Woman granted wish of helicopter ride

Andrew Robinson
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“It was my ‘bucket jump,’ I called it,” laughed 98-year-old Victoria Badcock, speaking over the phone from her home in St. John’s.

“It’s the last thing I did before I kicked the bucket.”

The Telegram recently told the story of Badcock, who wanted more than anything in the world to fly in a helicopter.

Her 17-year-old friend, Kerry-Lynn Pottle of Witless Bay, was attempting to help her do just that.

On Thursday, Badcock got her wish. Kerry-Lynn, her friend Hillery Dillon, and Badcock’s son Gordon joined her on a one-hour ride aboard a chopper owned by Cougar Helicopters.

When Badcock’s story was first published in The Telegram last Saturday, Kerry-Lynn shared the article with a friend, who then told her he might be able to help the 98-year-old’s wish come true. As it turned out, the father of Kerry-Lynn’s friend is an employee of Cougar Helicopters.

They travelled above St. John’s, along the Southern Shore and over Torbay, including a spell hovering directly above her son’s home.

“It was marvellous,” said Badcock. “I had the best time of my life. I was yelling and bawling, looking out wondering if there was any trout down in that pond, and all this stuff.”

The takeoff was smooth when the helicopter ascended into the air at approximately 5:30 p.m., according to Badcock, and she was fully in charge of determining where it would fly. At one point, she even managed to spot whales in the ocean.

When the helicopter landed, two men were on hand to help her into her wheelchair.

“I said, ‘Hello boys, I’m back!’ They all died laughing, and then they all wanted to kiss me, even the woman pilot.”

Following her ride, Badcock learned she was the oldest passenger ever to fly with Cougar Helicopters in its 15-year history.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it.”



Twitter: TeleAndrew

Geographic location: Witless Bay, Southern Shore, Torbay

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Recent comments

  • Misty
    May 14, 2012 - 20:59

    WTG Cougar....... awesome job!!! Great story, Love it!!!!!!!!

  • Yvette Butt
    May 14, 2012 - 12:31

    great story....loved it....good on Cougar for fulfilling a wish with nothing in it for them....thats good character.

  • Jarge
    May 14, 2012 - 07:12

    wow! What a wonderful inspiring lady! God Bless you.

  • Steve
    May 14, 2012 - 05:51

    Wonderfully fantastic for her, it's great to see her enjoying herself. If I ever hit 98 years young and take a helicopter ride chances are it is for work or a med-vac.

  • Mommy
    May 14, 2012 - 04:59

    God love her! What a fantastic story. You're never too old to fulfill your goals and dreams. Great job to her young friend for helping to make it happen, and way to go Cougar for stepping up!

  • Lisa
    May 14, 2012 - 04:06

    Brave Woman !! You wouldn't get me on board a Cougar Helicopter if my life depended on it !

    • Joseph McGrath
      May 14, 2012 - 07:02

      I think if your life depended on it you I think you surely would!!!!!Good on you Cougar.

    • Arby
      May 14, 2012 - 07:13

      Lisa, are you aware that a Cougar helicopter is a helicopter type, while Cougar Helicopters is a company that operates several different aircraft types? Is it a particular type of aircraft that you object to (oh, lets say, the S-92 that is always in the news) or is it helicopters operated by Cougar in general? Because Cougar, on the whole, has an excellent safety record. And lots of people whose lives have depended on it, have travelled on Cougar medevac flights, in addition to those who travel safely to work every day via Cougar. And this story has nothing to do with erroneous and fallacious public perceptions of aircraft safety, and everything to do with one fabulously spirited senior who is still embracing life.

    • Brad
      May 14, 2012 - 07:18

      Knew it wouldn't take long for someon to take a potshot at Cougar...

    • Kama
      May 14, 2012 - 08:55

      Lisa, didn't your mother ever tell you that if you had nothing good to say, to just say nothing at all?? This is a wonderful story, very inspiring for someone to have lived that long and to still so enjoy life! I hope to be so lucky! Thank you to Mrs. Badcock for sharing her story, to The Telegram for sharing with all of us, and to Cougar for making a wish come true!

  • AR
    May 14, 2012 - 00:52

    Congrats to Kerry-Lynn Pottle, Hillery Dillon, Gordon Badcock and Cougar Helicopters for fulfilling a 93 year old ladie's wish. You are prime examples of people who care.

  • Don Lester
    May 13, 2012 - 21:50

    My wife and I have known Mrs. Badcock for over 40 years. To say she is an amazing person is an understatement. She is sharp as a tack. her memory is excellent for her age. I'm surprised s he hasn't tried bungie jumping.

    • Kerry-Lynn Pottle
      April 16, 2013 - 09:02

      Actually Don, she hasn't left me alone about her next adventure. She wants to jump out of an air plane, so she told me the other day. She says it's a terrible feeling being so ready to go and embrace life; meanwhile she's stuck in a wheelchair. However, she can still walk and dance. She is 99 years old today and loves meeting old friends. She would love to see you, I'm sure.

  • Darkwing
    May 13, 2012 - 19:38

    Excellent story... I am glad that Mrs. Babcock got to experience something she wanted to do for a long time. I hope you get to complete everything on your bucket list, congratulations on this accomplishment!

  • Joseph McGrath
    May 13, 2012 - 19:15

    This is a delightful story and adventure for this brave lady and a real nice thing for Cougar Helicopters to do for her.Bravo to both!!!!I was just wondering if it is true that "The most dangerous thing about flying is the risk of starving to death."??? — Dick Depew

  • BelindaW
    May 13, 2012 - 18:17

    Awesome story! Love it! Nice job Cougar.

  • Audrina
    May 13, 2012 - 18:01

    Way to go Ms. Badcock!

  • Bucyk
    May 13, 2012 - 16:24

    Great story !!! Even at 98 , still gets excited !! God bless her !!