I read a lot about animal welfare and animal rescue because it’s an area of interest to me. One day I read an article about a recreational pilot using his small airplane to take some dogs from one part of the U.S. where they weren’t likely to get adopted to an area of the country where they were more in-demand and there was a no-kill movement to give them additional time to get adopted.
A light bulb went off. I write for King Air magazine and Beechcraft owners are some of the most passionate about using their airplanes for good causes. I was certain there had to be King Air owners out there who used their airplanes to help animals. If I could find a few, I could feature them in the magazine and hopefully encourage other pilots to help save animals.
After some Google work, I contacted the Pilots N Paws organization to see if they could help connect me with one of their volunteer pilots who flew a King Air. Honestly, most of the pilots who volunteer there are flying much smaller aircraft so I didn’t get a huge list of names. But I got a name — Chris and Jackie Gaertner of Palo Alto, Calif.
This couple was amazing in helping me tell the story of how they started using their brand-new King Air C90GTx for humanitarian missions as soon as they took delivery of it last December. In addition to helping take cats, dogs and other animals to new homes, the Gaertners also fly cancer patients to appointments and they lease their aircraft at a discounted rate to an organ transplant team.
You can read the full article in the September issue of King Air magazine, published by Village Press. The publication’s audience includes owners of the more than 7,000 Beech King Air turboprop aircraft that have been delivered since 1964, as well as prospective owners. Click on the words “open publication” below the image of the cover or copy and paste this link: http://issuu.com/melindaschnyder/docs/sept_2014_kamag_pilotsnpaws_for_iss/0