06 Jun 2012 / by Pilot Michael / in Pilot Michael
Midnight Mission Time Machine
It doesn’t happen everyday, but when it does, it is a vivid reminder to me of how magical and special general aviation is.
Last night I was afforded the opportunity to make general aviation a special part of someone’s life. The text message came in from a friend at 10:53 pm asking how late someone could charter a flight out of Van Nuys or Santa Monica. Unfortunately, the reason for the flight was that one of their family members was “code blue” in ICU at a hospital in Sacramento, and the first commercial flight wasn’t until 6am the following morning. I knew it would be near impossible and time consuming to try to secure a charter that late at night. However, I did have access to a couple of airplanes owned by a friend that I could fly. I sent out texts trying to get approval from the owner to take the plane, but was unable to make contact with him. However, I couldn’t let this formality stop me. The owner is a commendable, giving person – not atypical of the many people I have been privileged to know while working in general aviation. Knowing this about the owner made my decision easy. I took his airplane in the middle of the night to help another family without a second thought about what his reaction would be. He would be happy to help. At 1:15 am I parked the airplane next to a waiting taxi. My friends climbed ino the cab and arrived at the hospital before 1:30am – 6.5 hours before any commercial flight could have delivered them to Sacramento. For me, this is general aviation, and is the closest thing to a time machine we have on planet earth.