Mark Baird joined Conair in the spring of 2016 after a 30-year career in military and commercial aviation. He has 12,000 hours of experience on different aircraft types, including Airbus A-330, A-340, the AVRO RJ85 and 20 years as a fighter pilot on the F-18 Hornet. His time on the F-18 included a combat tour in Iraq.
Mark also has an extensive background in training and checking. He is a graduate of the exclusive Fighter Weapons Instructors Course, Canada’s “Top Gun” and obtained a military A2 instructors rating. He has taught tactical mission execution to the United States Air Force, Royal Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force. His commercial experience was with Air Canada and Emirates airline as a training captain and Type Rating Instructor on Level D full flight simulators.
At Conair, Mark has flown three seasons as a heavy tanker pilot fighting fires in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. As the manager of Flight Standards, he is a Transport Canada Approved Check Pilot on the RJ85 and C208 Caravan. Mark is now the program manager for Conair’s new Aerial Firefighting Training and Tactics Centre, which will employ seven simulators to train the next generation of aerial firefighters.