A recent training flight at SunState Aviation at Florida’s Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) turned into a life-saving mission when the student and CFI transported a critically ill woman in need of a lung transplant to Gainesville.
The pair helped Angel Flight complete its mission of delivering the woman from Fort Lauderdale to Gainesville Jan. 28. Mike Camelin with SunState Aviation received a call from Glen Huckeba, Kissimmee Gateway Airport’s tower chief controller, informing Camelin of an Angel Flight plane, enroute from Fort Lauderdale to Gainesville with a lung transplant patient, that had lost its alternator and had to land. The patient desperately needed to get to Gainesville where she was scheduled to undergo surgery to receive a new lung.
SunState Aviation, a flight school, had an instrument student who was preparing to embark on a dual cross-country instructional flight to, of all places, Gainesville. Pre-flight inspection was complete, a flight plan was filed and they were almost ready to leave.
Camelin stopped the pilots before they started the engine and asked if they could take the patient the rest of the way to Gainesville. The patient was promptly transferred to their airplane, the flight plan was amended to let air traffic control know this was a priority flight and they left for Gainesville. The patient safely reached her destination to receive her life-saving surgery.