T. C. A. PILOT

These are the men who fly the planes that speed the nation’s business

March 1 1942

T. C. A. PILOT

These are the men who fly the planes that speed the nation’s business

March 1 1942

T. C. A. PILOT

These are the men who fly the planes that speed the nation’s business

TRANS-CANADA Air Lines last year carried 85,154 passengers — 32,000 more than in 1940 and seventy-five per cent of them on business directly connected with the war. Within four years of its inception T.C.A. has become a vital part of Canadian life and business. One of the most vital elements in T.C.A.'s success has been the calibre of the pilots who fly its planes. Before the war many pilots came to T.C.A. with 500 hours flying experience. Today's demand for R.C.A.F. instructors, for test and ferry pilots, makes such men almost impossible to find, but Trans-Canada guarantees the skill of its flight personnel by training its own men. At Winnipeg embryo pilots are put through one of the most intensive courses of flight training available anywhere. Here Trans-Canada's Rule of Three — safety, passenger comfort, schedule performance — is drilled into them above all else.

The average T.C.A. captain (pilot) is 28 or 29, is married, has a family, lives in Vancouver, Lethbridge, Winnipeg, Toronto or Moncton.

The typical first officer (co-pilot) who finds a berth with Canada's nationally-owned air line today is 24 or 25, still single. He must hold the Depart-

ment of Transport's commercial pilot's license, requiring a minimum of fifty air hours, and usually has taken this training with his home-town flying club. T.C.A. then puts him into the shops, where he learns all about his plane on the ground. The technique of instrument flying — "flying blind" — is taught in a Link Trainer before he enters a company aircraft. On passing exhaustive written examinations as well as practical flying tests he gets his stripe as a first officer.

Captains sometimes call their first officers "mates." The mate sits on the captain's right and spends much of his time checking the many instruments that record engine and aircraft performance. The captain flies the plane during the take-off and landing, shares the controls with the first officer during flight. Within a year of his appointment the co-pilot must pass a series of examinations on advanced subjects. Then after two years or more of scheduled night and day flying across Canada he is put through gruelling tests by the chief pilot. If he passes these, then, and then only, is he promoted to captain.

ÄN HOUR before take-off captain and first officer make out their flight plan to the last detail. This records the route and alternate routes, varying altitudes, weather conditions to be encountered, required engine power, point of departure and time to destination, whether they will fly "contact" or by instruments. Flight is not authorized to depart until plan has been transmitted to divisional control centre by teletype and approved.

With ten minutes to go the crew board their plane, inspect fuel supply, radio, altimeter and other instruments. Wing flaps (air brakes) are tested, and the big ship rolls to the start of the runway. Then with brakes fixed and engines racing, captain and first officer conduct a final check of every operational factor before nine tons of aircraft takes to the sky.