Meet Regina Flying Club alumni to learn how each flight training journey is unique!

Lindsay Bowers

Who am I and where am I now?

I’m Lindsay Bowers, I grew up in Regina SK and having been living in Whitehorse for the last five years. I’m currently working as a B737 F/O with Air North and was previously Captain on the King Air 350/200 flying medevacs with Alkan Air. 

Why did I choose RFC?

I graduated high school with no clear idea of what career path I wanted to pursue. I had been interested in aviation but it wasn’t until I heard a radio advertisement for the RFC’s open house that I started seriously considering it. After going to the open house and talking with Mike Meehan I signed up for lessons that day and began flying the next week. 

How did RFC help me in my career?

The RFC actually provided me with my first job in aviation. I was hired as a Class 4 instructor in the summer of 2013 and worked there, eventually upgrading to Class 3, until I was hired by Alkan at the start of 2015. 

If I had to give advice to someone starting out, what would I say?

Pilots are an opinionated group of people, you will receive a ton of advice on how to have a ‘proper’ career in aviation. Whatever branch of flying you choose, be that airlines, corporate, bush, instructing, etc. make sure you’re doing what YOU find the most enjoyable and works best for your lifestyle. 

Also work hard, have a good attitude and do your paperwork properly! A good reputation in the aviation industry can open a lot of doors (and vice versa).

James Pottage

Who am I and where am I now?

My name is James Pottage and I am currently Operations Manager and a partner of Provincial Airways.  For pretty much my whole life I’ve been fascinated with aviation.  After high school, I took my commercial flight training with the Regina Flying Club and Sask Poly Tech.  Following that, I had opportunities to work in the Aerial Application (Crop Dusting) and Aircraft Maintenance industries and have since made that my career.   

Why did I choose RFC?

The Regina Flying Club was the clear choice for me to pursue my interest in aviation.  As a Regina resident, it served as a gateway into the industry with its long history and connections with aviation in southern Saskatchewan.

How did RFC help me in my career?

In addition to the quality training and facilities the Regina Flying Club had to offer, they helped initiate connections with people in the industry which was valuable to someone starting an aviation career.


If I had to give advice to someone starting out, what would I say?

If you’re interested in flying for a career or just for recreation, I’d suggest talking to an instructor right away.  You can start flying almost immediately.  It’s also important to keep in mind that the industry is all about building and maintaining relationships.  The aviation industry in Canada is small, and good references with the people you meet and work with is crucial.  Lastly, I’d say keep in mind there are all kinds of opportunities in aviation.  There is a career in aviation to satisfy almost everyone’s appetite to fly.

How did RFC help me in my career?

The Regina Flying Club is where I started my career. I finished my multi-engine IFR rating in late 2008 when the job market was difficult to get started in. I was working for Transwest Air as a customer service agent. Their Regina base was
closing and I was going to get laid off. After looking at the options I decided to start my intructor rating. Though the flying club already had a full contingent of instructors, they gave me the opportunity to start out as a part time instructor.

That summer I worked with the Air Cadets which allowed me to get my Class 3 rating. After that summer, I then started full time. The flying club allowed me to set my own schedule. This gave me the opportunity to instruct 500 to 700 hours a year and gave me the flexibility to complete a Bachelors degree at the University of Regina.

If I had to give advice to someone starting out, what would I say?

If you are going pursue aviation as a hobby or as a career, I believe the Regina Flying Club is a great school to learn at. It will allow you to learn at your pace and have fun while you train. Have fun and enjoy your experience and make the most of the opportunities around, such as fly-in breakfasts, interesting cross countries,
and different types of airports. If you are pursuing aviation as a career, the biggest thing I learnt is to realize that not everyone’s career path is the same. The industry is always changing, and
you may start at a great time when people are getting hired at the airlines straight out of school. On the flip side you may end up starting out when times are tough and might have to work in Northern Canada or in a ground position for a while. But make sure you make the most of every experience and opportunity, and that all starts at hour one of your flight training. Last but not least, commercial students please make sure you get the right number of night PIC hours for the ATPL. 1500 hours can come up quickly.

Jeanie Leigh Phillips

Who am I and where am I now?

Hello my name is Jeanie Leigh Phillips and I am currently a Q400 captain for Jazz Aviation in Calgary Alberta. My flying career started at the Regina Flying Club as an instructor in 2009. After four years of instructing I took a position with Air Georgian as a first officer on the Beech 1900. After two years at Air
Georgian, I started with Jazz in 2015.

Why did I choose RFC?

Being from Regina, the flying club was the first choice when considering getting my private license. It was the only flight school in Regina and after a visit I knew this is where I wanted to train. I completed a Diploma program at Siast in
Saskatoon and had the option of where I wanted to complete my flying. I chose to stay as a student of the Regina Flying Club for a number of different reasons.

The club offers great instructing, well maintained aircraft, and a variety of different experiences and opportunities. I’ve noticed that many other schools do not have same flexibility as the flying club. We would go out to small strips, grass strips, pancake breakfasts and have the opportunity to fly all over the prairies and beyond. I would choose to do my training at RFC today after working in the industry for the past ten years. There are different programs and options all over the country but the one advantage the Regina Flying Club has, is its location. Some airports such as Springbank or Boundary Bay are so busy that you can end up as
number 10 or more in the circuit for landing. These airports get so busy that it can make training very difficult and expensive. Regina has a great mix of traffic and a control tower. This allows you to experience dealing with other air traffic but not so much that it becomes overwhelming. This allows for efficient and cost effective training.

Marielle Caron

Hello! My name is Marielle Caron, I work for Thunder Airlines in Timmins, Ontario, as a captain on the King Air 100. On the King Airs, we operate daily scheduled service, charters, and freight hauling to Northern Ontario. Before moving out here, I lived in Regina.

I was fortunate to have the Regina Flying Club right in my home city and at my home airport, so it was an easy choice to do my training there, while I went to school and worked. I completed every bit of my flight training at the RFC, from my First Solo and Private License to my Commercial License and Multi-Engine/Instrument ratings (I may be responsible for one or two of Tom’s grey hairs.) Regina is an excellent place to train, as you get experience in a Class D, controlled airport environment, with long, paved, well maintained runways, and a large, well-defined practice area close to the city.

When it comes time for IFR training, YQR has an ILS approach as well as GNSS approaches to LPV minimums (all important to the world of instrument flying!) After getting my first flying job, I realized that it was a huge benefit to learn to fly at a busy airport with ‘real’ traffic and have experience with that type of Air Traffic Control.

This makes for a unique opportunity, as it is not the case with a lot of flight schools.

Over the years at Regina Flying Club, I have had incredible flight
instructors who were all patient, helpful, knowledgeable and
supportive. They knew what my goals were and made sure I was able to reach them in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. The management, ramp, and office staff were also amazing and were a great support during my time there. Everyone at the Club is honest and up-front, and will do everything in their power to ensure you understand the process from start to finish. Their aircraft are well-maintained and trustworthy, installed with all the equipment you need, and the prices are quite reasonable.

It is not always an easy, or well-defined path from the very start to becoming a licensed pilot. There are costs, setbacks and
discouragements along the way. To someone just starting out with the goal of becoming any level of pilot, I would say that it is 100% worth the commitment, and will pay dividends in the long run. I do not know many people outside of aviation that can honestly say they love their job and enjoy going to work every day. While I’m still relatively new, I can say that I am fortunate to be one of those people. Of course there are challenging times, but there is no better feeling than that first takeoff roll of the day, where everything else melts away and you, your machine and your FO are working together to safely get where you need to go. Some days I am awestruck by the fact that this is what I get paid to do!

I would also suggest to anyone thinking about starting their training, to do it now, and with no delay during the process. It really is a great time to get in the industry, there are a lot of entry level opportunities for the low-time pilot. Do it now!!!

I would highly recommend the Regina Flying Club to anyone who is interested in pursuing flight training, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks to a few years of excellent training through the RFC I am actually living my dream, and it’s only going to get better from her

Brent Schill

Hello, I’m Brent Schill. I’m a graduate of the Regina Flying Club. I Started my career in 2002 doing various flying jobs from flying Skydivers to doing survey flying eventually moving up to Saskatchwan Air Ambulance, and my goal working for Northern Air Operations bombing wildfires.

I am flying a Convair580

Moving up the ladder has never been quicker, if your goal is to Fly for the Airlines. Your start should be with the Regina Flying Club. You won’t regret it.

Des Brophy

Who am I and where am I now?

I am currently an experimental test pilot and the manager of flight operations at Viking Air Limited, where we are building new De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otters and expanding their capabilities every day.

Why did I choose RFC?

As a boy growing up in Regina, all my heroes were connected to the Regina Flying Club. It was where I watched all the people I looked up to fly as instructors: David Brophy, Tom Ray, David Ahmed, Brian Findlay, Al Thompson, Brad Ruble, etc.

How did RFC help me in my career?

The training I received at RFC taught me much more than flying; it taught me the importance of being prepared and studying, the importance of becoming an active learner, and the value of professionalism and camaraderie. These lessons have been invaluable to me over the years.

If I had to give advice to someone starting out, what would I say?

I would tell that person to not be afraid to dream; to picture themselves succeeding at what they love and pursue that goal with enthusiasm and passion. I would tell them to keep their ego in check and treat everyone they meet with respect. I would tell them to take every time they find something they don’t understand or know much about as an opportunity to learn. And I would tell them to enjoy the company of their peers and to always have fun.

Chris McMillan

My name is Chris McMillan. I am the Chief Pilot and Operations Manager for Redhead Equipment in Regina flying a King Air 250 and mid-size corporate jet. I moved back to Regina to work for Redhead Equipment in 2010 after working as a Sales Demonstration pilot for Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita, KS. Prior to that, I flew Saab 340’s for a regional airline in the US and spent several years flight instructing at the University of North Dakota.

I became hooked on flying when a friend of the family, Dr. David Ahmed took me on my first intro flight at the Regina Flying Club in 1992. After that, I began taking lessons from Tom Ray while still in High School. Tom and everyone I interacted with at RFC developed that love of flying while maintaining the highest professional standards and safety.

The best advice that I can give someone just starting out is to enjoy every experience it brings you. Each step in your career is a learning experience that you will take with you. Enjoy every minute of it!

Chris Hiles

My name is Chris and I am a corporate pilot for Redhead Equipment. I am captain on a King Air 250 and copilot on a mid size corporate jet. I have been in Saskatchewan for my entire aviation career. I started out in Lloydminster and then made my way to Prince Albert before I came back to Regina to work for Redhead Equipment. Redhead Equipment has been my flying career for almost 9 years now.

Looking back at my training at the Regina Flying Club, some of the same instructors I flew with over 10 years ago are still there. It is great to be able to have the same quality instructors teaching there. Being based in Regina now flying corporate executives around and customers, I feel safe in the local airspace knowing that the new pilots out there are receiving the same quality instruction that I received during my flight training.

After high school, I did not have a clear path on what I wanted to do for a career so I started attending University. One Christmas, I was gifted a discovery flight at the Regina Flying Club. After that very first flight, I was hooked and wanted to pursue aviation as a career. I chose the Regina flying club initially as I lived in Regina and they were the only local flight school. They had a good size fleet of aircraft so I didn’t have to worry too much about not having an airplane available to fly and the ability to complete all my training here. I also attended the Sask Poly Commercial Pilot Program in Saskatoon but chose to complete all of my flight training in Regina. I was comfortable with the instructors and the quality of the aircraft being operated. They had the ability to meet my needs to become a commercial multi engine instrument rated pilot.

If you are passionate about aviation, I would highly encourage you to continue on this path as it is a very rewarding and unique career.

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The Regina Flying Club (RFC) is a premier flight training facility at the Regina International Airport, training dozens of new pilots every year.