Aircraft and Crew

The Crew



 Lee Arsenault  Brian Huston

Lee Arsenault

Lee ArsenaultAs a little boy growing up in rural P.E.I., I had a passion for airplanes and becoming a pilot. I would sit in my Dad’s car and pretend it was an airplane that I was flying. When I retired at age 55 from a long career in information technology with Enbridge in Ontario, the dream started to flutter to the surface again. I started flying lessons in Oshawa, got my PPL in 2008 and IFR rating in 2013. My wife Marilyn and I bought a nice Diamond DA-40 in 2011. We have taken many enjoyable trips with this plane, including Vancouver Island, The Yukon, Arizona, The Bahamas, Florida and of course many, many flights to PEI where I grew up.

In 2016, I heard about Hope Air and its mission to provide Canadians in financial need with free travel and accommodations for medical care far from home. We always fly together, and I do all the planning and flying, and Marilyn engages with the Hope Air patients. Flying for Hope Air has made me realize how fortunate most of us are to have easy access to medical care and how we take that for granted. People in remote locations are not so fortunate and are often burdened by financial and physical limitations to get access to needed medical care. For these folks, Hope Air provides incredible relief during very difficult times of dealing with serious health issues.

Brian Huston


I was raised in small mining communities in Northern Ontario, Northern Quebec, southern Labrador and Saskatchewan. In 1986, while I was in my final year of geological engineering at Queen’s University, I was presented with an opportunity to pursue a pilot license. This was followed by a night rating in 1987 and a seaplane rating in 1990 while I was working in Sudbury. My goal at that time was to be able to fly myself to good fishing spots.

In 2016, I retired after 30 years in the mining industry. Since then, I have obtained a commercial license, an instructor rating and a multi-engine instrument rating, and I have been teaching at Spectrum Airways.

During this time, I also found myself with the means to fly patients for Hope Air as a volunteer pilot and run an annual fundraiser with my flying club for Hope Air.

So why do I support Hope Air? I grew up in small northern communities where my father was a senior executive with the mining company. I never needed the services of an organization like Hope Air, but I am acutely aware of how large this country is and the shortcomings of our universal healthcare system because I have friends who needed to travel long distances for medical care.

The Aircraft

Diamond DA40-XL, C-GUPI

Lee Marilyn and GUPI

Lee flies a beautiful 2006 Diamond DA40-XL, call sign C-GUPI. He likes to refer to his plane as the Canadian Guppy.

The Diamond DA40-XL is an Austrian designed four-seat, single-engine, light aircraft constructed from composite materials. It is built by Diamond Aircraft Industries in London, Ontario, Canada.

The DA40 was initially marketed as the DA40-180. In late 2006, the XL model replaced the DA40-180. The major difference between the new models and the 180 is the higher maximum cruise speeds.

The DA40-XL has a constant speed propeller and is powered by a 180 hp Lycoming IO-360-M1A fuel injected engine. It has a maximum cruise speed of 147 knots, burning 9.5 gallons of Avgas per hour. Its maximum takeoff weight is 2,645 lb.

The 2006 DA40 is equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit suite with integrated auto pilot functions. The G1000 glass cockpit replaces the traditional round instruments. The two integrated performance and navigation flat screen panels provide easy to reference information for safer flying.

The airplane is IFR certified. The auto pilot combined with the IFR navigation system makes flying the DA40 safer and easier. To add to the increased safety, the DA40 glass panel includes a traffic awareness system that identifies the location of other aircrafts in the vicinity greatly improving collision avoidance capabilities.

Cessna 182, C-FRFW

Cesna 182 Brian Huston plane
The Cessna 182 was first introduced in 1956 as a nose wheel development of the 180 and served as a highly capable personal aircraft that was a step up in performance from the 150 and 172. High carrying capacity and economical operation have kept this aircraft popular for many years and it continues to be a part of the Cessna line up as a very capable personal aircraft between the 172 and the 206. Over the years, Cessna produced a number of variants of the model with different versions having some combination of carburettors, fuel injection, turbochargers, fixed or retractable gear and instrument panels from very basic to the G1000 flight deck.

With a balance of high carrying capacity, speed and economics, the 182’s popularity was immediate and has continued to this day. The aircraft is highly capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions that range from light personal trips to hauling large loads out of tight places.

This 1973 182P was purchased by the Burlington Flying Club, of which Brian is part, in 2018. Already equipped with a STOL kit, the aircraft then underwent a major refit of the avionics, flight instruments and autopilot system to make it a more capable and modern IFR platform.

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