GA Rescues Grounded Teddy Bear Project

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When Mesaba Airlines declined to take aboard a teddy bear that was part of a school geography project in Mason City, Iowa, pilot Richard Rogers read about it and was not happy. "The kids had gone to the airport all excited, and went home real disappointed," he told AVweb on Tuesday. That didn't sit well with Rogers, who flies for Pinnacle Food Group in Des Moines, so he tracked down schoolteacher Kelli Moorehead and proposed an alternate plan. Rogers offered to give Ted a lift in the co-pilot seat of his company's CJ2. Ted could travel in style and then relax in the friendly care of FBO staffers till they found him another spot with GA and corporate pilots. "They didn't realize that GA even existed," Rogers told AVweb. "They were thinking of giving the bear to a truck driver, but this is so much better." At last report, Traveling Ted had sent home a postcard from New York City, and was on his way into the wild blue yonder. Where he'll go next is anyone's guess: "He's just kind of freewheeling it from here," Moorehead said. She added that when Rogers called her "out of the blue ... he was the answer to our prayers. It's nice to know that there are people out there who care about what other people are doing and are willing to help them out. The kids really enjoy getting postcards from 'Ted,' and we are keeping track of his journeys on a map." Rogers said, "I just hope the kids learn something from it. They can measure distances and plot great-circle routes as they follow the bear's travels." They might even learn about something more than geography, if they're paying attention.