April 27, 2009
By Dave Hirschman
Alan Henley and son.
When former Aeroshell Team Leader Alan Henley was severely injured last year in a home accident, his flying friends quickly came up with the idea to raise money to offset his massive medical costs: an airshow.
They carried it off in spectacular fashion April 18 and 19 at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Fla., where more than 30 performers flew each day--and all donated their services and paid their own expenses to be there. More than 28,000 people attended the two-day event, and organizers told Henley, his wife Jennifer, and kids Skylar and Brandon the result at Sun ’n Fun on April 25. The Jacksonville show raised $110,000 for the Alan Henley Foundation.
Alan Henley and family with the Aeroshell Team.
“The aviation community is a very caring and dedicated group of people,” said Henley, who lost the use of his legs and has limited mobility in his arms as the result of an accident on a chin-up bar. “They take care of each other. It’s an honor to be considered one of them. This will definitely help us out quite a bit.”
The Aeroshell Team, a group that flies four North American A/T-6s, flew their aerobatic formation routines in Jacksonville and performed all week at Sun ’n Fun.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
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