Pilot returns to his roots for this year’s Give Hope Wings expedition
One of the lead pilots involved in the Give Hope Wings expedition this month had a chance to return to his roots along with the group of other pilots who joined him.
Brian Huston grew up in Atikokan, west of Thunder Bay, and going back to Northern Ontario reminded him of why he does what he does.
He says one of the highlights for the fall expedition was during the stop in Sault Ste. Marie.
After landing, the pilots checked into their hotel and had dinner in the lounge. Their waitress recognized the Hope Air logo on their jackets and told them that she used Hope Air’s services. She was incredibly thankful to the pilots and their fundraising expedition.
“I just couldn’t believe that something like that happened by circumstance. It was just another reminder of the importance of what we do.”
It’s stories like these that resonate with Brian.
Brian also has been a Hope Air volunteer pilot since 2017, a program where pilots assist patients in travelling to and from their medical appointments in their own small planes.
While growing up, Brian knew many people who would have benefitted from a program like Hope Air. This necessity stuck with him, and once he had the means to fly, he decided to volunteer his time with Hope Air.
One of the experiences that sticks with him the most is when he picked up a young boy and his mother from London. They needed to travel home to Sault Ste. Marie. Brian brought a headset, once used by his children, for the boy to talk during the flight.
Upon his arrival, he saw the young patient lit up at the chance to have a headset and fly in the plane’s front seat and learn about how to fly the plane.
“For a few hours I was able to make this kid forget his treatments and make that day an adventure.”