Record-setting Flight Test Engineer retires from AETE

Razz's retirement

Razz's retirement

Caption: Mr. Paul “Razz” Laframboise will be retiring in August after a long distinguished career: the first Canadian Flight Test Engineer to break 1,000 flight test hours.
Photo: Cpl Patrick Drouin, AETE IDS

Larry Dublenko

Only a few Flight Test Engineers (FTEs) have reached the 500 flight test hours milestone, and there is only one who can proudly wear the 1,000 hours badge on his flight suit.

On August 9, Paul-Robert “Razz” Laframboise will retire from a distinguished career with the Department of National Defence (DND). Paul enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in December 1973. In 1979 he became an Aerospace Engineer officer, graduating from Royal Military College (RMC) in 1982 with a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering. After various postings, he graduated in 1986 from the year-long FTE Course at the US Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California, and then from RMC, again, in 1993 with a Masters degree in Engineering (Computer).

As a military officer, Paul served at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, 4 Software Engineering Squadron, Air Force Test and Coordination, and two tours in Cold Lake at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) as an FTE. In 2005, he retired from the military and accepted a position at AETE as an Avionic Systems Engineer and FTE, where he continued to support and conduct Engineering Test and Evaluations (ET&E) on the ground and in flight. In his military and civilian careers with DND, Paul amassed over 1,000 hrs in flight testing on 41 different aircraft, a record for Canadian FTEs.

His many contributions to the test and evaluation of Canadian military aircraft focused on the CF188’s weapons clearance programmes, its many software upgrades and the ECP583 upgrade program, all culminating in the release of new and upgraded CF188 capabilities.

His broad span of avionics expertise has been highly sought after for ET&E on other fleets as well. He was key in the in the successful ET&E of the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-138 Twin Otter avionics update programmes where he even produced the Basis of Certification to which the CC115 Buffalo and CC138 Twin Otter were tested. One of Paul`s final programs was as FTE from start to finish of the RNP/RNAV ET&E program for the CH-146 Griffon.

After retiring from his long and successful career in DND, Paul and his wife Nicole will settle in Calgary to be closer to family and friends.