Stafford Edwards


Stafford Edwards was born in the tropical island of Jamaica in the West Indies. He immigrated with his brother and parents to his adopted home of Canada, at the age of 17, over 40 years ago. After graduating from high school, he first attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta, where he acquired his Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Diploma. He then completed his Aviation Technology Degree at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, where he received his Commercial Pilot’s license, with Multi-Engine, Instrument Flight Rating and Floatplane Endorsements.

Stafford’s initial career saw him working for the Government of Canada’s Air Traffic Control System. His first posting was as an Air Traffic Control Flight Planner in the control tower of a small regional airport; Toronto’s Buttonville Airport in Markham, Ontario. He subsequently advanced to Canada’s busiest airport, Lester B. Pearson International in Toronto, Ontario, where he worked in the control tower before transitioning to the Area Control Radar Centre. It was during this time, when tragedy struck the Edwards’ household, with the sudden passing of their youngest son.

Because of that life-defining experience, Stafford, along with his wife, sought bereavement support and counselling for themselves and their remaining three children. Having benefitted greatly from such support, he and his wife decided one way to honour the memory of their son, while offering hope to others in similar circumstances, would be to offer the very kind support they had received. So they volunteered and received training as facilitators for a new bereavement support group in their home town at the time, Orangeville, Ontario.

Stafford resigned from Air Traffic Control shortly afterwards, and began work in the field of Information Technology, in which he still continues to this day. He now resides with his wife in Ottawa, Ontario, in close proximity to his three adult children and two grandchildren.

In his new book, Contrails: How to Fly to a New Level Personally and Professionally, Stafford shares his journey of the ongoing healing process from the pain of unexpected heartbreak; the discovery of the restorative power of reconciliation, and his own struggle of how best to resurrect dormant hopes and dreams, in the face of intractable opposition.


At times, life can (and often does) put us in positions we would rather avoid. Emotional or physical pain, confusion, loneliness, being misunderstood, or being taken for granted, are just a few of the potential life-altering experiences that may cross our path.

Just as the experience of going through turbulence during a flight may initially be quite disconcerting, and possibly lead to a conscious or unconscious fear of flying, so are we prone to react to diverse external forces which at times surround us. These impactful events can leave an indelible imprint on our lives, causing unhealthy filters to be established as far as how we see and value ourselves.

Through his new book, Stafford Edwards shares experiential anecdotes which challenge some of the established thinking around our perceptions, when dealing with life’s inherent highs and lows. You will gain a better appreciation of what it means to live a life of purpose; one which not only allows you to see beyond the immediate threat levels of distress or discomfort, but also how to count the blessings we often do not realize we have.


  • Recognize and embrace inner strength; not only in spite of weakness, but because of it.
  • Understand that success does not always mean the absence of failure.
  • Learn the powerful value of friendship in the worst of times.
  • Discover why we flourish when we walk in fulfilment of our passion and calling.
  • Learn how to laugh at, and with yourself.
  • Realize that being vulnerable is a critical posture from which one can gain strength.
  • Understand the unusual contradiction of experiencing joy, even when you are not happy.


Discovering your character and value as a person carries more weight than your current position or circumstance dictates.

  • Just as pilots file a flightplan for every flight, we also need to consider a Life Plan; not only for our destination, but for our route getting there.
  • The discovery and acquisition of new vistas can and will require the healing and reconciliation of old wounds.
  • Understand when dealing with unexpected scenarios like the loss of a job, marriage, or loved one, you will be changed forever. Change, whether unexpected or unwanted, can lead to a purpose-filled life.
  • Learn to breathe, or even catch your breath. Take time for yourself. Your physical, spiritual and emotional equilibrium are critical factors in maintaining a healthy life balance.
  • Whether through your own choices or through the randomness of others, each path crossed in life become guideposts. Those who come after you can use them, or you can look back on them to acquire new perspectives moving forward.
  • Being able to recognize when we need to make course corrections after drifting off track, in order to reestablish and maintain healthy life habits.
  • Stuck in a holding pattern dealing with unhealthy mindsets or preconceived notions? Enable your ability to see through the fog.
  • Reviewing options when approaching the changing seasons of life. How to prepare for the transition to another life stage.
  • How do we maintain a proper track inbound to our destination when sudden, microbursts of contention cross our path?
  • Your life’s legacy. Identifying what your life’s purpose is, will be of benefit not only to yourself, but for those who will supersede you.