Biography: Including Hobbies, Interests & Occupations!
Grew up with military parents living in Camp Borden, Ontario till 1958 when my father Staff Sergeant Arthur Lusted passed away while serving in the army. We then moved to Galt, now called Cambridge, Ontario. Since then I can remember that I always loved airplanes – (strange as my father was afraid to fly and took a ship over to Korea and back) – and would always look up to the sky. Therefore, while attending high school I earned a “Flying Scholarship” with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet’s 296 Squadron and obtained my Private Pilots License in four weeks at Camp Borden. I continued to gain experience and higher qualifications while completing high school.
Upon finishing high school I attended Centennial College where I graduated from the Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic program and worked a short stint for Seneca College Aviation Program, as my true love was as a pilot.
Picture Below: I’m on the far right!
I went on to achieve my Airline Transport Pilot License while mainly teaching at several flying schools in Ontario including Buttonville, Waterloo and London. I also obtained the highest Class I Instructor Rating and taught advanced students in Multi-Engine, IFR (Intrument Flight Rules) and Commercial Pilots to become Flight Instructor’s which became my specialty. I had met and flown with some very interesting pilots over the years including:
Marion Orr was honoured with the “Order of Canada” and featured on Historica Canada’s web page and the Heritage Minutes Collection Video.
Marion Orr was one of a small number of women who flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary, a separate agency that moved aircraft from base to base in England. The principal role of the RCAF Women's Division was to free males for combat duties moving combat planes between airfields.
The Heritage Minutes Collection produced a short video which was viewed on television as well as a preview at many movie theatres in tribute to her service to Canada and the war effort.
Heritage Minutes Collection Video link here: https://www.historicacanada.ca/content/heritage-minutes/marion-orr?media_type=&media_category=39
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPGFU_9mXCA
I also had to check out and certify one of the original pilots who flew the very first German Jet fighter Messerschmidt Me262. I’d have to look up his name in my pilot log book but remember at the time that he wasn’t a very good pilot?
When Air Canada had called and interviewed me along with successfully passing their exam I thought I had made it. Unfortunately, I missed the boat by about several months as they stopped hiring and I moved on to training for a position with Transport Canada as a Flight Service Specialist at the London International Airport. I continued piloting for many years as a Charter and Medevac pilot including Transplant teams flying aircraft similar to this one here:
Of course everyone needs a hobby right? That’s why I trained and served as an auxiliary Ontario Provincial Police Constable. I was stationed out of London while training out of the Ontario Police College as well as the Woodstock detachment. It was quite rewarding and adventurous at times; if I could only tell some stories here!
Finally this leads me to the present day with my retirement and Paul and Paula’s passion for motorcycles. Seen above top right we are visiting with the O.P.P. precision motorcycle team in Milwaukee for Harley Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebrations. I have been riding Harley’s since 2003 originally with a Dyna Superglide anniversary edition till 2013 when we upgraded to the comfortable Electra Glide Ultra Classic (hot white pearl paint) and stock. Talk about comfort for long trips as we had taken a six week adventure ride out west through the prairies to as many parks as possible including Jasper & Banff Alberta to Vancouver Island then south along the pacific coast highway. We also visited Olympic National Park, Yosemite, Sequoia & Death Valley National Park! I know what you’re thinking; Death Valley at the end of July – 123F or 51C – without cooling vests! I know it was stupid but here I am alive and writing about it.
Here are a few photos of our 2014 “Wild Hogs” motorcycle trip in honour of the movie as we visited the film site in Madrid, New Mexico:
Well that’s it folks. Thanks for visiting and hope to have a QSO with you soon! 73’s for now!