There is big news on the horizon for Able Flight. For over a year we have been working on two major initiatives to build a long term future for our unique and successful program. Now we can provide you with an exciting update.
MAJOR INITIATIVE #1
It’s been obvious that there is a compelling need for additional adapted aircraft in which people with a disability can train. So, over the years, Able Flight has (shall we say) strongly encouraged manufacturers to offer the option of adapted hand controls for use by pilots without full use of their legs and feet.
Now we are well into a collaborative project with Vashon Aircraft to create a set of controls for their Ranger. That project is being led by engineer and pilot Clayton Smeltz, the owner of a Cirrus Vision Jet that he adapted for his own use. Due to lower limb paralysis, Clayton cannot use the standard rudder and brake controls, so he came up with his own version and gained approval by the FAA.
For months Clayton has been working with the engineering staff at Vashon. Prototyping, testing and approvals for add on controls for the Ranger are projected for 1st quarter 2024, just in time for the new controls to be used beginning next May. And that leads us to our second major initiative.
MAJOR INITIATIVE #2
While the development of new controls for the Vashon Ranger has been underway, Able Flight has also been working to secure a second training location to complement our wonderful partnership with Purdue University. Now we are very close to finalizing that formal agreement, and we will have an announcement on that soon.
Since that location will need adapted planes, we decided that we would reach out to our friends and supporters for the funding to purchase two of the newly-adapted Vashon Rangers and make them available to the new partner. That effort has already yielded success.
Early on we made the decision that no scholarship funds would be redirected for this purpose; this campaign would be for new funds only. We are happy to announce that thanks to the generosity of donors, we have already fully funded one of the two planes!
To purchase the second plane, we need your help today.
For only the second time in the history of Able Flight, we have created a GoFundMe campaign and we ask that you help by making a donation of any amount.
Think of it this way: When you see one of the new planes that will be used to forever change the life of a pilot, your $10, $25, $50 or more donation will have bought some rivets, or some sheet metal or part of a hand control that allows someone to become a licensed pilot. Your gift will pay dividends long into the future!
Visit here to see to see the frequently updated list of those who have generously donated to this project.