HAI Convention News

Father-Son Duo To Circumnavigate Globe in Bell 429

 - March 9, 2017, 9:59 AM
Steven Dengler and his father, Bob Dengler, along with Dugal MacDuff (right), will fly a Bell 429 on a circumnavigation flight this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. The focus of the trip is not to break records but for the pilots to be ambassadors of good will around the world.

Father-son duo Bob and Steven Dengler are celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in a big way. Along with veteran pilot Dugal MacDuff, the team will embark on C150GO, the world’s first Canadian helicopter circumnavigation flight, and, according to Steven, the first ever father-son global flight. The men will start their record-breaking trip in Ottawa, Canada, on July 1 and fly a Bell 429 more than 37,000 km (20,000 nm) in a little more than one month, making approximately 100 stops in 14 countries.

The father-son duo has always been interested in circumnavigating the globe together. Bob Dengler is the founder of Dynatec Mining and was one of the first to take delivery of a privately owned Bell 429 in Canada. He previously completed a trip around the Canadian arctic in August 2015. Steven Dengler, the co-founder of XE.com, primarily flies fixed-wing aircraft, but is excited to fly the Bell 429, a helicopter he calls, “the Ferrari of rotorcraft.”

The pair were introduced to Dugal MacDuff after the first pilot they chose, Bruce Larin, passed away. MacDuff was one of the original test pilots of the Bell 429 and has more than 12,000 hours of flight experience. This will be his first time circumnavigating the globe.

While on this trip, Steven told AIN, the rotorcraft will make stops in every Canadian territory as well as sites that hold historical significance for Canada and the aviation industry. For example, the Bell 429 will stop at Marconi Centerin Poldhu, Cornwall, where the first transatlantic radio signal in history was sent, as well as Signal Hill, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where that signal was received. They will also stop at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, because 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge during World War I.

Ultimately, this trip is not intended to become a speed record for Steven. He told AIN that the focus of the trip is for the pilots to be ambassadors of good will around the world. Bell Helicopter, IAMGOLD Corporation, Collins Barrow, Denison Mines and others are sponsoring the trip. However, all proceeds raised will go to the True Patriot Love Foundation, which assists Canadian veterans and families, and the Southlake Regional Health Center Foundation.

Those interested in following the Denglers on their trek can find live updates on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, which are all under the handle “C150GO.” Steven even plans on livestreaming parts of the trip so people can check in with them in real-time.