With over seventy-seven years (nearly 30,000 hours) of flying time logged, Captain John would often say that he was most proud of his time doing Angel Flights! He had completed 462 of these volunteer missions helping those in need get too long-distance appointments, with the last one being just 5 days after his 98th Birthday!
I am so grateful for having John in my life as such a close friend and feel so very honored to have been his Co-pilot on 345 of those special missions, each one touching both our hearts in a very special way. It was John’s wish that I could continue doing Angel Flights with 49Bravo after his passing. This was a somewhat hard discussion because I just could not, (or more truthfully) did not want to ever imagine him not being here. I knew this was very important to him, and although I knew finances would be a big factor, I made him a promise… the promise went like this as I felt tears welling in my eyes… I said Captain John, I will do my very best to make it happen, and if it comes to be, I will continue doing so for as long as possible and when the time comes that I no longer can, I will know it. This put a big smile on his face, and I felt deep within my heart that we both felt at ease with the subject and needed to talk about it no further. This conversation took place just two weeks prior to his passing, that is how important I knew it was to him!
So now my promise to Captain John is underway, I have purchased 49Bravo from Mrs. Barbara (John’s wife) with her blessings. I have done all the paperwork that needs to be done, I have Insurance in place, and the last thing was to get the Virginia State Decal from Richmond which has arrived! So now 49Bravo is ready to take to the sky once more, eager to carry on John’s legacy just as I am. I have been a licensed pilot for twenty-four years, and a registered Angel Flight Pilot with an Instrument Rating since 2016, so after 49Bravo’s yearly annual is completed later this month, she and I both will be good to go for accepting Angel Flight Missions!
I feel so honored in this endeavor to carry on Captain John’s Legacy, and even though he may not be with me physically on flights from now on, he will for sure be with me in my heart and my mind! And to follow along with the promise I gave him, I will continue doing this for as long as I can. The biggest issue as time goes by will be the cost. Owning, maintaining, and operating an aircraft has considerable expenses. Fuel alone for an average Angel Flight of 5 hours will be around $300.00. Part of my plan for being able to continue John’s Legacy longer than I could on my own, was to create a way for folks to donate in John’s Honor. All donations would be applied directly to the cost of doing Angel Flights. I have a link below and up in the menu where a donation can be securely made. I will be considering setting up a GoFundMe campaign for this as well. Finances, for now, will be ok, but just as I told John in my promise… when the time comes that I need to stop, I will know it. Donations would help keep that time much further down the road!
Please feel free to share this information, and if a donation is something that you could do it would be very much appreciated!
Thank you so much for your time…
Sincerly, Captain John’s Co-Pilot of 345 Angel Flight Missions, Nevin Showman