The Give Hope Wings fundraising expedition to Northern Canada and Alaska departs British Columbia’s Pitt Meadows airport (CYPK) on Saturday, June 15. The expedition is raising funds for Hope Air, the charity that organises and funds air travel for those without the financial resources to travel to distant medical appointments, whether to see specialists or for special procedures and operations. This has become particularly important with the withdrawal of Greyhound bus services in Western Canada.
The expedition comprises three light aircraft and their owners, Dave McElroy in his Van’s RV-6, Vancouver businessman Ian Porter in his Pipistrel Virus and Canadian Aviation publisher and COPA Flight and eFlight editor Steve Drinkwater in his Cherokee.
After reaching Tuktoyaktuk airport (CYUB) on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, the expedition will turn southwest and, after a fuel stop at Old Crow airport (CYOC), land at Fairbanks, Alaska (PAFA) for border formailites.
Drinkwater will then be departing southeast for home (he has the August issue of COPA Flight to prepare), and the remaining two aircraft will continue around the perimeter of Alaska before returning down the B.C. coast to Pitt Meadows.
Filling the right seat of each aircraft are ‘volunteer flight crewmembers’ who have contributed significantly to the fundraising effort. The major sponsor for this expedition is the Langley Sportsplex in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.
A media and fundraising event will take place at Pitt Meadows at the time of departure, with more media/fundraising events being organized at stops in Quesnel, Prince George and Fort St. John, all in B.C.’s interior.
Fundraising will continue throughout the voyage – online donations can be made here (a tax receipt will then be emailed back immediately). The expedition’s fundraising goal is $250,000, all to be donated to Hope Air.
More about Hope Air and the vital role they play in getting people to their medical appointments can be found here.