Volunteer Flight Crew
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volunteer flight crew smFly with the Give Hope Wings Crew

The Volunteer Flight Crew (VFC) program provides an opportunity to give back to others while experiencing the adventure of a lifetime.

The Give Hope Wings Northwest Expedition route is divided into three segments of 6 – 7 days each. In exchange for a significant donation to Hope Air, VFC will have the opportunity to participate in one of three Give Hope Wings fabulous flight segments. A large portion of the funds raised for Hope Air by this mission is expected to come from these Volunteer Flight Crew members.

This opportunity is open to both pilots and non-pilots. The former will be encouraged to take the controls and share flying time with the Captains of each aircraft.

 

Flight Stage Date # of Days Suggested Donation
I: Pitt Meadows to Fairbanks June 15 to 20 6-7  $25,000 per stage
Plane Pilot    Stage I VFC Members
C-FYQS  Dave McElroy   Lise Ash
C-FVFM Steve Drinkwater   Alexis Thind
C-FETZ  Ian Porter    Anna Rusinowski
II: Fairbanks to Anchorage  June 22 to 27 6-7 $25,000 per stage
Plane Pilot   Stage II VFC Members
 C-FYQS   Dave McElroy    Lise Ash
 C-FVFM  Steve Drinkwater    Rani Tolton
 C-FETZ   Ian Porter      Annamarie Van Der Meijden
III: Anchorage to Pitt Meadows June 30 to July 5 6-7  $25,000 per stage
Plane Pilot   Stage III VFC Members
 C-FYQS   Dave McElroy    Lise Ash
C-FVFM Steve Drinkwater     
C-FETZ  Ian Porter     O’Brian Blackall

 * As at February 12, 2019

 

Stage I: Pitt Meadows to Fairbanks

Pitt Meadows to Fairbanks REVISED 350pxGive Hope Wings Northwest Expedition Stage I:

➜ Departs from Pitt Meadows Regional Airport on June 15.
➜ 13 flights, 6-7 days, 4400 km. Suggested donation to Hope Air: $25,000.

The flight includes pilots Dave McElroy in his RV6, Steve Drinkwater in his Piper Cherokee and Ian Porter in his Pipistrel Virus. During this first stage, we'll make many interesting stops on our way north to Fairbanks, Alaska.

As we fly north we will enjoy some of British Columbia’s most gorgeous scenery: the spectacular Coast Mountains, the ranches of the Cariboo region, the Rocky Mountains and the Peace River region. B.C. stops en route will include Prince George and Fort Nelson; others may be scheduled in to promote Hope Air.

The flight will then cross into the Yukon, stopping at Watson Lake before heading northeast to Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories. Between these two historic locations, we’ll fly across the world-renowned Nahanni National Park, circle over the world-famous Virginia Falls, and drop into the airport at Nahanni Butte, nestled in the stunningly beautiful scenery at the confluence of the South Nahanni and Liard Rivers.

From Fort Simpson we’ll fly to Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories, then on to Norman Wells. From there we’ll fly to Tuktoyaktuk, a hamlet at the mouth of the Mackenzie River on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. On the approach to “Tuk”, we’ll drop down and overfly a few of its famous “pingos” - peculiar ice mini-mountains found nowhere else in the world. From there, we’ll make a short, breathtakingly beautiful 30-minute flight up the Mackenzie Delta to Inuvik. There won’t be any arctic sunsets to enjoy, however, as we’ll be in the land of the midnight sun: pull down the shades – or no sleep!

From Inuvik we’ll fly to Fairbanks, crossing the most northerly reaches of the Rocky Mountains on the way. This will bring us to the end of Stage I. Volunteer Flight Crew members will disembark after having enjoyed some of the most spectacular scenery this continent has to offer.

Notes:

  • A tax receipt for 80% of donations received will be provided as a charitable donation to Hope Air.
  • All expenses including meals, accommodation, incidentals and commercial airfare from the starting point and ending point of the Give Hope Wings trip (but not aircraft operating expenses) are the responsibility of the volunteer crew member.

Stage II:  Fairbanks to Anchorage

Fairbanks to Anchorage 350pxGive Hope Wings Northwest Expedition Stage II:

➜ Departs from Fairbanks Airport on June 22.
➜ 14 flights, 6-7 days, 5000 km. Suggested donation to Hope Air: $25,000.

The Flight includes pilots Dave McElroy in his RV6, Steve Drinkwater in his Piper Cherokee and Ian Porter in his Pipistrel Virus. During this second stage, we will make many interesting stops on our way around Alaska to Anchorage.

From Fairbanks we fly due north to Prudhoe Bay, home of an enormous petroleum production centre. We then turn northwest and fly along Alaska’s North Slope to Utqiagvik, previously known as Barrow. At 71 degrees, this will be the most northerly point of our expedition.

From Barrow we’ll turn southwest and fly along the coast to the Bering Strait, then continue on to Nome, 900 km further south. From Nome, we’ll head west and overfly Little Diomede Island, where the U.S. all but touches the International Date Line and Russia. We’ll use caution not to cross into Russian airspace, however, as to do so would likely ruin the whole day. (We understand the sight and sound of a MiG 29 maneuvering 100 feet off a wingtip is impressive - but also very loud and very frightening!) We’ll also enjoy a spectacular view of the snow-clad Siberian mountains rising out of the sea just 60 km to our west.

Dutch Harbor, located in the southwestern Aleutian Islands, will be the most southern point of the Stage ll itinerary. Site of a Second World War battle with the Japanese, Dutch Harbor today is home to a major fishing industry – and is one third of the vast distance across the Aleutians, which stretch across the Pacific nearly back to Russia. From Dutch Harbor we fly east and north to Anchorage, making scenic stops along the way, including Kodiak and Homer. Both of those two delightful towns are renowned for their breathtaking beauty and variety of things to see and do.

This brings us to the end of this segment, where our Stage Il VFC will disembark. We’ll have experienced Alaska in a way which is totally unique – an experience we’ll talk about for the rest of our lives.

Notes:

  • A tax receipt for 80% of donations received will be provided as a charitable donation to Hope Air.
  • All expenses including meals, accommodation, incidentals and commercial airfare from the starting point and ending point of the Give Hope Wings trip (but not aircraft operating expenses) are the responsibility of the volunteer crew member.

Stage III: Anchorage to Pitt Meadows

Anchorage to pitt meadows REVISED 350pxGive Hope Wings Northwest Expedition Stage III:

➜ Departs from Anchorage Airport on June 30.
➜ 10 flights, 6-7 days, 2700 km. Suggested donation to Hope Air: $25,000.

The flight includes pilots Dave McElroy in his RV6, Steve Drinkwater in his Piper Cherokee and Ian Porter in his Pipistrel Virus. During this third stage, we will make many interesting stops on our way southeast to Pitt Meadows.

After spending a couple of days between Anchorage and Homer on the Kenai Peninsula, the Give Hope Wings Stage lll crew will fly east and southeast across the astonishingly beautiful Alaskan Coast. We’ll fly past mighty mountains and islands, and get up-close-and-personal with incredible glaciers calving into the Pacific. If we’re lucky – which we usually are – we’ll see lots of wildlife including scores of giant bald eagles as we flash down the coast at low level. We may stop and fish for a day out of Yakutat – a coastal village accessible only by air and water. Home of two giant WWll runways, the Yakutat airport is within a few kilometers of world class fishing and grizzly-spotting areas.

Later, we’ll pass by Mount Logan in the Yukon, only 137 metres shorter than Alaska’s Denali (Mount McKinley), North America’s highest mountain at 6190 meters. As we work our way down the Panhandle, we will be treated with ever more awesome views of majestic glaciers, some of which reach all the way to the sea. And we’ll enjoy unique views of spectacular Alaskan fjords. Planned stopovers include Juneau and Sitka. If we’re lucky, we may see pods of Orcas as we head south along the famed Inside Passage.

The flight re-enters Canada at Prince Rupert, where we’ll clear customs, then continue to fly southeast down the Pacific Coast, making a stop or two in coastal communities such as Bella Bella. We’ll arrive back in Pitt Meadows on July 5 or 6 and say goodbye to our Volunteer Flight Crews. One thing for sure: we’ll have made some friends for life. We’ve shared experiences which only a tiny fraction of one percent of the world's population can even conceive, let alone experience. Sadly, our adventure will be at its end.

Notes:

  • A tax receipt for 80% of donations received will be provided as a charitable donation to Hope Air.
  • All expenses including meals, accommodation, incidentals and commercial airfare from the starting point and ending point of the Give Hope Wings trip (but not aircraft operating expenses) are the responsibility of the volunteer crew member.