You may be the most well-traveled person in Canada, but we guarantee you’ve never traversed the entire globe in a helicopter. We know that because this father and son are about to be the first Canadians to do it. In a Canadian helicopter no less!
With a Canada goose named Wawa strapped to the front, Bob (dad) and Steven (son) Dengler will be stopping at 103 airports in 14 different countries and covering 38,000 kilometers over the course of 35 to 40 days. They will leave from Vaughn, ON on Canada Day, stop in Ottawa for some 150 celebrations, then head out. Sounds like a tiring journey but it’s sure to be an incredible bonding experience. After all, that’s what this is about for the duo.
Seventy-seven year-old Bob founded his own mining company and was highly career driven during most of Steve’s young life. For 30 or so years, the two didn’t have much of a relationship and pretty much did their own things. Bob sold his company 12 years ago, and when faced with a load of free time like he had never had before, took up helicopter flying.
Steve’s story is almost identical to his father’s. He started his own company after university, but decided to sell it when his two kids reached the age at which he remembered Bob getting too busy with work. Talk about a ‘Cats in the Cradle’ scenario. Steve also took to flying (though not copters) in his spare time. That’s what brought the two back together.
When Bob fell in love with, and subsequently bought, a Canadian-developed and -made Bell 429 Global Ranger, he immediately decided he wanted to fly it around the world. And that’s exactly what the pair is going to do.
Not only is this an opportunity for father-son bonding and a celebration of Canada 150, this is also a personal celebration for the two. Last year, Bob was diagnosed with cancer and six months ago, he completed his last dose of chemotherapy and now has a clean bill of health.
The entire journey will be documented on the C150 Global Odyssey’s social media and they hope to livestream portions of the trip too. The copter is all decked out with broadband wifi so Canada doesn’t miss a minute of the record-making journey.