July 29, 2013
By Dave Hirschman
The Veterans Airlift Command, a volunteer organization that provides wounded combat veterans with free transportation on general aviation aircraft, has added a new mission—helping Iraq and Afghanistan veterans return to civilian life.
“Team-Up” pairs veterans with GA pilots and uses aviation as a way to give returning vets a new challenge, focus, and a community of supportive people.
Andrew Lourake, a former U.S. Air Force pilot and the first above-the-knee amputee pilot in any U.S. armed service, will direct the new program. While flying at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., Lourake counseled hundreds of military amputees at nearby Walter Reed and Bethesda medical centers. He was a founding member of the peer visitor program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Lourake and Veterans Airlift Command founder Walt Fricke will give details of the Team-Up program at the EAA AirVenture.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor 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.
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program, which gives high school students a chance to earn their private pilot certificate in the summer between their junior and senior year, is accepting applications for its 2015 scholarship.
If only one person had been helped, it all would have been worthwhile. But much more than that has been accomplished over the 25-year life of the National Gay Pilots Association, said its executive director.
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