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  • Writer's pictureMartin Zeilig

A View From Above: Holiday Lights Tour

During a 30-minute flight courtesy of 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, passengers onboard a C-130 Hercules were treated to a tour of Winnipeg’s Christmas lights.

“In recent years, the event has been on hold due to the COVID pandemic,” said Captain Jordan Kapp, a navigator at 435 Sqdrn and Public Affairs Representative. “We’ve been eager to restart this community outreach event,” he said. “We take our family members along with us because they normally only hear about what we do. This flight gives them the opportunity to experience it. The observation windows from our SAR (Search and Rescue) missions provide a very nice view of Winnipeg and all the Christmas lights people have installed.”

As the powerful Herc banked gradually over the city at an altitude of just over a thousand feet, Captain Devin Pankoski said, “It’s a great time to show our family and friends what we do every day. They get to see what we can do, and how we have to hone our skills to keep our abilities up-to-date.”

“It was a wonderful flight,” Michelle Palmer said inside Hangar 16 after the flight had landed. She and her husband, Corporal Adam Weekes, were with their two daughters, ages eight and nine. “This was my third time ever on an airplane,” she said with a wide smile.

Glenda and Louis Bryden were on the flight with their daughter and her friend, Corporal Kenneth Davis. “It was amazing,” Glenda said. She added that the best parts of the flight were looking out the observer windows and touring the flight deck.

“This is a great opportunity to show appreciation to our families because they are the backbone of every person who is here,” Capt Kapp said. “We have aviators, mechanics, and logistical staff who all work long hours and are dedicated. Without the support we get from home, we couldn’t do what we do.”

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