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The calendar year is coming to a close, and the RCAF Association would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a very safe and happy holiday season.

As we reflect on the news and events that helped shape 2014, we would like to offer RCAF Association News subscribers a look at the most-read news stories from their publication. That means, over the next two weeks, we'll count down the Top 20 articles for the year!

Your regular news publication will resume on Friday, January 9, 2015.


10. RCAF training flight ends with ejection
Flying Magazine
Jan. 31, 2014: A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) instructor pilot and student now have an uneven number of takeoffs and landings in their logbooks. Both qualified for membership in the Caterpillar Club by ejecting from their Beechcraft CT-156 Harvard II trainer during a routine training mission. The Harvard II is the Canadian version of the Texan II trainer used by American military forces.
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9. Daring pilots of Cold War era gather for Victoria reunion
The Vancouver Sun
Sept. 19, 2014: Sixty years ago, daring young NATO pilots were protecting the skies over Cold War Europe from the Soviet menace. "We were a formidable force," said Syd Burrows, 84, of Comox. "The Russians were threatening all the time — like they are today." Burrows helped bring more than 400 former Royal Canadian Air Force jet fighter pilots and their family members to Victoria for a reunion. The Canadian pilots were the protective forces for the West German populace, he recalled.
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8. Famed Second World War Avro Lancaster bomber sets off for U.K. tour
CTV News
Aug. 8, 2014: Canada's only air-worthy Second World War Lancaster bomber plane took off recently from Hamilton on the first leg of a journey to the other side of the Atlantic. The plane will take part in a three-day journey to the United Kingdom, making stops along the way. When it arrives in the U.K., it will be featured in a two-month aerial tour. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight tour is expected to draw millions of visitors.
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7. Canadian air force bending on medical requirements to deal with experienced pilot shortage
National Post
Jan. 10, 2014: Canada's air force has been bending on minimum medical standards such as vision and hearing requirements as it contends with a critical shortage of experienced pilots. The Royal Canadian Air Force has long struggled to retain enough trained military pilots to fly its fighter jets, search-and-rescue aircraft and helicopters, but a growing "experience gap" is making the situation worse than ever.
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6. Petition started to stop cuts being made by Harper Government to military cadet program
Ottawa Citizen
Jan. 17, 2014: Defence Watch readers have sent in a link to a petition on the military cadet issue. Here is what the petition site states: "Stephen Harper and Government of Canada: End the cuts to Cadets Canada training and uniforms, and cut the expansive Regional Cadet Bureaucracy instead. Canadian cadets are future leaders in our society." Unfortunately, the Harper Conservative government has failed to properly oversee this critical program.
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5. F-35's French rival pitches 'Canadianized' fighter jet
CBC News
March 21, 2014: Dassault Aviation of France is making an aggressive bid to sideline the F-35 and to sell its own jet fighter to Canada, offering to transfer technology, create jobs and share billions of dollars in business if Canada buys its Rafale fighter to replace its outdated fleet of CF-18s. Dassault leads the French consortium that makes the twin-engined Rafale for the French air force. The Rafale, unlike the F-35, has been combat-tested in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.
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4. American navy drone wanders into Canadian airspace off Nova Scotia
CBC News
April 11, 2014: An American navy drone wandered into Canadian-controlled airspace off the coast of Nova Scotia. It was over the ocean when it crossed into the Canadian zone about 230 kilometres southwest of Yarmouth. The U.S. navy's Global Hawk drones have a wingspan of nearly 40 metres, wider than a Boeing 737.
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3. Flights of fancy at Markham Airport: A former Cold War pilot's big plans
Toronto Star
Nov. 11, 2014: Wearing a faded olive-drab flight suit and polished black cowboy boots, Allan Rubin sits in the navigator seat from an Argus anti-submarine patrol bomber. Repurposed with rollers, the reborn office chair is surrounded by a clutter of paperwork and aircraft parts, such as the propeller of a Tiger Moth biplane and a photographic view-finder from a once state-of-the-art U-2 spy plane. Just outside sit four vintage (and mostly functional) fighter jets.
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2. Here are the details on the RCAF's new uniforms and ranks
Ottawa Citizen
Sept. 26, 2014: Here are the details on the RCAF's new uniforms and ranks as outlined in the air force's news release: The Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) new uniform respects the contributions and sacrifices of airmen and airwomen who served — and continue to serve — with pride and professionalism. Main aspects of the new uniform are drawn from pre-unification rank insignia maintaining the modern elements and terminology familiar to serving members. The insignia for most ranks will be recognizable as the symbols that air force personnel have worn for nearly half a century.
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1. Seat on Hamilton's Avro Lancaster fetches $79,100
Hamilton Spectator
May 16, 2014: Matthew Munson is over the moon about flying in Hamilton's Avro Lancaster. The 34-year-old businessman from Henley-on-Thames in England is so excited, he isn't the least bit deterred about paying a whopping $79,100 for the transatlantic privilege. "It's a helluva lot of money," admits Munson, who owns a company that deals in everything from information technology to farm machinery.
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RCAF Association News
Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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