Able Flight pilots will
fly two specially equipped Sky Arrow 600 special light-sport aircraft
like this to Oshkosh next month.
Brad Jones and Sean O'Donnell, Able Flight's
first scholarship winners who earned their Sport Pilot Certificates, will
embark on a seven-day, 1,000-mile barnstorming tour in Atlanta on July 21,
heading for Oshkosh and an opening day arrival ceremony at AeroShell Square at
Both pilots are wheelchair-bound due to spinal
cord injuries suffered in vehicle accidents and they'll be flying a matched set
of specially equipped Sky Arrow 600 special light-sport aircraft. Starting at
Atlanta's Cobb County Airport, they'll fly to Knoxville, Tennessee; Dayton,
Ohio; Indianapolis; Champaign, Illinois, and Waukesha, Wisconsin, before their
final leg to Wittman Regional Airport the morning of July 28.
"Our goal is to bring these special pilots
and airplanes to as many people as possible as they travel to Oshkosh,"
said Charles Stites, Able Flight executive director. "It's one thing to
read about a person with a disability becoming a pilot; it's quite another to
hear from them in person how they have overcome traditional barriers and
successfully faced the challenges of learning to fly."
At each stop, the pilots will meet with current
and former patients of spinal rehabilitation hospitals and organizations that
serve wounded and disabled veterans. Local pilot groups and media are also
invited to attend, see the airplanes, and learn first hand what it takes for a
person with a disability to become a pilot.
The tour is being funded in part through a lead
grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund, and the aircraft have been made available by
Hansen Air Group and Philly Sport Pilot, companies that provide training for
Able Flight scholarship winners.
For more details on tour stops and how
individuals can help support the trip, visit www.ableflight.org.