Stallion 51 teamed up with Mercy Flight Southeast to raise funds for the volunteer pilot organization by raffling a flight in Stallion 51’s Mustang. Hundreds of people from all over the country bought tickets hoping to win a hands-on orientation flight. The winner was announced at SUN ’n FUN. Angel Flight South Central Volunteer Pilot Jim Penn from Fort Worth, Texas, was that lucky winner.
Penn has been a pilot for over 10 years and flying for Angel Flight South Central since 2007. He recently upgraded from a Columbia 400 to a TBM. Both aircraft are well suited for flying volunteer pilot medical missions, as well as business travel.
Penn is a CPA by trade, and an expert witness concerning business valuations and financial matters, frequently flying his airplane to do business.
“I particularly like to fly children, especially those who live in rural areas and would not be able to receive the kind of medical care they require where they live,” he remarked. “My favorite missions were for a 2 year old named Caroline who had a rare autism spectrum disorder called Rett Syndrome. There was no cure for her disease so she had to make frequent trips to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.”
Penn’s family has a history of military aviation. His son Ryan is an aviation electrician, with a tattoo of a P-51 Mustang on his left arm, in honor of his grandfather who flew the P-51 in World War II.
Penn entered the raffle with the attitude that it was a worthwhile donation, and that he didn’t think he had any chance of winning. He purchased six tickets and it was his sixth ticket that won. He joked: “While I considered for a moment letting my son take my place, that moment passed as I thought about the thrill of the experience!”
Funds raised during the raffle will support the mission and assist in coordinating over 3,000 free flights each year.
Mercy Flight Southeast is a non-profit volunteer pilot organization that arranges free flights so children and adults can have access to the far-from-home doctors that can save their lives. Mercy Flight Southeast and Angel Flight South Central are members of the Air Charity Network, an association of charitable aviation organizations comprised of more than 7,500 pilots and who represent over 90% of all charitable non-emergency flights flown in the nation.