Date: June 1977
Magazine: NATA AirTrans News
About this time last year, Curt Erickson, President of the Air Associates Division of Van Dusen Aircraft Supply (an NATA Associate Member), was browsing through AirTran News and stopped short at an advertisement. He read about the need for aircraft for missionary-type runs in faraway places, and he thought about the Twin Beech 18 that Van Dusen had for sale. He made a call to St. Louis. The result was the donation of a $20,000 aircraft. Erickson thereby joined a long list of airline pilots, businessmen, soldiers of fortune, students, and aviation writers who constitute the power behind that symbol of aviation philanthropy, Wings of Hope.
Erickson made delivery of the Twin on October 8 to Edmund Anthony (Tony) DaRosa who heads up the SIU-Carbondale A&P school, and who has been an active supporter of “Wings” since its inception two decades back. DaRosa is one of those of aviation and related industries who befriend folks they will never see by keeping a fleet of light aircraft aiding the unfortunate and the afflicted throughout the world. The likes of Joseph G. Fabick , vice president of John Fabick Tractor Company; George E. Haddaway, publisher of Flight Magazine; John T. Tucker, president of Midcoast Aviation Services; Capt. Vernon H. Brown, retired American Airlines pilot; Paul Rodgers, senior vice president of Ozark Airlines; J. Sheldon Lewis, aviation writer; and David W. Kratz, president of National Aviation Underwriters believe in this organization.
Wings of Hope is a loosely-knit, non-profit service which provides planes, pilots, and radio communication in isolated areas where man has yet to see television, jet planes, and the things we take for granted. “Wings” has brought or seen to the acquisition of 30 planes for disaster relief and emergency aid in the far corners of the world. But more aircraft and supplies are desperately needed.
These planes transport supplies, technicians, medical equipment and medicines, emergency aid, and cargo. They all but fly into the eye of the hurricane to be there when help is needed most. They take the sick and injured to doctors, and sometimes vice-versa. They find their landing strip hacked out in the jungles of Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, and the parched deserts of East Africa. Where there is a need, there are Wings of Hope.
As in this story.
“Just in the last few weeks we have had to bring several people to the hospital. One case is the worst we have encountered — a young girl 14 years old who has epileptic attacks was left alone. Preparing tortillas in the small adobe hut, she fell into the fire. All one side of her body was burned. Arriving she was found just lying there for eight days without attention. We brought her immediately to the hospital. We went to visit her a few days ago and was told that the doctors had to cut her arm off. Talking to her (I said) I would ask our Father to help her in her suffering. In her little weak voice she said, “I don’t know how to pray.”
The good folks at Wings of Hope need help in acquiring more aircraft, avionics equipment … anything that keeps them in the air. Board Chairman, George E. Haddaway writes:
The U.S. Aviation Community has, in past years, been one of the most dedicated partners in Wings of Hope — now in its 15th year of service to God’s forgotten people in remote areas of our world where there weren’t any communications or decent aircraft transportation until we came on the scene. With your help, we have been able to put scores of airplanes, bush pilots and communications equipment to work helping isolated and needy peoples all over the planet, mainly in support of medical rescue activities and sound development programs. Without red tape!
We believe it’s a good time right now to look around your premises and find some surplus avionics, engines, and other equipment of value that a good and proven charity can use, swap, or turn into do-re-me for its day-to-day operations and support.
As most of you good folks know — donations to our tax-exempt and non-profit humanitarian organization are tax deductible. But that’s really a minor consideration when you think of the immense good such contributions create in helping the guys who have nothing and their children.”
Wings of Hope Headquarters is located at 2319 Hampton Avenue in St. Louis. Bill Edwards, Executive Director for “Wings” is there. He is a one-man dispatcher, ops manager and liason between the board and the rest of the world. “It’s a golden opportunity to bring the gospel imperatives and the benefits of civilization to forgotten people,” says Edwards of his job.
Joseph G. Fabick is president of the organization and John T. Tucker (former director of NATA) is chairman of the advisory board. Fabick’s field is heavy duty equipment; Tucker has long been in aviation. Bill Edwards was formerly a St. Louis manufacturer’s representative. All work together to give hope to some deserving peoples.
Take a minute, like Curt Erickson did last year, to look around your own shop for equipment that could be used by Wings of Hope. How many opportunities are there to feel a little like a hero?
#1: A medical emergency case Is loaded In the village of San Pablo on the Amazon in Peru. The Cessna 206 later flew to Iquitos, Peru, to deliver the patient to the Government Hospital there.
#2: Rlght: Wings of Hope renders regular service with radio communication and air transportation to remote outposts all over the world. In the Amazon area, there are no roads and emergency trips can only be made by air.