I got a call yesterday afternoon that three college guys were going to be in town and one of them has ALS and a glider flight has been on his bucket list. They could only do it today. So through the power of the instant communication enough people committed to helping that we had a crew within two hours. We met at 12 noon and we had Whitt, Paul, Jaime, Tom, myself, and four reporters – two from the World Herald and two from Blair.
We moved the glider for 13 takeoffs. Winds were near the crosswind limits but we were able to fly. Jaime took our ALS passenger (Don) up who is a former B-52 pilot. Whit towed Jaime to 4000ft since the warm humid conditions would not allow a climb to 5000ft. Don got a 30 minute flight from Jaime that included wing overs and stalls. When they landed Don was all smiles. It was a challenge to get Don in and out of the glider since he has little use of his arms and legs, but Paul and Don’s friend Steve made it all work. Paul then took Don’s buddy Steve up for the final flight of the day. Don got interviewed by the World Herald after his flight and that story should be out in the next day or two.
It was very rewarding to be able to make this happen. Thanks to everyone who came together on short notice. We generated some favorable press for both our club and the airport.