Thomas Fecteau 1925-2019

Thomas Fecteau 1925-2019

Great pilot

After obtaining his private pilot's license at Ancienne-Lorette airport in 1947, Thomas Fecteau left to complete his commercial pilot course at Senneterre. In Abitibi, his uncle Arthur (A. Fecteau Transport Aérien) offered him his first chance and taught him the profession of bush pilot. He flew Norseman, Beaver, Otter, Fox Moth and Junker type planes. In 1951, he obtained an aircraft maintenance engineer license, which allowed him to certify company aircraft. He was also responsible for the training of pilots. In 1955, he decided to focus his career on airline flight and went to work in Rimouski, for Quebecair. There he flew larger planes, such as the PBY Canso, the DC-3 and the Fairchild F-27. He flew on the Mont-Joli - Sept-Îles - Schefferville - Québec - Montreal line, making up to 22 landings per day, as part of the gigantic construction project of the DEW LINE radar line.

When the Québec government air service was created in 1960, service director Paul Gagnon made Thomas Fecteau his trusted man. In 1961, Fecteau became chief pilot of the service, remaining in this position until his retirement in 1988. As such, he flew all the planes in the service, from the DC-3 to the F-27, including the famous DH-125 "Jet at Lesage". He actively contributed to the development and commissioning of the Canso and CL-215 water bombers. His great mechanical skills also allowed him to understand and advise mechanics. A pillar of the Government Air Service for more than 25 years, he was one of the most respected and appreciated pilots of his generation. After a career of more than 40 years in aviation, Thomas Fecteau turned to forestry, winning several awards for the excellence of his forest maintenance and woodlot regeneration work. Always passionate about aviation, he sits on the board of directors of Maison Dupuis, dedicated to the pioneers of aviation in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce.

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