Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Share Your Story: Fred Roy, Future Canadian Air Force Pilot

Welcome to the 23rd "Share Your Story" post. Pilots from around the world write in featuring their flight experiences, promoting their blogs, websites, social media, novels, etc. These posts show future aviators the diverse range of careers available to them. More details + how to participate can be found via the following: Click Here and Get Involved

The RV-4 is such a rocket; very performing little airplane.

Being a pilot is all I’ve ever wanted to be.

Extremely Cliché, I know; but it really is the truth.  I have been around airplanes and airports all my life, as my father is a professional pilot.  Today he is a Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, flying the CP-140 Aurora (Canadian variant of the P-3 Orion) out of CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada.  But my dad has flown quite a different aircraft before where he is now.  At first, getting his Private Pilot’s license at the age of 17 at a small airport Southeast of Montreal, Quebec, he proceeded to then fly diverse aircraft along his career. Flying MD-83s for Jetsgo (a now defunct Canadian low-cost airline), flying a Learjet 45 for Bombardier Aerospace, flying the CH-146 Griffon helicopter in the Canadian Air Force Reserves (the equivalent of the American Air National Guard) and flying the mighty Airbus A380 for Emirates out of Dubai are some of these diverse jobs.  My father really is who introduced me to the exciting and captivating world of aviation.

My father, First Officer on the A380

The CP-140 Aurora, the airplane he now flies

Needless to say, with all that moving around came a lot of travelling; and thus flying!  Having travelled a lot throughout my life so far, I really learned a lot about our world and about flying that world.  I have visited 12 countries as of yet, including Germany, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, China.  All of the travelling to overseas continents occurred during our 3-year stay in Dubai, UAE, when my dad flew the Airbus A330, A340 and A380 for Emirates.  As family members we would get very cheap standby tickets with Emirates and other codeshare airlines to practically anywhere in the world.  Dubai was a great experience; that is where my passion for flight developed even further than what it was. Over there I would go to the threshold of Dubai International Airport, DXB, and watch long-haul airliners land one after the other.  I took a couple familiarization flights on an Aeroprakt Ultralight airplane, which was a lot of fun.  Flying over endless sand dunes was just unreal.  But most important out of my experiences of living in Dubai,  was making friends from all over the world who had the same passion as me; aviation.

After a flight in an Aeroprakt 22L, flying out of a small runway in Umm Al-Quwain, UAE

To read more of Fred's awesome "Share Your Story" post, click below. (if you're already on the full article, ignore this)

One of these friends is Patrick, who was originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  He had the same interest in flying as me not only because of his father flying for Emirates alongside my dad, but because both his Grandfathers are pilots as well.  One of his grandfathers owns a 2000’ airstrip on Vancouver Island as well as a Vans RV4, a Pietenpol Air Camper, a Volmer Sportsman amphibian, and an Aeronca Chief. I had the chance to go over there not once, but twice over the past 4 summers, and was able to fly quite a bit in all of his awesome airplanes, but mostly in the Aeronca Chief.  I was able to get a lot of stick time, and as it was my first time flying a taildragger, I learned lots and had so much fun.

Flying the Aeronca Chief over beautiful Vancouver Island, British Columbia
My family and I moved back home to Canada in June of 2011, after 3 very interesting years in Dubai.  My dad was offered a position as a CP-140 pilot in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, due to a program by the RCAF to recall experienced military pilots back on their previous aircraft because of lack of experienced aircrew.  My father took the offer, as he had previously served 10 years in the Air Force on the Aurora and was interested on coming back home to Canada.  Moving back to Canada would also help me along the line.

CFB Greenwood

As my ultimate dream is to become a fighter pilot, doing my last few years of school in Canada would help me transition a lot easier into the University programs to become a pilot in the Canadian Air Force. The program in which I am interested in is the newly established CEOTP Program; in which you attend Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario, to receive a Bachelor in Aviation Technology.  An outcome of that program is to receive your Commercial Pilot’s License and all that comes with it (Multi-engine rating, night rating, etc).  After your degree, you move on to the Basic Flight Training for the RCAF, in which, after successful completion, you are designated the aircraft you will first fly in the Air Force.  I could not think of any better job than to be a fighter pilot, and I hope very much that my hard work will lead me through the long and hard road to accomplishing my dream.

The dream.

As of now, I am going into Grade 12 in the upcoming school year.  I am currently in the Canadian Army Reserves as an Infantry soldier, where I started at 16 years of age.  Being in the Reserves not only means I have a better chance at transitioning to becoming a Pilot in the Canadian Forces,  but it also is great money for a teenager.

My dad and I in uniform

With the money I am paying for my Recreational Pilot’s Permit, which requires 25 flight hours and allows you to fly any Propeller-driven airplane, with 4 seats or less while only carrying one passenger, during day VFR conditions.  Usually these 25 hours are done on a Cessna 152 or 172. I decided to do half of my hours on a Challenger Ultralight with a certified Ultralight Instructor, Bernie Rector, out of his private airstrip around 15 minutes away from my house.  Not only is the Challenger a great airplane to get very good at your stick and rudder skills, but it is also quite inexpensive compared renting a Cessna from a Flight School.  I am now at 10 hours of flight time on the Challenger, and went solo after 7 hours.  What a thrill it was!  I am looking forward to then moving on to Cessnas over the course of the year and complete my Recreational Pilot’s Permit.  Then, next year, if all works as planned, it is off to Flight School I go in order to become a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force!

My first flight in the Challenger, on a cold April morning

Bernie, my instructor, and I before a flight

Thank you very much to Swayne Martin for allowing me to ‘’Share my Story’’!  I would love to hear back from you that have read this, so follow me on twitter @fredroy828 or e-mail me at

Thanks for reading!

Fred Roy
Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada

All wet after my first solo 

Thanks so much Fred for writing in and sharing your story. It's awesome how much flying you've gotten to do and how you've lived on the other side of the world. I'm sure it's eye opening, having the opportunity to live in such diverse parts of the world.

It sounds like you've had some awesome flying experiences. I'm sure you'd make an excellent pilot for the Canadian Air Force! Make sure to write back in with more about your future training.

Thanks again for writing in and participating in the Share Your Story section of the blog, 

Swayne Martin 
Martins Aviation / From Private to Professional Pilot
Twitter: @MartinsAviation
Youtube: MartinsAviation1 


  1. Hi Fred, this is an awesome story. And you earned the right to be cliche. I'm really excited to watch your career and know you are going to make all your dreams come true. Just popped over to twitter and following you now. Hope you join me on Flight to Success too!

    Swayne, thanks for sharing another great story!

    1. Thanks Karlene! Fred is so lucky to have a dad who's done so many great things in aviation, great for him to have someone that can help him out!

      Thanks for the comment,

    2. Thanks Karlene for your always positive thoughts!

  2. I like your story Swayne. I continuously read your blogs keep it up.


Thanks for your comment; I really appreciate it! Glad you are here with me on the blog. If your comment does not appear right away, it will after verification.

Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin