Field Director: Bill Gillespie
Email Bill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Bill: 807-475-5600
My name is Bill Gillespie. I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario on the shore of Lake Superior, about 180 northeast of Duluth, MN; and only about 40 miles from the Minnesota border. As well as Lake Superior (having two seaplane bases with customs available) there are thousands of lakes between here and Hudson Bay.
My work took me to all of the thirty-some communities in the north. They are mostly Indian Reservations, so my own seaplane just seemed to make sense. Some places had no airports in1978 when I started this and those that did, had 3,400 foot gravel strips (hard on props) so after a few uncomfortable experiences with weather, I sold my Cherokee and bough a Lake Buccaneer, which I still fly.
We have little or no issue with landing on any lakes. Federal and Provincial Parks are the exception. Also, advocacy issues are non existant. We have two political ridings here: big ones geographically – one to the east and one to the west. I live in the western one and our representative is the Minister of Natural Resources. The other one is also a cabinet minister. I have armed them both with a copy of our video, “Don’t move a mussel”, so they know we are there and taking a proactive stance on the invasive species issue.
Come and see us sometime!
Canada Field Director: Doug Ronan
Email Doug: email@example.com
Call Doug: 705-327-4730
I started flying at the age of 14 in a Cessna 180 on floats. I bought my first airplane, a 1964 Cessna 150 when I was 18 years old. Since then I have owned approximately 125 flying airplanes of every description.
Flying has been my life since that first ride in the 180. I have accumulated more than 6,000 hours – throughout North America - on floats, wheels, skis, taildraggers, and retractables.
I have worked full time in aviation since 1988 – at Markham, Buttonville, Pottageville, and Orillia Airports. In 1990 I started my current business, Doug Ronan Aircraft Sales – which has grown to include aircraft sales, one of Canada largest aircraft “salvage yards”, custom aircraft restorations and a Transport Canada approved Structures Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO).
We operate from our 150 acre private airport near Brechin, Ontario where I have developed 2 intersecting 2,000 foot grass strips and a 2,000 foot water runway, two shops, indoor storage and tie downs for 25 plus aircraft. www.dougronan.com
In March 2004 I formed the Ontario Seaplane Association (www.ontarioseaplane.com). The purpose of the O.S.A. is to provide a unified voice to represent seaplane owners and operators in Ontario to various levels of government and provide a means for seaplane operators to get together.
I was a director for the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association for 7 years where I took part in numerous advocacy issues to protect our freedom to fly in Canada. In 2004, I was appointed to COPA’s six member National Seaplane Advisory Committee to deal with seaplane issues across the country.
I look forward to involvement with the SPA as a Field Director. The SPA is a world class organization that has done a great job of protecting our freedom to fly seaplanes worldwide!