Father-and-Son Set Forth on Round-the-World Helicopter Flight

  • 0

Father-and-Son Set Forth on Round-the-World Helicopter Flight

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

Father-and-Son Set Forth on Round-the-World Helicopter Flight

By Ofonime Essien

C150 Global Odyssey

Bob and Steven Dengler are a father-and-son team who take off from Ottawa on July 1 in their bid to be the first Canadians to fly around the world by helicopter. C150GO

Bob Dengler and his son, Steven, took off in their Bell helicopter from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on the first day of a 40-day, 38,000-kilometre flight around the world.

If successful, the Denglers will be the first Canadians to fly around the world by helicopter and the first father-and-son team to accomplish the feat. The Citizen caught up with Steven Dengler to talk about the C150 Global Odyssey.

The Flight

C150 Start

C150 Global Odyssey starting their global journey

Starting Saturday morning from their home base in Vaughan, north of Toronto, the Denglers will fly to Ottawa for a 9:30 a.m. ceremony before heading east on a journey that will pass through 14 countries and 103 airports. They’ll visit every provincial and territorial capital.

Pilot Who Donated Kidney to Sick Father

“We’re extremely fortunate to be at a place in our lives where we have the time and resources to do this trip,” said Dengler. “Canada 150 is a wonderful time to do the trip, but the idea had been kicking around for a while. But Canada 150 came around and we said, ‘Let’s give it a shot. We’ll raise some money for charity. We’ll celebrate Canadian history and culture and innovation around the world. We’ll make it one for the history books.’ ”

The Pilots

Bob Dengler, 77, is an engineer who founded his own mining company and took up helicopter flying 10 years ago. Steve Dengler, 48, is also an engineer and co-founder of the world currency website, xe.com. He’s been a fixed wing pilot for a decade and learned to fly helicopters in preparation for the C150GO flight. A third pilot, retired Bell Helicopter test pilot Rob MacDuff, will also be on board. Ask Steve Dengler what he’s most looking forward to and he has two answers:

“The inside the helicopter answer is I’m just looking forward to spending time with my father. He started a business that he ran for 25 years. I started a business that I ran for 20-plus years. We’ve been busy our adult lives, and when you’re that busy you don’t get a lot of quality time to spend with each other. I’m very aware of how fortunate I am to, not just have this monumental journey, but to re-engage with my father on something we both love, which is aviation.”

The ‘Guests’

Retired Canadian astronaut Dave Williams will join the team for the first leg from Vaughan to Ottawa. Williams, a physician who twice flew on the Space Shuttle, is now president and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, one of two charities the C150GO team is backing.

In addition to winning five Stanley Cup rings, former NHL great Guy Lafleur is also a pilot who will fly several legs with the Denglers.

The Rejected Flight Attendant Who Started Her Own Airline

“He is an outstanding helicopter pilot and he has a long-standing relationship with Bell Helicopters,” Dengler said. “If you’re getting a Bell helicopter delivered, you never know if you’re going to get a surprise visit from Guy Lafleur. He loves to fly.”

Award-winning photographer Peter Bregg will fly about two-thirds of the journey, too, documenting the flight and the landscape. Bronwen Evans, the director of True Patriot Love, the second charity the flight will support, will also take part in some of the events.

Bell 429

Bob and Steven Dengler are a father-and-son team who take off from Ottawa on July 1 in their bid to be the first Canadians to fly around the world by helicopter. C150GO

The Helicopter

“The helicopter is every bit as Canadian as we are,” Steven Dengler says. “It was designed and built at the Bell plant in Mirabel, and it’s really the first brand new Bell design in 40 years. It’s legacy free. They basically said, ‘Let’s start over.’ ”

The twin-engine Bell 429 Global Ranger is one of the most advanced helicopters in the world, with a cruising speed of 150 knots and a range of 411 nautical miles. That doesn’t give much room for error on the Denglers’ longest leg — the 398-nautical mile flight from Pangnirtung, Baffin Island, to Nuuk, Greenland — so they’ll carry an extra fuel bladder on board and wait for favourable winds before taking off. The Bell 429 doesn’t come cheap. It’s worth about $7.5 million.

Daddy, I’ll Be A Pilot. And He Was Only 4 Years Old

The helicopter is also equipped with Honeywell’s Aspire 200 satellite Internet broadband system, which will let the Denglers upload photos and video in real time. You can follow C150GO on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

“It’s not just going to be me and my father in a tin can for 40 days,” Dengler said. “It’s going to be us sharing our journey with the world.”

The ‘outside the helicopter’ answer

So what was the second thing that Dengler is looking forward to?

“Outside the helicopter — Canada is a giant beautiful country and very few people get to see it like we’ll see it,” he says. “We’re going to fly through  Gros Morne Park. In Labrador, we’re going to fly up Saglek Fiord. These are some of the natural wonders of the world — not just Canada — the world. And we’re going to fly through them in a helicopter and we’re going to be sharing them with Canadians. What an opportunity and what delight to be able to share that.”

(Ottawa Citizen)






(Visited 166 times, 1 visits today)

About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

Leave a Reply