ATC AfterLife (or is it LifeAfter ATC ?)

When you're working, retirement always seems to be a date far in the future.
But ATC'ers do retire (some "retire" more often than others...) or have figured out that it is good to travel when you can, or have a hobby which provides much needed relaxation away from the job.This page will feature new and old pictures of ATC people,where they have travelled both for business and pleasure, or in some cases hobbies they pursue. So if you have a snap (or several) of places you've been been or a favourite hobby, send it/them along to . As usual, clicking the picture will display a larger image.

     From Garry Brown (WG/OW/Cornwall) has always has always been interested in airplanes. He is both a avid sport flier and a qualified instructor and a couple of years ago finally realized a long-time dream. He is now the proud owner of a Citabria.
     Beautiful condition and In his words: "It flies real tight and handles like a dream, the only problem is Im not using it enough!! The hangar is about 400 away from B taxi which is about 100 from the button of runway 28"(in Cornwall).     Spring 2009
left click for a big picture!

    Cliff Strachan (WG ACC)Cliff has recently e-mailed me about one of his hobbies - and here is a url to solid models (aircraft, ships, etc) site.
   We have exchanged several e-mails as I would prefer a picture or two with Cliff displaying some of his work. I have to add, that in true Cliff fashion, he has declined a picture of himself and his hobby.

- - - - - Stan Enns and the Falcon Lake Manitoba UFO - - - - -

Falcon Lake MB UFO site right location     Stan Enns (WG) sent along this interesting historical event.
   The Falcon Lake story started on May 20, 1967. To put it into a bit of context the Roswell incident occurred 20 years earlier on July 7, 1947.
   At the time of the Falcon Lake incident, a UFO phenomena investigation, contracted by the U.S. Air Force, was underway. That contract was issued to the University of Colorado and headed by Prof. Edward Condon and issued its findings as the Condon Report. Investigators from that study, together with a Life magazine photographer, visited the site and interviewed Stephen Michalak, the man who reported the incident. Naturally it became a high profile news item. Here is a link that provides a description of the Falcon Lake UFO incident and here is a link to a YouTube page of related videos.
   I was 16 at the time of the incident. Our family camped at the Falcon Lake campground occasionally during the summers around 1967. So that added to my curiosity. This summer (2008) I recorded a program on the History Channel called "UFOs: The Secret History". When I watched it, I discovered that the program had a few minutes dedicated to this incident. Some of the footage had been shot at the actual place where the incident happened. Seeing this show piqued my curiosity. When I checked the show's credits, I discovered that the producer David Cherniack had a strong Winnipeg connection. Here's a link to his small website An impressive track record.
   I wrote an e-mail to David Cherniack asking if he could give me the coordinates for the UFO site. and Stan is waiting for... He forwarded it to 2 other fellows who had been there with him. Within a day they sent me the coordinates. A few days later after some preliminary planning with Google Earth I set out to hike in to the spot. It was a beautiful fall day and I was able to take my time and find a route that only required two stretches of bush whacking.
   I enjoyed just being at the spot and imagining what might have happened there. Time well wasted. I was happy to see that the location was very clean; no trash or human signs other than footprints in the moss. No UFOs showed up to take me back to my van. Nuts. Ah well, my curiousity had been temporarily satisfied...    p.s. the time of day on my GPS in the photo was still set to Ireland time.

   (ed. note: This is just a great story. Stan has always been his "own" man and has a keen interest in many things. UFO stories have a special aura about them. Are they always lies or dreams put forth by unusual people...?

Elk Isand, Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba Stan Enns, summer 2006     Stan Enns (WG) has taken up geocaching as a hobby. Now that he is retired he can search out more distant and difficult sites. If you were wondering, Wikipedia defines geocaching as: "... an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a GPS receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. Today, Stan Enns, summer 2006 well over 540,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the sport. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica."

    Stan now has over 300 "finds" many of which are located quite a distance from YWG and provide plenty of adventure. Good way to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. On the left are pictures taken by Stan in 2006 while searching for a geocache on Elk Island (Lake Winnipeg). On the right, Elk Island, spring 2008.

Stan Enns, Phil Gies and Toby the Terrier    On the right, Stan has enlisted the help(???) of Phil Gies to find a multi-cache in the Assiniboine forest on Feb 25, 2008. Great fun tramping around in snow, trying to stay on course in spite of dense bush. We were successful that morning and rewarded ourselves with some of Tim H's best brew - what else!

   Ron Wilcox (QK/WG/VR) did a South American tour in the spring of 2007. First the equator, then a four day walk from Cuzco to Machu Picchu in Peru, and finally 8 days on the Galapagos Islands.
  --"On my last day in Quito I visited the equator visitor center where several experiments are performed to demonstrate equatorial effects. Most impressive was seeing leaves dropped into a sink go straight down at the equator or twirl clockwise/counter clockwise when offset by only 2m or so."
  --On a mountain pass during a bus ride from Punno (Lake Titicaca) to Cuzco, Peru. That sign says 14,222 feet by the way...
  --The first part of day two of the Inca Trail involves a climb from our camp at 3000m to Dead Woman's Pass at 4200m.
  --A view of the Inca Valley, with a pretty fraulein for a splash of colour...
  --Finally, after four days of hiking, the traditional view of Machu Picchu - spectacular - worth the effort.
  --And on the Galapagos Island, a pair of marine iguanas sunning themselves, or perhaps contemplating a dive into the ocean.

  --One of the island stops involved walking along a beach composed of very red sand. The seals are quite used to people and this pair of mother and pup emerged from the sea just behind the rest of my group.

   Phil Gies (UL/WG) The Ripleys and Gies did another vacation together, 22 years after sailing in the Bahamas. This time it was 2 weeks in February 2007 at the Iberostar Varadero resort in Varadero Cuba. We had a great time.

Hard to believe, about 6 hours after deicing we were on the beach!
Denis (DR) is the guy with more hair, but I tan better!
There are some great looking old American cars. Here is a rare (anywhere!) 1955 DeSoto, I wonder how many million miles are on this beauty!
     Ah Cuba, muchos Pia Coladas

Check out our little Cuba website

   Al Chance (WG/VR) brought along his digital camera on an early summer 2006 flight with his son and grandson.
mountain flying Harrison BC
Hope Slide - 2006 Chilliwack BC - 2006
     "(ed. This isn't the prairies...)"

BC - 2006
     Gord Hole (QT/WG/VR)
"Here are some vacation pics. We have been up in the Broughtons (east of Port Hardy) with the boat a couple of times." (2006)
BC - 2006
     "See it doesn't rain all the time out here..."

Egypt - 2004
     This is the picture that got me started on this webpage. I really like the use of one of the wonders of world as a backdrop to a picture of people.

Maurice "Mo" Pitre(UL) sent in this snap from a 2004 voyage to Egypt. That's Mo on the right, his wife Suzanne in the middle, and a friend on the left. Great picture!
Dominican Republic - 2005
     Maurice likes to travel and here he is enjoying a 2005 winter break in the Dominican Republic with his grandsons Yanick and Hugo.

Saudi Arabia - 2006
     From Bob Willis(YR/CV/WG) and in his words;
"...the "Suits", that's me on the left, Robert Dion ex-YUL Terminal, and Wayne Lessard, ex-Manager ACC Training YEG. We're at a Valentines dance in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Feb /06."
Saudi Arabia - 2006
     Again from Bob Willis;
"The second picture is from a "Fish-Grab" in Jeddah, with me on the right and Saleh Rawass, a Saudi ATC Instructor (ten years my junior)

"I have been back in Canada for a month now and will try retirement for the 5th time."

Dave Tustin's 1960 MGA restoration project Dave Tustin's 1960 MGA restoration project Dave Tustin's 1960 MGA restoration project
   Dave Tustin(WG TCU) has a true long term project, retoring a 1960 MGA roadster.

   Phil Gies (UL/WG) originally bought this car as a basket case in 1972, collected some more pieces and towed it from Montreal to Winnipeg in the spring of 1976 (on the way home from the Gander ATC hockey tournament). He sold the "project basket case" to Dave in 1986 or so and Dave started the project in earnest about 3 or 4 years ago. Dave's son Randy (Air Canada ME) has been a major assistant and Dave has managed to enlist the help of other talented people.
The MGA is starting to look great - check out the valve cover and SU carb bodies!

These pictures were taken April 3, 2006.
NOTE: This next section of the webpage is both 56k friendly and DSL friendly. When this page is accessed only thumbnails are downloaded.
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   - To view a large DSL friendly image click on the left half of the image and a large high resolution picture will be downloaded.

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  October 9, 2007 and the parts are being resassembled and the "A" looks great in its light blue paint job!

  That's Dave in red and his son Randy in the plaid shirt. A couple of years ago, Randy and his brother-in-law rebuilt a Cessna 170 in this shop and did a beautiful job.

Houston - 1971      Denis Ripley(UL/YC) and Phil Gies(UL/WG) were the first Canadian controllers to visit Houston ARTCC on a fam trip from UL to HOU in late 1971. Of course we had to take in the NASA Johnson Space Centre.
Houston ARTCC- 1971      Houston ARTCC in 1971, looks pretty new to me. They were using PPI displays and "shrimp boats" (Toronto ACC was using "shrimp boats" in those years too). We watched, with some trepidation, as a Houston radar controller vectored IFR traffic through a miliary flying area in radio contact with the only the civilian traffic. To my question "isn't this sort of a dicey operation", he drily replied; "only when the military target stops moving, cause then I have to alert the civilian jet that military fighter traffic (left or right) is likely doing a loop so KEEP A SHARP LOOKOUT!"

- It's deja vu all over again -

(Yogi Berra, legendary catcher for the New York Yankees)

     These next photos require some explanation. Way back in 1968, Hugh McCallum emigrated from British ATC to Canadian ATC under the "Applied Sciences Program". He (and Don McLean) attended an IFR course at Montreal ACC in late 1968. Hugh and I checked out and worked together on Crew three. In 1974 Hugh became a DSC in WG ACC. In 1976 I became a DSC in WG ACC. Although the McCallum's moved back to Ottawa in 1978 or so, since 1968 we and our families have stayed good friends. Hugh and I are retired now but we both have sons in the ATC business and as fate would have it they are both IFR controllers in WG ACC. Only coincidence you say...
England - 2003
     In 2003 the McCallum's and Gies' took a canal boating vacation in England - a grand time.
     This photo was taken on Canada Day 2003 somewhere on the Trent-Mersy canal. That's Hugh McCallum on the left, me on the right. Hugh's wife Sheila brought these truly Canadian hats for the occasion and our canal boat was festooned with Canadian flags and the crew wore their hats all day, all day in the bloody rain...
England - 2005
     Not to be out done by the "old guys", Patrick McCallum (on the left) and Michael Gies (on the right) took a fam trip to the UK in 2005. Again England was invaded by a McCallum/Gies duo.

Abaco Island, Bahamas Morgan 'PleasureBond', Abaco, Bahamas - 1985      Ah, sailing in the Bahamas. In the late 1960s and early 70s, many Winnipeg controllers went sailing in the Bahamas - specifically on the east coast of Abaco Island. From Little Harbour in the south to Coopers Town in the north, is about 25nm of fantastic sailing/cruising to visit all the little cays (keys). Stories and memories told by Chuck Page, Ron Greenwood and Gord Hole fueled the imagination, so in 1985 Denis Ripley(UL/YC) and Phil Gies(UL/WG) and their wives chartered a 30 foot Morgan and spent 10 fantastic sailing days. This has to be the best way to see the Bahamas.
Denis and Heather, Bahamas - 1985 Phil and Denis, Bahamas - 1985

Western ATS Reunion - 2003
Doug Barry photo

     Jim Hall(YC) is the founder of the Western ATC Reunion which has been held in the Shuswap area in BC for several years. Complete information is available at Jim's website. Lots of facts, details, pictures, and to quote Jim;
"     This page is dedicated to informing others of the annual three day "Air-Reunion" that is held in Blind Bay, BC, Canada. It's an occasion for those who were, or still are, involved in any aspect of aviation and is a fun time for all."

     Jim's website also contains all pertinent information on the forthcoming "Air Reunion-YYC-2007" held in Calgary, AB on May 2, 2008.

This site was last updated: May 12, 2009

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