Canadian Wings of Rescue

Canadian Wings of Rescue

Canadian Wings of Rescue / Paws, Planes and Pilots  / Flying high with Furry Passengers: An Insider’s Journey

Flying high with Furry Passengers: An Insider’s Journey

On a recent sunny Sunday morning, the skies above Winnipeg, MB, were alive with anticipation. Our special passengers – Shrub, Cubb, and Marco, three adorable puppies brimming with energy and excitement, were about to embark on a remarkable journey from Winnipeg to Fredericton, NB. But as with any adventure, there were unexpected twists and turns along the way.

The following narrative features an account of a successful Canadian Wings of Rescue (CWoR) operation. CWoR is a charity that offers free or low-cost transport flights within Canada to rescued, abandoned, and injured birds and animals. This particular operation was courtesy of three of our fantastic volunteer pilots: Amy Johnson, Maciej Dragan, and Jim Hanna.

As weather conditions were suboptimal, they had to take an unexpected detour by road. Yet, through the dedication and teamwork of the three crew members, the trio of puppies found themselves safely welcomed in Fredericton, tails wagging with joy.
But we were curious to learn about the experience from a pilot’s perspective, so we sat down with Maciej Dragan for a heart-to-heart chat. Read on all about the real magic that happened upon landing and how the occupants of the crate erupted with excitement, eager for the next chapter of their journey.

CWoR: What inspired you to become a volunteer pilot for this flight?
“I’m a dog lover through and through,” he confessed. “And if I can combine that passion with aviation, it’s a match made in heaven.”

CWoR: How do you feel when you see the animals for the first time, knowing that you’re about to play a crucial role in their journey to safety?
The excitement in Maciej’s voice was palpable as he recounted the moment of meeting the puppies for the first time. “They were bursting with energy,” he recalled, “tails wagging, tongues hanging out – pure joy on four legs!” a heartwarming sight that set the tone for the adventure ahead, he added.

CWoR: Can you share a memorable moment from this flight?
“They snoozed like little angels,” he chuckled. “And the hum of the airplane was their lullaby.”

CWoR: There were some changes in the plan due to the weather conditions. How did you pivot from the original plan and prepare for the change?
“Flexibility is key,” he emphasized. “We had to think on our feet and reroute to ensure the safety of our furry passengers. It was all about adapting and working together as a team.”

CWoR: What advice would you give to someone who is considering volunteering as a pilot for animal rescue missions?
“Preparation is key,” Maciej advises. “Make sure your plane is ready, pack plenty of treats, and be ready for anything.” But above all, he stressed, is savouring every moment. It’s a journey that’s as rewarding as it is unpredictable.

CWoR: Do you find that your involvement with Canadian Wings of Rescue has changed your perspective on animals and their welfare in any way? If so, how?
“It’s been eye-opening,” he admitted. “Seeing the impact we can make for animals in need – it’s a feeling like no other.”

And so, as the sun sets on another day of adventure, we’re reminded of the power of compassion, teamwork, and the joy of flying high with furry passengers by our side. Who knows what the next journey holds, but one thing’s for sure – with pilots like Maciej Dragan at the helm, the sky’s the limit.
P.S. If you, too, want to volunteer, our “Get Involved” page has all the details.

Sneha Jain

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