Recent Missions

July 25, 2023—Compassion Airlift, pilots Gene Cross and Dan Radtke accepted a mission to fly a patient traveling from ORF to MMU (Morristown NJ) to undergo evaluation due to a rare brain disease accompanied by epilepsy. She was mobile and in good spirits and had never flown in a small airplane.

The flight up the coast was forecast to be smooth with some showers in the area which actually turned out to be a line of thunderstorms moving through the NJ area. The pilots were able to visually fly around the showers and eventually guided by approach control through a gap between the storms and skirted up the leading edge of the approaching line to make a visual approach and landed just before the thunderstorm passed over the field. They got everybody inside and the plane secured and the rain began. After the storm line passed over the pilots refueled, preflighted and called for clearance. As usually happens in the Northeast, they got a complete reroute which took a few minutes to enter it into the plane’s EFB and the Garmin 530. Their flight was smooth coming home but interestingly, the pilots had to make a b-line home to avoid a fast arriving rain storm approaching Manassas. Gene and Dan landed and got a quick refuel and hangared the plane just as the rain started.

July 12, 2023—After many years with Compassion Airlift, pilots Gene Cross and Dan Radtke had the opportunity to fly a mission that used the full capability of N7709R—both in payload and range. They were tasked to carry a young lady who had experienced a fall which broke her neck and paralyzed her from the neck down making her totally immobile. The pilots positioned the aircraft the prior afternoon at Dekalb-Peachtree airport outside Atlanta and received Heather and her mother Wednesday morning at 9 AM. Their first leg was a 2.5 hour flight up the Appalachian mountain chain and the Shenandoah Valley for a refueling stop at Winchester VA. From there another 2.5 hour flight to Marshfield MA, 45 miles south of Boston.

It was a smooth flight around Philadelphia, New York City and across New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts being given descents and climbs through the busy airspace. Arrival at Marshfield airport was a pleasant experience as it is a rural field with little traffic. The transport ambulance was waiting for their arrival and quickly took Heather to her receiving facility. “Overall, a very rewarding flight flown as designed with a perfectly operating aircraft.”

February 9, 2023—Pilots Gene Cross and Dan Radtke were privileged to fly to Islip, NY (ISP), to pick up Ashton and transport him to his home in Winston Salem, NC (INT), after treatment at the Cleveland Clinic in New York City. 65-knot headwinds reduced their expected airspeed from 150 knots to 90 knots and required an additional fuel stop at Shenandoah, VA (SHD). The winds and extra stop extended their planned enroute time so they landed after dark. Clear skies gave the pilots a beautiful view of the Appalachian Mountains and Roanoke Valley on their return flight the following day.

February 20, 2023—Compassion Airlift received Colleen, who was flown from Conway, SC, to Manassas, VA (HEF), through a mission coordinated by Angel Flight East. Pilots Dan Radtke and Rick Moss transported her to her destination in Fitchburg, MA (FIT). She is experiencing a brain ailment and returning home to be near treatment in the Boston area hospitals. “Thank you so much for your generosity, kindness, care, for flying me to my final destination of Fitchburg, Mass,” writes Colleen in a beautiful card given to the pilots after her successful flight.

February 24, 2023—Pilots Gene Cross and Rick Moss flew Brian from a connection in Winston Salem, NC (INT), to his home in Harrisburg, PA (CXY).  The flight was coordinated by Angel Flight East, and Brian was returning home after treatment for pancreatic cancer at a center near Atlanta. He has been receiving these treatments every two weeks over the last two years, all made possible by Angel Flight. Our flight connected with an Angel Flight SOARS flight originating in Newnan, GA. A grateful Brian presented the pilots with a unique thank you card. “One thing’s for certain…I couldn’t have made this trip without you! Thank you so much for thinking enough of me to help me get to my treatment. It was a pleasure riding with you. May God bless you one-thousand fold.”

January 06, 2023—Compassion Airlift pilots Rick Moss and Dan Radtke graciously volunteered their time and resources to transport Matt and his wife, Aimee, from Easton, MD (ESN) to Greenville, SC (GMU) on the second half of an Angel Flight East mission that originated in Boston, MA. They were met at the airport by their excited young children and Matt’s father. Matt was in Boston for specialized treatment of a rare form of lung cancer. The pilots received a heartfelt thank you note from the family, “We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity…the help you and the service is providing really helps.” “After initial concerns for wind and icing conditions, it turned out to be a pretty nice day,” commented Rick.

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