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Old 12-09-2018, 07:09 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,047
Default Operation Good Cheer

Yesterday, nearly 300 aircraft of all types and sizes took to the sky out of Pontiac International Airport to deliver nearly 20,000 Christmas presents to about 7,000 foster children throughout the state of Michigan.
A massive undertaking with hundreds of volunteers wrapping gifts into the early hours, manning numerous loading stations across the tarmac, handling pilot registrations, mission assignments, and pilot instructions.
This year featured a NOTAM 20+ pages long and the designation of the airspace around PTK as DC SFRA (yeah, just like Washington DC). Planes were staged according to capability (instrument, FIKI, non-instrument, can you carry bicycles?) and everyone was assigned a discrete transponder code, even if you chose not to file.
Amazing effort and coordination by so many people working behind the scenes. Flying was the easy part.
Buddy Ted Gauthier flew wing with his RV6 as we managed to stay VFR at about 1500 AGL going across the state. We were met at Big Rapids airport by another group of kids and volunteers who formed a ?bucket brigade? to help offload the planes while hot coffee and food waited for us inside.
Flying back into PTK, our ADSB looked a bit like Oshkosh arrival. Ever have one of those days when you feel blessed to be able to fly? Yup, in so many ways.
Terry, CFI
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:45 AM
plehrke's Avatar
plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,830

Sounds like a fantastic event. Excellent work by all and sounds like the ultimate in understanding the Christmas spirit.

How many years has this been going on? Does this happen in other states that you know of so I can get involved?
RV-6A - flying 970+ hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:18 AM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kennesaw, Ga
Posts: 881
Default This is awesome!

Very heartwarming. I would love to be a part of something like this in the Southeast if anyone knows of similar event before Christmas.

Thank you for sharing and yes we are all very blessed to do what we do.
RV-7 - Regretfully Sold
RV-10 - Sold

Supporting VAF since the first visit
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:27 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,047
Default OCG - 40+ Years

Here?s a link.

It started small and continues to grow thru the efforts of many dedicated volunteers. Specific gifts are earmarked for each child, with bicycles probably being the most popular single item.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:04 PM
eric.the.blonde eric.the.blonde is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Ann Arbor
Posts: 37
Default Wow!

Incredible. I had no idea.
Eric G.
Ann Arbor, MI
RV-9A under construction (wings, on order: QB fuse, IO-320, and prop)
President, EAA Chapter 333 Flying Stinkers
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:27 PM
spannbauer spannbauer is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Posts: 11

Awesome! I work at Ford and have hosted 3 hot-dog lunches where all of the proceeds went to Operation Good Cheer. My tiny amount of money went into the pot that sponsored 2,200 kids covered by Ford this year. It's good to hear that others are having a good time with it too!
Working on RV-14A emp
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