Niagara Falls helicopter company says goodbye to long-time, much-loved pilot


Published November 26, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Local helicopter pilot turned Niagara Falls promoter Greg Bailey, who passed away on November 19, may be gone but he is certainly not forgotten.

The long-time employee of Niagara Helicopters Limited, the service that will take passengers up and over the entire region, notably Niagara Falls, succumbed after a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

His former employer posted its regrets with the news. “All of us here at Niagara Helicopters are deeply sorry to announce the passing of a wonderful friend, colleague and supporter. Greg Bailey was an inspiration to a generation of pilots and crew – both here at Niagara Helicopters, across Canada and literally around the world.”

“He trained many of Canada’s best and brightest Helicopter Pilots, he flew hundreds of helicopter missions across the country and he flew literally thousands of people over Niagara Falls throughout his illustrious career. He will be sorely missed by us all but we know he was welcomed into the highest of heights by all those who came before him.”

Born in July 1953, Bailey, shown below, graduated from Canadore College in 1976 as a commercial helicopter pilot. After becoming a Class One Helicopter Instructor early in his career, he began training pilots across the country and locally at Niagara Helicopters.

His career in aviation included a position as Airports Officer, Keewatin Region NWT (now Kivalliq Nunavut, and Ft. Smith region NWT,) and manager of the Niagara District Airport.

While the Parkinson’s grounded him, it could not stop him as he became the manager of The Winter Festival of Lights. Others say he loved working with the many passionate volunteers, park and city staff, business owners, tourism professionals and affiliates.

With Bailey’s help, the festival grew to include the televised new years party in Niagara Parks, a partnership with Disney, the Night Parade, weekly fireworks, and several local events.

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