In all the doddering, misleading, anti-aviation blather we've had to deal with over the last few years, we've been waiting for the world to wake up and discover just how cool aviation, and its pilots and aircrews, are.
We present a case in point and while it was a quick impromptu interview amid the heights of excitement at NBAA 2011 (a more extensive interview is coming shortly!), the message is clear, that aviation has a heart, that pilots are citizens of the world and that if you want to show aviation in its best possible light, a good place to start is the Veteran's Airlift Command and its consummate Airboss Walt Fricke -- himself a vet who served this nation with distinction.
The VAC provides free air transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes, through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. The priority is to serve the veterans of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).
Many of the plane owners who volunteer with VAC are also pilots who welcome the opportunity to perform a valuable service while maintaining their proficiency. Some owners come from military backgrounds themselves; others are seasoned aviators or simply passionate about flying.
But they all have one thing in common - the desire to serve those who have served us. In the interest of safety as well as camaraderie, the VAC encourages two rated pilots to fly together when practical.