CONSIDERING, he is using his love of flying to help others. Through the organization Pilots for Patients, he flies people in need of medical diagnosis and treatment to medical facilities not available to them where they live. He wants to eliminate the burden of travel and allow the patients he transports to concentrate on getting well.
CONSIDERING, since joining Pilots for Patients in 2010, he has flown more than 150 missions at no cost to others. He pays for all gas and maintenance himself, and often flies 6 hours in a single day. He has been known to drive a patient to and from the hospital using his pilot car, supplied by the airport. “I always wanted to do something for mankind. Once I did one or two flights for Pilots for Patients, I was hooked.”
CONSIDERING, he’s been named Pilot of the Year two years in a row with this Monroe-based organization.
CONSIDERING, he still flies the Cessna Cardinal RG that he bought in 1976. It is completely refurbished. Formerly he used it just for pleasure trips or vacationing with family; he now spends most of his airtime in the company of those he barely knows. “Pilots like to fly. They will fly to a neighboring city just to have what we call ‘the $100 hamburger.’ At least Pilots for Patients serves another purpose, and I get to fly.”
CONSIDERING, he is the devoted husband to Maxine, to whom he has been married for 30 years. He has even been known to whip up a cake or two in their kitchen.
CONSIDERING, he retired from Albemarle in 2009 after 43 years as an analytical chemist and decided to stay active and get involved in the community. “I’m not a musician or an artist. Those couldn’t be hobbies for me. I’m a logical thinker. And flying an airplane is very logical.”
CONSIDERING, those who fly with him love him. He gets to know some patients whose treatments continue over months or even years. He asks about their prognosis. He inquires about their families. He makes an effort to comfort them. He has received all sorts of gifts, including a crate of tomatoes from a patient’s garden. “They tell us not to shy away from asking about their health. Caring for others is a big part of the reason I do it.”