Wetaskiwin, Alberta – December 10, 2012. Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (CAHF) will induct four new members, and honor a Belt of Orion recipient, at its 40th annual gala dinner and ceremony to be held in Ottawa, Thursday, May 30, 2013.
The new members are: Victor R. Bennett, former Innotech Aviation chief executive; James “Stocky” Edwards, WWII Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot and command leader; Joseph Fernand “Frank” Henley, former executive of Maritime Central Airways, Nordair and Hydro Quebec; and, John Sandford, former president of de Havilland Canada. Canadian Pacific Air Lines Ltd. will be presented with the Belt of Orion award.
CAHF inductees are selected for their contributions to Canada’s development through their integral roles in the nation’s aviation history. This year’s inductees will join the ranks of the 208 esteemed men and women inducted since the hall’s formation in 1973.
Tom Appleton, CAHF chairman of the board, said, “The CAHF is proud to honor these four individuals and a pioneering airline for their significant contributions to Canadian aviation, and to Canada’s development as a nation.
“Our 2013 inductees come from backgrounds that span the width of Canada’s professional aviation industry, as well as its internationally renowned air force.”
Victor R. Bennett’s long career in aviation has seen his active involvement with a host of organizations, spanning business, professional and heritage sectors. His background in the RCAF Reserve, education in law, exemplary leadership skills, business acumen and entrepreneurial talent, have seen him reach the top of his field in providing FBO, repair, overhaul, completion and refurbishing services to customers worldwide, as chief executive at Innotech Aviation.
James “Stocky” Edwards is a renowned and decorated wartime RCAF fighter pilot and combat leader. He is known for his prowess with the P-40 Kittyhawk as part of the Desert Air Force during WWII Allied operations in North Africa. Until his retirement, Edwards provided important command experience to the RCAF/CAF and today continues his role as an inspirational leader for young people. Edwards was named to the Order of Canada in 2004.
Joseph Fernand “Frank” Henley established his career at the RCAF, and also bush flying. Henley held executive positions at Maritime Central Airways (MCA), Nordair and Hydro Quebec, where he masterminded immense logistical effort to transport heavy equipment, supplies and personnel to the James Bay hydro project via air. In doing so, he pioneered the use of ice runways for the delivery of heavy loads by air. Henley was named to the Order of Canada in 2003.
John Sandford, former president of de Havilland Canada, was its chief executive during the company’s tumultuous period as a crown corporation. During this time he launched a new generation of regional airliners that saved the company from collapse. His legacy can be seen in the more than 1,000 Dash 8 aircraft used by airlines around the world.
Belt of Orion recipient, Canadian Pacific Air Lines Ltd., was established under modest conditions in 1942 with the amalgamation of ten small, independent air services. The airline went on to expand its operations and become a prominent international and domestic provider of scheduled air services. Canadian Pacific Air Lines serviced nearly every province and territory in Canada, as well as 14 countries across five continents. The company also launched Canadian airline services across the Pacific.