Canadian Gulf Delta Sierra Tango were the identification letters on the side of our last aircraft: CGDST. This was shortened to “Delta Sierra Tango” when we identified ourselves to the tower for take-offs, landings, and just checking in. DST was a beautiful Navajo, which seated six people and could carry two more if we took out the small portable toilet and the storage cabinet. We had owned various aircraft over the years, but this was a commercial plane, which had been built as a medevac: a rescue craft with an extra door to accommodate stretchers and medical equipment. This was our magic carpet. It could go anywhere! It was equipped with oxygen, which meant we could cross the country at higher altitudes — going over the Rockies safely and easily, avoiding the passes and the turbulence around the peaks.
From the windows of DST, we saw most of Canada and the United States. Rod was an excellent pilot who took no chances; he knew all too well that pilot error was responsible for most airplane accidents. Despite our love of flying, a few years after we moved to northern Ontario, we decided to sell the plane. It became too costly to maintain, and we really didn’t need it as much as we did up north. At the time, I was doing a lot of travel for business, and North Bay has an excellent airport. It was much easier to jump on a commercial flight, which made it hard to justify owning such a fast and fancy machine.
I worked hard to get my pilot’s licence with the intention of eventually buying another aircraft, but we never did. I’m sad to see this chapter in my life over — we had some great adventures. In my next life, I’m gonna fly again!