Eight Angel Flight Missions in Seven Days ….. and…. a Surprise Birthday Hanger Party! (all over the week of Captain Johns 95th Birthday)

    Boy, what a week we had celebrating Captain Johns 95th Birthday!  We started with a Double Angel Flight Mission on Saturday, August 4th which took us from home base Luray to Pittsburgh PA. From there we flew our two passengers (Romeo and Tony) to Charlottesville VA where they would be attending camp.

     On the following day, Sunday August 5th, Captain John was amazingly surprised at our Hanger when he showed up (thinking he was just going to show his wife Barbara our new hanger office) when he came around the corner to find nearly 60 wide grinning people eagerly awaiting to wish him a Happy Birthday! (I say he was “amazingly” surprised because it is very hard to surprise the Captain…… but we did!) It was an amazing time and I would like to thank each and everyone who turned out, and also to the ones who helped to make it happen. (Pictures of this great party are included below)

     Our next Double Mission took place on Captain Johns actual Birthday (August 7th). We departed home base Luray and headed for Asheville NC where we picked up our passenger Elaine (we have flown Elaine several times before). From Asheville we flew back to home base Luray for a refueling and lunch in our hanger.  Our great friend, Karen Culpepper,  had joined us on our flight to pick up Elaine and she and her husband Jimmy provided us with a great lunch (topped off with homemade cookies) in our hanger while Danny fueled up 49Bravo (Jimmy and Danny are Luray Caverns Airport Employees)  After our refueling and lunch, we said goodbye to Karen, Jimmy and Danny and departed once more, this time heading to northeast Philadelphia PA where Elaine would be having her appointments the next morning. After landing in Philly, we said goodbye to Elaine and headed off to a hotel to spend the night so that we could do another Double Angel Flight Mission the next day, taking Elaine back home!

     So the next day (August 8th) we were ready for Elaine at Northeast Philly when her appointments were finished. We departed Northeast Philly and headed for our home base Luray so that we could once again refuel before heading Elaine back home to Asheville. After Danny refueled 49Bravo we departed home base heading to Asheville NC. After landing in Asheville we gave our goodbyes (and hugs) to Elaine and departed once again (after a passing storm) back to home base. We landed back at home base slightly after sunset. This day of flying included quite a few storms to deal with, but even after all of that, once snugging 49Bravo back into her hanger we had the most dangerous part yet ahead of us….. the drive home (in the dark)!

     We had one day off, then on Friday (August 10th) we departed home base Luray again on another Double Mission…… this time back to Charlottesville VA to pick up Romeo and Tony and fly them back home to Pittsburgh PA after they had a great week at camp.  

     So this made a total of eight Angel Flight Missions within seven days over Captain Johns 95th Birthday!  It was certainly a week of great flying, sharing  great conversations with our passengers, Elaine, Romeo and Tony! Our week of flying totaled 20 hours in the air covering 2,154 nautical miles, crossing state boundaries 22 times,  with one night spent in Philly. We experienced flying thru clear smooth air, poking holes into some bumpy clouds,  in and out of rain, navigating around and between storms, headwinds and tailwinds, visual and instrument approaches, some mountain wave activity and great cooperation with ATC! 

     To date, this makes a total of 440 Angel Flight Missions completed by Captain John and 310 by me (Nevin)  I would like to say what an honor it is for me to share in these flights with John and what a special treat it has been spending so much of Captain Johns Birthday week in the air with him!

Hope you all enjoy our following photos of eight missions in seven days!


Heading across our beautiful Shenandoah Valley to Pittsburgh PA (Double Mission Angel Flight on August 4th, 2018)

Area of Mt Jackson VA (August 4th 2018)



Corn Maze…. Mt Jackson VA (August 4th 2018)



Town of Mt Jackson VA  (August 4th 2018)



Over West Virginia  (August 4th 2018)



Beautiful farmland in PA  (August 4th 2018)



With Romeo and Tony’s family in Pittsburgh PA  (August 4th 2018)



Some great tasting pastry’s provided by Tony’s mom  to celebrate Captain Johns Birthday!   (August 4th, 2018)



With Romeo and Tony before leaving Pittsburgh PA  (August 4th, 2018)



On our way to Charlottesville VA with Romeo and Tony  (August 4th, 2018)



Romeo and Tony  (August 4th, 2018)



Deep Creek Lake, Maryland  (August 4th, 2018)



Bridgewater Virginia  (August 4th, 2018)


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Boy, was the Captain surprised!  (Hanger Party)

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These little Teddy’s are ready to FLY……. and to find a new home with our passenger, Elaine!   (August 7th, 2018)  Captain Johns 95th Birthday!


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This is Captain John’s very first landing! ………. (on his 95th Birthday)


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On approach to Asheville NC  (August 7th, 2018)



Waiting our turn to depart Asheville  (August 7th, 2018)



Looks friendly……. but do not believe it!  One of a few storms on our way back to home base to refuel  (August 7th, 2018)



Danny refueling 49Bravo in front of our hanger before we head to Philly  (August 7th, 2018)



Enjoying a nice lunch provided by Karen Culpepper in our hanger office with Elaine before heading on to Philly  (August 7th, 2018)



With Elaine in front of our hanger office before departing for Philly  (August 7th, 2018)



Another great photo with Elaine in our Hanger  (August 7th, 2018)



On our way to Philly with Elaine  (August 7th, 2018)


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Philly under our wing  (August 7th. 2018)


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49 Bravo parked smack out front of Philly Jet Center….. she spent the night there!  (August 8th, 2018)



Extremely nice Pilot’s Lounge at Northeast Philly Jet Center where we did of flight planning for Elaine’s return flight home  (August 8th, 2018)



Captain John hard at work  (August 8th, 2018)




49Bravo sitting proudly out front of Northeast Philly Jet Center….. ready to go!  (August 8th, 2018)



Over Pennsylvania
Heading to home base Luray for fuel …… over PA  (August 8th, 2018)


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Over Frederick Maryland  (August 8th, 2018)


Deviating around a strong storm soon after departing home base Luray heading to Asheville NC. This was over the south end of the Massanutten Mountain Range and the photo is overlooking Massanutten Ski Resort  (August 8th , 2018)


Strong storm over the Blue Ridge east of Augusta County……. according to the news, this one did a lot of damage on the ground during its peak   (August 8th, 2018)


Strong storm with a very heavy downpour around Louisa County VA…… Look at that water flooding out from it! …….. no, wait a minute, that is Lake Anna!  (August 8th, 2018)


Skirting around another storm close to Lynchburg VA

Skirting around another storm close to Lynchburg VA on our way to Asheville NC  (August 8th, 2018)
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Have you ever wondered what lightning looks like from the cockpit?   (August 8th, 2018)





Heading back into the Beautiful Shenandoah Valley …….. the sun had already set, but was still reflecting off the towering storm clouds over around Charlottesville (another very strong storm)  August 8th, 2018




About 20 miles out from home base Luray after sunset looking over the Blue Ridge at a very strong storm over Charlottesville……. absolutly beautiful!  (August 8th, 2018)


A couple of hats ready for our passengers, Tony and Romeo  (August 10th, 2018)


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Departing Charlottesville VA heading for Pittsburgh  (August 10th, 2018)


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Over Massanutten Ski Resort in VA  (August 10th, 2018)


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Over the Bergton Fair, Bergton VA  (August 10th, 2018)


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Building storm east of Pittsburgh PA  (August 10th, 2018)



Nearing Pittsburgh PA with Romeo and Tony  (August 10th, 2018)


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On Approach to Alleghany County, Pittsburgh PA  (August 10th, 2018)


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On Short Final  (August 10th, 2018)


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Safely on the ground in Pittsburgh PA with Romeo and Tony  (August 10th, 2018)


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Enjoying our I.A.P. (In Air Picnic) on our way back home  (August 10th, 2018)


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Windmills in WVA  (August 10th, 2018)



This big boy is trying to grow up into a storm cell   (August 10th, 2018)


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Back at home base in our hanger with 49Bravo…….. Eight Missions Completed in Eight Days!   (August 10th, 2018)


4 thoughts on “Eight Angel Flight Missions in Seven Days ….. and…. a Surprise Birthday Hanger Party! (all over the week of Captain Johns 95th Birthday)”

  1. Loved the descriptions in the travel log but best of all loved being a part of it. The pictures are great. Love you guys

    1. That is so sweet, thank you so much Elaine! ……… we love you to and look forward to seeing you next time!

  2. Esther L. Jacobson

    I am so very proud of you two wonderful fellows, happy that you take good care of my friend Elaine and bring her home always safely. I pray you all always have safe flights and Happy Birthday again Capt. John, you are remarkable. love both of you, Esther L. Jacobson

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