Pilots Aim To Raise $100,000 For Angel Flight East
Tomorrow, two pilots in Virginia plan to take off and land at 100 airports in their state within 24 hours, to raise $100,000 for Angel Flight East. The record flight will begin and end at Dulles Airport, with landings at all 67 public-use runways in Virginia and selected military and private fields on the circuit. The trip will cover about 1,500 nautical miles and take 16 to 18 hours. Two Marine Corps pilots, Charles "Lindy" Kirkland and Robert "Blitz" Krieg, will fly a brand-new Centennial Edition SR22 compliments of Cirrus Design. Angel Flight East, a nonprofit organization, provides free air transportation for those in need of medical treatment far from home through its volunteer fleet of pilots and aircraft owners.
Kirkland flies with the "Marine One" helicopter squadron based at Quantico, Va., that provides air transport for the president and other high-ranking officials. Krieg is an EA6-B Prowler aviator who has flown numerous combat missions over Bosnia and Iraq from both land bases and aircraft carriers. He now instructs at the Quantico Marine Corps Base. Kirkland said his motivation for the flight is "really a culmination of several things. ... During the centennial year of aviation, I was reminded in so many ways just what an incredible invention the airplane has been. Plus, I'm real excited about general aviation and what it stands for, and an organization like Angel Flight East really epitomizes GA doing a great service. Then, I kind of got to thinking that it sure would be nice to see all the airports, and it just sort of snowballed from there." Angel Flight East's volunteer pilots provided about 1,100 missions to people in need in 2003. During its 11 years of service, Angel Flight East has helped over 4,500 people.