Thanks for posting this, Sedgewick. I, too, was very blessed to have had George as a friend. I first got to know George nearly 10 years ago when he first came on the site. Usually, you know a guy is a pilot pretty soon after meeting him (you all can be an insufferable lot ...). George took a while to fess up. And then it floored me to eventually learn his life story (one of the first 747 captains and Air Canada's senior 747 Captain for training, etc). George was always humble and soft-spoken. And more interested in what you had to say than in talking about himself. Everything I know about George's aviation past I had to pry out of him. And I'm glad I did.
We developed a pretty good friendship and there were a lot of late evening phonecalls (to accommodate the time difference). It seemed to help when he was in the throes of his chemotherapy. His battle with bone cancer was a titanic one yet all he would ever say was that he was getting a little tired or something like that. The fact that he fought back as long as he did was a real testimony to his strength. But he was always a sympathetic ear to my insignificant problems and triumphs at work -- we were both aviation professionals and I was struggling with a major program startup as well as going through a major program failure. George always seemed fascinated in what the latest happenings were and it was a real treat to hear his stories, too. As a senior 747 captain in the heyday of air travel, he had some great stories. My favorite was how he disrupted the Canadian parliament when he flew Air Canada's 1st 747 on an extended downwind leg (under direction form the Ottawa tower) low and slow right over the parliament building and they all came out to see ... Try that now and see what happens ... I am very proud of having converted George to vertical lift and helped him become a born-again Rotorhead
He loved his '46 and it was a hard decision to let it go. But he still had the cottage at the lake and his family. If everything Peggy and I (and all of you) have done to create and build Stovebolt.com was just so George could come into our lives (mine especially), then it was well worth it all. This one man, and the huge impact he had on me just by knowing him, I hope represents everything Stovebolt.com tries to be.
He was the man I wish I could be and I will miss him greatly.