Captain Danny Bereza (Ret’d) 


What do you do if you’re flying through fog over an icy ocean, the nearest land is 200 miles away, your heading gyros disagree by over 20 degrees and your fuel gauges are hovering near zero? Or you’ve been ordered to fly a dying First Nations man to hospital but he’s begging you to take him back to his beloved wilderness to die in peace? Or you’re marooned alone in minus 50-degree temperatures with a disabled plane, no radio and the nearest help a thousand miles away? How about trying to land a loaded DC-3 on a 2000 ft sandbar in the middle of the Porcupine River in Northern Yukon?

These are just a few of the problems that face the young Danny Bereza in his new job flying a DC-3 and F27 over the ‘Big Dipper Route’ in the Canadian Arctic in the late 60’s.

In this stunning book, a true story, we see the inexperienced pilot develop as a person through solving the problems he encounters, and we gain an insight into the life of those days, as well as experiencing through his eyes the beauties and dangers of the Arctic environment.



Danny was born in Vancouver in 1938, the same year that Hitler took over Austria and Orson Welles hoodwinked everybody with his radio classic, The War of The Worlds.

When WW2 ended Danny was probably the only kid in Vancouver who was upset.  He wanted to be a fighter pilot like George Beurling but the ceasing of hostilities quashed that idea.  As he grew up his focus was to become a pilot for the RCAF but when he was 16 years old he was told by an optometrist that he would never be accepted due to weak eyesight.  In a fit of remorse, he joined the Canadian Army.  The Army gave him two years of schooling, the discipline he needed and lifelong friendships with several close buddies.  After a short stint in the military Danny returned to school at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  He had earned his Private Pilot license but still yearned to fly commercially so after finishing the first year, decided that he was going to get his commercial pilot license.  With help from his Dad he bought a little airplane and built up over 300 hours.  He received his commercial pilot license in 1963 and flew for Herman Peterson in Atlin, Island Airlines in Campbell River, the BC Government and eventually hired by Nordair in Montreal. When Canadian Airlines International was formed from CP Air, Pacific Western Airlines, Wardair, Nordair and Eastern Provincial Airlines, Danny moved to Vancouver as a check pilot on Boeing 737 aircraft. At Canadian Airlines he held positions as Standard Pilot, B737, Manager of Flying, Vancouver Base, Chief Pilot, B737, and Check Pilot, A320.  He retired in 1998 and become a simulator instructor/Check Pilot on the A330 for Boeing Training Asia. Now fully retired, he lives in Courtenay, BC.


“…stories that rival Ace McCool in ribaldry and humour. Captain Bereza’s writing skill is emulated in his ability to put you in the cockpit, hands on the controls and sweat running down your back as you imagine the task of landing a DC-3 on a sandbar only 2000’ long.” – John Scott, RAPCAN

“An extraordinary book, a real page-turner, both beautiful and exhilarating from one moment to the next.” – Lawrence Dyer, author of A Cottage on The Moss.


By email direct from the author, dannybereza@gmail.com

Price is $20.00 including postage.


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