Avionics News July 2017 - 21
FACILITIES: 30,000 square feet
FOUNDED: 1962 by Bill Edwards, Joseph
Fabick, Paul Rodgers and George Haddaway
WHAT THEY DO:
Wings of Hope is an aviation nonprofit
that delivers humanitarian programs
around the globe to lift people in need
toward health and self-sufficiency.
EMPLOYEES: 12 staff, about 250
AEA MEMBER SINCE: 2009
In Belize, Wings of Hope pilot TJ Stewart
takes a call to medevac a patient.
In 2003, Wings of Hope launched its U.S.-based Medical
Relief & Air Transport Program. Until then, Wings of Hope
had exclusively served communities in developing countries.
Today, the program owns and operates three aircraft - one
Cessna 206 and two Piper Senecas - to provide medical air
The aircraft are specially equipped to accommodate
stretchers, wheelchairs and medical equipment. The
majority of MAT patients are children, many of whom have
rare diseases or birth defects, and require special, lifesaving
treatments not available near where they live. The program
is always offered free of charge.
At its 30,000-square-foot facility at Spirit of St. Louis
Airport, Wings of Hope's licensed A&P mechanics volunteer
their time to maintain the aircraft, and perform repairs
and installations. In 2013, the organization completed an
expansion of the facility, adding more office space and
square footage to the hangar. The expansion was largely to
accommodate the growing MAT Program and provide space
for additional staff focused on increasing funding for the
organization's domestic and international programs.
The value of hope
In the United States, Wings of Hope's greatest challenge
is keeping up with the demand for its MAT Program. In
2016, the organization flew 498 missions transporting 285
people to care.
"We had to decline 371 requests for service in 2016,
largely because we didn't have the capacity to fly them,"
Enright said. "Even though the United States is home to
the world's best medical facilities, many, many people
- especially those living in rural areas - have no way to
access the specialized care they or their children need
when they get struck by serious illness."
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