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Canadian pilots promote access to medical care


Pilots from across the country are going to new heights to promote a non-profit that aims to connect patients to medical care. Volunteers will take to the sky to raise awareness for Hope Air with the sixth annual ‘Give Hope Wings’ expedition.

In previous years, pilots travelled across Canada, but this year it has been separated into three regions: the east, west and prairies.

"We’re reaching more communities this way, and we're attracting more pilots from the prairies to participate,” Prairie Expedition co-captain Doug McNair told CTV News.

The goal is to visit 12 communities across the prairies in six days with the final stop in Saskatoon on Friday.

"One thing we discovered in flying around, there is a relatively low awareness of the existence of Hope Air in some communities," Prairie Expedition co-captain Rupert Robin said in an interview on Wednesday.

Robin told CTV News the non-profit operates like a medical travel agent, which offers people in financial need with flights, accommodations, and transportation for medical services. He said throughout the trip the team has met with local politicians, health care workers and social workers.

“The goal is twofold. One of them is to make sure communities know that Hope Air exists, and that there is help available,” Robin said.

“The other thing is to make sure business communities and political administrations in the areas we are visiting understand there is a need,” he said.

The expedition involves ten pilots, and is estimated to be about 3, 537 kilometres.

“All of the pilots on the expedition are funding themselves. We’re flying our own planes, we’re paying for our own gas, and we’re paying for our own hotels.”

“We’re doing this because firstly we enjoy flying. Secondly, it’s a good way to combine our passion for flying with spreading the word.     Top Stories


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