PEO member helps power around-the-world chopper flight

A retired engineer and PEO member put his technical and aviation skills to good use in completing the first father-son around-the-world helicopter flight aboard a Canadian-built Bell 429 Global Range flyer.

Bob Dengler, P.Eng., and his son Steven Dengler set out July 1 on a 38,000 kilometre, 100-stop circumnavigation known as the C150 Global Odyssey.

While organized to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the tour was also set up as a fundraiser for the Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, and for the True Patriot Love Foundation, a national charity supporting Canadian military families.

Bob Dengler, a Queen’s University mining engineering graduate, was founder of Dynatec Mining Ltd. It was eventually taken over by Sherritt International Corp.

His son and co-pilot, Steven Dengler, is married to PEO member Bruna Pace, P.Eng., a former municipal engineer in King City.

In an interview with Engineering Dimensions, Bob Dengler said it’s difficult to describe fully the engineering inspiration for the journey: “Our trip around the world lasted 48 days, exposing us to modern engineering. However, what stood out in my mind is the flawless performance of our Canadian engineered and built Bell 429 helicopter, equipped with Canadian engineered and built Pratt& Whitney engines.”

Bruna Pace said weather was a challenge on the first leg of the around-the-world flight. “They were grounded for seven days, five in Iqaluit and one in Narsarsuaq, and one in Reykjavik,” Pace said.

However, the crew stayed the course and made stops in the UK, Czech Republic, Russia, Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia and the prairie provinces before returning to Ontario and Quebec air space.

“They’ve been taking and posting lots of pictures,” Pace added. “People really seem to love them.”

The C150 Global Odyssey officially ended August 17 at Montreal-Trudeau Airport.