Community Testimonial

Portrait of a young airline pilot in Canada

After the portrait of a spotter, we continue our presentation of the local “avgeek” community with that of a young airline pilot.

Bruno Flageol is 25 years old and is an airline pilot in Canada. Based in Montreal, he flies around Eastern Canada, flying aircraft such as the Q100 and Q300 (also known as the Dash 8 100 and 300) bombers.

His vocation came early, even if he doesn’t remember his first flight at nine months old, his first aerial memory goes back to the age of 5 with a flight to Calgary on Canadian Airlines.

His work also takes him to live temporarily in other bases of his employer like Vancouver.

His favorite aircraft is the Boeing 777-300 and its huge engine but he would like to be in charge of the future Boeing 737 MAX ordered by Air Canada. According to him, the latter allows for a good mix between varied destinations and a balanced personal life.

We thank Frederick Durand of the 55th Avenue Group for putting us in touch.

Milesopedia: How did you become an airline pilot? What is your professional background?

Bruno Flageol: I started my commercial pilot career in August 2008 at the Moncton Flight College. I completed a two-year college program before graduating in April 2010. I also received the Air Canada Pilots Association Award for being the best instrument pilot in the program. Afterwards, I obtained my flight instructor rating (license) at Air Richelieu where I also taught for two years, from 2012 to 2014.

In May 2014, I was hired by Skylink Express as a first officer on a Beechcraft 1900 based in Mirabel. This company carries out cargo flights for UPS.

Now, since November 2015, I am an airline pilot with Jazz Aviation, an operator under the Air Canada Express banner.

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Bruno Flageol

Milesopedia: Do you remember your first commercial flight as a pilot?

B. F.: My first commercial flight was as an instructor at St-Hubert. I had just qualified and was immediately assigned a new student. It was very special because for the first time in my life I could fly and make money to follow my passion.

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a breathtaking view

Milesopedia: What aircraft are you currently flying? Do you already have an idea of which one you want to fly next?

B. F.: Currently, I am flying the Dehavilland Dash 8-100/-300. After that, I’m not sure what I’d like to fly yet, but I’m definitely attracted to Air Canada’s new 737 MAX order. This type of aircraft does not fly too long but has a very interesting range. I’m not necessarily looking for the biggest machine, but a balance between work and quality of life.

Milesopedia: Do you have a destination or an unusual anecdote as a pilot to share?

B. F.: The first time I landed at New York Kennedy (JFK). It was during one of my first flights in a King Air 90, a small business jet. I was totally impressed, even overwhelmed, to see all the planes taking off and landing simultaneously. The radios never stopped. I knew at that very moment that I was sitting in the right place!

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Milesopedia: Do you see a difference between being an airline pilot in Canada and, for example, in Europe where distances are perhaps shorter and winter conditions less severe?

B. F.: I have never had the chance to fly in Europe, but there are definitely a lot of differences. We can take the example of the United States and Canada to draw a parallel. Our neighbors to the south have a much larger airport system than Canada. Even the regional airports receive a large number of aircraft. For the pilot, this means that the structures and aids around the airports in the United States are much more present, making the tasks in flight much easier. In Canada, as you move away from the major centers, the airports are much smaller and the services are therefore also more limited. On the other hand, I think we are surely one of the most advanced countries when it comes to winter conditions.

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Milesopedia: What is your favorite time of day or year to fly and the best time of a flight?

B. F.: I prefer to fly in the evening, because the conditions are often perfect. The winds are often calm, which means little turbulence. Also, when the sky is clear, you can easily see the thousands of stars in the sky. It is simply beautiful!

Milesopedia: We are talking about loyalty programs, do you have a “favorite” loyalty program?

B. F.: I would say that I like the Aeroplan program. With my credit card, I can collect my points without having to go to participating businesses. Anecdote: My coffee machine comes from the points I have accumulated and everyone knows that I can’t live without my coffee in the morning!

We would like to thank Bruno Flageol for his time, we wish him a great career and who knows one day milesopedia will have the pleasure to take a flight with him at the controls!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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