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Flying with a purpose!

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  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Flying with a purpose!
Posted by fermis on Thursday, September 06, 2018 5:43 AM

 I've been absent here, for quite some time. Managing a family, a small business, all the work needed around the house, and all the work that goes into flight training to get back to being current, proficient and ready to get some paying work as a pilot. So, long story short...I haven't been at the bench in some months.

 Last week, for the first time in 20 years, I was able to get a fair amount of "stick time", that didn't cost me. I didn't get paid (other than a lunch), but that's not at all what this is about. Since the very beginning of my flight training, I have wanted to fly with a charity organization, delivering patients to their appointments and/or back home. Last Monday, I got a call from a guy that was working on his multi-engine rating at the same time I was, nearly ten years ago. He needed another pilot, for a flight on Tuesday. I got myself signed up with "Wings of Mercy"...met up with him, early on Tuesday to get current in his 310R. Fantastic airplane!!!

We flew down to Ann Arbor (Michigan), to pick up the patients....a young lady that had an organ transplant, and a 7 year old little girl, also organ transplant, along with her gramma. We took off for the first stop...Sawyer, up in the middle of the U.P., also a former SAC base.

 We got into some ICM at 6000'...ended up getting 7000' and skimming the tops of the clouds. AWESOME!!! WE shot an approach into Sawyer, breaking out of the clouds at 400', lined up perfectly with the center line! 

 As we came in, I noticed what looked like a C-141, as we got closer...nope...that's Russian!!! Here's the story on it...

We dropped off the young lady, got our flight plan filed for the next leg, into Houghton-Hancock...just a little further up the U.P., to drop off the little girl and gramma. IMC all the way, other than the last 400' again.

We got outta there just in time! We had to alter our route just a bit, to beat the weather...sorry for the blur, it wasn't exactly a smooth ride there!

Couple nice shots along the trip home...once we got out of IMC.


All in all...I ended up with 5.5hrs with 2.2hrs actual instrument time and a 4.2hr x-country time. More importantly, we got some people back home.

 I have another flight scheduled for this Saturday. Heading across the lake to Waukegan(just north of Chicago) to pick up a couple patients and get them home to Grand Rapids.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, September 06, 2018 6:16 AM

Congrats fermis and enjoy what you do which is not only cool but helping others with their medical condition. 

Stay safe and continue your workYes




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: From the Mit, but live in Mason, O high ho
Posted by hogfanfs on Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:43 AM

Congrats, Fermis! 

Talk about killing two birds with one stone. You get to do a job you love, and help people!

And, that is a beautiful aircraft.



 On the bench:  1/48 Eduard MiG-21MF

                        1/35 Takom Merkava Mk.I


  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, September 06, 2018 8:11 AM

Well, if you didn’t have to pay to get the stick time, you’re doing great. The only thing better is getting paid to do something that you love, such as this! Even if it was your own bird, you’d at least have to pay for the gas... and you got a complimentary meal? Win/win!


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, September 06, 2018 9:52 AM

Awesome!  That's a very  cool charity serving a great cause.  



  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, September 06, 2018 11:53 AM

Good to hear you're having fun and logging some hours, my friend.

Thanks for sharing the story.


  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Thursday, September 06, 2018 5:06 PM

Way to go, Fermis, what a great day that must have been, and so helpful to those that you transported.

The 310R is one of the great ones, looks so sexy it's even R rated. One of those airplanes that just look right, seems fast just sitting on the ramp.

Thanks for the post and photos.


  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Colorado Springs
Posted by mawright20 on Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:43 PM
Where are you based out of?
  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Friday, September 07, 2018 3:17 PM

 Thanks all!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the controls. I have another "mission" tomorrow afternoon...can hardly wait!!!



The 310R is one of the great ones, looks so sexy it's even R rated. One of those airplanes that just look right, seems fast just sitting on the ramp.

 I can not argue with that. First time I saw this one, just after the guy bought it 9 years ago....I said unto myself..."one day...I will fly that plane!"

And it was so...and it was good!


Where are you based out of?


Howell MI (OZW). The plane is based in Lansing though. He flies over to Howell to pick me up.


  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, September 08, 2018 5:49 PM

Todays flight was supposed to go to Waukegan, but we had a Temporary Flight Restriction, due to an airshow, so we had to divert to Kenosha.

Being over the middle of Lake Michigan, we had no way to contact anyone on the ground. The gal at Wings of Mercy, following the flight on Flightaware, saw the plan change and already had our passengers in route by the time we landed.

The simple flight plan we had...KOZW direct to rerouted three times. Lots of button pushing!

From there on out...uneventful...just the way we like it!


Lk. MI / MI coast...


Wisconsin coast...


Antonov Colt at Kenosha...


Back to MI


  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, September 08, 2018 6:57 PM

Fermis> Great story!  Is this what they call "living the dream"?


  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, September 09, 2018 1:09 PM

Fermis - Toast.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:24 PM

Fermis, great story, man!! We need more people like you in this world!

Gary Mason


Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Monday, January 07, 2019 6:09 PM

Devil Dawg

Fermis, great story, man!! We need more people like you in this world!

Gary Mason 

 If everybody was just like me...this would be a perfect world!!!Stick out tongue

I've flown a few more "missions", since the last post.

I filled in with another guy (both of his regular SICs were unavailable). I met him in Pontiac, flew his Seneca down to Gross Isle to pick up the patient (and his mom). This kid was born, basically wih his insides on the outside, and was given a very short life expectancy....9 years ago. We got them back home to Sault St. Marie, in the upper penninsula. I got to see the Sault Locks for the first time (I've been near-ish to them in the past).

The runway hadn't been a little squirrely, but not too bad. Overall, a good flight...but quite slow, compared to the 310 I've gotten used to!

Also, had another mission from Ann Arbor, up to Sawyer, again. I had my first experience with icing. We were "in the soup for about 1/2 an hour on the first leg down to Ann Arbor.

In the time it took to fuel up and get loaded, the ice was gone. Picked up a little more on departure, but that went away quickly, up in the sun.

Picked up even more ice on the descent into Sawyer...enough that we made use of the de-ice boots.

That Rusky is still sittin there. One of the workers there said that there was a small crew out there a month or so ago, doing some work on it...then they were gone.

 I was supposed to have another mission today, out to Waukegan (just north of Chicago), but we scrubbed it, due to weather. We had 25 gusting to 30+ knot crosswind. 65kt wind at 3000', icing...all kinds of crap! That mission is tentatively rescheduled for tomorrow a.m. Still looking at crappy weather...but without those winds. I'll hit the 500 hour mark somewhere over Lk. Michigan!

I'm also close to wrapping up my single engine commercial add-on. Another flight or two, and I'll be ready for that check ride! Then, it's time to find a job!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, January 07, 2019 6:15 PM

Flying in these conditions seems pretty scary.  Cool your getting close o  your certifications. 




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