Allan Vancouver Area, BC
Volunteer pilot since: 2015
Tell us about yourself, and how you became interested in flying.
I grew up in a remote and isolated farming community. There was a local airport with a grass runaway that was used by a veterinarian—he flew in weekly to deal with the needs of the farmers. There was also a daily newspaper flight, and the aero club from the closest city would occasionally fly in and provide pleasure flights on weekends. This fascinated me as a young person (who disliked farming), so I decided aviation was going to be my focus at an early age.
After graduating from high school, I entered into an aircraft engineering apprenticeship and at the same time learned to fly. I attained my private pilot’s license at a young age in the summer of 1965.
My full-time work has always been in the aircraft engineering side of things. I retired in 2003 after a rewarding 34-year career. Before and since then I have worked as a consultant for major aviation companies in Canada and several other countries around the globe.
What aircraft do you fly?
I currently own and fly a twin engine Piper Seneca II aircraft on the Hope Air missions.
How did you hear about Hope Air?
I was introduced to Hope Air by a friend and fellow Vancouver-based Hope Air pilot.
What attracted you about volunteering with us?
Hope Air is a great organization supported by willing volunteers. It gives me a reason to fly and at the same time provide assistance to some of the less fortunate members of the community.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?
It is rewarding to receive the many ‘thank yous’ and being told by the client that if it wasn't for the Hope Air volunteer pilot flight, they would not be able to afford the travel to their medical care.
It’s also a rewarding opportunity to provide the client with a total break from their worries of the day.
Often when you first greet them they are concerned with their lives and the thought of travelling in a light aircraft. Once airborne they initially look out the window, then sleep for awhile, then they become interested in the increasing air traffic control chatter as we approach the Vancouver area. By the time we are on the ground and the red carpet is literally rolled out, the clients are usually smiling, happy to line up for a photo op, and are looking forward to the flight home.
I always remember the smiles and the sincere ‘thank you’ from the clients at the end of each mission. Always memorable!