Interesting Angel Flight mission

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by gismo, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tuesday I was supposed to fly to Sioux Falls to pick up mother (patient) and daughter (support) pair and deliver them to Rochester, but it didn't quite turn out as planned. The original schedule had them arriving at KFSD around 5:30 PM and I got there around 4 PM to have a minor avionics issue resolved (the shop that did my recent upgrade is there). That part of the plan went OK except that I got a call before I left work for the airport from one of the other pilots (this was a 4 leg mission) saying they were a couple hours behind schedule from the get go. That was no big deal as I knew the FBO would lend me a car to go out for dinner while I waited for the third leg pilot to arrive. After eating I returned to the FBO and started reading a book. A little before 8 I got a call from that pilot who told me he had experienced a mechanical problem (oil on the windscreen and smoke in the cockpit) and had made a precautionary landing at a small airport with absoulutely no services out in the middle of South Dakota. He was hoping I would be willing to meet him there and finish the mission from that point. I took on some extra fuel since the 2.5 hrs fuel I had left didn't seem sufficient for the hour flight out plus the 2 hr leg from there to RST and there wasn't any fuel available where they landed. I ended up taking the two pax plus the pilot to RST and then delivered the pilot to his wife who picked him up from my home airport (he lives on the south side of the MPLS area).

    I got a message from him today indicating that the problem turned out to be a crack in one cylinder that was dumping oil on the exhaust so it seems like the precautionary landing was a wise choice.
     
    Missa likes this.
  2. Shipoke

    Shipoke Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good for you Lance, someday i might be able to do that.
    Dave G.
     
  3. Michael

    Michael Pattern Altitude

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    Awsome Lance!
    I am currious. Do you think the amount of volunteers drops as the cost of fuel goes up?
     
  4. JasonCT

    JasonCT Pattern Altitude

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    I don't care what the price of fuel is, I can't wait to get the time and ratings needed to join this group!

    I thank all the Angel Flight Pilots, its nice to know that while we may have our expensive toys, and fun, that we can still change or impact peoples lives for the better and expect nothing in return except the comfort of knowing you helped someone!

    ~Jay
     
  5. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bravo Zulu Lance! It sounds like you ARE an Angel.

    I can't imagine how bad I would feel if I were the pilot of the previous leg. I know that volunteer pilots have been known to reach into their wallets to get the clients onto ground transportation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2006
  6. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Another Angel flight well done.
     
  7. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Good on you Lance good post. I have to tell ya thought oil on the windscreen and smoke in the cockpit is a little more than a precautionary landing to me.

    And Jay you've got good goals but you better hope the patient is very light has no support and no bags if your gonna fly them in the AA1A LOL.
     
  8. NC Pilot

    NC Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good job Lance. Thanks for going that extra mile (pun intended)...:yes:
     
  9. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    You are a gentleman and scholar! But, those of us that know you were already aware of that!

    Dave
     
  10. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not really. When you figure that fuel is only part of the cost, the kinds of increases we've seen don't seem to faze most of the volunteer pilots I know. The total cost, especially on the longer missions I often end up with does make me limit my participation to a bit less than I'd do if no money was involved, but the bigger issue for many (myself included) is more about available time than money for fuel as most of the missions require me to take PTO at work and that's also a limited commodity.

    BTW I recently read about one pilot in our region who flew 32 missions in the last year! Obviously rising fuel costs aren't affecting him (or would he have flown more?).
     
  11. sessman

    sessman Filing Flight Plan

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    Great story! I know a couple of guys who don't like to volunteer for the multi-leg missions or will only take the 1st leg of one just because of all the variables involved. But hey, that's ok. There's more than enough missions to go around here in Houston!

    I learned real quick that you don't plan anything the same day of a mission because they can quickly turn into an all day event!
     
  12. rmciottijr

    rmciottijr Line Up and Wait

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    Hats off to you Lance.

    Jay, I second that. I currently do them with my partner and it's the greatest feeling. I just need my IR and a few more hours and I will join.

    Bob
     
  13. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or, air transportation... I got stopped by a wall of thunderstorms over Austin that just wouldn't go away on one of my flights, and sat on the ground in Waco. Took off, tried to go south again, couldn't get through safely, returned to Waco. Bought her and her son a ticket on Continental from Waco to home (on the gulf coast) and sent them on their way. The second-leg pilot, waiting for me in New Braunfels, flew home by himself. I thought he'd be ticked off, but he wasn't... it's such a great group of aviators!!

    Glad to hear there are so many other Angel Flight pilots here, or planning to join...
     
  14. HPNFlyGirl

    HPNFlyGirl En-Route

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    For those of you who fly angel flights do you have some of the same pax or all they always different pax?
     
  15. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've had some repeats, but more often than not it's someone new. A lot of these folks are on some kind of treatment regime that requires them to travel to their clinic regularly (like once each week or twice per month) so if you fly missions often you are more likely to repeat a mission.

    The bottom line is that all the missions are posted and the pilots simply choose which ones they want to fly. You can fly the same people to/from the same places multiple times or do something different every tiime, it's all up to the pilot.
     
  16. sessman

    sessman Filing Flight Plan

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    I've flown different patients each time but I've seem my past patients on later listings. I just started flying Angel Flight this year, so I'm trying a variety so to speak, so I've flown a nice couple, an individual, and a 2 year old and her mom. I picked the couple just because they fit the airplane and schedule that was available, the individual was part of a multi-leg trip, and the child was simply because my wife requested that I carry some children. I have my own young kids who fly, so the whole car seat and in-flight comfort for kids wasn't new to me. I'm probably going to look for a breast cancer patient the next time (yes, we see what their illness is on the mission lists) simply because my mom was a breast cancer survivior long ago.

    I'm fortunate to have a selection of airplanes to choose from in my club so it gives more more choices in range and payload.
     
  17. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Kids are usually the most rewarding, but plenty of the adults are extremely grateful as well.