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  #1  
Old 12-21-2013, 07:59 PM
ScottSchmidt's Avatar
ScottSchmidt ScottSchmidt is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Default Santa Flight (Angel Flight West) - Dec. 2013

On Dec. 10th we were able to join in on this years Santa Flight from Salt Lake City to Cedar City to deliver toys and cash! In the mix of 15 planes were two of the best performing aircraft in the world, the RV-10! Rick Barnes and myself flew from Skypark (KBTF) to Salt Lake Regional (U42) to load up with gifts and make the 1.1 hour flight to Cedar City. We were very lucky with weather this year. There have been many storms blowing through with more snow than I remember the last two years, but on that Tuesday, the weather was absolutely perfect and cold.

Santa flight is put on by Angel Flight West and they have been doing it for 14 years. I have been able to do it one other time and look forward to next year. This year Santa Flight delivered 5000 lbs of toys and $6,500 to an under-funded Title 1 Elementary school.
Here are a couple of new reports on it for more information.
KSL News - Santa Flight 2013
Fox 13 News - Santa Flight 2013

This year for me was really fun, my wife was able to ditch work and took Anna (3.5 years old) out of pre-school. Don't worry, we read extra books that night to make sure she didn't get behind in her first of two years in preschool. Because we needed room for presents, Emily who is now 2, held down the fort at home.

We woke up early that morning and left for the airport. The night before I drove out to make sure the hangar door was not frozen and turned on the heater in the hangar to 55. We arrived to a warm plane and hangar and loaded up in the hangar because it was 8 degrees that morning and the wind was blowing around 10 mph, it was cold.

We had a short flight to U42 where we landed and started loading up gifts. The gifts were gathered by a local Boys Scout group. The two Elf's were very helpful and ran gifts to all the planes and tried to stay warm in the FBO between loads. They were very very hard workers. Thank you girls.



Here is a picture of Rick Barnes' Oshkosh Award Winning RV-10 loaded to the brim with presents.


Mrs. Claus and the Elf's trying to warm up.


I was very busy loading up my plane and Ricks, trying not freeze to death and did not get many pictures at U42. We finally were up and I contacted SLC Departure for flight following. With 15 planes in the air and ADS-B not in the area yet, I wanted eyes in the sky. They were asking us what was going on, they said there were many targets all along that route of flight.
The flight was incredible. The temperature at 10,500 ft was 22 deg F., and on the ground at Cedar City, -4F. There was definitely an inversion occurring.









Anna was happy on her iPod playing games and watching a movie.
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Scott Schmidt
Salt Lake City, UT

RV-10 N104XP (1280 Hours)
RV-12 N321UT (Sold)

Last edited by ScottSchmidt : 12-22-2013 at 01:20 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2013, 08:00 PM
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ScottSchmidt ScottSchmidt is online now
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Default Santa Flight (Angel Flight West) - Dec. 2013

We landed and they pulled us right up to the hangar where 600 kids were inside trying to stay warm. The Levitt Group donated the hangar for the day so they could watch the planes land and try not to freeze. They were screaming and having a blast.






The National Guard was there immediately to help unload the planes and transport the presents to the local school. Thanks guys!



As we waited for Santa to fly in, we pulled some kids out of the crowd to sit in the plane and be pilots for a few minutes. I don't think they will forget that.


We warmed up at the FBO while we waited for Santa and Anna enjoyed a chocolate donut.


Santa arrived and the kids were going crazy!




Video of Santa Arriving
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Scott Schmidt
Salt Lake City, UT

RV-10 N104XP (1280 Hours)
RV-12 N321UT (Sold)
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2013, 08:01 PM
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ScottSchmidt ScottSchmidt is online now
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Default Santa Flight (Angel Flight West) - Dec. 2013

Santa and Mrs. Claus were transported to the school for an assembly in the firetruck with National Guard in tow carrying the gifts. Back at the school, their choir sang Christmas songs and the whole class sang a few.
Video of kids singing







Here are a picture of a few of the pilots who flew down. Some had to fly back right away.


Anna was very happy to get a picture with Santa and the Elf's.


That activity exceeded my expectations. Steve Bollinger from Angel Flight West did an amazing job organizing this event. Everyone worked hard and volunteered their time to make it happen. The Boy Scouts gathered gifts and money, the pilots flew them down, the National Guard unloaded and transported the gifts, the Levitt Group donated their hangar, the school bus drivers donated their time and drove 600 kids to the airport and back and the local fire department transported Santa.
One would think that more money could have been given to the schools if the pilots gave the cash that it costs to transport the gifts, that really could have been purchased in Cedar City at the local Walmart. But that would miss the whole point of service activities in your community. The Scouts not only gained the experience of gathering 5000 lbs of toys, they flew down with the pilots and watched the smiles on the kids faces. The kids also had their part by singing to everyone who helped out. We had teachers coming up to us after the assembly, thanking everyone and telling us what a fun day they had. One teacher said to me that it was the greatest day of her life. She said the kids had fun but the teachers really had fun, they just don't get to do things like this very often.

We all take for granted the things we see and do and how something as small as a visit to an airport to catch a vision of something new changes a life. We see how many good people are around us willing to help and improve lives.

Not only was it fun to help others but to do it with my daughter and wife made it perfect.

Merry Christmas!


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Salt Lake City, UT

RV-10 N104XP (1280 Hours)
RV-12 N321UT (Sold)

Last edited by ScottSchmidt : 12-23-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2013, 08:03 PM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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Default Great job!

Wow, I can see this now on the front page Monday of Doug's VAF News!
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RV-7 Wings
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?Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2013, 11:27 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rv7boy View Post
Wow, I can see this now on the front page Monday of Doug's VAF News!
Yep, surely can.
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Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

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  #6  
Old 12-22-2013, 06:39 AM
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Tim 8-A Tim 8-A is offline
 
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Default

Scott, what a great day you helped create for the kids. I love seeing how someone uses their talent in such a positive and meaningful way, great story....Merry Christmas.

On a side note I sure would like to hear how you heated a hangar to 55 degrees overnight in 8 degree weather?
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Tim Blake
Colleyville, Tx
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RV-10 Purchased flying.. Panel upgrade complete.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:59 AM
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ScottSchmidt ScottSchmidt is online now
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim 8-A View Post
Scott, what a great day you helped create for the kids. I love seeing how someone uses their talent in such a positive and meaningful way, great story....Merry Christmas.
I agree. Angel Flight West did an amazing job organizing this and pulling all these groups together. I was having fun being involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim 8-A View Post
On a side note I sure would like to hear how you heated a hangar to 55 degrees overnight in 8 degree weather?
It is fully insulated with a large forced air heater. I don't think it has ever frozen inside.
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Salt Lake City, UT

RV-10 N104XP (1280 Hours)
RV-12 N321UT (Sold)
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2013, 08:29 AM
Jackm Jackm is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Prosser,WA
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Default Thanks Scott

Great writeup
Great service! Making a difference in others lives, changes both them and you for life!
Our 10 is close to flying and one goal we have is to utilize this tool to do exactly what you just did. As our friends from down under woud tell us "good on you Scott"

BTW...good looking family!
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Dues 2015 pd
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2013, 09:06 AM
Tonard Bales Tonard Bales is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Amityville, NY
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Default Wonderful !

Woke up to bummer work related emails telling about missing our monthly "goals" (which all agreed when they were set last January were positively unattainable. Short memories.)

Immediately tuned in VAF for a lift and read about Santa Flight. I feel like a Million Bucks now. The video of kids singing is beautiful. Very uplifting.

Scott, I would be remiss not to mention how beautiful your family is. Watching our kids during this Magical Time of Year keeps us young at heart forever. Enjoy!

Last edited by Tonard Bales : 12-23-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2013, 09:20 AM
stlstevens stlstevens is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Redding, CA
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Default WOW!

Thank you for sharing this WONDERFUL event with us! Great pictures of the flight and ALL the volunteers. I love seeing the children's faces and hearing them sing! Merry Christmas to ALL!
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