Originally From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Aircraft Base: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Airline pilot; engineer
Flying time: 4000+ hours
Current Aircraft: Giles 202
Education: BESc in Mechanical Engineering
Interests: Engineering design, snowboarding, bikes and motorbikes, outdoor adventure, travel
Mike’s interest in aviation began before his own memory- when he was only a few months old, he went for his first small airplane ride with his father, who was then a flight instructor at the Rockcliffe Airport near Ottawa, Ontario.
“I was surrounded by aviation at home, so my interest in flying is very much instinctual from my upbringing. I remember that my dad built a small wood model airplane for me when I was only a few years old. It had no covering on it, so you could see all the ribs and stringers and spars, and it had a low voltage electric motor that spun the prop. I took that model everywhere with me.” -Mike.
After attending elemetary and high school in the United States, Mike began formal flight training at the age of 18 at Spectrum Airways at the Burlington Airpark, outside Toronto. Dedicating a keen focus to training, Mike completed his commercial pilot’s licence, and multi-engine instrument rating, as well as tailwheel training, all in a short ten month period. Mike went on to fly gliders and towplanes at SOSA Gliding Club, and later flew bush planes in Northwestern Ontario as summer work while completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario. Mike’s drive for performance and precision focused his drive on the high energy world of aerobatics. Only a few months after completing his private pilot’s licence, Mike began training to fly the Pitts Special S2A with past Canadian Aerobatic Champion Gerry Younger. Soon after that, he became a part owner of a Pitts S2A of his own, and turned his focus to competitive aerobatics. After a year of focused training in the Pitts. Including coaching with the legendary Sergei Boriak, Mike made his debut on the IAC competition circuit in 2011. While most first time competitors start in Primary or Sportsman categories, Mike skipped both initial categories and kicked off his competition career in the Intermediate category, going on to make a number of top three trophy finishes. In 2012, he made his first airshow appearance in Tillsonburg, Ontario with his Pitts. In 2013, Mike transitioned to his Giles 202, and graduated to a new, faster, higher energy style of flying in the monoplane. 2014 was a very exciting year, flying the Giles at six airshows across Canada. From Bromont, QC to Peace River, AB, Mike has been working hard to transition to the new challenges of airshow flying.
In addition to his aerobatics, Mike has worked for ten years in the aviation industry as a bush pilot and more recently in the ultra-competitive world of the airlines. Mike’s ‘day job’ is flying the Airbus 320 for Canada’s largest airline. When he’s not flying the Airbus for ‘work’, he is usually working on his Giles, managing upcoming events, working on engineering projects, or taking some time outdoors for a quick break.