Canadian Aviator publisher Steve Drinkwater with A.J. Flying Ranch (CAJ7) owner Elizabeth Murphy-Bahlsen. Ms. Murphy-Bahlsen supplied several GHW aircraft with avgas at $1.50/l, then donated $1,000 to Hope Air.
Although smoke and poor flying weather delayed the start of this year’s Give Hope Wings 2021: Boundary Bay to Hudson Bay expedition by one day, and displaced the kick-off point to Drumheller, Alberta, the combined goals of reaching Churchill, Manitoba and raising $400,000 for the national charity Hope Air were accomplished.
Over 2,800 nm were flown by many of the 16 aircraft, some for the entire journey and others for only part of it. Aircraft models ranged from a turbine-powered Piper Malibu to a piston-powered Piper Cherokee 140 and included newer models such as a Cirrus SR-22T and a Diamond DA-40, classics such as high-wing Cessnas, and a few amateur-built airplanes. One of the Cessnas, a 182T from Kelowna, made the round trip to Churchill on amphibious floats. The Cherokee was flown by Canadian Aviator publisher Steve Drinkwater.
The funds raised for Hope Air during this expedition will provide air transportation for around 1,600 people who would not have been able to reach medical appointments in distant locations.
A more ambitious expedition, from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Nfld. and back is planned for June of 2022.