ELWOOD (WOODY) GRAHAM
Woody was born August 23, 1936 in Grandview, Manitoba and raised on a farm at Gilbert Plains, Manitoba. After high school he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954 and went to basic training at St. Johns, Quebec and then to Camp Borden in Ontario for training on Airframe Maintenance. Later that year he transferred to McDonald, Manitoba and in June of 1955 he was transferred to Germany to No. 3 Fighter Wing where he worked on F-86 Sabres and CF-100’s. He returned to Canada in February 1957 and was employed by Canadian Pacific Airlines in Winnipeg, Manitoba until they closed the base. He then joined Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg until December 1959 when cancellation of the Avro Aero Project by the Canadian government of the day caused lay offs. In January 1960 he accepted employment with B.C. Airlines in Vancouver and in March 1965 he was sent to Prince Rupert, B.C. as Base Engineer.
In March 1968 he joined Vancouver Island Helicopters and then spent 3 years in Stewart, B.C. as Base Engineer. In 1972 he joined Trans Provincial Airlines (TPA), Prince Rupert as Director of Maintenance. TPA became part of Pattison Industries collection of Airlines. December 1980 he became Director of Maintenance for Air B.C. responsible for 9 bases and 104 aircraft.
January 1995 he joined Pacific Coastal Airlines as Director of Maintenance where he is presently employed. Everyone that Woody has worked with has the highest regard for him and with his practical hands-on approach, along with his wealth of experience gained in over 50 years of continuous aviation maintenance and engineering. Woody has been responsible for ‘Power by the Hour’ programs with Garrett Engines, and ‘On Condition Programs’ with Pratt & Whitney as well as countless innovative repair schemes promoted to and accepted by many aircraft manufacturers. During his career in aviation he has worked on many different types of aircraft such as Harvard, F-86, T-33, CF-100, Beech 18, DC-3, Grumman Mallard and Goose, De Havilland products, Norseman, Cessna’s, Bell 47, Beach Aircraft, BAE-31, BAE-146, BN-2A Islander, Shorts SD-360, EMB 110 and many more.
One thing that is common throughout his career is that all his employers and fellow employees consider themselves fortunate to have Woody on their team because of his dedication and knowledge of the job and industry. He has the added ability to be an exceptional employee and a great friend at the same time. The word ‘Can’t’ is not in his vocabulary. Many people have come to rely on Woody for his knowledge and common sense approach to problem solving and over the years many have called on him for assistance. Even when he is on holidays he is willing to assist or provide suggestions that may resolve the issue. During his career he has helped others establish their careers and always takes the time to assist anyone in need.
Woody and Pacific Coastal Airlines are long time supporters of the Pacific AME Association and participate in the annual symposium, including sponsoring training and other items of assistance for the symposium. They also insure that several employees attend the training seminars. After a half century of service he remains a valued member of the aviation community.