It was becoming clear at this time that the two-year Junior College program was but a first step in developing the kind of godly Christian leaders that would impact our culture for Christ… This realization was the beginning of a more focused and integrated plan for a total student development curriculum… significant initiatives at the time included developing new academic programs… The Institute [of Aviation] reflected our concern for overseas missions and also filled a unique niche for the aviation marketplace.
Neil Snider, quoted in Trinity Western University: Stories of Faith and Transformation, p. 23
The Institute of Aviation was born out of a need for Christian pilot training in Canada. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) asked Robert Thompson, a member of the Canadian and American Board of that agency, to consider the possibility of starting an aviation program at a Christian institute in Canada. He recommended that Trinity Western would be the ideal college to offer such a program.
Terry Norr, a local and experienced pilot who had served with World Vision and Sudan Interior Mission in famine relief programs in Ethiopia, was chosen to head up the Institute…
When the first semester of aviation was offered, only a half dozen students were expected to apply.
There were thirty applicants.
Trinity Western World: Summer Aviation Issue, 1979 (unpaged). [TWU Archives Coll 4 B 6 File 18]
Initially flight training was contracted with Skyway Air Services of Langley. The Institute began to purchase its own aircraft in the early 1980s, and relocated operations to Abbotsford in the early 1990s.
Learn to Fly
A promotional brochure for the fledgling program, ca. 1977.
[TWU Archives: F 21.01 B 3 File 3]
An instructor and student at the Langley Municipal Airport, 197-.
[TWU Archives: 1998-01-0350]
Norr with Students
Program director Terry Norr with three students, 197-.
[TWU Archives: 1998-01-0352]
Like Father, Like Son
Alumnus and First Officer Brian Gartshore with his father, Captain Bob Gartshore; they were the first father-and-son Boeing 747 pilot team in Canada, 199-.