AUSTIN, Texas — It was another big year for Texas Jacobson Aviation, which provided support to more than 10 organizations, including trans-oceanic flights, and rolling out a new mentorship program.
Founded in August 2010, by businessman Grant Jacobson, Texas Jacobson Aviation provides air transportation for organizations such as Grace Flight and Veterans Airlift Command.
In 2013, TJA flew more than 75 missions (280+ hours of flight time), according to officials.
Some of the more memorable missions included transportation for Apollo astronauts Walter Cunningham, Joe Engle and Fred Haise, to attend a conference at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.
It was a rare opportunity for TJA’s founder, Grant Jacobson, who noted, “I got to personally thank the men who made civilian flight at 90% the speed of sound a day-to-day reality.”
In December TJA flew Lt Col. Dick Cole, 98, one of the last surviving members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. TJA provided jet transportation for him and his family members from Central Texas to Shreveport, La., for the Advocare V100 Bowl where he was honored and presented with the 2013 Omar N. Bradley Spirit of Independence Award.
“It was the highlight of my year to be able to fly these missions,” said Gary Standifer, TJA’s chief pilot. “It was an honor and privilege to be able to give back to men who have done so much for our country.”
TJA partnered with many new organizations this past year, including the Kilimanjaro Warriors, Patriot Outdoors Adventures and the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
“The men and women the team flew were an inspiration,” officials said in a prepared release. “These organizations work to provide therapeutic care outside standard rehabilitation programs and TJA will continue to support their efforts throughout 2014.”
Texas Jacobson Aviation also increased its fleet, with the addition of a Bell 206 B3. The Blue Bell gives TJA the support it needs to take on shorter distance missions with lower operating costs, officials noted.
With this new addition, TJA is on target to expand its reach to include more organizations within Texas that need immediate short-range transportation, officials added.
In addition to flying missions, TJA contributed more than $35,000 to various organizations, including the NGPA Educational Fund and the Austin Food Bank, in an effort to extend their reach beyond medical and military need.
One of the company’s newest goals is to provide mentorship and training opportunities to young pilots. It achieved this by providing the tools necessary for one of its first mentees to receive his helicopter license.
“To be able to help, all while doing what we love, is truly humbling, and we will continue to expand our reach in 2014,” said Jacobson.