Meet Paul, Boeing 777 Captain, recently featured in Toronto Pearson International Airport’s Facebook series #PeopleOfPearson
Jul 01, 2018

I was 18 when Air Canada hired me as a Second Officer on the DC-8. Before that, I flew for the OPP out of Belleville, Ontario, in the summer of 1972. I’ve been flying for Air Canada for over 45 years now.

In many ways, flying has changed a great deal from when I started. When I started at Toronto Pearson, I could park my car, walk across the parking lot onto the ramp and climb right into the aircraft. In flight planning, Flight Dispatch and I would compare our calculated fuel load and route with graphs, pencil and paper. I even had a flight navigator in the flight deck using the stars to navigate on overseas routes. Now it’s all done by GPS.

I have lived the pilot’s dream, experiencing new aircraft that are larger, faster and go even farther than the last. I’ve flown the DC-8, DC-9, B727, L1011, B747, A320, A330, A340 and since April 2007 on the Boeing 777 logging over 26,000+ hours. What stands out the most over the years is the reliability of the equipment. Safety is the most important element of my job. It all comes down to training, training and more training for pilots. You need to stay healthy, too. When I’m home, I go to boot camp every day. Anytime I fly to Hong Kong, I’ll take some of my crew on a hike to Victoria Peak.

Pilots have an opportunity to see Mother Nature like no one else. It’s only when you’re flying that you realize how incredible the earth really is. You see a sunrise on the horizon, the stars and northern lights up close. When you’re looking down on land that you used to read about in the history books, it becomes real. Most people imagine the world as large and endless, but a pilot sees it like a little ball from above. When I retire, it’s the people I’ll miss the most. You’re dealing with the crème de la crème in aviation. You’re part of a great family.

- Paul, Boeing 777 Captain, Air Canada


 Pearson International Airport’s Facebook Series