Generous gift to benefit Aircraft Structures students

Industry expert invests in the next generation

When the time finally came for Mike Arcand to retire, he decided to pay it forward.

And now the next generation of UFV-trained aircraft repair technicians are flying high.

While the company he founded, Contract Aero Structures Ltd., is still servicing many airlines and repair facilities, Mike has decided to step away and take some time to enjoy life and family. “I have a very capable manager, Vic Raposo, and staff who will continue to provide excellent contract engineers to our clients,” explains Arcand.

As Arcand wound down his aviation career in aircraft structures repair, he found himself surrounded by boxes of his own expensive speciality tools. Rivet guns, reamers, bucking bars and more piled all around him. His wife urged him to deal with all the clutter!

So, Arcand recently delivered an entire pallet teeming with toolboxes to UFV’s Aircraft Structures Technician training facility at the UFV Aerospace Centre at the Abbotsford International Airport.

An independent third-party appraiser valued the collection at $13,600.

“I figured the aviation industry has always been good to me. I’ve worked hard and I’d like these tools put to good use. It seemed the best thing to do was put them in the hands of students at UFV,” he says. “I know how tough it is starting out in this industry, and I’m sure not a lot has changed. This helps keep the cost of tuition down and directly helps the young people start their careers in aviation.”

UFV Program Technician Kevin Bent helped unload the tools from Mike Arcand’s motor-home. He wasted little time before excitedly picking through the new collection.

“Most of these tools perform extremely specific tasks that are crucial to aviation repair, and aviation structure training,” he said.

“We’ll get a lot of use out of them, and our students will be better for it.”

To learn more about Aircraft Structures Technician training, visit

Pictured above: Two UFV students and UFV Program Technician Kevin Bent (left) receive a pallet of specialized tools from donor Mike Arcand (right).