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news News Wednesday, September 2, 2020 Wednesday, September 2, 2020 9:22 AM - Wednesday, September 2, 2020 9:22 AM

Wings of Courage

Our patients love this Air Canada Foundation program

Wings of Courage

In collaboration with the Air Canada Foundation, the Wings of Courage program was founded by Chuck McKinnon, a retired captain. Due to a change in regulations on board aircraft, kids were no longer allowed to visit the flight deck, and this saddened Captain McKinnon. In 2001, he came up with the idea to bring the flight deck visits to the children. Through his partnership with the Air Canada Foundation and the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Captain McKinnon gathered his colleagues together in order to give back to their community.

Captain Anne Moorehouse, an Air Canada pilot, brought this project to Shriners Hospital for Children — Canada in 2017. We welcome two pilots in full uniform for a monthly visit. They come to the hospital to read stories to patients, participate in activities and answer any of the children’s questions. They present each patient they meet with a signed Honorary Pilot certificate, and a Wings of Courage medal, in recognition of their strength and courage.

Both patients and parents alike enjoy this interaction with the pilots, and every time the pilots leave they mention how much it means to them to be able to meet our patients. One of our patients charmed one of the pilots during his visit, and he was able to coordinate a private tour of the cockpit on her flight home to British Columbia, a memory which will last a lifetime!

To learn more, visit Air Canada Foundation.