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Business owner fired after relocation to Collingwood

Tucked away in a hangar at Collingwood Regional Airport, a small business has taken off taking local aviation enthusiasts to new heights.

For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood, we speak to Adam MacCabe, 30, owner of Macizzle Aero, an aircraft maintenance company.

Q: How long have you lived in Collingwood?

A: My wife and I first moved to Collingwood in June 2018.

In July, I opened Macizzle Aero.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I was born and raised in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

I went to school at Seneca College for commercial diving. I moved west to Tofino BC for half a year.

I decided it wasn’t for me. I came back and went to Mohawk College for aircraft maintenance school. From there I got an apprenticeship at Sioux Lookout near Thunder Bay. I worked there for about three years for a charter and medevac company.

In 2017 I started out on my own and found a hangar at Collingwood Regional Airport around March and started working on a deal. I opened Macizzle Aero on July 3, 2018.

Q: At what point in your life did you know that aviation and airplanes were your thing?

A: Nobody in my family likes aviation very much. But how could you not be fascinated by airplanes when you were a little kid?

When I was in fifth grade, my dad arranged a flight for me through a friend from work from Hamilton to Niagara Falls and back. I knew at that moment that he was going to do whatever it took to make me a pilot.

At 12, I joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Through that, I got a glider pilot scholarship. When I was 16, I did the power pilot scholarship. So, I’ve been flying since I was 16 years old.

I decided that I preferred flying as a hobby rather than a career, so I ventured into the underwater world, but decided it wasn’t really for me. I was always handy for working on cars and was interested in mechanics so I put them together.

Q: Why did you choose Collingwood specifically to run your business?

A: Most of the money in Ontario leaves Toronto, but there is no small airport in Toronto.

There’s Kitchener and Oshawa. There was no really big brand-name aircraft maintenance business in the North.

I found Collingwood airport and thought it seemed like a quiet little town. I didn’t realize what was in here. I knew it was a tourist town, but I didn’t realize it was where all the people from Toronto had their weekend homes.

It was great to come here and take care of the people from the north. I have always liked living near water. It’s very easy to get around the city, plus I’m active with motorsports stuff.

Why would I live anywhere else? I have all the biking and skiing and the airport to fly to. I can’t ask for much more.

Q: How does your family enjoy it?

A: I now have a five and a half month old daughter. Her name is Aurora, like the Northern Lights.

The amount of support between young families that we see around here; it excites us a little. The way everyone was raised outdoors in the community resonates with us a lot.

We hope that she is a little older and that they put her in different programs. Other cities don’t really have the same access to escarpment or water that we have here.

Q: What are some of the jobs you do as part of your business?

A: As we look to the future, we want to be a one stop shop for the aviation business. Sometimes you have to go to several places to get services done. We would like to cover everything from general maintenance to painting, avionics and overhauls. We would like to do everything in-house where we can control the quality of the work.

When people buy airplanes, sometimes it’s for pleasure, but many times it’s for business. We want to make sure we can serve those customers.

I am an airplane owner and also a pilot, so I can understand what pilots care about and what they go through.

There is a thing called the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. It’s like F1, but for airplanes. There is a Canadian racing in the series and I had been talking to him about becoming a race mechanic with him. In the 2019 season I was the technical chief of the aircraft. With COVID-19 the series is over but it was resurrected this year so there will be three races: July at Goodwood UK, September in Malaysia and November in Australia. I will be the aircraft technician representing the Canadian team.

Q: Are you still flying as a hobby?

A: Yes. I fly about 150 hours a year for fun. Sometimes we throw a baby seat in the back of the plane, load it up, and head down to Niagara for the day. My sister lives down there, and I’m not so inclined to drive three hours, but it’s only a 40-minute flight. It’s quite nice.

I am also the Ontario President of Aerobatics Canada. We organize a contest every year. I also compete. It is a kind of figure skating in the air.

Q: Is there anything else you would like the people of Collingwood to know about you?

A: I don’t know about myself, but more about aviation.

It is a pleasure and an art, and it can be a business tool. You can keep the economy going.

For our People of Collingwood feature, we’ll talk to interesting people who are from or contribute to the Collingwood community in some way, allowing them to tell their own stories in their own words. This feature will run on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you would like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, please email jessica@villagemedia.ca.

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