'He has flown away from us': Northern flying legend Rocky Parsons dies at 92

Northern flying legend Brock 'Rocky' Parsons, whose adventures included flying a Twin Otter to the North Pole 3 times, has died at the age of 92. 

Brock 'Rocky' Parsons died Tuesday

Rocky Parsons, right, and Rob McIntyre swap Twin Otter stories inside the cockpit of a new Viking Air Twin Otter 400 in 2015. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC)

A northern flying legend, whose adventures included flying a Twin Otter to the North Pole three times, has died at the age of 92. 

Brock "Rocky" Parsons died Tuesday, according to an obituary on the McKenna Funeral Home website. 

"He has flown away from us, but he will be forever in our hearts," reads the obituary. 

Parsons, born in 1926, was a long-time northerner and a well-known bush pilot. In 2015 he spoke with CBC during the 50th anniversary of the Twin Otter plane, an aircraft he was very familiar with.

From 2015: Northern Aviation legend Rocky Parsons checks out the new Viking Air Twin Otter 400 at the Summit Air Hangar. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC)

Parsons estimated he had logged nearly 20,000 flying hours as a pilot, many in the cockpit of a Twin Otter — on one of his voyages to the North Pole, he put one plane through the ice. 

The Twin Otter sank and was never recovered. 

One of Parsons aviation adventures was retold in the children's book Baseball Bats for Christmas.

It tells the story of Parsons bringing Christmas trees to children in Repulse Bay (now Naujaat), Nunavut in 1955, "much to the delight of the kids who have never before seen a tree" according to author Michael Kusugak's website

The children, unsure what to do with the trees, decide the strange things Parsons delivered must be for making baseball bats. 

Celebration of life Tuesday

Parsons is survived by his wife, Mary, his three daughters and "numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren" according to the obituary.

A celebration of life is planned for Parsons on Aug. 6 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Yellowknife starting at 2 p.m.

Parsons' family is asking for people to donate to the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic, Stanton Territorial Hospital, or the Cancer Society, in lieu of flowers. 

Rocky Parsons taking a look inside the new 400 series aircraft with pilot Rob McIntyre at the Summit Hangar in Yellowknife in 2015. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC)


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