Able Flight has selected Mallory Zackery of Georgia and Kenneth Hendrickson of Minnesota as its 21st and 22nd Able Flight Scholarship winners.
Zackery and Hendrickson each became disabled due to violent acts. For Zackery, it was a shot from a robber’s gun as he was making the night deposit for the store where he served as a manager. It left him paralyzed. Hendrickson suffered multiple major internal and orthopedic injuries as he was thrown from his Humvee when a powerful IED exploded beneath it.
They are years apart in age, and were continents apart when their lives were changed forever, but the two men have a lot in common. Neither believes in self-pity, and they share the determination to meet not only the physical challenges they must face every day, but to meet the challenges of becoming pilots.
In his application, Zackery wrote that, after learning of Able Flight, “Now a fire is burning inside of me, a desire to rise again, to do all of the things I never thought possible. Learning to fly an airplane will prove to me, and to others, that this is not the end, that I don’t have to simply be that person in a wheelchair; that I can continue to live and learn, to grow and mature.”
Hendrickson wrote: “It would have been very easy to sit home and feel sorry for myself and get depressed, but I have a zest for life and for living. I have to constantly challenge myself to overcome these difficulties. Obtaining a pilot’s license would prove to be the ultimate challenge, both physically and mentally.”
Able Flight said that the TBM Owners and Pilots Association Foundation is providing funding for Zackery’s training, which will take place in a specially-adapted Sky Arrow 600 at Hansen Air Group in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Hendrickson’s training, at LSA North in Lakeville, Minnesota, is being supported by the members of the East Cooper Pilots Association of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. This is the second year that ECPA has provided support for a wounded veteran, in honor of the group’s late friend, Colonel Woody Faison.
For information: www.ableflight.org.