Flight Training - June 2020 - 21

PREFLIGHT AFTER THE CHECKRIDE

BY DAVE HIRSCHMAN

VETERANS AIRLIFT COMMAND
SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED US

CHECKLIST
To volunteer as a
VAC pilot, register
your general aviation
aircraft, or make
a donation, go to
veteransairlift.org.
You'll receive email
notification of available trips in your area,
and you can view a
list of "open missions"
nationwide.

ONE OF THE MOST PERSONAL, IMMEDI-

ate, and tangible ways that general
aviation pilots and aircraft owners
demonstrate their support for members of the military who have borne the
hardships of war is volunteering with the
Veterans Airlift Command (VAC).
The charitable group provides free
transportation via GA to post-9/11 veterans wounded in combat. Many of the trips
are for medical care, but they can include
other "compassionate purposes," too.
The VAC was formed in 2006 by Walt
Fricke, a Vietnam-era helicopter pilot
who was wounded in battle and remembers the loneliness of being hospitalized
in the United States far from family and
friends. The Minnesota native formed the
VAC to prevent the same burden from
falling on another generation of warriors
and their loved ones.
"I spent six months in hospitals and
a year recuperating," Fricke wrote of his
recovery. "It took my parents and girlfriend-now my wife, Julie-more than
a month after I arrived back in the states
to arrange to come see me. I was wasting

away emotionally, and I really began to
heal when they arrived."
VAC pilots must have an instrument
rating, a current FAA medical, and ratings appropriate to the aircraft they fly.
VAC pilots also must have a clean record
with no certificate suspensions, revocations, or FAA enforcement actions. The
organization recommends flying with
two pilots "when practical," but it's
About 2,500 VAC volunteers
possible to perform VAC missions
have taken more than 13,000 passengers
as a single pilot if aircraft payload
on tens of thousands of flights to date.
They've improved the lives of wounded
or range limitations dictate.
veterans and their families in countless ways.
Most VAC flights are more
than 250 miles in length, so
Traveling via GA avoids the complications
high-performance single-engine
of having to endure crowded airports and
security screening for wounded vets who
and multiengine aircraft are
may have prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, or
preferred. VAC volunteers pay
all the costs associated with each
other equipment that's cumbersome and
flight. VAC volunteers receive fuel
time consuming to unpack and repack for
and other discounts from SignaX-ray machines.
ture Flight Support and some other
fixed-base operators, and flight expenses
can be tax deductible as charitable
contributions.
dave.hirschman@aopa.org

AOPA.ORG/FT

21


http://www.veteransairlift.org http://www.AOPA.ORG/FT

Flight Training - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2020

Contents
Flight Training - June 2020 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2020 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2020 - 2
Flight Training - June 2020 - 3
Flight Training - June 2020 - 4
Flight Training - June 2020 - 5
Flight Training - June 2020 - 6
Flight Training - June 2020 - 7
Flight Training - June 2020 - 8
Flight Training - June 2020 - 9
Flight Training - June 2020 - 10
Flight Training - June 2020 - 11
Flight Training - June 2020 - 12
Flight Training - June 2020 - 13
Flight Training - June 2020 - 14
Flight Training - June 2020 - 15
Flight Training - June 2020 - 16
Flight Training - June 2020 - 17
Flight Training - June 2020 - 18
Flight Training - June 2020 - 19
Flight Training - June 2020 - 20
Flight Training - June 2020 - 21
Flight Training - June 2020 - 22
Flight Training - June 2020 - 23
Flight Training - June 2020 - 24
Flight Training - June 2020 - 25
Flight Training - June 2020 - 26
Flight Training - June 2020 - 27
Flight Training - June 2020 - 28
Flight Training - June 2020 - 29
Flight Training - June 2020 - 30
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Flight Training - June 2020 - 36
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Flight Training - June 2020 - 38
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Flight Training - June 2020 - 40
Flight Training - June 2020 - 41
Flight Training - June 2020 - 42
Flight Training - June 2020 - 43
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Flight Training - June 2020 - 55
Flight Training - June 2020 - 56
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2020 - Cover4
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