History of the Pacific Flying Club

Pacific Flying Club has a proud and interesting history.

Respected as one of the preeminent flight training organizations in British Columbia, Pacific Flying Club’s origins date back to 1965 when it was established as the Canadian Pacific Airlines Employees Flying Club. Originally located at Vancouver International Airport, it was relocated to Boundary Bay Airport in 1985 when ZBB was recommissioned as an airport.

Over the past 55+ years, the Club has grown into having one of the largest training fleets in BC – operating 28 aircraft in total, including eleven Cessna 152, fifteen Cessna 172, and two Piper Seneca aircraft.  Pacific Flying Club is an active member of both the Air Transportation Association of Canada and the BC Aviation Council.

The Club’s senior management team has been recognized as leaders in their field. Gretchen Matheson, the Club’s Chief Flight Instructor in the 1980’s and early 1990’s was a pioneer among women in Canadian aviation and was awarded the British Columbia Aviation Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992.

Dick Laidman, former Chief Engineer with the Club, was also a pioneer in aviation having been a former president of Pacific Western Airlines.

Clark Duimel, the Club’s current Executive Director of Flight Operations was awarded the David Charles Abramson Memorial (DCAM) Flight Instructor Safety Award in 2005, confirming his status as one of the top flight training professionals in Canada. In 2012, Paul Harris, the Club’s current Manager of Flight Operations was also a recipient of the DCAM award.

Pat Kennedy, PFC’s former CFO became the first woman to be named Chair of the Air Transport Association of Canada in 2001. Pat retired in 2021 after more than 30 years with the Club and having played a key role in its growth and success.

In 1999, Pacific Flying School became the first flight training centre in the Lower Mainland to be accredited by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency of British Columbia (PCTIA). In 2016 PCTIA was replaced by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB). While all schools offering post secondary training are required to register with PTIB, accreditation is voluntary and requires the institution to go through a very rigorous process to ensure the highest education standards are met by the training facility. 

Since 2002, Pacific Flying Club has been in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in connection with their Airline and Flight Operations Program. 

Doing business under a Transport Canada Flight Training operating certificate, the Club provides comprehensive flight training programs including recreational, private and commercial licensing, as well as advanced instruction relative to night-flying, multi-engine and instrument ratings and other endorsements. In addition to flight training, the Club offers aircraft rentals to its students and members.

Over the years, the Club’s graduates have moved on to rewarding careers in aviation flying for Canada’s major airlines, regional airlines, international carriers, cargo, corporate and the uniquely Canadian bush flying sector. 

The school is recognized as a leader in IFR and simulator training. The school has more simulator options than any school in the Lower Mainland and has invested in this technology significantly.

We invite you to become part of the PFC family and include us in helping you add to your own history!

Link to www.czbb.com