When my father, Bob, and I departed from National Helicopters, just north of Toronto, at 7:30 am on July 1, a crowd of about 100 friends and dignitaries gathered to see us off on our global odyssey.
Aboard our helicopter were three VIP guests: Astronaut Dave Williams, Bronwen Evans of the True Patriot Love Foundation, and Gerald Haddon, an honorary colonel of the Canadian Forces and grandson of Canada’s first pilot, J.A.D. McCurdy. Our first stop: the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
However, bad weather delayed our arrival and kept hockey legend Guy Lafleur from attending the ceremony at our inaugural stop. Guy, a long-time helicopter aviator, is a friend to our third pilot, Dugal MacDuff, and trip sponsor Bell Helicopter. When Dugal told Guy about this trip, Guy offered to join us for the first few legs.