times online prior to the meeting to ensure that the PowerPoint show would work well – and it did. Jim also recorded the meeting, using another feature of the software.

LAC in Link Trainer 545The total experience has made me realize more fully how technology can bring together the members of the CAHS membership family to share experience and information. As well, it showed how video conferencing does more than just show the faces of folks participating. You can’t run a PowerPoint show or present other visual material in a telephone conference!

With new technology we can broaden our reach of the work done by CAHS chapters in making participation and involvement possible in new ways. The internet provides opportunity to do that. So following the August meeting, I revised my PowerPoint presentation and added a few notes to it to prepare it as a self-explanatory show that doesn’t need me to present it. But I did use PowerPoint’s capability of recording voice to add a few comments!

Observair article 545Again, I had help from a fellow CAHS member. Tim Dubé of the Ottawa chapter provided me with two files. One is a page about the Link Trainer factory in Gananoque, Ontario. It appeared as an article in the October 2010 issue of the Observair, the Ottawa chapter’s newsletter. The other article is instructions on how to make a model Link Trainer.

So to share those, I have posted them and my article from Airforce. For that publication I worked with another CAHS member, Richard Goette, an editor with the magazine. Along with the Link Trainer PowerPoint show at my space on Microsoft OneDrive, you can see all files when you click here.

Membership in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society brings together fellow aviation enthusiasts across Canada. I can’t think of a better reason than that to keep your membership current and up to date! As well, in these troubled financial times, your donations to the CAHS are needed and appreciated more than ever.