Nfld. & Labrador

Pilot marks 800th ocean crossing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Margrit Waltz is an experienced pilot, but she was on a special flight when she landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Wednesday afternoon.
Margrit Waltz has been flying for 42 years. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

Margrit Waltz is an experienced pilot, but she was on a special flight when she landed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Wednesday afternoon.

A 42-year veteran of the skies, Waltz marked her 800th flight crossing an ocean, whether it be the Atlantic or Pacific.   

She works as a ferry pilot, delivering planes to new buyers, but she didn't always intend to work in aviation. Waltz said she was once a television weather presenter in Germany, but her passion for flying was so strong she made it a career.

"It's a passion, it's love," she said.

"[When] you're way up there, all these little problems you have on Earth you leave, at least temporarily, behind."

Waltz said her job brings her all over the world and allows her to meet great new people on nearly every continent. 

She said a lot has changed in her 800 crossings, from navigation, to plane design, to technology. But she doesn't know of anyone with more crossings than her.

"I don't know if it's a record, I don't really keep track of that, but as far as I know, I have more than anyone else in the world," Waltz said.

Despite her achievement, Waltz said she isn't doing anything special to celebrate.

Waltz was delivering a SOCATA TBM 700 aircraft while passing through Happy Valley-Goose Bay Wednesday. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

Another memorable flight

She said making so many flights and excelling in her field sets a good example for her two daughters, one of whom was with her on another memorable flight. 

Waltz went back to work flying ferry flights just one week after giving birth, and rather than leaving her daughter at home, she took her along. 

She said owners, dealers and family members are often waiting for the plane, and rather than landing with dirty diapers on board, she had to take desperate action.

"I thought, 'Well, with all the pollution going on in the world, one little newborn diaper is not going to kill the world if I toss it in the North Sea,'" she said.

"I slowed the plane down, opened the storm window, and tossed the diaper out, the dirty one, and of course, never thought about it."

When Waltz landed, however, she had a surprise waiting for her.

"The way the wind was, it just blew the diaper to the tail of the plane and just freeze-dried it right on it," she said.

"I was so embarassed."

With files from Alyson Samson

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