Print

Howard M. Malone

captain howard malone B747-400 200I was born and raised in Toronto. After high school, I enrolled in Civil Engineering at University of Toronto under the Regular Officer Training Program (ROTP) with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and I was inducted into the Regular Forces with a Permanent Commission in mid-September of 1957, about two weeks after I turned 17. This program provided for flying training during the summer breaks from university classes and required a minimum service time of three years after graduation from university.

My first summer of flying training, after passing qualification tests, was at RCAF Station Centralia, where I commenced actual flying training on the DE Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk on 21July 1958. I had my first solo flight three days later after a grand total of six hours of dual flying. I completed Primary Flying School requirements in August.

My second summer of flying training took place at Flight Instructors School (FIS), RCAF Station Trenton, commencing in May of 1959, using the Harvard trainer. After eight hours of dual instruction, I made my first solo flight in June. Once again, I completed this phase of my flying training in the middle of August.

My third summer of flying training, again on Harvards, was at Flight Training School (FTS), RCAF Station Moose Jaw. This started at the end of May 1960 and included night flying, aerobatic flying, instrument flying, and formation flying.

I was President of the Engineering Society at the University of Toronto representing about 3500 Engineers in my final year at U of T, and after graduation in May of 1961, with a BA.Sc. in Civil Engineering, I proceeded to 2 Advanced Flight School (AFS), at RCAF Station Portage La Prairie to commence my final phase of flying training on the T33 jet trainer. During a break in the training program, I returned to Toronto to marry my school sweetheart, Pat Kirkwood, in early September, both of us being age 21.

The remainder of my flying training was not uneventful, as I was involved in a mid-air collision with another T33 who struck my canopy on final approach at about 400 feet altitude. Fortunately, the event ended safely, and I went on to complete my flying training. I graduated with my RCAF Pilot's Wings in November 1961.

I was selected for the position as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and, after the necessary instructor training, was posted to Primary Flying School at RCAF Station Centralia as a QFI on Chipmunk aircraft (where I had started flying in 1958). I served in this capacity until August 1964, reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant, when I had fulfilled my commitment to the Queen and the RCAF to serve for a minimum of three years in Her Majesty's Forces after graduation from university. I was released from the RCAF on 31August 1964, the day before my 24th birthday.

From the Air Force, I enrolled in a Master's Program in Town and Regional Planning at University of Toronto and spent my next two years at school. As I finished my course work in 1966, there was a major growth period starting for the airline industry in North America. Air Canada was hiring pilots, and the opportunity was too good to pass. I applied and was accepted on course as a Second Officer (SO), on the DC8. This was the beginning of an Air Canada career that lasted over 34 years until September of 2000 when reaching age 60 required mandatory retirement.

During that career, I was fortunate to fly the DC8 as SO from August 1966 to June 1967, and then the DC9 as First Officer (FO), from June 1967 to 1972, I then flew the DC8 as a FO from 1972 to 1978 and finally transitioned to my first Captaincy as Captain on the B727. I flew the B747 Classic (Series 100 and 200) as FO from 1982 to 1986, when I moved to Captain on the DC8, which was exclusively engaged in flying freight, mostly through the night. In 1993, I had a short stay on the B767 as Captain before I moved to the B747 Classic as Captain from April 1994 to late 1998, when I made my final move to Captain on the B747-400, the ultimate flying job on the greatest aircraft that I had the privilege to fly. Interestingly, I spent approximately 25 of my 34+ years at Air Canada flying "Heavies" (which is defined as greater than 300,000 lbs Gross Take-off Weight).

In addition to my flying at Air Canada, I did indulge in flying at the other end of the scale and owned and operated a LA4-200, Lake Buccaneer, an amphibious 4 seat aircraft, for the years 1976 through 1981.

Outside of my flying career, I was able to utilize my Engineering and Town Planning training and eventually established and ran a successful planning firm with up to 30 professionals on staff at its peak. I also was involved in the establishment of an aviation consulting firm called AeroCan Aviation Specialists Inc. which continues to supply me with consulting challenges after a 30 successful years of operation, thus combining my Engineering background and my flying experience.

After retirement from Air Canada, I was introduced to the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) when I was asked to make a presentation to one of the monthly meetings. On 3 October 2002, I spoke to the Toronto Chapter on the topic of " Flying The Heavies." This occasion led to joining, first the Toronto Chapter of the CAHS, and then the National level of CAHS. I eventually got involved in the executive of the Toronto Chapter, working my way up to President of the Toronto Chapter for five consecutive years and also on the Executive Committee of CAHS National as Vice President Eastern Canada, and finally as President of CAHS National. I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with CAHS, particularly the people I was able to meet. I found it a humbling experience, notwithstanding my approximately 20,000 hours of flying time, to meet so many pioneers of aviation in Canada.

Now that I have retired from participation on the various CAHS executive positions, I can enjoy watching our daughter, Kelly, proceed through a successful aviation career which started out instructing at Toronto Airways at Buttonville Airport, to flying with Air Georgian on their Cessna Caravans, and then their B1900's, both as First Officer and also as Captain. She is now seven years into a career with Air Canada currently serving as a First Officer on the wide-body B767. Needless to say, both my wife and I are very proud of Kelly's aviation achievements on top of an Honours Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo.

The Journal

2010 Summer vol48 2 175