Joining us from Winnipeg, Manitoba with is Super Decathlon
A native of North Battleford Saskatchewan, Dan started flying in 1972 after earning a flying scholarship courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
A second generation pilot, Dan got his first taste of flight at 4 years of age when his father took him for a hop over his home town. He says he remembers, looking at his world from on high and wondered, why you would ever want to come down?
Dan has passed along his passion for flying to his children and has spawned an airline captain, a private pilot, and a whole bunch of happy passengers. Now he’s working on developing the fourth generation of future aviators.
He continued his pursuit of a flying career by working at various jobs to support his flying training at the Regina Flying Club where he eventually qualified as a commercial pilot and by 1976, a Flight Instructor.
Newly minted as flight instructor at the age of 21 he packed up and moved to Winnipeg where he got his first job as a flight instructor at Point West Aviation (the predecessor of what is now Winnipeg Aviation).
In 1978 Dan took a position with the U.S. aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company as the national flight training marketing representative. He was responsible for developing and managing Cessna’s Pilot Training Centre programmes across Canada. While in this position, Dan was instrumental in converting what had previously been an American based learning system to that of a truly Canadian flight training programme. In addition to his management position, Dan was also a company demonstration pilot for Cessna’s complete line of piston aircraft.
While at Cessna, Dan progressed to various marketing management positions culminating as both single engine and multi-engine sales manager for the Prairie region until 1982 when, due to an international economic downturn, he and 35,000 close friends were laid off.
After a 12 year hiatus away from flying, Dan diverted back into aviation in 1998 on a full time basis; first, flying for a Winnipeg based construction company, a small flight charter company until 2000, when he joined Perimeter Airlines as a qualified captain on the Metroliner, an 18 passenger turboprop aircraft.
In 2003 Dan purchased Winnipeg Aviation, (yes that same school he first started instructing at back in 1976), which at the time, was a small 5 aircraft flight school serving the local market out of St. Andrews airport, just 8 kms. northeast of Winnipeg.
Today, Winnipeg Aviation operates 8 aircraft with expansion plans for more, and regularly trains 50-75 students at any given time from across Canada as well as internationally.
Although he had over 40 years in aviation, and enjoyed going to airshows, becoming an airshow pilot was never on his radar. That all changed in 2016 when an airshow pilot contacted Dan and asked him if she could borrow his aerobatic trainer to fly in a local Manitoba airshow.
As the old saying goes, one thing led to another and in 2017 Dan became Manitoba’s first airshow pilot to be certified by the International Council of Airshows, the organization that sets the performance and safety standards for all of the airshow pilots.
His very first airshow was flown in 2018 at the Portage La Prairie Airshow- his most memorable experience of the show- flying in +40 degree heat with a 55 km/h wind blowing at 90 degrees to the airshow crowd line.
Never to do things in half measures, Dan now owns two aerobatic aircraft. A Super Decathlon, which allows him to present the slow and graceful art of flight in a routine he calls “Romancing the skies”, and a high performance Yak-55, serving up high energy and lots of noise.
Considering himself privileged, blessed and one lucky guy to be performing for you today, Dan wants to share his good fortune so whenever he performs at an airshow, he donates 10% of his performer fees to a local charity or cause as chosen by the airshow organizers.
Inspiring Tomorrow's Aviators and Thrilling Today's - Professional Precision Aerobatic Formation Airshows
Brent Handy – Team Lead
When a child has a dream, and wants something so deeply in their soul, anything is possible. Every detail of their life becomes aligned with achieving their goal. Family gathers in support. True friends are separated from the rest. And when born in a nation so rich with opportunity, the impossible becomes reality!
This has been Brent’s story.
Born in small town Wyevale, Ontario, Brent knew from a young age that he wanted to spend his time in the air. Brent’s early flight training was earned through the Air Cadet program. His first solo was in an Air Cadet glider, at age 16. Ten years later, Brent’s dream of becoming a CF-18 Hornet pilot was a reality. And through a fortunate series of events, he was selected to fly as a team pilot with the renowned Canadian Forces Snowbirds jet team in 2011.
Following his tour with the Snowbirds in 2012 / 2013, Brent took his air show career to the next level. Purchasing a beautiful Pitts S-2, he had the good fortune of polishing his aerobatic prowess with air show legend Wayne Handley.
In 2019 Brent founded the Northern Stars Aeroteam along with long time friend Todd Farrell. Their formation aerobatic routine combines discipline and precision with adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping tumbles, torque rolls, and loops.
2020 will mark Brent’s 7th season as an unrestricted aerobatic performer. The Pitts Special is THE air show airplane to inspire young and old to pursue their passions!
Todd Farrell – Wingman – #2 Right Wing
Todd Farrell has 30 years of flying experience in over 40 different types of aircraft. Todd started flying in the Air Cadets earning a Glider and Private Pilot’s licence, then served a 21 year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
During his Air Force career, Todd was an instructor pilot on the CT155 Hawk and served as a standards pilot on the C-17 Globemaster where he flew humanitarian support missions to many troubled areas around the globe and logged over 40 combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Upon his retirement, Todd started flying aerobatics in the Pitts Special S-2B. After receiving aerobatics training from Air Show legend Steve Wolf, Todd began airshow training under the mentorship of his formation partner Brent Handy. In his day job Todd flies a Boeing 767 at a major Canadian Airline.
Emerging victorious following the battle of his life with stage 4 cancer and returning to high performance aircraft after doctors said he never would, Todd flies air shows to show the proof that anything is possible no matter what odds you are confronted with.
Todd would specifically like to acknowledge Brent Handy for his steadfast mentorship and most importantly his wife Diane and two kids for their continual love and support.
2020 will mark Todd’s 2nd season as a Level 2 aerobatic performer. His goal is to inspire his spectators through his flying to achieve the “unachievable”.
Greg Hume Powell – Backup Pilot
Greg Hume-Powell was born and raised in West Vancouver, British Columbia. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2003. After receiving his wings in 2006, he was posted to 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron .
While posted to 443 Squadron, he was deployed on numerous international and domestic operations, including counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia in 2009, counter-drug efforts in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Operation Podium, and exercises off Hawaii and South America. In 2011, he was posted to 2 Canadian Forces Flight Training school where he amassed over 1600 hours on the CT-156 Harvard II, ending up with an A2 instructional rating.
Greg joined the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in 2015 and flew in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 air show seasons as the Outer Right Wing, Opposing Solo and Lead Solo respectively. In 2019 he retired from the regular force after taking a job with a major Canadian airline and is presently flying the Boeing 787.
Greg brings over 4,500 hours of flying experience as well as over 1000 hours of airshow experience to the Northern Stars Aeroteam.
We asked Jodi Rueger what led her to become an Airshow and Airline Pilot.
“What made me want to get into flying? – when I was twelve, I wanted to be older to drive. I helped my dad build a go kart I used to race around in, I like heights and wanted to travel – so airplanes looked really cool.
Kyle Fowler began following his father’s footsteps at a very young age. Looking to his father, Ken Fowler of Team Rocket, as his role model, Kyle moved forward with his dreams of becoming an Aerobatic Pilot by the age of 12, announcing his father’s performance at several Airshows.
Manfred Radius began flying sailplanes in 1961 at age 17 in Hamburg, Germany. He has logged more than 5,000 flights and accumulated over 2,000 hours in at least 60 types of sailplanes.
Manfred is a professional air show performer who ushered in a new era in sailplane demonstrations. He has the distinction of having introduced world championship-level sailplane performances to air shows in North America.
We are thrilled to announce that the RCAF CF-18 Demo team will be tearing up the skies over Vanderhoof this summer!
Meet your 2020 CF-18 Demo pilot, Captain Daniel “Delouse” Deluce! You can catch Delouse and the team this August 1st and 2nd, Right here in the ♥ of BC. Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming days!
On the mic! For the first time in Vanderhoof Jon "Huggy" Huggins!
JON “HUGGY” HUGGINS
On the mic, calling the action, will be Jon Huggins. No stranger to airshows, Huggy has spent his ‘spare’ time the past 30+ years hanging around airshows as a flying performer, static display, and all-around aircraft bum. His interests include not only the popular civilian and military airplanes currently on the airshow circuit, but also the many spectacular classic warbirds and experimental aircraft flying today. In 2007 he put his knowledge to use and started announcing airshows on the US West Coast – receiving great reviews from the general public and seasoned performers alike.
Huggy is a former military pilot with over 7000 military pilot hours and 4100 flights. He was only the 4th person in history to achieve 2500 hours in the U-2 while on active duty and has had the opportunity to fly over 100 different military and civilian aircraft.
As an aviation enthusiast, Huggy enjoys learning the history of just about anything aviation related, and loves to hear the personal stories of all pilots, famous or not. The breadth and depth of his aviation knowledge comes out on the microphone, and gives the crowd a unique insight to the spectacle in front of them.