2018 Americas Expedition
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Thoughts on completing the flight of a lifetime

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The Give Hope Wings circumnavigation of the Americas finished at 17:00 hours, March 9th, when Wings 1 (C-FYQS, Dave McElroy’s RV6), landed at Kelowna International Airport. A few days earlier, Wings 2 (C-GTDP, Russ Airey’s RV9A), had returned to its Windsor home base.


Tracking Route

Five Mission Objectives

Raise $500,000 for Hope Air

Raise awareness of Hope Air's great work

Raise awareness of General Aviation

Inspire Young People

We're capable of much more than we think ....

If we can imagine bigger lives for ourselves ....

Thanks to our Supporters

We have been supported in this venture by so many people it is impossible to mention them all here. They are in several categories.

Our Patron - Dr Roberta Bondar. Canada's first female astronaut, Roberta supported us from the beginning. She has been an inspiration - and we hope to emulate that in some small way as we try in turn to inspire younger people to reach out and grasp more from their lives.

Our Corporate Sponsors. Led by our most generous Title Sponsor, First Choice Haircutters, so many thoughtful companies supported our venture by donating time, money, products and services. Please see them here and favor them with your business. We love to support commercial businesses with heart - they’re the real deal!

Our private donors. So many individuals and groups contributed to our mission. Click here to see them all – what a list! Those who gave over $1000 had their identities prominently displayed on our aircraft.

Our Volunteer Flight Crew. These nine generous men contributed over 40% of the $500,000+ we have raised for Hope Air so far. Plus - we had them, and we had adventures with them, for a week or two along the way. What experiences we had together!

This has been one of the grandest long-term, onetime events for me. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t, and didn’t, imagine that it would have been so successful and incident-free. Think about it. Think of the shear number of times or chances things could have gone askew. Think about all the “saves". Think about all the positive aspects.

Russ Airey

Yes, this trip was so much more than we could have hoped for or expected. However, so much good happened because the trip was planned well in advance, in great detail. The bulk of that planning detail and contacting of Aeroclubs was done by Russ. One saw rather quickly why he was in senior management as logistics manager for a very large firm with many moving parts. Russ’s diligent processing of routes, stops and “what-if” scenarios contributed greatly to how well things went.

Harold Fast

We have been three equal partners in Give Hope Wings. Together we planned the trip, raised a lot of money for Hope Air and spoke to many hundreds of people between BC and Ontario. We had total solidarity throughout, and executed the mission pretty much exactly as planned - only it went immeasurably better than we could have dreamed when we conceived this journey in November, 2016. 

How could we have foreseen being adopted by the GA Community in Latin America, and being treated like royalty - particularly in Chile and Brazil? An audience with the Pope (or at least his car) in Peru? Flying in a five-ship formation in Villaricca, Chile, at the “Oshkosh of Patagonia” Airshow - and receiving an award and plaque from the Chilean General Aviation Association at their annual banquet - which we just happened in on ...

How could we have been so lucky as to participate in Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and to fly a formation aerobatic routine out of Rio with the Brazilian RV Formation Demonstration Squadron - all retired Brazilian Air Force jet pilots?

And we were so fortunate to have been steered to Hope Air. The level of support we've received from everyone at Hope Air - Doug, Staff, Board - has been overwhelming. As I have said many times, one of the things that attracted us to Hope Air was its efficiency and effectiveness.

Hope Air - we salute you for that and for what you are doing for Canadians, and I know I speak for the three of us when I say we are pleased and proud to have been fortunate enough to contribute to the cause. 

Dave McElroy

Expedition Statistics

Crew Dave McElroy, Russ Airey, Harold Fast 
Volunteer Flight Crew Reg Willick, Peter Smith, Bob Vance, Woody Stewart, Ian Porter, O’Brian Blackall, Colin Rosengren, Craig Smith, Terry Glover
Money Raised for Hope Air $517,000 - so far
Hours Flown 156
Number of Days 66
Number of Flights 88
Distance Flown 21,500 nautical miles / 39,000 km
Longest Flight 3 hr 50 min   430 nm / 785 km
Balmaceda to Punta Arenas, Chile
Shortest Flight 5 minutes  1 nm / 1.6 km
Ushuaia International Airport to Ushuaia Est Aeronaval

Global News Expedition Coverage