The COPA Flight 10 directors submitted personal biographies and photos in the spirit of building relationships within our aviation community. We hope that our sharing may inspire more members to add their profiles to our blog.
Rick Smith – COPA Flight 10 Captain
Rick Smith was born and raised in Nova Scotia (yes, a Bluenoser), graduated in 1981 with a mining engineering degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and promptly ended up working at a semi remote mine in the Northwest Territories. He eventually met and married his wife and companion Sheila (a school teacher) in Yellowknife where whey lived for about 8 years before moving farther south. Together, they have moved about 7 times while living and working in various mining towns in Canada and the USA. They spent six years in Red Lake Ontario and three wonderful years in Winnewucca, Nevada where their son Roscoe was born. They were a year in Marathon Ontario, five years in Sudbury, another five in North Bay before finally landing in Saskatoon. Rick expects this could be home for a lengthy period. As mining towns, Saskatoon is one of the best in the country.
Rick caught the flying bug while living in the north, where the opportunities to ride in various bush planes are more common place. However learning to fly did not become a hard reality until about 2005 in Sudbury. Rick has his PPL, a float and night rating and owns the nice looking Cessna 172M pictured above which he flew solo cross-county from North Bay to Martensville in 2013.
Although flying and maintaining his plane is his prime focus, Rick enjoys learning all he can about aviation and wants to be more involved in the local general aviation community.
Garth Brehon – COPA Flight 10 Co-captain
Garth Brehon grew up on the family farm at Maymont, SK and actively participated until sold in 2010. Owned my engineering design and manufacturing company, Brehon Agrisystems Inc., for 33 years until sold in 2013. My work is now focused solely on my corporate and business law practice, Brehon Law, in north end Saskatoon.
My first pilot log entry is a July 9, 2008 training flight in a 152 with Dominic Beaulieu from Mitchinson’s. I have since obtained my Private Pilot Licence, added a night rating, and am currently working on my single engine IFR rating. I bought my Cessna 182 S in 2014 and have been actively trying to absorb as much of the flying “experience” as I can ever since.
I am pleased to volunteer with my COPA 10 director colleagues to further develop the active participation of all of we members to expand the flying adventures, the continued learning, the social fun, and the sharing of the great privilege we as owners and pilots have, with others.
Tammy Boychuk – COPA Flight 10 Navigator
Tammy has a favourite quip that she sometimes shares with her unsuspecting students: “I fly. What’s your superpower?” As a teacher with over 25 years of experience, Tammy has taught all grade levels in both rural and urban settings. She loves to inspire her students to find the courage and strength to make friends with the unknown and to discover the best in themselves. Learn more about her class at msboychuk.me.
When she’s not caught up in capers with grade 4, you can find her on aviation related adventures. She earned her PPL in 2004 and since then has sought out aviation meccas near and far with flights to Oshkosh, participation in the Century Flight Club La Ronge, travels to Florida, Seattle, England – and – don’t forget – Unity and Davidson, Saskatchewan! To her, aviation is not just what she’s done and where she’s been – but more importantly, who she’s met along the way. She shares her life and love of aviation with Shane, a kind and creative husband who prefers to spend time in the sky. Together, they are caretakers of a Piper Cherokee 140.
Tammy is excited to volunteer her time to work with COPA Flight 10’s energetic and enthusiastic 2017 team of directors. As club navigator, she does her best to orchestrate effective and accountable club communications while promoting general aviation.
Connie Peterson – COPA Flight 10 Co-navigator
Connie has always been very proud to have called Saskatoon home. Being born and raised in Saskatoon her roots here run deep. After obtaining her diploma in Accounting she worked for a number of years in an accounting office before starting with Gregg’s Plumbing & Heating where she has remained for 23 years. Connie married Doug in 1986 and have two wonderful boys. Their family has always been very active with camping, fishing, snowmobiling and anything outdoors. It is through Doug that Connie has become involved in the flying community. Doug is the one with the pilot’s license, however Connie is his favourite navigator. They owned a Taylorcraft for a few years when they were first married and lived in Nipawin, however the move back to Saskatoon and two young boys forced them to sell the plane and give up flying for a few years. By 2008 it was time to think about getting back in the air. Living on an acreage enabled Doug to build a runway on the back 40 acres, shortly after they built a hanger. All they needed now was an airplane. Connie kept saying they were building their field of dreams, “build it and they shall come”. In 2011 it finally happened, they took a two week vacation of sorts and together they built their airplane through the 2 week to taxi program, and were now the proud owners of a shiny red Glasair Sportsman. They have never looked back, having made numerous trips to the mountains, a couple to Vancouver Island and lots of trips to northern Saskatchewan especially in the winter on skis for ice fishing. Connie looks forward to her involvement with COPA Flight 10 and this brings with it.
Harold Fast – COPA Flight 10 Director
Harold Fast, Spiritwood Sask. Veterinarian turned pig farmer. Founder of Fast Genetics (www.fastgenetics.com). Was fortunate to be able to use my plane for some business travel. Most flying is done in the three prairie provinces and into a NWT fishing lodge. Have made several trips to Mexico, one to Chile, a flying safari in a rented C172 in Australia, another planned this May around the UK (www.airsafarisint.com). Also planned, early in 2018, to circumnavigate South America, (www.givehopewings.ca), that one will be a major fund raising effort for Hope Air.
My objectives re: COPA would focus on enhancing the flying experience for GA through fly-outs, educational presentations, socializing and encouraging potential and new pilots.
Murray Marien – COPA Flight 10 Director
Murray was born in Biggar, Saskatchewan and raised on a farm near Whiteshore Lake. He took his schooling at St. Gabriel’s School, St. Peter’s College and BCHS high school. He logged for a few years in Quesnel and Barrier BC before taking a drafting course at Cariboo College in Kamloops and returning to Saskatoon to pursue a career in surveying.
Murray knew his wife Judy in high school but they didn’t start dating until Murray returned from BC in 1974. They were married in 1975 and have four sons and nine grandchildren. Murray’s best friends know him as grandpa.
Murray articled to L.N. Nicholson in 1980 and received his Saskatchewan Land Surveyors commission in 1985. He served on council and as president of the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association in 1994-1995. He also was on the SLSA board of examiners, the Western Board of Examiners and the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors for a number of years. He started his own firm, Saskatoon Land Surveyors, in 1985. All of his sons gained some working experience as summer rodmen. Murray joined with another firm and played a part in conversion of the Land Titles system to digital format. Murray’s contribution was both software development and converting the 100,000 survey plans to GIS.
Murray’s midlife crisis resulted in learning to fly in 2008. Murray holds a PPL, with Night and VFR OTT endorsements plus he has a US PPL. His 2002 Glasair II has taken him coast to coast both in Canada and the USA. Of the 75+ passengers, his wife, who doesn’t like to fly, is his most common passenger with 54 flights. Murray spent nearly 50 hours in someone else’s plane this last year. The most recent was a trip across the US south west, over the Grand Canyon and Mojave Desert to the Pacific Coast in his brother’s GlaStar.
Murray spends his waking hours dreaming about and building his Hatz Classic.
Michael Schultz – COPA Flight 10 Director
Mike graduated from high school in 1993 and after a year at the U of S, Mike decided to join the International Agricultural Exchange Association program to Australia. This entailed doing farm and construction work. After returning, Mike moved to La Ronge, where he eventually was hired at Athabaska Airways. Athabaska Airways eventually became Transwest Air and Mike spent time flying Twin Otter, Cessna 185, 402 and Jetstream 31 aircraft. Mike joined WestJet in 2003 where he has been a Captain on the Boeing 737 NG for the last 10 years. Mike enjoys snowmobiling, spending time at the cabin with his wife Shirley and their two girls, Arielle and Isabelle, along with flying his Stinson 108-2 (built in 1947). Mike is looking forward to working with his fellow directors at COPA Flight 10 and to the new year.