I am truly touched to be the Pilot of the Year for the Idaho wing for 2015. I did a lot of flying for AFW last year, and hope to have even more flights for 2016.
Pilots for AFW generally do not seek recognition for their service. The knowledge that we are helping people whose travel would be difficult or impossible as they struggle with life situations that they did not choose for themselves is rewarding enough.
I have been a licensed pilot since November 1999, accumulating nearly 1,200 hours of time in a variety of single engine airplanes. My wife, Mission Assistant Jackie Holloway, and I joined AFW in August 2014. I flew 7 missions in 2014, and followed it up with 20 missions in 2015.
I am based in Caldwell, Idaho but my flights have picked up and delivered people to and from Salt Lake City, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Spokane, Yakima, Salem, OR, Susanville, CA, Truckee, CA, and Reno, NV. Each flight is somewhat different in duration and location, but each is remarkably similar in the appreciation the passengers have in being able to fly to their destinations, turning hours of travel by car into a fraction of that time. The ages of passengers I have flown range from newborn babies, toddlers, young adults, grown men and women, and the elderly up to 75 years old. Teenagers with cancer, combat wounded veterans, a 3 year old heart transplant patient, a domestic abuse case, and children needing care at Shriners Hospitals have all been transported hundreds of miles each to their destinations. Along the way, I have met several other AFW pilots, each who share the same passion for helping someone –whose thanks and a smile are payment enough for a safe, free flight to and from appointments.
Thank you Rick, for giving back!!