Chartright’s AME takes a historic flight on the Lancaster

Tag Archive: CBAA

  1. Chartright’s AME takes a historic flight on the Lancaster

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    Article and main image photo credit: Ben Forrest of Skies Magazine. Article posted June 18, 2018.
    Photo credit (below):  Erik Woods of Skies Magazine.

    Avra Lancaster

    As the late-morning sun heated the tarmac at Region of Waterloo International Airport on June 15, Phil Etheridge stood under the left wing of Avro Lancaster C-GVRA and thought about what it might have been like to fly the aircraft seven decades ago.

    Etheridge, 67, a former production manager with Chartright Air Group, was minutes removed from his first-ever flight in the Lanc, a short hop from Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ont., to Waterloo for the 2018 Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) Convention and Exhibition.

    “You have to think back,” said Etheridge, peering out from a pair of dark aviator sunglasses and dressed in a green bomber jacket that belonged to his father Norm, lead engineer on the crew that restored C-VGRA to flying condition.

    “Here we are flying on a beautiful summer day in the daylight with five of us in the airplane,” said Etheridge.

    “To think that at one point 70 years ago they were flying at night, in the dark, eight crewmembers, and when something would go wrong–there’s not a lot of room in that airplane.

    “It’s a skinny tube with a whole bunch of things that hurt you. I was thinking about those guys that in those circumstances–how on earth you would survive it.”

    C-GVRA, better known as “Vera,” is one of the rarest aviation artifacts of the Second World War, one of only two Lancasters in flying condition and one of only a handful of surviving aircraft from the wartime production line at Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ont.

    Norm, who passed away in January 2017, guided a crew of dedicated volunteers who overhauled and restored Vera after the museum acquired it from the Royal Canadian Legion in Goderich, Ont., in 1977.

    “Once he got into it … it became a labour of love,” said Etheridge, who is also an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) and has been with Chartright since 2008.

    “It became an airplane that would be a living monument to all of those who went to war and didn’t come back, and those who did come back.”

    Vera was transferred to the museum after spending years on outdoor display in Goderich, a small town on the shores of Lake Huron, and restoring it to flying condition was no small task.

    Eleven years passed before the aircraft officially returned to the skies on Sept. 24,1988.

    Since then it has flown an estimated 1,800 hours, many of them with members of the public who pay $3,500 per hour, plus $125 for a museum membership.

    Norm’s initial goal was to have the plane available to fly to England, said Etheridge, home to the world’s only other airworthy Lancaster bomber.

    That dream came true in 2014, when Vera flew with PA474, a British-built Lancaster operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, England.

    Norm watched the flights from a seniors home in Ontario but Etheridge went to the U.K. as a family representative and watched from the ground.

    “It meant a lot when I was at Middleton St. George the night the airplane arrived,” said Etheridge, referring to the village and former RAF base where BBMF is located.

    “There were veterans there in uniform that were standing on the ramp, and there were lots of tears. Similarly, when the airplane arrived in Coningsby, they had veterans there.”

    Despite his family’s close connection to Vera, Etheridge had never flown with her. When a colleague from Chartright worked with ***Skies*** and the museum to arrange his flight and shared the news, Etheridge was beyond words.

    “I just didn’t have enough words to express,” he said. “It was just such an honour to be able to ride in the airplane and know that my dad was involved. It was a very emotional day.”

    The flight itself was cramped and noisy, he said. Vera is barely large enough for the average person to stand up in, and he had no words to describe the noise emanating from its thundering Packard-Merlin engines.

    “I wouldn’t want to say it was a culmination, but it certainly was an exclamation point in what [the museum] considered my dad to be,” he said.

    “There’s not many people in this world that have a living memorial to their family, and we do.

    “And when the time comes when this airplane stops flying, it will still be there for our kids and our grandkids.”

    Those rumbling engines are indescribable, he said. But he and his family know it well enough to spot Vera without seeing her.

    “We’re out and about in the countryside, and we’re downtown Toronto during the Ex [the Canadian National Exhibition] and you can hear her coming,” he said.

    “It is just a living testament to my dad and to all of the people that worked at [the museum] to put the airplane together.”

    Click here to read the article on Skies Magazine‘s website.

  2. CBAA 2018 to be held in Chartright’s Hangar at Kitchener/Waterloo Airport

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    Chartright is pleased to co-sponsor CBAA 2018 with the Region of Waterloo International Airport (CYFK). This year’s event will take place June 12-14 and boasts a panel of expert speakers, high-calibre educational sessions and professional development courses, combined with unparalleled networking opportunities and over 80 exhibits, including aircraft. Over 700 business aviation leaders are expected to attend.

    The CBAA convention will provide opportunities for delegates to hone specific skills and increase their knowledge, with streamed sessions aimed at flight operations/management; pilots and crew; maintenance engineers; schedulers and dispatchers; and fixed-base operators (FBOs).

    Click here to view the schedule, read the bios of this year’s featured speakers, and learn more about the educational sessions and professional development courses.

    Event Highlights:

    Tuesday, June 12th

    10:00-17:30 – Hope Air Golf Tournament at Whistle Bear Golf and Country Club

    Help out a great cause while golfing at Southern Ontario’s finest golf experience.  Don’t miss the chance to test your drive against Canada’s eight-time long drive national champion, Lisa Longball! Following the tournament will be the prize giveaways, the presentation of the donation to Hope Air, and dinner.

    19:00-21:00 – Welcome Reception at the Walper Hotel

    This iconic 1893 landmark is the epicentre of one of Kitchener, Ontario’s oldest neighbourhoods, now a hub of vibrant growth, partly due to the buzzing tech scene of the Waterloo-Toronto Tech Corridor.


    Wednesday, June 13th

    09:00-17:00 – Educational Sessions at the Crowne Plaza

    Business Aviation Forecast and Trends (Keynote Presentation) – Are things looking up for business aviation? Find out where we are headed from Rolland (Rollie) Vincent, founder of JETNET iQ for the Canadian and international business aviation market forecast.

    Dealing with Labour Shortages – Are you facing pilot and other critical staff shortages? CBAA has brought together some of the foremost experts in a special in-depth panel to develop business aviation labour strategies to help you retain and recruit the next generation of aviation professionals. Moderated by Robert Connors of the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, the panel includes Rob Donald, CCAA; Dr. Suzanne Kearns, University of Waterloo and Andrew Money, Chief Pilot, Chartright.

    Emergency Communications after a Business Aviation Accident – Business aviation operators have unique emergency communications requirements. Donald Chupp, president and CEO of Fireside Partners, will provide a high-level overview of Fireside’s one-of-a-kind extensive workshop, covering practical solutions, peer networking opportunities, and more.

    Resilience through SMS – This session shows you how your SMS is the foundation to help you prepare, respond and recover to critical events.

    Pilot Fatigue in Business Aviation – Get the latest on the science of fatigue, operation risks, and mitigation strategies for business aviation from one of Canada’s leading professionals in the field, Dr. Daniel Mollicone, CEO of Pulsar Informatics.

    Flight Risk Assessment Tools (FRAT) – Presented by Ed Ratzlaff, President or Aerofoil Consulting

    Sessions for Flight Attendants and Pilots – Join us for a special series of sessions covering the most topical and critical issues faced by business aviation flight crews.

    Crew Resource Management (CRM) Training – new Transport Canada regulations – A joint training course or overview on subjects such as safety, emergency procedures for both pilots and flight attendants.  This course will include a certificate.

    Behaviour and Etiquette in a post #MeToo World – This session will focus on the impact of Bill C-65 regarding harassment, sexual harassment and violence on federally-regulated employers and will help employers and employees develop a better understanding of workplace behaviours that are or are not appropriate in a post #MeToo world.  This session is for both pilots and flight attendants.

    Countdown to CORSIA – Carbon offset schemes are coming. Find out how – and if – they will affect your international and domestic flights from EBAA’s Bruce Parry and TC’s Gilles Bourgeois. This session includes IBAC’s Countdown to CORSIA workshop information.

    From Toke to Yoke: Legalized Marijuana and You – This session will provide an overview of the legal and regulatory impacts of legalized marijuana from the perspective of both business aviation employer and employee.

    Accidents & Incidents: the TSB Answers Your Questions – An information and Q&A session with Kathy Fox, Chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, who can provide real-world information on TSB investigations.

    Loss of Control/Upset Recovery – Corporate and business aviation enjoy an excellent safety record, largely due to the implementation of Safety Management Systems which help operators proactively identify and manage risks. Find out how to address Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I), the number one cause of fatal accidents in corporate aviation from Paul “BJ” Ransbury, one of the industry’s leading experts in this field.

    Sharing the Skies: UAVs and YOU – UAVs are here and proliferating. This session will examine what’s being done to help ensure that UAVs and aviation will safely share airspace.

    The FAA mandate for ADS-B is close. Get ready! – If you think the upcoming ADS-B Out V2 mandates won’t affect you, or that you have time to prepare, you could be mistaken. Join Bill Arsenault and Dave Hume with Kitchener Aero, one of Canada’s top avionics MROs, for an informed discussion on everything you need to know to be ready for ADS-B.

    18:3021:00 Oktoberfest City Night at Concordia Club

    The Concordia Club has been servicing the Kitchener and surrounding communities with authentic German cuisine, culture and festivities for over 130 years.


    Thursday, June 14th

    08:00-10:00 – Executive Briefings at the Crowne Plaza

    Transport Canada and NAV CANADA Update – From new fatigue rules to targeted inspections and beyond, this is your opportunity to hear from Transport Canada and NAV CANADA senior staff and get your questions and concerns on the table.

    How to Manager the Impact of CRA’s New Tax Policy

    10:00-16:00 – Exhibit Hall and Static Display Open at Chartright’s hangar at YKF
    15:00-16:00 – Closing Reception


  3. CBAA 2017 Recap

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    CBAA 2017

    The Chartright team travelled to Abbotsford, BC for the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) 2017 which took place August 9-11. Tending to our booth this year were:

    • Andrew Money – Chief Pilot
    • Allan Armstrong – Human Resources Manager
    • Justin King – General Manager Western Canada
    • Colin Jesney – Captain MD87
    • Cathy Caldarola – Director of Sales & Marketing

    CBAA 2017 booth

    With five educational streams covering critical topics, plenary and information sessions with leading government and industry leaders, and more networking opportunities than ever before, CBAA 2017 was must-attend event for anyone in private and business aviation. For the first time ever, CBAA was held in conjunction with the Aerospace Defence and Security Expo (ADSE), and the combined event attracted over 1,000 aerospace and business aviation professionals to the city.  As an added bonus, the event coincided with the Abbotsford International Airshow which is rated as one of the top 10 airshows in the world.

    Hope Air Charity Golf Tournament

    Chartright was again proud to sponsor a hole at the Hope Air Annual Charity Golf Tournament which took place on August 9th. Hope Air is a national charity that provides free flights to people who cannot afford the cost of an airline ticket to get to vital medical care. Hope Air serves people from across Canada, of every age, with any illness. Since 1986, they have arranged over 100,000 flights.

    CBAA 2018

    CBAA 2018 will take place at Chartright’s Hangar 53 at the Kitchener/Waterloo Airport (YKF) June 12-14!  Click here to view the promo video.

    Picture after the Awards Breakfast with Allan and Cathy (Chartright) on the left, Chris Wood (General Manager at YKF fourth from the right), and some of the CBAA Board of Directors.

    Why are we wearing Oktoberfest hats you ask? As well as being known as a growing tech hub of Canada, the Kitchener/Waterloo area hosts the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, Germany.  CBAA 2018 will be full of the tech and Oktoberfest themes.

    Chartright is looking forward to next year!

  4. See you at CBAA 2017 in Abbotsford, BC!

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    CBAA 2017

    Going to Abbotsford, BC for the CBAA 2017 Convention & Exhibition August 9-11? We’ll see you there! Be sure to drop by our booth (#151) co-located with the CBAA in the middle of the convention floor. This year’s team in attendance will consist of:

    • Andrew Money – Chief Pilot
    • Allan Armstrong – Human Resources Manager
    • Justin King – General Manager Western Canada
    • Cathy Caldarola – Director of Sales & Marketing

    Contact us at with any questions.

    Career Opportunities

    Chartright is hiring for a number of positions:

    • First Officer
    • Captain
    • Licensed AME
    • IT Developer & Systems Analyst
    • Co-op Flight Coordinator

    Visit our careers page at for further details and to apply online.

    Drop by Booth #151 at CBAA 2017 with any questions!

  5. Chartright’s Waterloo FBO selected as site for CBAA 2018

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    “The ramp at Chartright’s Waterloo FBO will be busy in the summer of 2018 when the facility will host the Canadian Business Aviation Association’s annual convention.

    Canadian business aviation’s premier event is heading to Ontario’s Waterloo region in 2018.

    The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) has selected the Region of Waterloo International Airport and the new Chartright fixed-base operator (FBO) facility as the site of its summer 2018 national convention.

    Exhibitors and attendees will gather inside Chartright’s 50,000-square-foot hangar, as well as on a nearby apron and adjoining taxiway.”

    *This is an excerpt from the Skies Magazine article by Ben Forrest on Chartright’s Waterloo FBO being chosen as the location for CBAA 2018. Click here to read the rest of the article.

    Article by Ben Forrest
    Photo credit: Mike Reyno