The evolution of professional aviation culture in Canada, 1939-1945




Chapman, Matthew

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The rapid expansion of the postwar commercial aviation industry in Canada was made possible, in part, by the thousands of wartime pilots who filled the ranks of the nation’s major airlines beginning in 1944. Through mentorship of subsequent generations of peacetime aviators, wartime pilots had lasting impacts on the Canadian commercial aviation industry during their time flying for companies such as Trans Canada Airlines (TCA). Following an examination of the agreements made between the Royal Canadian Air Force and TCA between 1944 and 1945 for the transfer of pilots between the two organizations, this thesis tracks the development of the professional culture of wartime RCAF aviators through an analysis of their training and subsequent operational flying during the war. It concludes that while there were numerous benefits for commercial aviation in Canada through this process, there were, likewise, a series of negative repercussions for the safety of the Canadian aviation industry.



RCAF, Trans Canada Airlines, TCA, Royal Canadian Air Force, Air Canada, Commercial aviation, flying, bomber, pilot, aircrew, professional culture, Air Force, aviation culture, flight training, groundschool, maritime patrol, navigation, instrument flight rules, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, BCATP, Bush Pilot