Bruce Lothian – Classic Wings Pilot

Bruce classic wings of CanadaBruce was born into an aviation family.

His Mother was Trans Canada Airline’s/Air Canada’s third flight attendant (1938). In that capacity, she and his pilot father crewed the inaugural flight from Vancouver to Seattle. His father was TCA’s/Air Canada’s third pilot, hired in Sept. of 1937. In that position he became the first pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean 100 times and over the years held the trans-Atlantic speed record several times. He delivered the first aircraft of many fleets to TCA/Air Canada – from the Super Constellation up to and including the Douglas DC-9. He retired from the position of Director of Flight Standards and Training in 1968.

Is it any wonder that Bruce had the aviation bug? At the age of 8 he built his first simulator and spent many hours fantasizing about becoming a pilot. While working as a simulator technician for Air Canada, he was able to make the fantasy become a reality in the 60’s when he qualified for his pilot’s license. With help from pilot friends, he managed to “scrounge” a Douglas DC-3 type rating in 1972 by doing ferry flights. Many applications later, in 1974, Nordair Airlines hired him as a first officer for the de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter for High Arctic operations. A few years later, he was upgraded to the Fairchild FA-27 while still in the Arctic. A short stint on the Lockheed Electra L-188 was followed by the Boeing B-737 and Douglas DC-8. In 1981 he upgraded to Captain on the FA-27 for Domestic and Arctic operations. He later accepted an appointment to the position of Company Check Pilot (CPP) for that aircraft. In 1985 he left the CPP position to upgrade to Captain on the B-737. Following the merge of Nordair into Canadian Airlines International Ltd. (CAIL), he qualified as a Captain on the Airbus A-319, A-320 and A-321. With the merge of CAIL into Air Canada, he became part of the Air Canada pilot fraternity. After serving 32 years as an airline pilot, he retired from Air Canada and joined an executive charter company flying an Astra AJ-25. Most of his charter flying was dedicated to the transport of Gordon Lightfoot, and his band, on their tours throughout the United States. In his leisure time, from 2005 onward, he has been flying with Classic Wings, enjoying the very different world of air shows and “fun” flying … both fast and slow.

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