It was an overcast but cool day at Wings & Wheels this month. It was a welcome change from the blistering heat of summer, but we've had a few cold days recently, so we know winter is on the way!
Aircraft are not only beautiful and cool, they are hardworking and have a heart.
Hospitals have long realized the value of aircraft in the role of critical care. Their unique ability to compress time and distance has saved many lives and continue to save many more.
Aircraft also serve in various other humanitarian efforts that you might be unaware of. Patients are delivered to receive transplants on short notice by big-hearted pilots who donate their time and aircraft to help those who otherwise would not have access to fast, safe transport. Food, clothing and other aid is transported in times of crisis to those in need.
Pilots also donate their time, fuel costs, and aircraft to the task of relocating pets or just giving the joy of flight to kids who want to see their world from aloft. Others donate their time as ground crew helping get these planes where they can do the most good.
We also hosted the Houston chapter of the Prowler Owners Association. There was a wide array of colors and paint jobs on display!
Among the organizations represented were the Civil Air Patrol. Today, CAP handles 90 percent of inland search and rescue missions, with approximately 75 lives saved each year. CAP members are generally the first on the scene transmitting satellite digital images of the damage within seconds around the world and providing disaster relief and emergency services following natural and manmade disasters, including such phenomena as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Texas and Oklahoma wildfires, tornadoes in the south and central U.S., North Dakota flash flooding and the October 2006 earthquake in Hawaii, as well as humanitarian missions along the U.S. and Mexican border.
We also had several fly-in's with a Cessna 120 owned by Phil Cushing, along with a Cherokee 140 and a tiny blue biplane known as a DSA-1C. The pilot, Bloke Maurer, told us that DSA actually stands for Damn Small Airplane! Bloke and the Cherokee made a grand entrance and exit, doing a fly-by on 17 with smoke!