Don MacNeil has been immersed in military and aviation culture from an early age. His passion for aviation began when his father, a post-war co-owner of Tantramar Air Services located in Amhurst N.S., took him for his first airplane ride in the company's Piper Cub at the age of three.
A wartime RCAF Mosquito pilot, his dad re-enlisted in the RCAF in the late 1940's flying transports. In the mid-1950s his dad flew helicopters for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) until leaving the Navy to become the first Canadian test pilot for Pratt & Whitney Canada where he led their flight operations for over thirty years. Don’s father-in-law, a career RN Fleet Air Arm Commander (DSO, DSC, MID) also fuelled Don's interest in military aviation.
Since retiring in 2004, Don's lifelong aviation interest has led him to volunteer for a second time with the Canada Space and Aviation Museum in Ottawa where he researches and compiles the history of museum aircraft for their website.
In 2005 he was asked to take on the role of historical research for Vintage Wings of Canada where he has researched and compiled the histories of all aircraft in the Vintage Wings collection. He has also trained the Vintage Wings volunteers who conduct tours of the collection for visitors and for special events.
Don now looks after the Membership Secretary position for CAHS National.