About me

Ah, airplanes !  Ever since the age of 5, I always wanted to be a pilot.  I remember a neighbor who used to build his own planes right in his garage.  All kids would excitedly gather when he started his engine at spring, just before taking his completed plane to the nearby seaplane base (the Commodore Marina in Laval-Quebec).  What an amazement !

Since then, I never stopped having my eyes turned skyward as soon as I hear the sound of a passing airplane.

And then, on May the 2nd, 1994, I bit the bullet (never too late to make one's dream come true !). I registered for a flying course at the Cargair Flying School, located at the Mascouche airport and I finally became a pilot !!!

Ah yes, I almost forgot !  My name is Michel Charette and I live near Montreal, Quebec (Canada).  I am also a member of a few aviation associations !

Here's a picture of me proudly standing right next to the airplane in which I made my first solo flight (March 3rd, 1995, looking quite younger I must say...). What an unforgettable moment !

It is a small Cessna 150-M (1976) registered C-GUFN - a two-seater training airplane with a small 100HP engine.  Small as it may be, this airplane reacts enthusiastically to every pilot inputs, making it a very popular trainer.

I was granted my Day VFR Private Pilot License (VFR stands for Visual Flight Rules) on August 6th, 1996 - big thanks to Louise Gagnon, chief-instructor at Cargair for her patience - and then I got my Night Rating on October 30th, 1996. (big thanks also to the late Stéphane Lebrun).  For more information: Cargair ltd.

I used to rent C-172s from Cargair at the Mascouche airport (CSK3) and flew as often as I could afford to !

June 17th, 2003:  I am now a professional pilot !!!!   Indeed, I have passed both the dreaded Transport Canada written exam (preceded by the flight review on May 23rd) with success!  Whoaaaa, that was a lot of studying!  Here is a picture of me standing proudly near C-172 C-GVXM at the completion of my first 300 NM cross country flight.

January 10, 2004:  Everything changed !  I finally achieved my childhood dream and acquired my very own airplane, a nifty 1948 Cessna 140, C-GNCJ.

I now have logged more than 540 hours of flight (almost 300 of them flying my 140), nothing, really !  Seems like I still have everything to learn... but I'm having a lot of fun!

June 2006:  When I changed the plane's headliner (see pics here) I happened to bump into a nice older gentleman at my friend's hangar.  He was working on a very nice 1958 C-172.  We chatted a little bit and I soon realized that he actually was the very man I talk about above, the one who first gave me the aviation bug !!!  Awesome !  Talk about a coincidence !!! 

After 45 years, to meet the man who without knowing, lighted a lifelong passion into me...  And the funny thing is, he actually learned to fly on a C-140 !  There are nice coincidences sometimes...  J

August 2010:  Remember the older gentleman that started my life passion, well, one week-end this month, my good friend & aviation photographer Jean-Pierre Bonin, this fine gentleman and I were all at a fly-in corn roast at our home airport.  I had just finished telling Jean-Pierre about how I got to meet Mr. Lacroix when I saw him walk straight to him, talk for a little while and wave at me to go near my plane.  We chatted for a little while while Jean-Pierre took these unforgettable pictures.  Something I will cherish for a long long time !!!  Thanks a million Jean-Pierre and Mr. Lacroix !


They do not know, nor dream,
that the dream commands life.
That whenever a man dreams
the world jumps and advances
as a colourful ball in the hands of a little child

The philosopher stone - António Gedeão (Portuguese poet)

August 10, 2011:  After a one year combat with a very aggressive cancer Michel took his last flight high in the sky last August.

Michel lived his life fully and passionately. With a positive regard towards life and people, his actions were always commanded by his dearest dreams.

From a car racer to a tail wheel pilot, from a birder to a nature lover, he shared his passions with you on his site. I promised him to keep his site online and, with him always dearly in my mind; I am doing a last update to share with you all.

If there is a message that I am totally sure Michel would want to leave to you all, that message would be:

Live your dreams. Be passionate. Don’t let life pass through you. Live it!

Joana Dias (his wife, friend, companion, lover...)

Your commentaries will always be welcome: m.joana.dias@gmail.com