“Without general aviation, heart, kidney and liver organ transplantation would not be possible,” says David Knoblauch, president of Venture Aviation, which is located at the Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) in South Carolina.
“A heart can only last about four hours outside a human body, so the total travel time is very limited,” Knoblauch said, adding, “Commercial airlines can’t be used for organ transportation for several reasons: because many hospitals and patients aren’t located close enough to commercial airports; an entire transplant crew has to travel with the precious cargo; and with only four hours available getting to the airport, through security, onto a scheduled flight, arriving and getting to the hospital just isn’t achievable.”
“Hospital helicopters can’t fly these missions because they are too slow and they can’t hold the number of people and amount of equipment that is needed,” added Knoblauch.
Venture Aviation’s crew is on call 24/7 and flies several hundred of these missions each year, he said.
Venture Aviation and GMU were recently featured in a three-part story, “Life Changing Mission,” that aired on Fox Carolina TV. The program’s purpose was to increase awareness of organ and tissue donations that are made possible by making your wishes known on your drivers license.
“Shows like this help highlight how critical general aviation is for our community,” said Joe Frasher, Airport Director of GMU. “Venture Aviation is an asset to GMU and the many organ recipients that it has helped,” said Frasher.
To view the series: