On Saturday, June 19, a team of 10 air Traffic Controllers from the Nav Canada Area Control Centre in Toronto successfully pulled a 40,000-pound jet for one continuous mile at Pearson International Airport.
The goal of the event – dubbed Pull for a Cure – was to raise funds in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.The team raised close to $60,000 for the cause and completed the challenging pull in 45 minutes in front of a large crowd of supporters.
“It wasn’t easy, but we found inspiration in our families, friends and colleagues that came out to support us and cheers us on,” said Stephen Stanley, the team’s lead coordinator. “Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, and today we showed that when we all pull together we can fight back.”
“Their determination has moved more than just a 40,000 pound aircraft – it has moved all of us to make a difference,” said John Urban, general manager, Toronto Flight Information Region. “Everyone at Nav Canada is extremely proud of what they accomplished.”
The 10 controllers hauled the Nav Canada Flight Inspection aircraft,a customized Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) specially equipped to test and calibrate important navigational equipment used by pilots.
Inside the aircraft cockpit sat Sylvia Gundy, mother of pull-team member Jason Gundy. Mrs. Gundy is currently battling brain cancer. Joining her in the cockpit was her grandson Hudson Hope.
The Pull for a Cure was inspired by a former friend and co-worker of the team, Eric Paraskevopoulos, who lost his battle with cancer in late 2008.