Date: December 11, 1973
Location: Fort Worth, TX
By: Jim Street
Newspaper: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
DALLAS – Wings of Hope, a nonprofit, nondenominational charity that provides airlift to missionary workers around the world, received a Cessna 180 Skywagon Monday from Allied Pilots Association, the union that represents pilots for American Airlines.
Capt. William Hyde Barry, vice president of APA, and Capt. Vernon Brown, chairman of the APA committee that got the plane, presented it to Wings of Hope in a ceremony in the American Airlines terminal.
Receiving the plane were Wings Chairman George Haddaway of Dallas and the two young men who will fly it in a relocation program in Guatemala – Sink Manning of Columbia, S. C. and Stan Eshmann of St. Louis, headquarters for Wings of Hope.
The single-engine Cessna is specially equipped for primitive landing field conditions.
Eshmann is new to the program, but Manning has been in Central America for nine months helping the government relocate people from nonproductive mountain lands to former jungle land that has been cleared off in Santa Cruz Quiche near the Mexican border.
Manning also spent six weeks in Peru learning the operations of Wings of Hope in the Amazon jungles of Peru and Brazil.
“This is our first adventure this close to civilization,” Haddaway said.
Manning said a graphic example of how much the airlift is needed is in the jungles.
You take off and 20 minutes later you can see where you are going and where you took off at the same time,” he said. “But the only other way to travel is by riverboat and that same trip by riverboat takes two months because of the twists and the bends and the turns (in the river.)”
Capt. Brown said about $8,000 was raised by union member to pay the difference between an insurance settlement on a plane that crashed and the new plane.
He said donations in the past have come from executives but “this is the first attempt to get the masses of people involved.”
Haddaway said, “This is the first pilot group and this is just the beginning.”
Wings of Hope has provided airlift to missionary work in Central and South America, Africa – where it all started a decade ago – and New Guinea.
After training native pilots-mechanics and radio operators, Wings of Hope then moves on to another area.
Of the 25 aircraft Wings of Hope has operated, 22 have been turned over to the people involved.