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Able Flight announces Barnstorming Tour to AirVenture

Able Flight pilots will fly two specially equipped Sky Arrow 600 special light-sport aircraft like this to Oshkosh next month.

Brad Jones and Sean O'Donnell, Able Flight's first scholarship winners who earned their Sport Pilot Certificates, will embark on a seven-day, 1,000-mile barnstorming tour in Atlanta on July 21, heading for Oshkosh and an opening day arrival ceremony at AeroShell Square at AirVenture.

Both pilots are wheelchair-bound due to spinal cord injuries suffered in vehicle accidents and they'll be flying a matched set of specially equipped Sky Arrow 600 special light-sport aircraft. Starting at Atlanta's Cobb County Airport, they'll fly to Knoxville, Tennessee; Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; Champaign, Illinois, and Waukesha, Wisconsin, before their final leg to Wittman Regional Airport the morning of July 28.

"Our goal is to bring these special pilots and airplanes to as many people as possible as they travel to Oshkosh," said Charles Stites, Able Flight executive director. "It's one thing to read about a person with a disability becoming a pilot; it's quite another to hear from them in person how they have overcome traditional barriers and successfully faced the challenges of learning to fly."

At each stop, the pilots will meet with current and former patients of spinal rehabilitation hospitals and organizations that serve wounded and disabled veterans. Local pilot groups and media are also invited to attend, see the airplanes, and learn first hand what it takes for a person with a disability to become a pilot.

The tour is being funded in part through a lead grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund, and the aircraft have been made available by Hansen Air Group and Philly Sport Pilot, companies that provide training for Able Flight scholarship winners.

For more details on tour stops and how individuals can help support the trip, visit www.ableflight.org.


FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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