''As a captain of the airplane, whether it's a Cessna or a 747, you do whatever you've got to do to make sure that everyone on board your aircraft comes home safe."
Not many pilots can put "Super" in front of their name and live up to the hype. "Super Dave", as he is known in the aerobatics world, takes flying to a whole new level when he rolls and dives his Pitts Special X2C.
But acrobatic flying is only a part of what Dave does. He's also a pretty savvy businessman.
Dave is co-owner and president of Summit Air Charters based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He started out with the family run business as Chief Pilot. Before long, he took the helm and transformed Summit Air into a successful charter company.
In 2011, Dave took Summit Air on to the international stage. The company landed its first six-month contract with the World Food Program, operating out of Abidjan, of Côte d'Ivoire. Summit Air supplies the aircraft and the personnel to support the humanitarian mission, flying doctors, relief workers, food and aid supplies across the region. More UN contracts have followed, including one for mapping carbon in the Colombian Amazon jungle for the the UN's Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) program.
Business accomplishments aside, Dave is still a pilot at heart. He started flying with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets when he was 15 years old. Three years later, he landed his first job flying bush planes on floats. He earned the nickname "Super Dave" after making a perfect water landing with a disconnected aileron and elevator. The name stuck, as did the taste for unconventional flying.
Two years ago, with more than 15,000 flying hours under his belt, Dave decided it was time to embrace his alter ego. "Super Dave" performs aerobatic stunts at air shows throughout Canada and the United States.
"I had flown for so long and I got bored. So I decided to try something new and I love it. I'm hoping to get a sponsor, retire from Summit and make this my full time gig in a few years.