An amazing trip completed using the Airbus Helicopters AS350B3+ helicopter powered by the Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 engine.
Together with an experienced instructor from Switzerland, Mar Boers flew his own helicopter 7,000 km from his home in Belgium to Canada, then from East to Western Canada, arriving at Heliproducts in Pitt Meadows BC.
The trip is rarely made in a helicopter because of how much more difficult they can be to pilot over such long distances.
Boers and his instructor, Walter Mayer completed the trip. Boers and Mayer completed the trip in 13 legs, but the most challenging was crossing from Iceland to Greenland in less than ideal conditions.
“The biggest challenge is you don’t have an autopilot with a helicopter,” said Mayer.
By law, the two men had to have emergency survival suits and an inflatable raft on board in case the chopper went down over water.
“This was on my bucket list,” said Boers, when asked why he decided to make the trip. The 72-year-old businessman has been flying airplanes for 45 years, but only took up helicopter flying a year and a half ago.
While Mayer will head back to Switzerland after the trip, Boers and his wife will spend time in Vancouver, eventually flying south into the USA, before the Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 is shipped back home to Belgium, this time via ocean container freight.