Three Canadians who have made significant contributions to aviation and/or aeronautics in Canada have been recognized by their induction into the Order of Canada. Their names were released by the office of Governor General Julie Payette on December 28.
Michael Potter, founder of software developer Cognos Inc., is recognized for both his business achievements and his contribution to aviation heritage, forming Vintage Wings Canada (VWC). Located at Gatineau/Ottawa Executive Airport (CYND), VWC is a not-for-profit organization with charitable status that maintains vintage aircraft, some of which are in flying condition. The collection includes a Hawker Hurricane Mk IV, a de Havilland Tiger Moth and a Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, among others.
Robert Dick Richmond, at 100 years of age, has a long history of involvement in Canada’s aviation history. In the 1940s he was head of aerodynamics at Fairchild Aircraft Ltd. After that company shut down, Richmond was hired on by Canadair Ltd., where he was lead designer on the Canadair CL-41 Tutor (of Snowbirds fame) among other aircraft. In the 1960s Richmond joined Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Canada as vice-president of operations where he stayed until he returned to P&WC in 1981, staying there until his retirement in 1988.
Brian Theodore (Tad) McGeer, an aeronautical engineer, is a Vancouver native but long-time resident of Washington (state). He made his mark by assisting in the development of unmanned aerial systems (aka drones), an area he has been involved in for decades. He initially entered the field to develop the technology for weather reporting and forecasting, but now is dedicated to military applications. A holder of multiple patents, his aerial systems are in use around the world.
All three become Members of the Order of Canada (C.M.).