MillardAir, the Legacy

Discussion in 'Timothy Bosma' started by SnooperDuper, Jan 16, 2014.

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  1. SnooperDuper

    SnooperDuper Active Member

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    Personally I am very interested in the dynamic between the three men, CM, WM and DM and how their lives differed. Feel free to rip my observations to shreds and cue Sinatra, “It was a very good year”:

    “When I was seventeen…”

    CM was 17 in 1930. He had completed grade 8 and dropped out of school to work at the age of 12 and by 17, he had bought a truck to start his own local hauling business.

    WM was 17 in 1958. Two years prior he had been named as VP of the newly formed airline MillardAir and at 17 he was flying cargo planes, presumably for MillardAir, and I am guessing that he had either finished or abandoned school. CM had started training WM how to fly at age 5…there was probably never any doubt as to what WM would do for a living.

    DM was 17 in 2002. He had set flight records at 14 around the same time that CM was giving up flying for good. The driving force that had made WM a pilot was now dead. CM knew DM wasn’t really interested anyway.

    WM and MB were instead paying tens of thousands per year to secure a different future for DM. He was enrolled at TFS, a university prep school. Upon graduation, DM would be bilingual and have earned both an OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) and an IBD (International Baccalaureate Diploma). His credentials would be recognized at any university in the world; he could go to a university in Europe or study at a collage in the US… that is, if he hadn’t dropped out of school.

    DM’s parents did not choose the school closest to home, the biggest, the newest, the one with the best sports program. They chose a university prep school so that DM could continue his education and become a professional, just like all the other professional’s kids at TFS. DM’s family was not suit and tie, though; they were coveralls and jumpsuits. It could be that DM was sent down a path without a guide or a flashlight. Was he the first in the family to take on higher education? At any rate, the family had very high aspirations for him, and no doubt there was a massive culture shock for DM, growing up around the hangar and then sent off to find his way to the boardroom.

    In the end, DM dropped out of prep school and completed his OSSD through Subway Academy, which sounds a lot like where you’d go to learn to be a “sandwich artist”. No doubt MB in particular would be crushed. DM made a point of describing her as a “trained” interior decorator. Don’t laugh: e.g., with certification an interior designer can leap over the US border to work, on a H1B visa. The US is always short of interior decorators lol. I suspect MB was the one that wanted to give her child the gift of a global lifestyle.

    “When I was 21…”

    CM was 21 in 1934. He bought and repaired his first plane this year and then took lessons from a WWI vet to learn how to fly. Airplanes had only first flew 31 years before and though CM had little education, he was able to get into the industry before it was regulated. (Fighting regulations was a major theme in CM’s career.) It was the depression but CM had been working and earning throughout, putting him in a position of power: desperate people were selling things cheap. (Being cheap, thrifty, frugality, whatever you call it, was another theme in CM’s life.)

    WM was 21 in 1962. He worked for his father, and shared some of his adventures. CM was a very storied man and WM knew and could recite the stories by heart. (WM later published an obit for CM that was essentially a ‘best of’ compilation of stories about CM.) WM adored CM.

    DM was 21 in 2006. An adult, he was still living at home and still sort of in school and still without work though he was named as VP of MillardAir upon CM’s death that year. He wasn’t going to university or working as a pilot as the family might have planned, but he was VP of MillardAir. His father was 65, retirement age. Most kids are itching to get out of the house at the earliest opportunity, but DM chose to stay home and hang with a senior.

    “When I was 35…”

    CM was 35 in 1948. He had a kid that was already 7 years old, and a wife. He was working as a pilot for the airline TCA and he had founded a distribution company that sold boats and planes. Another decade on, he had amassed a fleet of planes and founded the MillardAir airline.

    WM was 35 in 1976. There is little info on WM’s career, but we know CM had trained him to fly a variety of planes and WM had earned the flight hours and tickets required to get a corporate job (salary, benefits, union, and all that good stuff) with Air Canada and Canada 3000, during his career. And, in his spare time, he saved the animals. I can imagine the friction between the farm raised CM, who saw animals raised and slaughtered first hand, and WM’s liberal urban take on animals. Anyway, DM did not arrive until WM was 44 – quite late in life.

    “Autumn of the year”

    CM was 65 in 1978. MillardAir was an airline with 25 employees and a fleet of DC-3’s and DC-4’s etc. In the 80’s Transport Canada created new equipment requirements and CM was faced with this decision: upgrade his entire fleet at great cost, and keep flying; or don’t upgrade and just keep flying as long as the planes remained legal. CM chose not to reinvest in his company. He was retirement age. His planes were retirement age. MillardAir flew until 1990, at which point CM turned to selling off his planes and the stock of plane parts he had amassed to support them. He took up selling fuel for Shell and ran MillardAir as an FBO. He turned up for work every day until his hospitalization and death. CM expired before the Toronto airport hangar lease did, in 2011.

    WM was 65 in 2006, when CM died. WM lived through a sort of Prince Charles scenario, waiting 50 years to jump from VP to president and by then too old to care for the job. CM had already wound down MillardAir and WM was retirement age, but he was facing the question: What do you do with a boy like DM? There were 5 years left on the Toronto lease. MillardAir continued to run as a FBO.

    It seems somehow WM was convinced (consultants?) not to let MillardAir fade away. DM was almost 30, still living at home, still unemployed, still with an undefined, insecure future. WM decided to resurrect MillardAir as a MRO…for DM.

    WM died at age 71. I suspect, once again, DM did not agree with WM’s plans for him.
     
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  3. FromGermany

    FromGermany Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your great juxtaposition of facts! I especially agree to what I have red marked.
     
  4. SnooperDuper

    SnooperDuper Active Member

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    ty

    CM, the Pioneer (who got rich by getting in first)
    WM, the Prince (only son of a rich man, groomed to follow him)
    DM, the Reluctant Prodigy (plan A and B didn't work, now on to plan C...)

    DM set flight records at 14 and went to an accelerated, French immersion program. He certainly was being pushed to perform.

    The Star interview revealed that someone has brought him a copy of 'On War'. (Probably DP, who is going to treat this trial like a war. Well, I can imagine DP bringing in this prop and expounding on how the best position to be in is defense, and that in the fog of war when no one knows WTH is going on it's all up to chance...and that's how we are going to get you off buddy...it's all up to chance...) Anyway DM admitted that he lies back in bed and fantasizes about Jurassic Park (PG-13) so I'm not sure he's ever gonna crack that book. Right now it sounds like he'd really get into one of those picture books with cutaway diagrams of the insides of submarines and etc. Not so much the philosophy, even if he thinks himself a bit of a philosopher.

    Everyone around him seems to have aspirations for him that he does not share.
     
  5. sillybilly

    sillybilly WS Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    For those so inclined:

    On War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    My goodness ... I'm almost expecting we'll hear a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise when DM enters the prisoners' box on the first day of trial :)
     
  6. Snoofo

    Snoofo New Member

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    Too funny, SB. I have to admit the book seems pretty intense and my guess would also be it's a gift or on loan from Napoleon's biggest fan in the 21st century, DP. Possibly DM is just using it to fight insomnia.

    Sent using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. Alethea Dice

    Alethea Dice Active Member

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    I don't think WM had much more interest in MillardAir than Dellen did. He started working for Air Canada in 1966, when he was 25. Between that job and his animal rights work, I'm not too sure how much time he spent being VP of MillardAir.

    From AB's article (since it has it all in one spot)...

    Maybe he wanted to set something up that could run itself with the right employees. Something that would support DM comfortably through his life. He really had nothing left to leave for him, business wise. I remember articles mentioning that others had advised him against the idea. Whoever or whatever it was that convinced him that it was a good idea to set up a business for his son, that he already knew his son had no interest or experience in, it would seem to have been very bad advice. One would think that, when setting something up for a son's future, it would at least have some connection to his own interests. Say.....a helicopter training school for instance. Parents who expect a child to be what they want them to be, with no thought of whether that child has any interest in that career, are often disappointed.

    JMO
     
  8. SnooperDuper

    SnooperDuper Active Member

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    I agree, WM had a plum of a job (paying what MA couldn't) and his own money.

    The only person being supported comfortably by the MRO was AS...who incidentally does not have anything nice to say about DM/WM. He's taken MillardAir off of his LinkedIn profile too. Maybe DM bought the incinerator to take care of AS but WM died first? I really don't remember his profile reading the way it is now.

    There was a lot of hype in the area because of Blackberry, who was the biggest employer in the region, who was going to put Waterloo on the map, who was going to win a 7th Canadian hockey team, who peaked in 2010. At the time AS was selling WM on this project, BB was starting to shed employees. U of Waterloo just got 5 buildings and land from the BB fire sale. The hanger situation is just more fallout from the Blackberry situation.
     
  9. ABro

    ABro Verified Expert

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    I beg to differ. The MRO employed a number of people, including several execs, who were all put out of work when it folded.

    AS was hired by MIllardair because he had worked previously with some of the Canadian execs. He arrived when the plan was well underway. He did not hatch it.

    Wayne was always aware of the risks as you can see from this email he wrote in 2010: http://www.annrbrocklehurst.com/201...bout-the-millardair-kitchener-operations.html

    For the record, while AS was not at all fond of DM, he liked and respected Wayne Millard, and said this was one of his reasons for speaking out, because he wanted to see justice done.
     
  10. SnooperDuper

    SnooperDuper Active Member

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    What I gather from LinkedIn is that there were 4 guys hired for the MRO around Oct-Sept 2012 who of course were soon to be unemployed in a month or two. 3 were from Skyservice. All 4 claimed employers other than MillardAir for the period Apr 2010 when Skyservice went down until they were picked up by MA in late 2012.

    AS used to have the MRO on his profile but now just lists the time period under his consulting company name. He connected with the MRO project in May 2011 if the LinkedIn dates were at all meaningful. (Not.)

    Sept 2009 CW hired as YFK GM.
    Dec 2009 YFK wins $4.7M provincial/federal funding to build a combined equipment shed/fire hall. At this time you can't land a big plane at YFK because their fire response time is not up to snuff. Region will invest $6.1M.
    Jan 2010 Blackberry market share at its peak.
    Apr 2010 MA YYZ Hanger lease ends
    Jul 2010 groundbreaking for YFK equipment shed/fire hall.
    May 2011 AS joins the project (?, LinkedIn)
    Jun 2011 JB, who wrote the business plan, joins project (LinkedIn)
    Jul 2011 Building permit issued for MA YFK hangar.
    Jul 2011 Transport Canada issues a report calling for the expansion of YFK to handle YYZ overflow traffic (because nothing's better after a long flight than a long drive?) At this point YFK is handling 11 flights a day, not making a profit ($6M Regional taxes per year going to YFK) and you can't land a big plane there because of the lumpy 30 yo runway &c.
    May 2012 Region pays $5.5M and fixes the runways &c. In last 4 years Region has pumped more than $36M into YFK, which is running at half capacity and only now can handle the planes the YFK hangar was built for.
    Nov 2012 DM confronts AS.
    May 2013 CW opines on the MA hangar: "From our perspective it was solid."

    CW must have been the one whispering sweet nothings into WM's ear.

    If the goal was to get government approval for a MRO, well the team pulled that off in a year. MA however required upgrades at YFK before its target customers could even land there. AS wasn't waiting for the hangar to be 100% done, he was waiting for the Region to do all the fixes that would make operating the MRO technically and legally possible. So AS is telling DM the hangar must be mint before they show it because he can't say, well you see son, we built a hangar for large planes at an airport that can't land them. However we are depending on the quick action of the government to make this pipe dream a reality.

    AS isn't innocent because he drank the Kool-Aid too.
     
  11. ABro

    ABro Verified Expert

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    I'm having trouble with your timeline here. The AS/DM confrontation took place several months after the runway modifications were complete. They were ready to bring in jets and service them and to do that, they needed to show the hangar.

    AS is like anyone else in business. He made a case for why he thought the new business was viable and why he should be hired. He's not infallible nor was anyone else involved in the project.

    Starting a new business is almost always a risk. If it weren't we'd all do it and be rich.
     
  12. SnooperDuper

    SnooperDuper Active Member

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    Well ok then, they were ready to go in May 2012 as far as what they needed the airport to do. WM expected the hanger would be done "this winter" early 2011. For some reason it remained incomplete for a couple of years longer. I wonder who the contractor was and what the problem was. Did they have to wait for the Region to connect services as well? Was WM just naive in predicting a winter completion date?

    The Region issued an RFP for an FBO in May 2012...did MA respond? If AS couldn't make a sale until everything was completed why was he hired a year in advance? He had 18 months to close a contract and at the end all he had were leads. I think it's fair that DM called him to account.
     
  13. Snoofo

    Snoofo New Member

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    For what it's worth there must have been some conflict with the contractors or a break in cash flow as Aveiro did register a lien on the hangar property at one point, I believe in the Spring of 2012. Also FWIW, the lien was paid out and discharged from title fairly quickly.

    Sent using Tapatalk 2
     
  14. SnooperDuper

    SnooperDuper Active Member

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    Aveiro has MA listed in their portfolio, click on #9
    http://www.aveiroconstructors.com/?page_id=22
     
  15. Snoofo

    Snoofo New Member

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  16. ABro

    ABro Verified Expert

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    I think you're reading too much into the LinkedIn dates. AS was a consultant, he wasn't working on this project full-time. When Millardair ran into the cash flow problems, for example, he was out looking for potential partners/investors not signing companies to maintenance contracts for an operation that might never get up and running.

    I agree that DM's questions about the future business were valid. The business was indeed a risk, but it was a risk Wayne chose to take, not AS.

    I also found it strange that Wayne would set up a business for DM that he knew his son wasn't interested in. I've always wanted to know why he did that.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that DM got engaged at around the same time. Maybe he felt he finally needed a "real job" and agreed to start taking the family business seriously. Then when the engagement broke up, perhaps he lost all his interest in the project.
     
  17. cansleuther

    cansleuther Member

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  18. Alethea Dice

    Alethea Dice Active Member

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    I think what's wrong with the timeline is when the lease ended at Pearson and all this started. The lease ended in April 2011, not 2010.

    http://www.wingsmagazine.com/content/view/544/67/

    CM could not have expected the new hangar to be done in early 2011 because they didn't even finalize the plans and apply for the building permit until June 2011. The building permit was approved on July 18, 2011. Which was around the time AS signed on. It was declared fit for occupancy on February 23, 2012.

    http://metronews.ca/news/kitchener/688568/waterloo-region-spent-5-4m-on-millardair/

    I find it curious that an "unimpeachable source" released e-mails supposedly sent by WM in August 2010 regarding plans that didn't happen until nearly a year later. (But unfortunately didn't bother to keep a rather "angsty" one received a year later - and a year prior to WM's death) that may have helped in a current investigation.) The only explanation I can think of is that perhaps the e-mail must have been sent in August 2011, not 2010.

    And another source that should have been reliable stated, just a few months earlier, that

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/05/31/millard-aviation-business-in-decline-long-before-tim-bosma-murder-suspect-started-to-dismantle-it/

    I guess he just didn't know how adept WM was with using computers and e-mail and uploading pictures.


    JMO
     
  19. Snoofo

    Snoofo New Member

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  20. Alethea Dice

    Alethea Dice Active Member

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    Sad. All those hopes and plans (and money) and nothing to show for it but empty hangars.....

    http://www.windsorsquare.ca/2013/09/mro-industry-downturn/
     
  21. ABro

    ABro Verified Expert

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    Good catch, Alethea Dice. I went back and checked the email and it was indeed August 2011. That was my bad. Nothing to do with the person who gave it to me, who is indeed unimpeachable, and was interviewed by the police. I've corrected it on my website.

    SG was talking about the early/mid 2000s. He couldn't communicate with his sister by email because there was no computer at the house or, according to the Wings article you linked, at the Millardair office.

    I think it's fair to say a lot changed in Wayne's life after 2006. His father died, he kicked the booze, EG died, he started a new business. Getting up to speed with technology was almost certainly part of that change.
     
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