Pilot heads to North Pole for cold, hard cash

By Shelia Huffman

The mission of Angel Flight South Central (AFSC) is to help people in need by providing free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes. The organization arranges travel through a network of volunteer pilots for people who require specialized medical treatment not available to them locally.

Every year, Angel Flight pilots fly thousands of “missions,” making it possible for people to access lifesaving medical care which would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Approximately 800 volunteer pilots provide the transportation at no cost to the patients or passengers. They donate their gas, equipment and time. AFSC cooperates with hospitals, physician’s offices, social workers and social service agencies to identify those who need the services the most.

Lakewood resident Wayne Maynard has been a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight South Central for eight years.

“I have a passion for helping those in medical need,” Maynard said.

He has planned a North Pole Journey from July 14–28 to raise awareness about AFSC and to garner $60,000 in donations to support its operations.

“In spite of all of the volunteer efforts, there is still cost involved to keep the office running,” Maynard said.

Maynard will fly the same aircraft he uses for Angel Flights, his Columbia 350, from Dallas Love Field to the North Pole and back.

He may be flying solo on this exciting adventure, but there are so many ways that you and your family can participate. A $50 donation gets you, your spouse and kids an invitation to the “send-off” party on July 14 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, or the “welcome home” party on July 28 at the Ambassador Jet Center at Dallas Executive Airport following the mission. The festivities will include food, a disc jockey, silent auction and more.

While in-flight, Maynard will be equipped with four cameras to capture breathtaking views of the spectacular scenery gleaned during this exotic journey. He will experience the natural splendor of Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada, the fascinating Northwest Passage and, eventually, Eureka, about 600 miles from the North Pole.

Everyone knows who resides at the North Pole! If your child would like to write a letter to the be-whiskered, be-spectacled gentleman some refer to as Santa, Maynard will personally deliver it to Kris Kringle’s special mail box.

Participation in the adventure will be a great learning experience in aviation and geography. In addition to all the fun and excitement, donors will be helping ensure the continuation of Angel Flight.

Corporate sponsorship is also available and encouraged. Various levels provide premium amenities like your company name advertised at air shows and during the journey, your logo decal placed on the aircraft, a phone call from Maynard during the expedition to let you know where he is and how things are going and more.

For more information about sponsorships or the simple donation process, visit angelflightsc.org.

While in-flight, Wayne Maynard (above) will be equipped with four cameras to capture breathtaking views of the spectacular scenery gleaned during his exotic journey. Photo by Don Sellers