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 !!!
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.
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).
information: Cargair ltd.
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
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!
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
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
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...)