We are presently grounded from doing any Angel Flight Missions due to a complete failure of one of our primary instruments called an “HSI” (Horizontal Situation Indicator) This keeps us from being able to fly IFR until the problem is resolved. IFR means that we are flying by Instrument Flight Rules, and is required, not only in clouds and weather, but also anytime we have an Angel Flight passenger/passengers on board. This instrument has failed several times in the past, each time requiring a very expensive repair. This time around we had to consider all our options and came to the conclusion that the best way to move forward was to replace our failed HSI with a new, all electronic unit that is made by Garmin. This new unit, once installed, should not only prove to be more reliable, but also give us an additional safety feature of redundancy in the event of vacuum failure during flight in IMC (this new unit does not require a vacuum system to run a gyro as our failed HSI did, which means in the event of vacuum failure during flight where we have no or very limited visibility, we would still have reference to our attitude and heading along with altitude and speed) This new instrument would even still operate in the event of total power failure, due to its internal battery back up. The new unit is called the Garmin G5
Our decision to move forward with the G5 required a lot of thought and research, not only due to the cost that would be involved, but also to make sure that it would configure in with our existing system of navigator and autopilot. After much reading, phone calls, and discussions, the decision was made to move forward and the order was placed. Our fantastic mechanic, Doug Carlock, will be installing the system for us and I will attempt to document the process with photos as we go. Once complete we will be taking to the air to put our new system thru many test to assure that all is as expected. After the “seal of approval” by Doug, John and I, and 49Bravo, we will be ready to get back in the air doing Angel Flights!
As most everyone knows, nothing with aviation is cheap and this endeavor is no exception. By the time we are back in the air, able to do Angel Flights again, the amount spent will probably be around $5000.00. Our Angel Flights themselves average between $600.00-$700.00 per mission. John recently was visited at his home by author Eric Lichtblau, Eric is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and was interviewing Captain John for a book he is presently working on. During his visit, John had informed Eric that we have been temporarily grounded from doing Angel Flights due to our failed HSI and the cost involved. Eric brought up the idea of setting up a “Go Fund Me” site for people who would like to help in the cost of getting 49Bravo back into the air doing Angel Flights, he even said that he would work on setting one up if John approved!
Not much time passed before Eric contacted John letting him know that he had already set up a “Go Fund Me” site for getting 49Bravo back into the air, and if it was met by Johns approval, he would launch it! We have heard of Go Fund Me before, but never really understood how it worked, we want to thank Eric so much for coming up with this idea, and especially for doing all the ground work of setting it up….. thank you, thank you, thank you! We believe this has great potential for helping us tremendously with the cost that will be involved getting us back to doing Angel Flights. Angel Flights, all across the Country, is a great way for pilots to take their love of flying and use it to help others….. the “Go Fund Me” site will now open up a way for anyone that can, be a part in “Helping Us to Help Others”.
You can click below for the “Go Fund Me” site where anyone can make a donation. We would like to once again say a GREAT BIG thank you to Eric Lichtblau for this idea and for all the work he has put into setting it up. We also want to thank anyone in advance who may consider making a donation, any amount would certainly be greatly appreciated!
You can (CLICK HERE) for the “Go Fund Me” site