I’ve been a helicopter pilot in Canada since 1968. I’ve flown in bush, arctic, mountain and desert environments. In 1974 I shipped out to Nairobi on my way to Mogadishu in Somalia, where my company was operating helicopters for Conoco/Continental Oil Company.

From Mogadishu, a Somali Air DC-3 flew me out to our campsite air strip 90 miles (145 kilometres) west of Eyl, where we operated two Hughes 500C helicopters. Later, a third helicopter was added, which we picked up in Djibouti and flew out to our desert camp.