Give Hope Wings Plans Northwest Expedition

Apr 18, 2019

The BC Aviation Council is a proud affiliate of Hope Air and its work.

In June/July 2019, Give Hope Wings will take to the air again with a three-week, 12,000-kilometre flying expedition across British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska.

McElroy stands with his Van's RV-6. Stephen Caissie Photo
Pilot Dave McElroy stands with his Van’s RV-6, the aircraft he will fly on the Northwest Expedition flight in support of Hope Air. Stephen Caissie Photo

The flight is comprised of three aircraft owned by Dave McElroy, Steve Drinkwater and Ian Porter. Pilots McElroy, Drinkwater, and Porter will take off from Abbotsford, B.C. on June 15, 2019. This is the second major Give Hope Wings expedition to raise awareness and funds for Hope Air, Canada’s iconic charity which provides free flights to Canadians in financial need who must get to health care far from home.

But Give Hope Wings – The Northwest Expedition is much more than a fundraiser: It’s an idea stemming from the passions of four pilots, these three men plus Lise Ash – all four of whom have passions for generosity, flying and comraderie.

In early 2018, McElroy and two other partners flew around South America as Give Hope Wings, raising over $500,000 for Hope Air. In September, soon after McElroy had presented this remarkable story to a crowd at Abbotsford Airport, he was approached by Lise, a recently-minted pilot. She asked if Give Hope Wings was considering another flight and pledged her support as a major sponsor if this were to come to pass. Bingo: Give Hope Wings – The Northwest Expedition was born. Since that time, Drinkwater and Porter have joined the project with their aircraft, and this exciting expedition is now well along in its planning: logistics, operations, website, fundraising, etc.

The mission

The crew has set several goals for this ambitious enterprise:

  • Raise $250,000 for Hope Air (;
  • Provide 1,000 flights for Canadians in financial need who must travel far from home for medical care;
  • Raise awareness of Hope Air’s great service to Canadians;
  • Promote our generous sponsors; and
  • Inspire young people of any age.

The crew are now also actively canvassing for volunteer flight crew members – generous Hope Air donors who want to “pay it forward,” share this great adventure and experience the penultimate bucket list adventure. This is a chance to explore huge parts of North America’s northwest corner from a comfortable, high-visibility seat which is only available in a light aircraft. What an experience!

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