Jan. 30, 2019
For the past 12 years, the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) has arranged free air transportation to post-9/11, combat-wounded veterans and their families for their medical needs and other compassionate purposes. The organization relies upon a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots to fly those missions, often utilizing business aircraft.
“Many of our volunteer pilots are owner/operators who usually fly to support their businesses, but who also graciously make themselves and their aircraft available to support our mission,” said VAC founder and CEO Walt Fricke. “We have planes in the air every day, flying dedicated missions on the veterans’ schedule.”
These flights provide a critical lifeline for many veterans for whom commercial air travel could pose a variety of challenges. Volunteers range from those who’ve flown a handful of missions, to companies that have performed more than 100 VAC flights.
“Our goal is to double the size of our fleet so that we never need to decline a mission request,” Fricke said. “Our veterans are worth it.”
Veterans Airlift Command is part of the Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) database maintained by NBAA, which along with GAMA, founded the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign.