Date: April 29, 1982
Location: McAllen, TX
Newspaper: The Monitor
BROWNSVILLE – The pilot for the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau landed at Brownsville International Airport Wednesday for a few hours layover before continuing in his journey to rendezvous with Cousteau in Belen, Brazil.
Guy Gervais, the pilot, is a Canadian who makes his home in Peru, his wife’s homeland. “I will be stopping about every two countries from here until I arrive – Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru and then onto Brazil by Monday,” says Gervais, who left Tuesday from St. Paul, Minn.
Gervais will join Cousteau to begin a two-year study on the Amazon River. The expedition Cousteaau has planned will involve studying the river from its source to determine the effects of pollution on it. “We will be working with the governments of Peru, Brazil and Ecuador to learn to protect the Amazon fresh water system , which is one-fifth of the fresh water supply,” says Gervais.
After Gervais meets Cousteau at the mouth of the Amazon, he will then fly to Mato Gosso, Peru, and begin shooting aerial photographs of the river’s source. Cousteau at the same time will travel up the river in his ship, the Calypso, while an amphibious truck travels down by land and a large raft floats down by water.
This is Gervais’ first time to work with Cousteau. Formerly he had been a pilot for the international charity organization Wings of Hope and has logged more than 16,000 hours flight time with it.
He speaks French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and several Brazillian dialects. The plane he is flying now for Cousteau is a Cessna 206 Turbo-charge, which is equipped with Wipline amphibious floats for landing on water. He says he is very much looking forward to working with Cousteau, now 72, and describes him as “a man full of energy, full of wisdom, dedicated to the welfare and well being of the world.”
Gervais’s plane left at 11 a.m. today and will stop again in southern Mexico.