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Lloyd Richards: A Canadian Aviation Icon Gone West
By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, Editor, Bits and Pieces, Board Member, EAA Canada Council
August 2021 – First, I have to say that this has been several weeks in the writing. Lloyd Richards, whom I'm sure many of you will remember fondly, passed away on July 28 after a brief illness.
When we started writing this, there were plans to honour Lloyd, EAA 171396, at a chapter event, with a presentation of a plaque announcing that his fellow aviators had decided to name their chapter after him. Seeing that plaque caused him to break out in a big smile, despite being hospitalized. I first met Lloyd as a fellow member of the EAA Canadian Council and was always happy to hear his wise and insightful comments to whatever topic was being discussed. He had been a member of that council for many years, giving freely of his time to fellow EAA members.
One of the most remarkable EAA members in Canada, Lloyd, from Chapter 1126 in Timmins, Ontario, has dedicated himself to encouraging youngsters to learn to fly by introducing 2,569 Young Eagles to the joy of flight, certainly more than any other Canadian, and possibly one of the top three or four worldwide, a feat unlikely to be repeated. Lloyd had been in at the beginning of the Young Eagles program, in talks with Paul and Tom Poberezny.
Members of his chapter had decided to honour him by naming the chapter that he helped create, after him. They organized an event to present him with a plaque but unfortunately he was in hospital and unable to attend. The event did happen in Lloyd's absence and he was shown a picture of the special cake.
The plaque, created to honour him, reads:
“We celebrate Lloyd’s lifetime of commitment to encouraging young people in aviation, a commitment to EAA, the Canadian Council, and to his home chapter and to the aviation community in Timmins and Ontario as a whole. Lloyd has personally flown 2,569 young people for their first Young Eagles flight, a Canadian record that will be very difficult for anyone to surpass. We are delighted that Timmins Chapter 1126 has been renamed in his honour “EAA Chapter 1126, Timmins, Ontario, The Lloyd Richards chapter.”
Lloyd was also a passionate animal lover, having had a house full of pets all his life. He leaves behind a large family, and dogs Echo, Bear-Bear, and Shadow. He started a trucking company which he successfully ran for 54 years, L. Richards Moving, as a respected member of United Van Lines. He even managed to figure out how to squeeze a light aircraft into a single truck for transportation, specially adapting it to be able to carry the wings above the aircraft fuselage.
On behalf of thousands of EAA members across Canada, we offer our condolences to his wife, Nancy, and to all the family and friends who loved him. You can read his obituary here.