Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lindbergh Foundation Donates Airplane to Kenya Wildlife Service

Patty Wagstaff’s Annual KWS Pilot Training is a Success 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Feb. 18, 2010) — The Lindbergh Foundation announced that the donation of a factory-new 180HP A1C Husky bush plane to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and a five-day training program of the KWS air patrol has been successfully completed.

On January 29, 2010, a ceremony to formally donate the Husky—whose special registration numbers 5Y-KWL reflect “Kenya Wildlife Lindbergh“—was held at the KWS Wilson Hangar in Nairobi, Kenya. During his remarks, Lindbergh Foundation Chairman, President and CEO Larry Williams gave several reasons that the Lindbergh Foundation is committed to supporting training and programs for the Kenya Wildlife Service. ”KWS use of aviation technology to preserve wildlife is such a wonderful example of the Lindbergh Foundation’s mission,” noted Williams.   “After seeing the parks and wildlife first hand I can now better understand their challenges.” Williams commented on the selfless work of these native pilots, adding, “I believe the Lindberghs would be proud that the Foundation carrying their name is supporting the work of the Kenya Wildlife Service to help spot and discourage poaching of Kenya’s precious wildlife resource.  Thinking about Lindbergh’s famous quote, “I would rather have birds than airplanes,” Williams added, “I believe what we’re doing with KWS is proving to the world the Lindbergh’s philosophy that we can have—and enjoy—both.”

In addition to handing over the keys to the new Husky, the Lindbergh Foundation sponsored “Basic Flight Review” and emergency-maneuver training course for the KWS air patrol pilots. Led by internationally acclaimed air show performer Patty Wagstaff, warbird collector and pilot Dr. Richard Sugden, and certified airframe/powerplant mechanic and instructor Steve Phillips of Teton Aviation, the five day training covered precision flying skills, safety recovery, and crosswind and short field landings. Because KWS Airwing pilots frequently fly only 100 feet off the ground at a maximum of about 80 miles per hour, the pilot has very little time to react in an emergency.  As Wagstaff pointed out, “Pilot response must be correct, reflexive and immediate, which requires intense and regular training.” In addition to the pilot training expenses, the Lindbergh Foundation funded fuel for the aircraft, lodging, meals and some transportation expenses for the Husky.

The Lindbergh Foundation is grateful to Patty Wagstaff for her continued willingness to train KWS pilots to safely protect wildlife from poachers; to Dr. Rich Sugden and his wife, Sue, for their generous donation to the Lindbergh Foundation to purchase the Husky; to GUT-Works, LLC, for sponsoring the export paperwork, disassembly, containerizing, and shipping of the Husky; and to Forward Vision Systems for donating an EVS-100 infrared camera and display that will allow pilots to “see” at night, or in low-visibility operations.

In addition to those mentioned herein, The Lindbergh Foundation is grateful to these additional sponsors for their kind support in getting this donated Husky to its new home in Kenya:

·     Northwest Husky Sales. Driggs ID (KDIJ)
·     Teton Aviation Center, Driggs, ID (KDIJ)
·     American Equipment Sales, Lawrence, KS
·     Albert Humbert
·     Laufer Group International

About The Lindbergh Foundation

The Lindbergh Foundation <>  is a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Anoka, Minnesota, which supports great individual innovations that foster the environment for a planet in balance. The Lindbergh Foundation also values individual initiative and accomplishments.  Its programs are devoted to supporting, honoring, and educating individuals, through three major programs:  the annual Lindbergh Award, presented to individuals for significant contributions toward balancing nature and scientific innovation in their work; the Lindbergh Grants program, which provides grants in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927) for research or education projects that will make important contributions to the technology/environment balance; and a variety of educational events and publications centered on the balance theme.  

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