Danny Hooper Productions

Flying high

I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy many unbelievable experiences during my career, one of which was being able to earn my pilot’s license up in Whitehorse, YT, back in 1979. I took my flying lessons at Air North, a company still operated by its founder Joe Sparling, and today a major player in the Canadian aviation industry.

I took my first lessons in a single engine Cessna 172. My instructors were all seasoned bush pilots and each of them had something unique to share. What an experience – flying over those spectacular Yukon mountain ranges!

All those memories came flooding back last week as we made our final approach to the Whitehorse airport, only this time I was a passenger in a lightning-fast Cessna Citation business jet. I spent three days travelling with CEO Jeff Polovick and the senior management of Driving Force, Canada’s largest independent vehicle rental, leasing, and sales company. The reason I was tagging along was to emcee the company’s annual Employee Achievement Awards in Ft. St. John, BC, Whitehorse, YT, and Vancouver, BC.

It was a whirlwind trip – immediately following the event in Whitehorse we departed for Vancouver, arriving at 2:00 a.m. We had a short sleep, checked out of our rooms, and that evening boarded a dinner cruise boat and sailed out of Coal Harbour, under the Lions Gate Bridge, past Granville Island, and down False Creek – what a perfect evening to enjoy the spectacular Vancouver skyline. The awards were all presented during the sailing, and as soon as we arrived back at the dock around 10 p.m., a cab whisked us back out to the airport where we climbed back aboard the jet. Moments later were climbing like a rocket to 41,000 feet, bound for home. I crawled into my own bed by 2:30 a.m.

Try that in a Cessna 172.

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