Doc Zone New Season Premiere: Canada Above And Beyond

On Feb. 23, 1909, the Silver Dart took off from Baddeck Bay in Cape Breton, N.S.—and made history as the first powered flight in Canada. To celebrate the centennial, CBC Television and Radio-Canada have joined forces to bring viewers CANADA ABOVE AND BEYOND: 100 Years of Aviation, a fascinating four-part documentary series that explores the revolutionary impact of flight on this country. The series kicks off a new season of DOC ZONE, Thursday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), on CBC Television.

Filmed in high-definition, CANADA ABOVE AND BEYOND captures extraordinary stories of flight told by passionate individuals—from fighter pilots learning to navigate CF-18 jets in Cold Lake, Alta. to a dedicated paediatrician who flies to remote native communities to treat young patients.

In episode one, First Flight, viewers meet an excited six-year-old boy awaiting his first experience on a plane as he sets off from Toronto bound for St. Lucia. Track superstar and Olympic medal winner Bruny Surin relives his very first flight from his native Haiti to a freezing cold Canada—a trip that changed his life forever. The filmmakers also follow a group of retired aviation experts and engineers who are trying to recapture the magic of that first flight 100 years ago, by crafting a replica of the Silver Dart and praying it will fly.

From the very beginning, flight in Canada would produce formidable challenges and limitless possibilities. In Conquering Geography, airing Thursday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), on CBC Television, viewers experience the stories of courageous pilots who are trained to fly in extreme conditions, put out forest fires and map the backcountry from the air. Canadians have developed unique technologies and exceptional skills when it comes to flying in forbidding conditions.

Lifelines, airing Thursday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), on CBC Television, introduces viewers to remarkable individuals who offer hope from the sky, at home and abroad. Featured in this episode is a Montreal paediatrician who is both passionate about flying and devoted to her many young patients who live in tiny remote communities in Ungava Bay, Que. This episode also takes viewers along for the ride with the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to parts of the world struck by natural disasters. The cameras also follow an airborne medical unit as it crosses the globe to bring home Canadians struck by illness.

A must-watch for thrill-seekers, Dancing with Danger, airing Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), on CBC Television, explores the amazing stunts of men and women who dazzle audiences with aerial aerobatics. The world-famous Snowbirds demonstrate precision flying and share the secrets of their success. A ‘wing walker’ takes viewers on a dizzying ride, upside down!  Military and civilian test pilots put aeronautic flight systems through their paces and push aircraft to the limit. And, in a poignant interview, Captain Robert Piché, reflects on his death-defying landing of an Airbus 330 in 2001 when he glided the fuel-spent plane to safety in the Azores.

An encore presentation of CANADA ABOVE AND BEYOND: 100 Years of Aviation can be seen on CBC Newsworld, each Friday in October, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Friday, Oct. 9.

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