"It’s like driving a car, I guess. It was up in the air and you’re on your own. You saw the country, flew over, upside down, wherever you wanted to, and tried all these things that they trained you to do. So you would know how to do it if you got into a war scene really."
We all started at the same time from nothing, so we learned to fly on the single engine [Fairchild PT-26] Cornells [training aircraft] out at [RCAF Station] Abbotsford and did all sorts of crazy things. It was, it was really fun. As a matter of fact, one of the things, to loop an airplane, what they trained us to do was to line up on a road down on the ground someplace, you know, 3,000 feet, whatevers, below, line up on a road and then do your loop. So that way, you do a complete loop instead of falling off to one side all the time. It was quite interesting to, especially in a single engine, we did all sorts of rolling and every, lots of fun with it.
It’s like driving a car, I guess. It was up in the air and you’re on your own. You saw the country, flew over, upside down, wherever you wanted to, and tried all these things that they trained you to do. So you would know how to do it if you got into a war scene really.
Like we were all just people ̶ all fellows, young fellows. You met people from all over the world. I think it was a real good education regardless of the air force part of it, because you were with air force, human beings all over, from all over. French Canadian, everything, Australian. You met all these people, got a lot of information. Through talking, you’d find out where they lived, what they lived, what things they liked and we were just learning to fly and I think we were all young fellows. I don’t think we realized really what we were going to get into. We were learning to fly and having a good time.
I’ve never forgotten my number, R224810, and that’s years ago. And even one other thing that, I guess they drilled it into me, flying in the [Avro] Anson [trainer aircraft], the preflight cockpit check: trim, mixture, pitch, fuel, flaps, carburetor, heat, switches and spares. And that’s over 60 years ago. I never forgot it.