Janusz 'Zura' Zurakowski
Janusz was one of the world's most famous pilots. He was a Polish Canadian who has been at the forefront of cutting edge aviation technology. Raised in Poland, he joined the Polish Air Force in 1934 and during the war escaped to England in 1940. After a brilliant wartime career he test flew aircraft in England and in Canada, to where he immigrated in 1952. The most notable aircraft tested by Zura was the Canadian supersonic interceptor known as the CF-105 Avro Arrow.
Janusz is hailed as a hero after the Arrow's first flight.

Aviation Achievements

Some of Janusz's distinctions are:
  • Queens Medal
  • Polish Cross Virtuti Militari
  • Cross of Valor with two bars
  • Gold Pin of Polish Club of Test Pilots
  • McKee Trophy '58
  • Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame inductee
  • Canadian Flight Test Centre in Cold Lake, Alberta (main building bears his name)
  • Honourary Fellow of International Society of Experimental Test Pilots
    (Jan is the first Canadian or Polish pilot to receive this honour - this Society includes Lindbergh-first flight across Atlantic,
    -creator of the helicopter and
    -first man on the moon)

Go in peace Janusz– on the wings of glory.

Our Janusz finally succumbed to his debilitating illness on Monday, February 9th, 2004 at 6:30pm. His whole family was with him at home at “Kartuzy” to say good-bye. He leaves behind his beloved wife Anna, sons George and Mark and their wives, 5 grandchildren and a brother and sister. He is predeceased by two sisters and one brother.

The funeral was held on Thursday, February 12th at St. Hedwig’s Roman Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial. The church was filled to capacity with many dignitaries, officials, Air Force personnel, Polish Scouting Association and other people from across the country attending the Mass. Following the service, several people gave a few words paying tribute to honouring this very humble, yet famous man. Mark Robbins, a family friend, pall bearer and Zurakowski Park Committee member gave a moving address about “My hero – my friend”.

Newspaper Articles
Eganville Leader: July 30, 2003
Barry's Bay This Week: March 29, 2000
Brighton Independent: October 6, 1998