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Ryan Abel (updated)

Those that know Ryan know he has a true passion for all things aviation and loves to take people flying who have never had a chance to fly an airplane before.

The story goes that when Ryan was 3 years-old one of his older brother’s lost track of him in the Vancouver Airport while on a family trip and he was found a short time later staring out a window longingly at a Boeing 747 – and that’s where it all started apparently. Ryan has been flying since he was 14 years-old and is one of the youngest Canadians to have flown an airplane solo, thanks to the fact that Transport Canada allows a Student Pilot Permit to be issued to anyone 14-years of age or older.

Growing up on northern Vancouver Island, he went on to pursue a B.Sc. in Chemistry & Biochemistry and a B.Ed. from the University of Victoria after obtaining his Recreational Pilot Permit at 16, and his Private Pilot’s License at 17. Ryan taught high school chemistry and science classes at a BC offshore school in China in 2011, after which he made his way to Fort McMurray to visit his sister and wound up staying.

He completed an aerobatics course in 2014 and obtained his Commercial Pilot’s License in 2016. Ryan has lived in Fort McMurray since 2013 and his day job finds him as the Senior Manager, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for the Fort McKay First Nation. In 2017 Ryan purchased a 1968 Piper Super Cub, but recently traded up to an F33A Bonanza thanks to the arrival of a son in 2020 and the need for some more seats.

Ryan also wanted to be able to fly angel flight missions for Angel Flight Alberta and the YMM Angel Flight Club, a new non-profit organization which he helped get off the ground, so a plane with more seats and more speed made a lot of sense. Recently Ryan has been working towards his Flight Instructor Rating and has already completed his written exam. Ryan is honoured to be able to volunteer on the Board of Directors and to fly angel flight missions, and truly believes in Angel Flight Alberta’s mission and value to Albertans. He has seen first-hand the benefit of the services Angel Flight Alberta is able to provide for rural and northern Alberta communities, where residents regularly need to travel long distances to receive important healthcare services that aren’t available where they live.