Pacific Flying Club celebrates its 50th anniversary as a flying club and school in 2015. All those decades of airborne excellence wouldn’t be possible without the senior management team, who can count some hefty, industry-leading accolades among its ranks. Gretchen Mathieson, the club’s chief flight instructor in the 1980s and ’90s, won the British Columbia Aviation Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, and former chief engineer Dick Laidman once served as president of Pacific Western Airlines. Today, the team oversees a full-scale operation stationed at Boundary Bay Airport with a fleet of 25 aircraft, three simulators, and members ranging from flying veterans to minors whose wings haven’t sprouted yet. Aspiring aviators have all of this at their disposal as they complete ground school courses and log hours behind the yoke in pursuit of a full private pilot license or recreational pilot permit.