Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Better Late Than Never! (And Safe!)

Northern Sunrise County Reeve Agnes Knudson, president of the Peace River Air Show Committee greets (L-R) Mercy Flight recreation pilot Tom Hinderks and pilot/navigator Curtis Peters in the Northern Air Charter hangar at Peace River Airport.

After a month or so of braving cold weather and mechanical delays, the pilots of the much anticipated Mercy Flight Recreation were able to fly north. The pilots, Tom Hinderks and Curtis Peters, arrived safe and sound, and very, very cold at around 5:25 pm on Tuesday, February 10th. This trip comes exactly 80 years and 40 days after Wop May and Vic Horner made their way north to help stem the tide of a diphtheria outbreak on January 2nd, 1929. Members of the Museum Staff and Board, Constable Dave Brown of the RCMP, Don Good of Town Council and many others of our community were on hand to welcome the chilly aviators and revive them with cake and questions.

The entire crew included:
Pilot: Tom Hinderks
Navigator/Co-Pilot: Curtis Peters
Ground Crew: Ed Doucette, Rod Macleod
Chase Plane pilot: Bram Tilroe
Volunteer videographer: Greg Mockford
Media Relations: Dave Heathcourte
Dave was unable to come along, but was kept very busy updating everyone on the progress of the flight from Edmonton. His communications were indispensable. Denny May, son of Wilfrid "Wop" May, was also planning to attend but was unable due to health complications. He sent greetings along with the crew which was well-received.

The Spirit of Edmonton Kelly D two open-cockpit biplane that brought Tom and Curtis safely to Peace River.

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