“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.”