Dave has been nuts about airplanes since the time he could walk. His earliest toys were airplanes. His father (Roger) is a pilot, and Dave grew up in a world of aviation. He was the kid who had 75 model airplanes hanging from his bedroom ceiling.
Later he became an Air Cadet, and gained his Flying Scholarship/Pilot’s License there. He time-built for his Commercial in a Citabria, and took up aerobatics, also flying Roger’s Stampe SV4b. By the time he was 19 he was working as a Flying Instructor in Welland ON.
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This led to a job with Air Canada, where he started as an F/O on the DC-9, then retired 39 years later as an Instructor Captain on the B-777, having flown over-the-pole to China 148 Times!
But that wasn’t enough. He owned airplanes on the side: a Decathlon, a Champ on floats, and later Fairchild 24W. His wife Robin (whom he met while competing in the Stampe) flies an RV6a.
This led to vintage aircraft flying, first in the Tiger Moth at the Edenvale Classic Aircraft Foundation, and later with Vintage Wings of Canada, starting there in 2005. This magnificent collection, owned by Michael Potter, allowed him to fly a number of classic aircraft, including the P-40N Kittyhawk, the Hawker Hurricane IV, and the P-51D Mustang. He also put in 2 seasons barnstorming in the Westland Lysander — a very unusual assignment.
This thread contains 50+ pages of photos and adventures, blog-style.
Recently Dave has recorded an album of flying songs he’s written over the course of his career, “Climbin’ Away“, due for release in May 2018. This is his 4th album of original music.
Many articles have been written by Dave for aviation magazines, and more than a few about him and the Hadfield Family.
There are 6 of them who fly: Roger, the patriarch, Dave, Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield, Phil (Captain at Air Canada), Robin (wife, and an extremely devoted private pilot, very busy with the 99s and other aviation groups), and Austin, Dave and Robin’s son, also a Captain at Air Canada.