2020 First Quarter Update
We have completed three flights so far this year. One was to bring mother and son Gavin to Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital for Children from Owensboro KY, then a week later return them. The third was the first of six planned "Bible Flights" this year to a tri-state airport, These flights allow us to fullfill our credo to "spread the Gospel of Christ throughout the aviation community. And in addition it allows non-commercial pilots to stay current with their piloting skills.
The attached photo is of our pilot Dick White and co-pilot Hank Gieseler and passengers Gavin and mother Natalie.
2019 Year End Report
Rich Perry and I attented the PCI National Convention this year in Branson,MO and were inspired by the reports from other chapters around the country about what God is allowing them to accomplish. We ended 2019 having flown a total of 18 mercy flights this year and partnered with the Tennessee Chapter in Tullahoma Tennessee to man a booth at the AOPA Fly-In in September. We also partnerd with the Western Pennsylvania Chapter at their booth in Latrobe, PA. These air shows are the perfect venue to talk to folks about our mission and to hand out New Testaments, John & Romans and balsa gliders to the kids.
We are thankful that the NE Ohio Chapter merged with us and will retain our name as chartered (Cincinnati Tri-State Chapter) but now serve all of Ohio,North Central Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. This merger brought the opportunity to participate in and continue a ministry that their chapter has embraced for a number of years held at Skyview Ranch in Millersburg,OH where aspiring missionary pilots are given an introduction to flying in and maintaining the type of aircraft that can be used in missionary aviation. Brigade Air (http://www.brigadeair.org).
We are continuing in prayer as God brings other mercy flights, air show opportunities and new members to the chapter in 2020.
Mercy Flight Update 2019
Our pilots: (Dick White, Rich Perry Bob Overman Jeff Smith Matt Citak and Dennis Estell Chris Nyhuis) have flown 11 mercy flights this year through August. All have been to transport Jimmy and Denese to and from their home in Hazard KY to Waukegan, IL where he has been undergoing cancer treatment. We are continuing in prayer as God brings other mercy flights, air show opportunities and new members to the chapter. Rich Perry and I attended the PCI National Convention this year in Branson,MO and were inspired by the reports from other chapters around the country about what God is allowing them to accomplish.
Your continued prayers are appreciated.
Mercy Flight 1901 Jimmy Deaton
Our first trip of 2019 was made on January 14th and 15th with new member Chris Nyhuis and myself flying an SR-22 to Hazard, KY to pick up Jimmy and Denise Deaton and flew them to Waukegan, Illinois. The weather was low ceilings and icing in the clouds up to 5000 feet at our departure from Cincinnati and also at Hazard and Waukegan. The Cirrus SR-22 that we were in is certified for flight into known icing conditions and all 4 of us were glad of that.
We stayed all night in Waukegan and flew Jimmy and Denise back to Hazard the next day with more icing and low clouds at all 3 airports. Denise called me from the hospital the second day and was so happy to report that the new cancer treatment was working on Jimmy, Praise God !
2018 Year End Summary
We are thankful to God for enableing us to fly 23 mercy flights in 2018
Our first two flights for 2019 are scheduled for the 14th and 15th of January.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Pslm 107
MERCY MISSION 1819: Hurricane Florence
Captain Bob Overman has a heart to serve those in need and has wanted to fly relief supplies to areas that are hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters. After hurricane Florence hit in September 2018 he got his chance. He and Rich Perry flew twin Cessna 320 N299A to Raleigh-Durham Int'l to work with Operation Air-Drop and over a three day period flew six flights to flooded areas in eastern North Carolina: (Wilmington 2 times, Cape Fear, Laurinburg, Henderson, and Ellis) It was a non-stop whirlwind few days! Operation Air-Drop http://www.operationairdrop.com was a fine tuned system of "organized chaos" as they called it. There were hundreds of volunteers, organizing, sorting, loading and flying. It is an amazing group that does wonderful work moving supplies to those in need and came about as a result of all the need created by the hurricanes of 2017.
Captain Bob Overman by D. Estell
MERCY MISSION 1818: Jimmy Deaton
We had a very different experience flying Jimmy and Denise to Waukegan last week 6/18-23/18. Pete Sweemer flew with me on this trip which started out fine. We picked up the Deatons at the Wendell Ford airport near Hazard, KY. The weather didn’t pan out as we expected. Thinking it would improve, the closer we got to Chicago the worse the weather got. (days later, I found out that they had closed O’hare that night) We ended up landing at Aurora, IL before the rains came. We soon found out that there was no one around. It was after hours and when we found a taxi driver that would pick us up, we met him at the base of the airport beacon. We struggled to get out of a locked up “secure” airport. Some went under the gate/fence and I had to climb over it. We talked the cabbie into driving us all the way to Waukegan and we got there in time for Jimmy to get an hour or two of sleep before leaving for his treatment.
Not done yet!
Jimmy seemed like he came through his treatment pretty well while Pete and I worked up a plan to get back to the airport. After an Uber ride to rent a car, the weather still wasn’t ready to cooperate. We ended up driving to Cincinnati where we met Jimmy’s family who drove them home to Jackson. The next morning I had to fly to LA for work for the rest of the week. Then on Saturday Pete and I drove the rental car back to Aurora to fly home. Should have been routine, but no..... The airplane was pretty well soaked inside from the rain which (I think) led to two instrument panel failures??? (still don’t know how it got so wet inside) We made it home without incident so I guess it was a sort of a roundabout success!!!
Pray for Jimmy...
Captain Bob Overman
Amazing Grace Kettle Corn Event Update
Our first event of the year on May 19th was a winner,even though a strong spring storm interrupted the Troy, OH Food Truck Rally for a short time in the afternoon and destroyed our little canopy.
The 50 food trucks there offered great food, from gourmet fare to deep fried goodies, all that stuff we want to eat but shouldn't (oreos, cheese cake, Twinkies, etc.). No word on who of us yielded to that temptation !
The event organizers want us back next year and we want to make this an annual event !
We enjoyed seeing and talking to the folks who bought our delious treat that our partners in ministry, http://www.amaizinggrace.com introduced to us back in 2013. This event also marked the first time that our new ministry partner, Circuit Riders, a motorcycle ministry, helped us staff our booth. They did a GREAT job !
Mercy Mission 1814: Tillmans from Owensboro KY to Cincinnati Shriners Hospital
We flew two missions in April and two in May and the total for the year is 15.
On the 14th mission, May 2nd, I was joined by our newest pilot member Jim Witte. We departed from Clermont County Airport enroute to Owensboro, KY where Mike from the Arkansas Chapter had flown our passengers from Kennet MO. We were glad to see that Gavin is healing from his burns he suffered two years ago.
We arrived on schedule and a shuttle from Shriners' Hospital transported them there for the next mornings' appointment for a procedure to remove scar tissue. All went well and the following day Bob Overman and Rich Perry flew the twin Cessna, back to Owensboro after being delayed by weather for several hours so it was around midnight when they landed back in Cincinnati.
Mercy Mission 1808 Jimmy Deaton
Our 8th flight of this infant year began on Monday 2/26 after a 40 minute weather delay. Our route of flight today would take us to Hazard KY, Waukegan IL then back to Batavia OH. ATC cleared us direct to Waukegan and included an on course heading which took us down to 2000 feet along the Chicago Skyline from where we made a visual approach into Waukegan. While passing over the now closed Meigs Field I lamented not having the chance to land there before it's 2003 closure. After landing Jim and I enjoyed a light lunch, prayer and conversation with our passengers Jim and Denese while waiting for their ground transportation that would transport them to the treatment center. Jimmy said his doctor may clear him for return to work in May.
Tri-State Chapter honored as faith based organization
Tennessee/Cincinnati Joint Mission
On Thursday, Jan 25 2017, I flew Tracey and her service dog named Steele from 2M2 (Lawrenceburg, TN) to I68 (Warren County, OH). Tracey, a USAF veteran and member of Working Dogs for Vets, was returning home from her one week service dog project. Our mission was conducted in my 1973 single engine Bellanca Super Viking at an altitude of 9500 feet in clear conditions with an flight time of approximately 120 minutes. The 290 mile flight was smooth and uneventful. Both passengers (human and K9) were relaxed and seemed to enjoy the flight!
Captain Michael Spurgeon Tennessee Chapter, PCI
Mercy Mission 1801: Jimmy Deaton From Jackson, KY to Waukegan, IL
The first day of 2018 found most of the mid-west and east in the deep freeze. It was six degrees F when Flight Coordinator Dick White and I arrived in Jackson, KY where Jimmy and Denese Deaton met us with a piping hot and delious pizza for lunch. We enjoyed the pizza while getting aquainted with them. We gave them a pre flight breifing, prayed and departed for Waukegan, IL at 1;10 PM.
The weather was clear with a few scattered clouds all the way. Air Traffic Control gave us a course that would take us over Lake Michigan but we requested and were given an ammended route closer to the shoreline. There was ominous looking ice in the lake and we did not want to be at an altitude over the lake from which we could not glide to land in the event of an engine failure.
We were 3 miles off shore as we approached the Chicago skyline 34 miles south of Waukegan and landed 2 hours 45 minutes after take off. The temperature in Waukegan was 2 degrees but inside FBO in the warmth we enjoyed a warm drink with the Deatons as they waited for their shuttle to the hotel. They expressed their appreciation for the reduction of their air and ground travel time from 9 hours to 4.
We thank God for allowing us to serve them and pray that it be God's will that Jimmy be healed.
Captain Dennis Estell
Mercy Mission 1710: The Tillmans returning home from Cincinnati Shriners
On November 17, 2017, Jeff Darling and I flew N737GE, a Cessna 172, from Warren County Airport, (KI68) to Cincinnati Lunken Airport, (KLUK). We picked up Natalie and Gavin there and flew them to Owensboro, Kentucky (KOWB) to meet an airplane from PCI Arkansas Chapter for their return trip home to Missouri. The weather at our arrival time in Owensboro was forecast to be good with 5 miles visibility and a 2500 foot ceiling.
When we were only 20 miles from the airport we were given holding instructions and informed we were number 3 for the instrument approach. Unexpectedly, the cloud ceiling had dropped to 600 foot overcast and flight visibility down to 1 mile so arrivals were backing up! Natalie and Gavin are seasoned PCI passengers by now and they enjoyed the trip, low visibility and all!
Dick White Flight Coordinator
Mercy Mission 1709: The Tillmans to Cincinnati Shriners
On the morning of November 16, 2017, co-pilot Jeff Darling and I flew N3537C, a Cessna 182, from Warren County Airport to Madisonville, Kentucky. There we met up with an aircraft from our sister Arkansas Chapter. They arrived with Natalie and little Gavin Tillman on board from their home in Missouri. Our mission was to deliver Gavin to his doctors appointment scheduled for the next day at Cincinnati Shriners Hospital.
Before we departed for Cincinnati, I asked Natalie if they were hungry seeing it was lunch time. She said that both she and Gavin were indeed hungry so I borrowed the crew car from the airport operator and off to the Sticky Pig Restaurant we went for some good barbecue! The flight from Madisonville to Cincinnati Lunken Airport was much more enjoyable on a full stomach! We were blessed with good flying weather and just some scattered clouds enroute.
Love in Jesus, Jim
Mercy Mission 1708: Gavin Tillman Kennett MO to Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital
This flight began at 0500 on the morning of October 5th with Captain Jim Schultz arriving at my house to drive us to the Warren County Airport, Lebanon, OH where the Cessna 206 StationAir had been taken out of the hanger and topped off with 92 gallons of fuel a few hours earlier. Marginal VFR flight conditions prevailed for the first 30 minutes of the flight in the typically smooth earlier morning air with clear skies to Kennett and Lunken.
After loading our passengers in Kennett it was time for us to have a pre-flight prayer and little Gavin asked if he could say the prayer this time …......he asked God for a “safe flight and a visit to McDonalds and to play video games” when he arrived ….... what a precious blessing to hear this prayer from his 5 year old heart !!
PFC Auto Pilots Crew , Bob and Judy Francia, met us as at Lunken and drove little Gavin and Natalie to the Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital for Children for his latest appointment.
This marked the 10th flight since 2016 we have been able to serve them.
This was my first time flying with Jim who handled the radios so I could fly and navigate. I will be the envy of my fellow general aviation pilots when they know a Delta Chaptain was MY co-pilot.
Captain Dennis Estell
Mercy Mission 1707: Tillmans from Kennett, MO to Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital
On September 17, 2017, Co-Pilot Rich Perry and I flew to Kennett, to pick up Gavin and Natalie and bring them back to Cincinnati for Gavin’s doctor appointment. It was great to see them again; Gavin was his usual vibrant self! He seemed to be doing very well and was happy to fly. I wish I had a tenth of his energy. He might just a pilot someday, he really seems to like it!
We were quickly back in the air and settled in. They both fell asleep which always makes me happy to see that my passengers are calm and comfortable (the cooler temps at altitude also helped on a hot evening departing southern Missouri). We averaged 180kts at 11,000 feet and got to Lunken Airport in only 2 hours. Natalie mentioned how quickly we arrived. Bob and Judy Francia were waiting for us at the airport and drove them downtown to the hospital. Rich and I were again blessed to be able to help the Tillmans with one part of their travels!
Captain Bob Overman
Mercy mission 1706: The Riles from Paducah, KY to Cincinnati Children's Hospital
On August 26th, 2017 PFC photographer Jim Sutter and I flew down to Paducah, Kentucky to pick up and return Rachel Riles and her Mother Martha, to Cincinnati Childrens Hospital. Jim Sutter came along to accomplish some mission filming for his promotional video project.
Except for our take off from Cincinnaati being delayed by 20 minutes as we awaited our departure clearence from Air Traffic Control, the flight to Paducah was great. Fortunately, we arrived within 15 minutes of our pilot friends from the Arkansas chapter who flew Rachel and Martha on the first leg of their trip from home to Cincinnati. I have flown them 3 other times to and from Children's Hospital in recent years so it was great to see them again! Rachel seemed to be doing well and she is really growing up! We gave them a Pilot's fo Christ gift bag which they were very glad to get. Martha especially liked the homemade bag and Rachel was excited agout the stuffed animal inside (thanks to the efforts of Joslyn Burt who made all that possible) ! It was a beautiful day to fly and the trip to Cicinnati didn't disappoint. The ladies had a nice long nap on the way so I think the ride must have been good!
Thank you, Captain Bob Overman
Mercy Mission 1705: Cincinnati to Kennett MO
On June 16th, co-pilot Dennis Estell and I met at 12 noon to begin our mission to Kennett, MO. We flew the plane empty from Clermont County Airport to Cincinnati Lunkin Field where we picked up little Gavin Tillman and his mom. Taking off shortly thereafter, we climbed to 8,000' in ideal conditions for our 2 hour flight to Missouri.
After about an hour I noticed clouds starting to appear in the distance. As we continued forward, the clouds began building and it became apparent that we were headed smack into a developing line of storms. I soon decided to divert our flight into Dyersburg, TN Airport and within minutes the rain hit us!
After waiting almost 3 hours with no weather change, it was decided to drive the Tillmans the 40 miles home to Kennett. Oddly enough no ground transportation was available of any sort at the airport but the airport manager finally agreed to loan us his car. What a dilemma! Dennis and I drove the Tillmans home, returned to the airport and started our return flight home in now good weather conditions. As Dennis and I left Clermont County Airport at midnight, tired and hungry, we had the deep satisfaction of completing another successful Pilots for Christ mercy mission!
Captain Rich Perry
Mercy Mission 1703: The Tillmans from Shriners Hospital, Cincinnati to Kennett, Missouri
Co-pilot Jim Schultz and I flew Gavin and his mother Natalie home to Missouri on February 2, 2017. They visited Gavin's doctor at Shriners Hospital here in Cincinnati. Gavin is full of energy as expected for a young boy of 5 years old!!! I believe the doctor was encouraged with Gavin's progress and the trip home was very smooth at 8000 feet. We got started later than expected but that was not a problem. There was a slight bit of turbulence which quickly subsided and we got in to Kennett at about 7:30 central time. It was great to see them again and Gavin was very happy to be home! I wish I had half of his energy!!! Soon, Jim and I were headed back to Cincinnati. At 11,000 feet we reached 225 knots (ground speed) at times, which helped bring us home in under 2 hours. Again, I was reminded of how blessed I am to be able make these flights!
Captain Bob Overman
Mercy Mission 1702: Gavin Tilman from Cincinnati, Oh to Kennett, MO and back.
On Thursday morning, February 2nd, Co-Pilot Dennis Estell and I met at Clermont County Airport to pick up a Cessna 182 for Mercy Mission 1702 to Kennett, MO and back. We were to bring Gavin Tilman and his Mother to Cincinnati Shriners that afternoon for his burn check up.
It was cold, very cold, so it took a while to pre-flight the plane, get fuel and oil, and pick up our instrument clearance to Kennett. We finally departed a few minutes late at 0835. Cincinnati Approach Control assisted us as we climbed to 8,000' on course southwest. Unfortunately, we had 45 knots of headwind as we leveled at 8,000' so we descended to 6,000' where the winds were lighter. I had several cups of coffee before take off and found that as Kennett Airport came into sight my bladder was about to burst! I decided to make a straight-in approach to runway 20 with a smooth landing so luckily I made it to the bathroom before the "dam burst".
Gavin and Natalie arrived a half hour later so we got underway in good VFR(visual flight) conditions back to Cincinnati. Now with a tailwind we arrived at Cincinnati Lunkin Airport in under 2 hours! Another PCI crew would return the Tilmans home to Missouri that evening after Gavin's appointment. It was overall a good day and another successful mercy mission by Pilots For Christ. I look forward to the next!
Captain Rich Perry
Mission Profile Report 1701: Ruth Baker from Atlanta, Georgia to Cincinnati, Ohio
Dave Evans and I flew empty from Warren County Airport (I-68) down to Fulton County Airport (FTY) in Atlanta, Georgia Wednesday January 25th in his newly bought Beechcraft Baron. We were repositioning to Fulton County Airport to pick up Ruth Baker a Missionary flying in that day from a month long Missionary trip to the Far East. After traveling for 16 hours plus on commercial aircraft she was looking forward to getting home as soon as possible. She was hungry and we stopped by a local Wendy's close to the airport for food to eat on our flight back to Cincinnati. I must say it was great flying at 9000 feet over the mountains in and out of the clouds, some of which had icing, enjoying our hamburgers, french fries and frosties. What a great way to serve the Lord, helping out His Missionaries. Dick White Flight Coorindator