It’s not every day you get to pilot a plane from the 1950s, but thanks to a special birthday present from his wife, one Regina man got to see Saskatchewan from above.
“I just woke up this morning and my wife said, ‘We got to be out of the house by 9:30,’ and didn’t tell me anything except for drive down Lewvan,” said Mitch MacDonald. “The city looked awesome.”
MacDonald was taken to the Regina Flying Club, where he got the chance to not only ride in a 1951 Beech aircraft, but co-pilot it.
“It flies really smooth. Just because of the props there is a little bit vibration to it, but it handled really well,” he said. “I was really impressed.”
Flying runs in MacDonald’s genes as his grandfather used to be a pilot in the Second World War. Being in the plane was a special way to honour his family.
“I remember reading about all the old prop planes and just every single one had their own personality, it seemed like, and vintage silhouette to it,” he said. “This has been a lifelong dream to be in one of those.”
Attendees got the chance to see the plane during the Regina Flying Club open house. It was a chance for the aviation community to gather and celebrate the rich history of flying in Regina.
“I love aircrafts so it’s really great to see this. I have been to airshows around the world, and this ranks right up there with the really great local airshows,” said attendee Phil Jefferys.
James Topinka, the general manager for the Regina Flying Club, said the biggest thing they wanted to ensure was that the general public knows how open the aviation community is and how accessible they are.
“You can come and train to be a private licensed pilot or a commercial pilot right here in Regina,” said Topinka. “I think the most important thing is that people know that they can stay home in Regina to train, or that Regina is a great place to come and train and that it is accessible and available for people of all ages and of all kinds of descriptions.”
With a pilot shortage from across Canada, there is a push now more than ever for pilots. Topinka said the pilot shortage is a desire need not just in Regina but in Saskatchewan and across the world.
What better place to receive pilot training than in Regina.
“In Saskatchewan we have some of the best skies, best flying weather that you can find in the world.”