It’s clear that Chris has a deep passion for aviation that was instilled in him from an early age by his father’s involvement in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Growing up around aircraft and being introduced to flying by his father likely created a strong connection to the world of aviation for Chris.
His enthusiasm goes beyond personal enjoyment, as he actively seeks opportunities to share his passion with others. Whether it’s through air tours, bucket list flights, city tours, or participating in programs like COPA For Kids, Chris is dedicated to introducing people to the thrill of aviation. The joy he experiences from sharing his love of flying with others is evident, and it’s a wonderful way to contribute to the broader aviation community.
It’s not just about the technical aspects of flying for Chris; it’s about creating meaningful experiences and fostering an appreciation for aviation in those around him. This kind of enthusiasm can be infectious and has the potential to inspire others to explore and appreciate the world of aviation as well.
Jennifer Wallace: Soaring through Skies and Beyond
Meet Jennifer Wallace, a true aficionado of the skies, whose life has been marked by a relentless passion for aviation. From her early days in Air Cadets to earning her pilot’s license at the age of 18, Jennifer’s journey has been nothing short of inspirational.
While Jennifer temporarily set aside her wings to raise a family, her connection to aviation remained unwavering. For an impressive 32 years, she has been a vital part of NAVCANADA, contributing her expertise as an Air Traffic Operations Specialist. Jennifer’s commitment to the aviation community extends beyond her professional career. She has dedicated countless hours to volunteer work with organizations like Elevate Aviation and, more recently, The Alberta Air Tour.
In a testament to her love for the skies, Jennifer made a triumphant return to the cockpit, recertifying as a Private Pilot. This remarkable achievement reflects her indomitable spirit and determination to pursue her lifelong passion. Jennifer not only embraces the freedom of flight but also actively engages with others to share the joy of aviation.
Away from the clouds, Jennifer finds joy in the roar of a different engine—her motorcycle. When not soaring through the skies, she’s cruising the open roads, embodying a spirit of adventure that transcends both land and air.
Jennifer Wallace’s story is one of resilience, dedication, and a boundless love for the thrill of flight. As she continues to navigate the skies and explore new horizons, her journey serves as an inspiration to all who dream of reaching new heights.
Ken acquired his PPL in 2003. Since then, he has owned three aircraft, earned his night rating, VFR over the top rating, and his float rating. In 2009 he was the Charter Captain of the Lac La Biche Flying Club and since 2010 was a founding and lead organizer of the very popular Ice Fly-in on Lac La Biche. The connections made with organizing western Canada’s largest winter fly-in inspired Ken to run for election as an Alberta Director of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) in 2020. He has sat as the Western Vice Chair of COPA since being elected. The other event that Ken is a key organizer of is a float plane fly-in on Beaver Lake, founded in 2022. He enjoys the opportunities to meet and work with various individuals and groups involved in aviation and helped in the formation of COPA’s only travelling chapter, the Alberta Air Tours, COPA Flight 220. When Ken isn’t representing general aviation, COPA, and the Alberta Air Tours at fly-in events, he can be found flying and fishing from his amphibian in the Lakeland region on Northeastern Alberta.
Scott Holmes, one of the 3 original founders of the AAT is an engineer by trade. Scott enjoys designing and building Formula 1 racing aircraft and competes annually at the Reno Air Races. You can hear him talk about aviation on Deadstick Radio with co-founder Brian Murray.
As past member, Ronan Court is a passionate aviator, and becoming a pilot has been a lifelong pursuit. At only 19, he holds a Commercial Pilot’s License endorsed for multi-engine aircraft and Instrument Flight Rules. He is continuing his education, currently working on his Instructor Rating with the expressed intent of sharing his joy of flying.
Ronan is involved in the aviation community as the volunteer Co-Captain of the Foothills Flying Club (COPA Flight 81), based out of High River, Alberta. A highlight of Ronan’s time with the club has been organizing a survival course for aviators in 2021 while he was a grade 12 student. This caught the attention of Lightspeed Aviation, inviting Ronan to contribute content to their blog and social media, promoting safety through proficiency in aviation.
Since participating in the Southern Alberta Air Tour in 2021, Ronan has made attending the Air Tours a significant part of his summer activities. In early summer 2022, Ronan joined the Alberta Air Tour Planning Committee.
Eldon Gjesdal is one of the founding members of the Alberta Tour & has been active in both the business and aviation communities in Alberta for over 30 years. Formally educated at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) and the University of Alberta, Eldon is an experienced Project Manager and Business Owner involved in New Home Construction, Infill and Commercial Developments around Edmonton and surrounding areas including a Residential development on a Golf Course in Whitefish Montana. He also has developed and completed a large Hangar Aircraft storage complex at the Villeneuve Airport. In addition to being a licensed pilot and aircraft owner, he is dedicated to the growing the greater aviation community by serving on the Board of Directors of COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) Chapter 176. Eldon is also a member of the Edmonton Regional Airport Authority (ERAA) Business Advisory Committee and has volunteered at the Oshkosh Airshow Comm Center for the past 15 years. He supports other Air Show activities such as Formula 1 Pylon Air Racing and the Outlaw Race 9 team, and has travelled from Reno and as far as China to support the race team. Most recently, he was presented with the Queens Platinum Jubilee award for outstanding community service which is something he is very passionate about.
Kerry Busse, Director of Operations, pilot lead and the ground operations and safety coordinator for the Air Tours, is an Air Traffic Controller. He currently works in Calgary terminal, with over 28 years of experience at various towers and Area Control Center sectors. Kerry is also a pilot who flies an RV14.
Travis is a Métis man from Alberta who plans to help engage indigenous youth to get involved with Avation across Alberta. leading the AAT communications team, Travis is a newcomer that brings unique skills from his background in Finance, Business Operations, Media & Journalism, Sports & Entertainment, as well as public relations, public service, and advocacy work with First Nation and Métis Groups to company his years of political experience.
Shane Getson is a current Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the constituency of Lac Ste Anne – Parkland. In addition to his committee roles and task force lead positions, he is also a special advisor to the Strategic Alberta Aviation Council. As a private pilot, and aircraft owner with a background for managing major project in the energy industry Shane brings a broad view of the importance of general aviation, as well as ensuring the ongoing support and utilization of smaller airports in the capacity of local and rural economies. As a founding member of the Alberta Air Tours, Shane was recently recognized by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association for his contributions to the promotion and support of general aviation, as was the entire Alberta Air Tour founding members, for what the “Air Tours” have accomplished by bringing communities and aviators together to recognize the importance of general aviation, and the small airports have to offer to the longevity of the communities themselves.
Dina Jammaz is an active figure in the aviation industry, serving as the President and co-founder of Alberta Air Tours. With a 26-year career as an Air Traffic Controller, her passion for aviation is evident. In addition to her role at Alberta Air Tours, Dina also serves as a Director for Community Engagement and Indigenous Partnerships at Elevate Aviation. Her dedication is reflected in her continuous efforts to inspire individuals to pursue careers in aviation.
Dina believes that this is an opportune moment to join the aviation industry, given the current workforce shortage and the myriad of opportunities available. She emphasizes the significance of initiatives like the Elevate Aviation Learning Centre, which provides free programs to women and underrepresented groups, paving the way for aspiring individuals to enter the industry. Through Alberta Air Tours, Dina not only connects the aviation community within Alberta but also plays a role in boosting the province’s tourism industry. Moreover, her work allows her to reach out to rural communities, inspiring them to explore the vast and incredible world of aviation.
Dina’s passion, dedication, and advocacy make her a driving force in the aviation sector, creating pathways for aspiring individuals and fostering a sense of community and inspiration among aviation enthusiasts and professionals alike.