Dave McElroy, Pilot

daveThough many have attempted to nail it, Dave’s age has yet to be determined by anyone, as he quickly changes the subject when asked about it. What is known, however, is that he initially emerged in the Chinese Year of the Boar, an occasion which only arises once every 12 years. What has also been confirmed is that he has flown some 2,700 hours in 28 different aircraft types since he first got his pilot’s licence in Cranbrook, British Columbia in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Fully-seasoned from Day 1 
Dave’s first flight instructor told him: “You can encounter any weather condition on the planet within 10 minutes of Cranbrook Airport.” Thus his pilot education included plenty of mountain flying training and experience, and has proven to be a valuable asset on many occasions since. An active pilot for over 45 years, he has owned six different airplanes, some in partnerships, and is rated for both multi-engine and instrument flying.

Man of the world
dave2Dave and fellow RTW80 conspirator, Chris Elgar, owned a Piper Comanche 250 together for over 20 years, based at Burlington Airpark near Toronto. During this successful partnership, each logged well over 1,000 hours in the classic aircraft, and the two became good friends. Dave has many international flights in his logbook. These have taken him north to Alaska, south to Panama and on many transcontinental forays crisscrossing both Canada and the US. Since moving to Scotland, he has flown his high performance RV6A as far south as Morocco, and – in the other direction – to the North Cape, the northernmost point of mainland Europe.

A brief history
Dave spent most of his career in the wood products business – in Vancouver, then Toronto and, since 2000, Scotland – where he recently retired as Deputy Managing Director of Norbord Europe Ltd.

Well-extended family
Dave lives in Stirling with his partner Debbie. He has two sons, Sean and Cort, who both live in Ontario with their wives and families – all of whom are his pride and joy. Dave’s mother, Ella, lives in Oakville, Ontario and wonders, anxiously, why he is so keen to set off on this highly unusual expedition. Brother Steve lives in Jakarta, Indonesia with his family. Dave and Debbie have plans to move to Kelowna BC, probably in 2015.

Plenty of air 
dave3Dave is currently Chairman of the Scottish Aero Club at Perth Airport in Scotland’s middle-eastern region. The SAC is the oldest aviation establishment in Scotland and is the pre-eminent flying club north of Hadrian’s Wall, with more than 250 active members.