A fitting tribute to a dearly departed pilot – The Joy Trip Project

A fitting tribute to a dearly departed pilot – The Joy Trip Project


Doug Sheffer was the kind of silent hero you’ll never know until after he’s gone. A talented and courageous helicopter pilot he was best known by those photographers and filmmakers he faeried across the scenic western landscape near his home in Colorado. Long time friends Anson Fogel and Peter McBride remember him as an enthusiastic and patient guide whose steady hand at the controls made for excellent pictures cast against the blue ski where he loved to fly.

Tragically killed in a helicopter cash a few weeks ago Doug was remembered by hundreds for friends who admired both his skill as a pilot and his compassion for those around him. Having flown dozens of search and rescue missions throughout his long career those who knew him best recall his eager willingness to venture into harm’s way for the safe recovery of people in danger. And in his work as a pilot he found great joy in the sharing the experience of flight with others.

In this short tribute film Peter McBride who flew with Doug for years shares his enduring memories of his friend who lived well, soared high but passed too soon.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth. And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.” — excerpt from ‘High Flight’ by WWII pilot Gillespie Magee.

“Thanks Doug for your endless generosity and sharing with us the West’s magic with your laughter-silvered wings,” McBride wrote in his post to Facebook. “You are greatly missed.”

The Pilot from Peter McBride on Vimeo.