Born and raised on the east coast of Canada, I got my start in the aviation industry in 2007, when I began flight training as part of a program at the University of New Brunswick. There, I achieved my CPL with night, multi and IFR ratings and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Upon graduating, I moved to B.C. “for 6 months” to become a flight instructor. Nine years later, I’m still living in the Lower Mainland, teaching people to fly both manned and unmanned aircraft. I’ve maintained my Class 2 flight instructor rating and enjoy flying a friend’s Cessna 172 whenever I can, though the dream is to own a 140 with piano key switches!
In the fall of 2014 I began working in the unmanned side of the aviation industry. I have since become the director of operations at Coastal Drone, which focuses on education and consulting in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) industry. In the fall of 2018, I completed a Management of Technology MBA from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and was also elected to the board of Unmanned Systems Canada, where I chair the training committee. In this role I had the opportunity to work closely with Transport Canada on several initiatives, including the creation of technical publications for knowledge requirements for RPAS pilots, exam questions and the revision of the AIM.
RPASes present a unique challenge in Canadian aviation, but also an immense opportunity. With the implementation of RPAS-specific regulations this year, Transport Canada has formalized the operators as pilots and the technology as aircraft. My goal, if elected, will be to round out the board with RPAS representation, providing a ‘drone perspective’ as valid use cases and public acceptance grow. My experience and understanding of the role of both directly and remotely piloted aircraft in Canadian aviation will help maintain COPA’s progressive mission of advancing, promoting and preserving the freedom to fly for all versions of Canadian aircraft owners and pilots.