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Gordon Aust: beloved friend, devoted professional

Gordon Aust was a kind of folk hero among Canadian aviation circles. Many of the friends who flew with him would try to guess which airports they could reach where they would find someone who didn’t know Gord—there certainly were not many.

He was also a dedicated husband and father. He supported his community. And he was an outstanding pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer, devoted to his trade.

Absolutely everyone who knew him loved him.

As an engineer, there have been few who could match his dedication and skill. Gord could diagnose a problem with ease, and fix it with a smile.

For more than 50 years, Gord worked on hundreds of planes and other aircraft – from small single-seaters and helicopters, to large airliners and transport planes. He trained countless engineers, guiding them with patience and expertise. In 1974, he helped establish the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Association of Ontario. The Association developed standards for the profession and created a gathering point for maintenance engineers to advance their skills together.

In addition to his engineering duties, Gord trained many amateur pilots to fly. From factory workers to the presidents of multinational companies, Gord taught them all with skill, humour, and expert coaching.

In March of 2009, Gord fell ill and passed away soon afterward. Never once did he complain, and no matter what, he was always smiling. He had such admirable courage and a completely positive outlook.

Seneca’s tribute to Gord

The Gordon T. Aust Memorial Scholarship is a newly-established award that will be presented to a graduating student from the Aviation and Flight Technology Degree Program. The recipient of this $2,500 award will be selected by Faculty based upon the following criteria:

  • Willingness to help others achieve in the program
  • High level of skill, flying & academics
  • Participation in school activities

These criteria were chosen because Gord was a mentor to many pilots and maintenance engineers throughout his career. Aviation faculty and staff felt that an award in Gord’s name should represent the kind of person he was — always helping others, and always interested in the development of the profession.

Aviation flight simulator photo

You can give by visiting our secure online donation form.

For more information about the School of Aviation or Gordon T. Aust Memorial Scholarship, please contact Krishan Mehta, (416) 491-5050 ext. 77948 or

Gord Aust