Rendezvous by/par Chartwell Winter 2018/2019 - Page 10

THE THRILL OF A BACKCOUNTRY HELICOPTER LANDING Resident Brian Dickinson, 82, of Chartwell Lynnwood Retirement Residence in Chilliwack, BC, had a dream: he wished to experience the excitement of a unique adventure he was unable to complete some 40 years earlier. Thanks to Chartwell’s partnership with Wish of a Lifetime Canada, Brian’s wish became reality when his helicopter landed atop a snow-covered mountain with Vancouver Island and volcanic Mount Baker in the distance! “This made me realize what a wonderful world we live in. The entire experience was the highlight, from start to finish.” Brian grew up in London, England and during his time in the navy, he developed a strong admiration for the maintenance of lifeboats. One of the cadets Brian had instructed and befriended was a member of the Great Yarmouth Lifeboat Crew. It was this cadet’s invitation to participate in a lifeboat exercise with the Royal Air Force that later became the catalyst for Brian’s wish of a lifetime. After being outfitted in full survival gear and taken to the (theoretical) site of a sinking yacht for the training exercise, Brian learned that he was to be cast as a survivor who would be airlifted from the water by an approaching Royal Airforce helicopter. Just as the maneu- ver was about to commence, something unexpected happened—the operation was cut short and the helicopter was called away to an actual emergency! In June, Brian and his companion flew by helicopter out of the Sky Hangar at Pitt Meadows Airport. Under beautiful skies, they cruised over the west coast to see magnificent waterfalls, alpine lakes and glacier peaks. For an added bonus, the crew performed the backcountry landing Brian had always dreamed of. 7 RENDEZVOUS | WINTER 2018/2019