The Rick Mercer Report

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CF-18 Hornet Demo Pilot Bio

2011 Demonstration Pilot

Captain Erick O’Connor

Capt Erick O’Connor was born Quebec City and enrolled in the Canadian Forces (CF) in August 1991 while attending Chicoutimi Flight College. In 1994, after completing his Basic Flight Training in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, he was selected to fly helicopters. Capt O’Connor trained on the Kiowa before being posted to 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) in Edmonton where he flew the Twin Huey and Griffon helicopter for 9 years, deploying on multiple domestic operations and training exercises.

Captain Erick O’Connor. Credit: 4 Wing Imagery Section.
In 1997, while still flying with 408 THS, Capt O’Connor deployed to Haiti on a peacekeeping mission in support to the United Nations followed in 1999 by the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, where he was employed as the unit Instrument Check Pilot (ICP) and Squadron Training Officer.

Upon return to Canada in December 1999, he served as the 408 THS Operations Officer until his release from the Regular Force in 2001. For the next two years, Capt O’Connor served as a Reservist with 408 THS while flying multi-engine aircraft with an Edmonton-based company.

In early 2004, Capt O’Connor fulfilled one of his initial aviation goals when he took a Reserve position to teach on the Harvard 2 aircraft in Moose Jaw, where soon after he returned to the Regular Force. In 2005, he was awarded the A2 Instructor Category and was offered further advancement onto the CT-155 Hawk and the CF-18 Hornet. Upon completion of the Fighter Lead-In Training at 419 squadron, Capt O’Connor was posted to 410 squadron where he completed the Fighter Pilot training on the CF-18 Hornet.

In December 2008, Capt O’Connor was posted to 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) where he currently serves as the Unit Flight Safety Officer and Unit Instrument Check Pilot. Capt O’Connor has over 5600 hours of flying experience on various aircraft. He and wife, Danielle, have two daughters, Gabrielle and Ella.