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Praise for the C150 Global Odyssey came from many fronts, including Ontario's Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who joined the celebration recently.
By Mark Pavilons
Individual achievements are almost always bolstered by a strong support network.
The Canada 150 Global Odyssey involved all hands on deck. In achieving several world firsts, the historic flight involved much more than the commitment and talents of three dedicated pilots.
The trek, which landed King resident Steven Dengler, his father Bob, and ace pilot Rob “Dugal” MacDuff in the history books, was the first Canadian circumnavigation of the world by helicopter, and the first father-son circumnavigation by light aircraft in aviation history.
The team flew the Canadian-made Bell 429 helicopter 36,956 kilometres from July 1 through Aug. 17. The crew visited some 14 countries in all. The Odyssey helped mark Canada's 150th birthday and helped two important charities along the way – Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation and True Patriot Love Foundation.
Supporters, and even Ontario's Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, came to offer their praise at a wrap-up reception Sunday at National Helicopters near Bolton.
Dodeswell noted she had a chance to fly with the Denglers over Tobermory prior to the Odyssey, gaining a first-hand glimpse of the Bell 429. She noted the Canada 150 program allowed people to come forward with many projects, dreams and aspirations and the Odyssey was her favourite. “It was a chance to bask in the reflected glory of Canadians who taught us about courage,” she said. It provided a real opportunity to showcase Canada to the rest of the world and it even taught us all a lot about our own geography.
She thanked the crew for their storytelling and helping to educate children.
The Odyssey's legacy is “one of open hearts and open minds,” she said.
King-Vaughan MP Deb Schulte said the Denglers had a dream and they made King proud. The Odyssey took the story of Canada around the world over 48 days. She said they did it for Canada and helped raise money for the worthwhile charities along the way.
Steven Dengler noted it was their honour to support both Southlake and True Patriot Love. Representatives of both organizations were on hand to offer their thanks to the team.
He stressed this is not the story of three guys, but rather something Canada can be proud of. “Everyone contributed to it,” he stressed.
Bob Dengler said they have countless stories and anecdotes to share about the journey.
Steven noted they will be releasing photographs from the Odyssey for educational purposes. Helping the team document the journey was award-winning photographer Peter Bregg.
During a slide show and commentary at the reception, Steven Dengler noted they did their best trying to capture the beauty of the world. But even the dramatic photos don't do Nature justice. He was impressed by the landscape of northern Labrador and the Canadian Arctic, including the Akshayuk Pass on Baffin Island. Other memorable spots included Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Nome, Alaska.
Dengler has already been invited to publicly speak on the trip. In the near future, he plans to convert the c150go.ca website into a day-by-day retrospective, and also publish a book containing many photos of the historic journey.
For more, visit https://www.c150go.ca
Excerpt: Individual achievements are almost always bolstered by a strong support network. The Canada 150 Global Odyssey involved all hands on deck. In achieving several world firsts, the historic flight involved much more than the commitment and talents of three dedicated pilots.
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