Bob Leroux is shown with his Piper Turbo Arrow VI, which he is piloting across the nation as part of Canada 150 celebrations. Bob and Valerie Leroux are shown outside the parliament buildings in Victoria at the start of their cross-Canada flight.

Pilot takes small private plane on cross-Canada journey

Bob Leroux of Surrey leaves from Abbotsford as part of nation’s 150th birthday

A member of the Abbotsford Flying Club is flying across Canada as part of the nation’s 150th birthday celebrations.

Bob Leroux, a Surrey resident, and his wife Valerie started out from Abbotsford Airport on June 29 in a small private plane – a 1981 Piper Turbo Arrow VI – and headed to Victoria.

They remained there for Canada Day and dipped into the ocean the Canadian flag that they are carrying with them.

The pair returned to Abbotsford and, on July 3, continued their journey, with plans to travel to St. John’s, Newfoundland over several weeks before heading west again.

They will stop along the way at 10 provincial capital cities, as well as at least 50 airports. At each city, they will visit the legislative building for a photo opp with the flag.

Their last stop before heading home is at the nation’s capital – Ottawa, Ont. and the Parliament buildings.

From there, they head to Abbotsford, where their plane will be on display at the Abbotsford International Air Show from Aug. 11 to 13.

Leroux had a career in aviation with Transport Canada as a civil aviation inspector/pilot and now, although retired, he still flies. This years marks his 50th anniversary as a pilot. His Arrow IV is based in Abbotsford.

Leroux is a member of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association in Flight 83 at Abbotsford. He is also a long-time member of the Abbotsford Flying Club and a member of the Abbotsford International Air Show Society.

Leroux’s journey can be followed online at canada150flight2017.ca. The plane is equipped with a GPS tracker, and the website includes a link to follow the flight’s progress.

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