Truth be told, Marc Bombenon always wanted to be a pilot. This interest was spawned simply, by playing with plastic models, kites, and rockets when he was very young. It developed further into building one radio controlled plane after another, and spending every summer, and some cold springs and falls too, flying every kind of model aircraft, from the early trainers to true-to-scale North American P-51Ds – his personal favorites. Marc and his best friend started to spend every weekend at Dorval airport in Montreal, just watching the planes come and go, and listening to the VHF aircraft frequencies on their tiny transistor radios. All of this observation made them near experts on various types of planes – they could tell the difference between a DC-9 and a VC 10 from at least 5 miles out. They were seriously hooked. After years of exploring his interest in flying in these ways, Marc got the urge to get into the cockpit of a real plane himself.
Once they were both 16, Marc Bombenon and his friend clipped a $10.00 Cessna coupon from Flying Magazine for an introductory flight in a Cessna 150. While Mercruiser was encouraging people to get out in a boat since the world is 70% covered by water, Flying Magazine followed up with a similar advertisement to promote flying, reminding everyone that the world is 100% covered by air. Sensibly, Marc heeded the call of the latter ad. Working part time every week, he was able to save enough to go on 23 introductory flights. Encouraged to stick with flying by the crew at the Cessna flight center, Marc accumulated about 11 and a half hours of flight time, at first chattering on the radio nervously in his best airline captain voice, but eventually gaining confidence in his flying ability.
Unfortunately, aviation had to take a backseat for Marc Bombenon as he advanced into the next stages of his life, first to school and then to starting his own company in Calgary in 1982. Though he still had the flying bug, at first he couldn’t afford to fly, and then later had no time to, since learning both the practical skill and the ground school and air regulations was virtually a full time commitment. Finally in early 1990, he went to the Cessna flight centre in Calgary and took another introductory flight. That one flight convinced him that his passion for flying was as strong as ever, so he signed up immediately after. Within 3 months he had his Private Pilot’s license and his multi-engine rating, which he needed to fly his new twin engine Cessna Skymaster. Marc Bombenon’s love of flying continues to this day.