That amazing moment when an Air Canada pilot demonstrates how the 5 point harness works on Antoine’s new wheelchair – the one with a custom-made 777 pilot’s seat on it… Wow! A life-changing experience all around. #smiledeep
With very special thanks to Steven Merling (Eventure) .. Elie Fenster (Sierra Hotel Aeronautics) .. Micheline Villeneuve (Air Canada Foundation) .. Frederick Belanger (Air Canada) .. Alec Van Zuiden .. Nic Van Zuiden .. Lisa Cadorette .. Eric Jacques (Zen Metal Technologies) .. Claude Fournier .. Gary Mckeown .. Tom Mckeown (AirBase Services) .. Arianne Paquette (Bell Helicopter) .. Jefferson Duplain-Laferriere (DND Canada Bagotville International Airshow 2017) .. Antoine Leger (Heli Drone Images) .. Wael Chanab (Imagine 360) .. Jason Rodi (Storycraft by Jason Rodi / Nomad Live) .. Drone Volt Canada .. KoptR Image .. CBC Radio and TV News (Montreal and Sherbrooke) .. Ici Radio-Canada and TV News (Montreal and Sherbrooke) .. Enterprise Truck Rental on Cote de Liesse in Montreal … and to my friend Victor LaPenna for accompanying me on long-distance roadtrips to fetch parts and deliver a very cool wheelchair to an extraordinary young man.
Antoine was given a medal for courage by the Air Canada Foundation and was appointed as an Honorary Pilot – complete with a custom-made captain’s hat – by Air Canada..
“Aujourd’hui ma famille a vécue un moment privilégié, notre fils Antoine a reçu une fauteuil qu ‘il pourra lui – même déplacer et qui lui donnera plus d’autonomie. Nous voulons remercier tous les gens qui ont travaillé de près et de loin à la réalisation de ce projet spécial…” – Annie Gaudreau (Antoine’s mom)
“An unlikely group of companies, including Air Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces and Bell Helicopter, have teamed up to build a customized wheelchair for a teenage drone enthusiast.
Fifteen-year-old Antoine Dupont, who has muscular dystrophy, has spent the past few years in a wheelchair.
But his limited mobility hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his love of aviation. He is an avid drone pilot, flying the small crafts and shooting videos with his father Stéphane…” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/antoine-dupont-cockpit-air-canada-1.3629360
Stéphane Dupont said that when he heard about how many people wanted to get involved to help his son, he was “really surprised.”
He said that while he was excited that his son would get to spend his days in a real pilot’s seat, what really mattered to him was his comfort.
Antoine would often complain of back pain after long days in his old chair. But as Bélanger noted, pilot chairs are designed for long hauls.
“I’ve been behind Antoine for the past eight years pushing him,” Dupont said. “Now, I’ll be beside him.”