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Record-breaking quest for Canada 150
Father-son duo land in Yk as part of 38,000-kilometre helicopter flight around the world

Robin Grant
Northern News Services
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A father-son team has been flying around the world for a good cause - and glory - by attempting to make a Guinness World Record as the first Canadians to circumnavigate the world by helicopter.

NNSL photograph

Steven, left, and Bob Dengler landed their Canadian-developed and Canadian-made Bell 429 Global Ranger in Yellowknife on Monday, toward the end of their journey circumnavigating the world for Canada 150. They are the first Canadians and father-son duo to fly around the world in a helicopter. - Robin Grant/NNSL photo

Toronto residents Bob and Steven Dengler touched down in a flashy Canadian-developed and manufactured Bell 429 Global Ranger in the Summit Helicopters hangar on Aug. 7. Yellowknife was a destination in the final leg of their worldwide trip.

The duo has been circumnavigating the world since July 1.

Manufactured in Montreal, the Bell 429 Global Ranger is considered to be one of the most advanced light, twin-engine helicopters in the world, with a cruising speed of 277 km/h. It's worth about $7.5 million.

During the 38,000-kilometre flight lasting almost 40 days, the team has visited more than 100 airports in 14 countries, including every provincial and territorial capital and many historical Canadian landmarks.

"Some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen in my life was in the Canadian Arctic," said Steven, 48, referring in particular to their flight over Akshayuk Pass in Nunavut.

They flew to Pangnirtung from Nuuk, Greenland, which was the longest leg of their journey.

"It's this giant valley that is a mile high with these sheer cliffs - it is without a doubt a wonder of the world," he said.

So far, the trip has been smooth flying, except for being grounded in Iqaluit because of low clouds. The conditions caused ice to form on the aircraft's surface, said Bob Dengler, 77, a retired mining engineer who took up helicopter flying 10 years ago.

Called the C150 Global Odyssey or C150GO, the initiative is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization developed to raise funds for True Patriot Love, which supports Canadian veterans and their families, as well as the hospital fundraising organization Southlake Foundation.

The journey is also in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary.

"More than anything, we just want to share our journey with everybody," said Steven.

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