One local Estevan man has been receiving national recognition for his positive outlook on life, despite a debilitating condition.

Ken Johnson has had Muscular Dystrophy all his life, however, he hasn't let that stop him from regularly enjoying the thrills of flight. He owns his own airplane, and while he himself doesn't do the flying, he finds joy every time he leaves the ground, with experienced pilots Dwight Thompson or John Erickson in the left seat. Aviation has always been in his blood, as family members have been pilots, and he saw early exposure to flying through childhood experiences, going back through using parts salvaged from wartime aircraft.

Not too long ago, he was featured in a widely published aviation magazine, the Canadian Aviator, for his passion and enthusiasm for taking to the air.

"There was a COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) For Kids program at the airport, and they used my plane to show them what an airplane is, and they had two other planes to give them rides. I talked to the COPA guys, and that's kind of how the write up got put together," Johnson shared, and he's okay with the attention.

"I enjoy the recognition, but people are happy for you, and that goes a long ways. And lately in the nursing home here, the nurses are happy for you too."

His choice of aircraft was the capable Cessna 177B Cardinal. It lacks the commonplace wing struts, the manufacturer opting to go with internal wing bracing for that model, which is ideal for his entry and exit. His powered wheel chair raises up, and he carries another in the plane to use at destination, complete with a ramp to transition from co-pilot seat to chair. The starboard wheel pant is also removed for ease of access.

For Johnson, it's all about the free and easy feeling one gets when soaring in the sky, supported by nothing by the air.

"Flying is just a great thing that I like doing. You hear lots of pilots, once you're up flying, it's just like, 'I'm up here, and I'm not thinking about anything else.' It's kind of like you've lifted a load off yourself, the cares of the world drifted away." 


More Local News

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

Humane Society Receives Big Boost With $5000 Grant

The humane society has recently received a $5000 grant from the Western Financial western community foundation. Angela Prette with the humane society was extremely happy with the amount of the grant…

Bitter Winds Sticking Around

After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is…

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide