Our first Angel Flight of the year!
On Wednesday, June 2nd, we completed our first Angel Flight Mission of the year… in fact, it was the very first since the beginning of covid!
We departed home base Luray at 6:00 am and headed southwest to Abingdon, VA. At 8000 feet our ride was very smooth with a slight headwind, allowing us to average around 140 mph, our flight path was clear of clouds with scattered layers above us. The total distance to Abingdon was 206 nautical miles, which we covered in one hour and forty-three minutes. Even though we have been flying at least once a week all along (and enjoying every minute of it), this flight felt especially good, knowing that we had a special reason for being in the air!
Little Cora and her mother Sylvia, were in the lobby waiting for us as we walked into the FBO. Cora just turned 5 last month and she and her mom had an 11:00 am appointment at the Children’s Hospital in Richmond VA. Ms. Cora is dealing with cystic fibrosis and the folks at Richmond are tops in their field. We immediately fell in love with this little lady and she melted our hearts with her cute little smile and beautiful green eyes… I know her eyes were green because she told me so! She was kind of shy at first (like 10 seconds) and then we were good friends! She reminded me of my daughter, Mikayla… it seems that all children remind me of Mikayla, and I think this is because I know, and feel in my heart, how very special all of our children are… and how we all want them to always be healthy, happy and protected.
The love that we could see, and sense, between Cora and her mom, Sylvia was so heartwarming! Sylvia knew something was not quite right early on when Cora was just an infant, and she has been (in my opinion) a major player in guiding Ms. Cora’s medical care, allowing her to have a much brighter future than would have ever been possible years ago!
Of course, we talked about flying before we loaded up for Richmond, and found out that they both have flown before… but never on a small airplane! I think if I remember correctly, the two words Sylvia used were “EXCITED” and “SCARED”! We (I hope) put them a little at ease, assuring them that this flight was going to be nothing short of “FUN” (which is the only type of flight we allow)!
Our flight over to Richmond at 7000 feet was mostly smooth with only a few slight bumps as we headed over the mountains and through a few scattered clouds… flying through clouds for the first time (actually every time) in a small plane is nothing short of amazing,… I do believe that Ms. Cora and her mom really enjoyed the experience! We had a slight tailwind, averaging around 150 mph, the total distance was 227 nautical miles, which we completed in one hour and forty-seven minutes. (Going by car would have taken between 6-7 hours)
It was such a pleasure getting to meet and fly little Ms. Cora and her mom Sylvia, and before we said our goodbyes in Richmond, we captured some photos and exchanged some hugs… yes…HUGS! All of us (excluding Cora) have been fully vaccinated, and boy does it feel good getting back to the simple exchanges in life that mean so much!
Even though we said our goodbyes to Cora and her mom, they will remain in our hearts as true examples of unconditional love and courage… and we wish only the best for Ms. Cora as she continues on her journey with her cute little smile and those beautiful green eyes!
I want to take a moment and think Trevor Heath of Dominion Aviation Services, Inc. for taking such great photos with his camera and sending them our way… Trevor, thank you so much, it was truly a pleasure talking with you!
On our flight back home we dreamed of Hot Grilled Rueben sandwiches and wonderful Hanger Coffee, of which both we enjoyed in our hanger before heading out on our most dangerous part of our day… the drive home!
This was Captain John’s 460th Angel Flight Mission Completed!
Have a great day all!