NBAA, Las Vegas, NV, Oct 11, 2011 — The Veterans Airlift Command (VAC), based in St. Louis Park, Minnesota announced today at NBAA the receipt of a donated Eclipse Jet to benefit the Veterans Airlift Command.
The VAC provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. They rely solely on the contributions of donors for finances, aircraft, and pilot services.
The VAC received a donation of an Eclipse Jet Aircraft earlier this month, and to compliment the donation, the jet manufacturer Eclipse Aerospace has agreed to upgrade the aircraft to Total Eclipse standards and return the aircraft to active service. The VAC will use the aircraft in their mission of transporting wounded veterans and their families to locations in which they can receive proper medical care.
VAC Founder and AirBoss Walt Fricke says, “Although none is needed, this is further proof that the aviation community is made up of great Americans whose generosity knows no bounds. This aircraft will supplement the work of some 1800 volunteer aircraft owners and pilots in support of our mission. It is the perfect combination of world-class jet efficiency and a mission capable bird. Our donors and passengers deserve no less.
As part of their donation, Eclipse Aerospace will match donations made to service the Eclipse aircraft with one dollar of donated parts and services for every one dollar donated to the VAC through a capital campaign kicked off today to fund this effort.
"As a wounded war veteran, I know first hand how important the support of your family is in your recovery,” says Senator Bob Dole, Honorary Chairman of the National Advisory Board of the VAC. “For those soldiers and their families who sacrifice so much for our great nation, an organization like VAC is a Godsend,” Dole continued.
"This is yet another example of the generosity of the private aviation community. Moving our wounded warriors and their families with dignity to and from medical treatment centers is mostly only accomplished effectively in private aircraft,” states Peter Bunce, President of GAMA. “The 1800 volunteer pilots and aircraft owners who make up the the Veterans Airlift Command are to commended for their selfless service to those who have given so much on our behalf."
“The support does not stop with Eclipse Aerospace, the essence of our Eclipse family are our customers. Eclipse type rated pilots are needed to fly these volunteer missions. So when Eclipse reached out to the Eclipse 500 Owners Club, our customers joined in our effort and are donating trained pilots and services to fly Eclipse missions for the VAC, how cool is that!” states Mason Holland CEO and Chairman of Eclipse Aerospace, Inc.
“Our club members are proud and committed to fly the donated Eclipse on behalf of the Veterans Airlift Command wherever and whenever we possibly can. It is truly an honor to do so,” added David Green, President of the Eclipse 500 Owners Club. “We also look forward to volunteering our own aircraft in pursuit of this noble mission.”
For those interested in finding out more about the VAC please visit www.VeteransAirlift.org/VACHelp.html, or by calling 952.582.2911.
About Eclipse Aerospace, Inc.
Eclipse Aerospace, Inc. is the manufacturer of the Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet, the most fuel-efficient jet in the world. Eclipse also provides engineering, maintenance, service, and support for the fleet of 260 Eclipse 500 Twin-Engine Jet aircraft. Adhering to the motto “Customer First,” Eclipse Aerospace is focused on providing a superior customer experience for existing and future owners, operators, and pilots of the revolutionary Eclipse Jet aircraft. Eclipse Aerospace corporate offices are based in Charleston, S.C. Principle operations are located in Albuquerque, N.M. and Chicago, Ill. Eclipse Aerospace is located on the Web at www.ECLIPSE.aero.
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