Order of Canada list includes aviation, aerospace names

Jan 2, 2020

Photo: sUAS News

(Editor’s Note: The BC Aviation Council congratulates Vancouver native Tad McGeer on receiving the Order of Canada.)

On Dec. 28, Governor General of Canada Julie Payette announced 120 new members to the Order of Canada. Among the inductees, three members were honoured for contributions to Canadian aviation and aerospace:

Photo: Seattle Weekly

Aeronautical Engineer Brian Theodore “Tad” McGeer, is the Founder, President and Chief Engineer of Aerovel Corporation, and Co-founder of The Insitu Group. McGeer is a Vancouver native who currently resides in Washington State. McGeer has been recognized for his many contributions to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – commonly known as drones. McGeer originally got into the unmanned aerial industry looking for a better way to forecast the weather, and now focuses on military applications.

(Photo: Peter Handley)

Michael Potter, former long-time CEO of Cognos Inc., a tech company acquired by IBM in 2008, was inducted for his contributions to Canadian aviation heritage since forming Vintage Wings of Canada – a not-for-profit, charitable organization that maintains and flies a number of historically significant aircraft. Located at Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport, Potter’s Vintage Wings was started after the former executive retired and developed an interest in collecting exotic aircraft. The organization’s fleet includes a Hawker Hurricane Mk IV, a de Havilland Tiger Moth, a Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, amongst many other vintage aircraft.

Photo: AIAC

Robert Dick Richmond, a 100-year-old retired Aeronautical Engineer, rounded out the aviation- and aerospace-based inductees. Richmond’s history in the Canadian aerospace sector is a rich one, dating back to the 1940s, where he was Chief of Aerodynamics at Fairchild Aircraft Ltd., an aircraft OEM based in Longueuil, Que., before the company closed its doors at the end of the decade. Following his departure from Fairchild, Richmond was hired by Canadair Ltd., where he was a lead designer for a number of historically significant aircraft – including the Canadair CL-41 Tutor, famously flown by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. In the 1960s, Richmond joined Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Canada as Vice-President of Operations before returning to Canadair in 1981, and subsequently retiring in 1988.

See the full list of the latest Order of Canada inductees here.

(News Source: Skies Magazine, with files from Aerovel Corp and Smithsonian Magazine. )