Helping Heroes Fly

I first became aware of Helping Heroes Fly by a small homemade flier on the bulletin board of the school where I was tutoring. They have come a long way since that first posting. Who or what is Helping Heroes Fly you say? Let me introduce you to them.

Helping Heroes Fly was started by two Greeley women which, as their flier states, have a love of God and a heart for the military. It started as a spark in Terri Keeney’s heart when she learned of a soldier who was not able to come home for Thanksgiving because he couldn’t afford the airline ticket. She later learned that it was a common struggle for enlisted men and women who were paid on a near poverty level.

The dream stuck in her heart unfulfilled until she met Pam Matt, whose son served in the Marine Corps. Pam’s passion for the military became the catalyst needed to attack the logistics of starting a non-profit organization. In February of 2016 they became a 501(c)(3).

They began the process of raising funds. They take advantage of social media and it’s beginning to pay off. They have had a couple of fund raisers, an article in Women’s World magazine, which led to a large donation of $15,000 and were featured on The Denver

In 2016 they were able to provide 65 flights. To date in 2017 they have provided 52 flights. They have limited the flights to one per customer and with that said, in March they got a call from a 1st Sargent at a Marine base in Baltimore requesting his entire unit of 30 to be able to fly to Illinois to attend a fellow Marine’s funeral who was tragically killed. They understood they were giving up their opportunity to go home for the holidays, but it was that important for them to attend. HHF was able to send 14.

They volunteer their time and in 2016 their operating expenses were 3.4%. It looks like in 2017 it will be closer to 3.6% as they had to pay for the entertainment for one of their fund raisers. They vow no matter how large they get, they will never spend more than 10% on expenses. They take no salary and “World Headquarters” is run out of Pam’s house.

At the end of this month they will fly to Connecticut to film two different internet based programs, one for Behind the Uniform and one for The Whiskey Patriots. Both organizations have over 100,000.00 followers so they know they will be overwhelmed with requests for the holidays.

Eventually they are hoping to find a way to have a system similar to Angel Flights so that the money they raise can be used for those flights that can only be met by the use of commercial airlines.

Kenneth J. Curry

Mr. Kenneth J Curry is a Viet Nam veteran who flew 157 missions in Southeast Asia in the B-52 aircraft. His presentation will relate the harrowing details of one mission over North Viet Nam during which his B-52 was heavily damaged by surface to air missile, yet he and his crew were able to make it back to South Viet Nam and land as fuel gushed from the aircraft.

Ken was most recently the President and owner of KC Aviation Consultants LLC, in Loveland. Previously, he held top executive management positions with multiple business aviation companies. His diverse experience in the aviation industry spans over 35 years.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sales Management from Woodbury College in Los Angeles. Following college, he served in the United State Air Force as a B-52 Pilot and Aircraft Commander. He flew 157 missions in Southeast Asia and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after his aircraft was hit by a surface to air missile over North Viet Nam.

After leaving the Air Force he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University. second generation native of Los Angeles, Ken grew up in Westchester, near the L.A. Airport. He started surfing at age 13, skiing at age 18,became a USAF pilot at age 23, started running at age 32, weight lifting at 36, competed in triathlons starting at age 40 for six years. and won his age group in a 10k race at age 63. He still loves to travel, is still surfing, skiing and is stoked to be living an adventure.

BasicMed Considerations

QUESTION: Is the new BasicMed Aviation Medical Certificate right for you? It’s new since May 1st, 2017 and a bit radical for the FAA that I am used to, but there have been about 15,000 BasicMed Certificates issued to date. I’m an early adopter for many things and an “older” (don’t tell anyone) reasonably high time active pilot. So even though I’m certain I could pass my usual 3rd Class Aviation Medical due this month, I was curious and decided it was time to try this out—to see if it was right for me.
Bottom Line: I got an appointment with my GP, took the AOPA on-line course and test, then got my “athletics OK?” exam from a local doctor, and PASSED. Along the way, I got some insights that I’ll mention in this article.

Key Questions: (1) Who should consider a BasicMed Certificate, (2) How to pick a Doctor, and (3) How to Proceed.

First: (1) Who should consider BasicMed? There are some pros and cons:

– If you haven’t failed a regular Aviation Medical within the past ten years (even if it’s out of date now and even if you have resolved a problem with a Special Issuance medical from the FAA), you can do BasicMed. Many previous “flags” for an AME (Airman Medical Examiner) physical don’t count in BasicMed if your condition is CONTROLLED (for example high BP and diabetes).
– The FAA recognizes that you self-diagnose your ability to fly every time you act as PIC. In this program, you are urged to learn about and know conditions (and some meds) that could make you unsafe. You are expected to talk with your doctor about your conditions, get them under control, and make SAFE decisions about flying.
– You can’t “fail”. You can take the on-line course and test again until you pass! If your doctor won’t sign the physical exam form, you can see another doctor. You may find things out about yourself that you didn’t know before, and if two or three doctors find the same thing, you probably should pay attention and do something about it first.
– There are only three things that will get you referred to an AME and the FAA for a Special Issuance medical…a serious unresolved Cardiovascular, Neurological, and/or Mental Health condition. After Special Issuance and continued good health, BasicMed can apply.

Cons: (know the rules…)
– You still need an FAA medical from an AME If you fly for HIRE or if you are a student pilot and haven’t yet had an FAA Medical. BasicMed is valid for a specific subset of GA flying, briefly: aircraft less than 6000 lbs, 6
seats or less (5 pax or less), flying at 250 kts or less, in US airspace below 18,000 MSL.
– However, BasicMed is allowed for charitable flights (ie: Angel Flights), shared cost flights, certain business flights with no passengers, and IFR or VFR. No distinction made for class or category of aircraft (piston, jet, helicopter) or license (CFI etc).
– Efforts are underway to get Canada and other surrounding countries to recognize BasicMed as well. Check with AOPA or other sources before flight internationally In general you can always continue to see your AME! However if you meet the restrictions above, you might want to consider BasicMed if you hold a Special Issuance license and don’t want to go through the hassle of renewing it through the FAA each period. Also, perhaps you are an older pilot and are beginning to question whether you will trigger a “flag” on the official FAA Medical application you’ve always had to fill out (once filed you can’t take it back!) and risk the AME not issuing you a Medical, but sending your paperwork to the FAA Oklahoma Office for further action. Perhaps you should consider BasicMed.

– First, you can’t “fail” BasicMed. Your paperwork stays with you in your logbook. Details aren’t sent to the FAA.
– Second, you will become familiar with factors that YOU SHOULD KNOW in order to decide if you really are safe for a given flight. The AOPA on-line course is excellent. It makes you aware of things your AME knows and looks for and may not have taken the time to tell you about (like what will “flag” his attention and why).
– You will find out it isn’t the specific medicine you are taking or doctor you are seeing that counts (you MUST record these accurately, however with BasicMed you don’t have to send these details to the FAA). It’s the underlying CONDITION you are addressing that counts. The med or  treatment may point to something unsafe that needs further investigation. If you and your doctor can handle the condition so you can be healthy and fly safely, that’s the end of it (except for the three serious conditions listed earlier…those need a Special Issuance when diagnosed for you to continue to fly).

Finally, certain meds have serious side effects that can adversely affect flying! You need to know what they are, what effects they can cause, and how long to wait after taking those meds before flying. The on-line course will tell you what you need to know. Your doctor will discuss his health findings with you after your physical. There may be issues you should know about but most likely won’t stop you from being approved for BasicMed. My insurance agent said BasicMed is fine because it’s FAA approved.

Next: (2) Picking a doctor
I visit many specialty doctors for various conditions (eyes-Cataract surgery fixed them, kneeswatching my arthritis, colon-check every five years, EGD-check every three years, etc…we don’t need to list them all). These doctors aren’t good candidates for BasicMed exam. Are you an existing patient somewhere? Check with your GP even if you haven’t seen him (or her) in a while. They regularly give “athletic OK?” exams to  approve golfing, sports, climbing activities, etc. for folks of all ages.
My doctor at Banner Health Clinic in Loveland was not familiar with BasicMed but the first page on the handout quickly filled him in (he’s a fast reader)! We talked for about an hour as he followed his “checkup” list. Then as the nurse was administering the eye check, he read the
rest of the form and covered one or two other items left on the BasicMed list. I may follow up with him on two minor items…may need hearing aid in left ear some day, but that’s easily handled with my aviation headset, and he mentioned a new generic medication now available for a med I have been avoiding up until now–may be helpful during long flights.
At the end of our discussion he checked the required box and signed the form. The cost was higher than my usual 3rd Class medical, but the BasicMed physical is good for four years instead of two. I was surprised to hear that many doctors are limiting new patients because good doctors are leaving the profession. Also, check if your insurance covers the cost of this exam. Some do, many don’t.

Finally (3) How to proceed:

– Create a BasicMed Login and Password (existing AOPA and FAA accounts won’t work).
– Take and pass the on-line course. Spend some time at this…there are several extra links at the BOTTOM of the pages that may apply to you. These are not on the quiz, but you will want to read them if they apply (they are short). Excellent information.
– Push NEXT at the right side of the page to advance through ALL the course steps. Take the test at the end of the course. You can start over again if you’d like but I just swallowed hard at my dumb mistake…I confused CO with CO2 by working too fast!
– Fill out your part of the form completely. Use a copy of a past airman’s medical for reference—enter meds and doctor visits as requested.
– You need to have your physical exam before you can obtain your Completion Certificate, but you can easily log out, log back in, and pick up right where you left off.
– Print out a set of instructions and forms for you and your doctor. Leave a copy with him.
– After he has examined you, he will fill out his form and sign it in front of you.
– Back on-line, Request your BasicMed Certificate. Print and carry it and the doctor’s signed form, with your logbook. Don’t do anything that would require the NTSB or FAA to request to see it!
– Then Go Fly, but skip one or two hamburger runs next year to pay for the exam…better for your health anyway.
Postscript: There is an excellent summary of several studies that attempt to relate aging and piloting capability. Most were done in conjunction with the age 60 rule in the airlines. Despite dancing around the subject a bit, two conclusions emerged…
1. We are all aging! Our skills will degrade over time, and we will eventually die! (Surprise)
2. Our “capability age” and our “birthday age” will differ for each individual (depends on a lot of things!). However, flying capability at any age can be prolonged with EXPERIENCE and FREQUENT FLYING. So…don’t get rusty! And keep having birthdays!

Seal Coating

Dear FNL Tenants, Users, and Stakeholders,

Early this fall the Airport will begin work to complete a pavement preservation and improvement project. The project will include crack sealing, seal coating, and repainting of all of the pavements inside the fenced property of the Airport.

This work will require rolling closures of the pavements restricting access to and from hangar facilities and runways and taxiways. Work is scheduled to begin September 25th and extend through mid-October.

The Airport’s runways and taxiways are scheduled to be closed for five days beginning on Sunday, October 1st at 12:00pm, through Friday, October 6th at 12:00pm for crack seal, seal coating, and painting. NOTAMs will be issued for the closures.

The week of October 9th has crack filling and seal coat operations starting in the hangar and apron areas, beginning with the pavements north and working south through the hangar and apron areas. The exact dates and areas of closures will be provided the week prior to the start of the project:

Once active, the website will have daily updates to keep the information accurate and complete.

I wish to extend my appreciation for your cooperation during this time. As with any project, we realize that some issues may arise and we will work to keep everyone informed on any changes and project progress.

Thank you,

Jason R. Licon

Airport Director

Tel 970-962-2851 • Fax 970-962-2855 •

Sean Keithly

Sean KeithlySean grew up in Des Moines, WA near Sea-Tac airport in a house built by his paternal grand-father and great grandfather. His love for aviation came naturally. His grandfather was a mechanic for Northwest Orient for nearly 40 years. He remembers visits to the Northwest hangar and having his grandfather’s passion for aviation passed along to him at an early age.

His father was a private pilot, and although he gave it up before Sean was born, he was happy to support and encourage his son’s love of aviation. His dad was in the Navy so Sean grew up spending a lot of time flying around on Military Airlift Command (MAC) flights on C-141, C-130 and C-5’s. “When you’re doing that as a kid, it’s a lot of fun.” he said.

He has always wanted to be a pilot. It’s kind of a “bucket list” thing for him. He took lessons as a kid, funding them with his paper route money. Once he got out of high school and started moving on, there was no money left for lessons.

After graduating with a degree from Boston College in Political Science, he took a year off. During that time he and a friend went to Flagstaff, AZ to train for an Ironman Competition. Figuring it would be a once in a lifetime event he chose Roth, Germany for the competition (the location of Ironman Europe at the time). To his complete amazement, he completed the event — with support from his Dad on the sidelines — even doing another one in Canada.

Moving back to Seattle he took a job with an engineering firm as a marketing coordinator. Eventually he went back to school to get a graduate degree in planning at the University of Washington. It was in the Masters Program that he met his future wife, Tessa. Tessa and he met through a mutual friend on a bike ride to a local brewery. They spent a few years as good friends before dating, eventually becoming engaged and finally getting married in 2012.

She is actually the reason they moved to Colorado. A transportation planner, she applied for a position with the city of Fort Collins as the manager of the City’s bike program. They talked about the fact if she got the job they would be moving to Colorado. Being that there were around 100 other applicants it seemed like the chances were few that it would actually happen. When she actually got the job, Sean briefly left his company in Seattle before getting re-hired under an arrangement that allowed him to telecommute from their new home in Fort Collins.

He did that for about 3 1/2 years, and as much as he loved the opportunity to fly back and forth, working out of a home office was beginning to wear on him.

It crossed his mind that if an opening ever came up for his set of skills at FNL, he would love to work there.

In Seattle he was a project manager and planner for a commercial architectural firm where most of his work was related to early planning and feasibility for development projects. On a typical project he was primarily involved at the conceptual stage and worked with the owner to come up with various scenarios for development concepts. When it came time for the buildings to be designed, the project would be handed off to the architects who would go forward with the details of building design.

So with his background as a development planner as well as several years in marketing and business development, when he saw a job with FNL posted in the AAAE listings, he thought it would be a great opportunity. He now works alongside Jason Licon with a focus on planning and attracting development to the nearly 300 acres of developable land on the airport to help create a sustainable revenue stream and to encourage private investment. He also works closely with the City of Loveland to help guide compatible development around the airport. Other key duties include playing a supporting role in efforts to bring scheduled air service back to FNL, and working on various outreach and communication initiatives to help raise the profile of the airport in the community.

He and Tessa live in Fort Collins. When they’re not working on their house, they enjoy getting outside and spending time on the trails with their 2 year old lab, Ryder.