November 21, 2019

Five New Hall of Fame Inductees Announced


Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) has announced the names of four Canadians and an airplane that will be inducted into the organization at a gala event to be held in Calgary, Alberta on June 4, 2020.

The Canadians pending induction include Clifford Mackay McEwan (b. 1898 in Griswald, Manitoba, d.1967 in Montreal, Quebec), Joseph D. Randell (b. 1954 in Curling, Newfoundland), Shirley Linda Render (b. 1943 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Byarni Valdimar Tryggvason (b. 1945 in Reykjavik, Iceland). The non-human soon-to-be inductee is the Red Knight, a solo air show performer that the Royal Canadian Air Force operated from 1958 to 1969.

Clifford Mackay McEwan

McEwan initially joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. Most of his war-time flying was in Italy. In the later years of the war, McEwan joined the incipient Canadian Air Force in England, where he remained with the then-renamed Royal Canadian Air Force. McEwan continued to serve the RCAF during the Second World War, eventually attaining the rank of Air Vice-Marshall.

Joseph D. Randell

Randell is currently the president and CEO of Chorus Aviation, owners of Jazz Aviation. After obtaining an MBA in 1984, one that was focussed on the business of aviation, Randell’s work led to his founding of Air Nova in 1986. He presided over the transition from turboprops to a fleet that also included regional jets. Air Canada eventually bought Air Nova, leaving Randell to pursue other opportunities related to airline mergers. In 2006 Air Canada Jazz was sprung from the reorganization of Air Canada after its declaration of bankruptcy, later reorganized as a division of Chorus Aviation.

Shirley Linda Render

A pilot since earning her wings at the age of thirty, Render began volunteering at Manitoba’s Western Canadian Aviation Museum, where she penned many contributions for its magazine. Later, as a museum board member, Render obtained an MA in history and subsequently wrote two aviation-themed non-fiction books. In 1990 she entered politics, eventually becoming a cabinet minister in Manitoba. After leaving politics in 2002, Render returned to the museum, then in difficulty, and turned around its fortunes.

Byarni Valdimar Tryggvason

Tryggvason, fascinated by aviation at a young age, joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in Richmond, British Columbia. By the age of 20, he had already obtained his commercial pilot licence, adding an instructor rating in 1982. Although initially setting a goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot, Tryggvason’s life took various turns and he eventually applied to become, and was accepted as, a member of Canada’s astronaut corps. Tryggvason made it to space in 1997 as a mission specialist on STS-85. He continues his passion for aviation by flying vintage aircraft; in 2009 he flew a replica of the Silver Dart, the first aircraft to fly in Canada.

The Red Knight

For most of its time appearing before audiences in over 600 airshows across the continent, the aircraft utilized as The Red Knight was a Canadair CT-133 Silver Star, painted red (pictured above). During the last year of the act (1969), the Silver Star was replaced with a Canadair CT-114 Tutor. The Red Knight flew at various times as a solo act alongside the RCAF Golden Hawks and the Golden Centennaires and was fondly remembered for its many appearances at events held in smaller, out-of-the-way communities not served by the bigger teams.