James Douglas Wall
James Wall was born in Brandon, Manitoba on March 22, 1933 and has spent his entire life in this city graduating from high school in 1951. In 1950 Jim earned his Private Pilot’s licence in a short 30 days and 25 hours of flying time. In 1951 he earned an Air Cadet International Exchange trip to England, Scotland and Wales. These were early indications of the ability, determination and skill that Jim possessed. He worked at the airport as a gasman, hangar attendant, aircraft washer and mechanic’s helper. The money went into building flying hours (at a cost of $8.00 per hour) by barnstorming with other pilots on weekends, ferrying aircraft and taking people for rides. Jim moved up the ladder of success and was soon employed as full time Apprentice Mechanic earning the princely wage of 25 cents per hour.
In 1954 Jim was tested for a Commercial Pilot’s licence. He scored very high on his tests and was selected as a finalist for Western Canada for the Webster Trophy that he missed by only one-tenth of a point. The Webster Trophy is awarded annually to the top amateur pilot in Canada. He obtained his Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s licence in 1956. He worked full time for Maple Leaf Aviation Limited, a Cessna dealership located at the Brandon Airport. In 1971 the family purchased Maple Leaf Aviation and in 1974 it became one of only nine Cessna dealers in the World that was Awarded a 25 year continuous Service Award to the Aviation Industry. After 33 years as a Cessna dealer and with no new Cessna manufactured aircraft to sell, Maple Leaf regrouped and became a full line aircraft service centre in Western Canada. Taking advantage of advances in composite structure technology Maple Leaf entered into a program called Aircraft Speed Mods and became a Canadian manufacturer of glass Aircraft products sold all over the world. As of 2007 the design and production team holds forty-two Canadian and American Supplementary Type Certificates for the production and distribution of glass products.
In 2000 Transport Canada approved Jim as a Ministers Delegate authorizing him to approve importation of aircraft into Canada following inspection and required maintenance.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honoured Jim with a certificate for his 50 years of service and the quality work of Maple Leaf Aviation.
In March 2006, at the annual AME symposium, the Central AME Association presented Jim with the prestigious NAASCO Outstanding AME Award that is awarded annually to an AME that has shown outstanding achievement in aviation maintenance.
Jim says that safety has always been his main concern and his philosophy is “do it right the first time”.