Lindbergh Foundation Partnership with Kenya Wildlife Service Grows
What began in August 2008 as a simple partnership between the Lindbergh Foundation and Patty Wagstaff to support her work training the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) pilots to safely protect wildlife from poachers, has evolved into a special project of the Foundation that has grown to include expanded training opportunities for the KWS pilots, a DVD documentary filmed by journalist Miles O’Brien, and the facilitation and donation of a Factory-new 180HP A1C Husky thanks to a donation from Dr. Rich Sugden.
For six years, highly acclaimed aerobatic pilot and environmentalist Patty Wagstaff has helped the KWS pilots to become safer pilots, by teaching them aerobatic and maneuvering skills that are useful when helping to seek out elephant poachers in Kenya’s National Parks. Last February, Lindbergh Foundation Board members and ground school training gurus John and Martha King joined Patty in providing such training to KWS pilots in Kenya. Dr. Rich Sugden, air show performer, vintage aircraft owner and businessman also joined the training team. Sugden and his wife Sue were so impressed with the work being done by the KWS pilots and the risk they willingly undertake to preserve endangered wildlife in Kenya, that they felt compelled to do more to help. The help came in the form of a new Husky. Northwest Husky Sales Manager Geoff Lynes arranged all aspects of getting the plane built and delivered from Aviat as well as purchasing the airplane through Northwest Husky. In addition, no commission was charged on the aircraft, thus making another significant contribution to the project.
On Saturday, October 31, 2009, the Lindbergh Husky left the factory in Wyoming, arriving at GUT-Works, LLC, in Lawrence, Kansas, on November 1, completing the first leg of a journey halfway around the globe to enter service under the KWS. GUT-Works, another major sponsor of this project, is handling the export paperwork, disassembly, containerizing, and shipping of the Husky, passing along only the hard costs of the project. “GUT-Works has been shipping Aviat and other aircraft all over the world for nearly 10 years, so it was natural for us to be involved in this project,” explained manager, Ron Renz. “Projects like this make being a good corporate citizen fun. This project is also an excellent way to show the general public how General Aviation helps contribute to society and the environment.”
This donated Husky is unique in yet another way: it’ll be the first such plane in KWS service equipped with a Forward Vision EVS-100 infrared camera and display, a thermal-imaging system that will allow pilots to “see” at night, or low-visibility operations. Patrick Farrell, CEO of Forward Vision, noted, “A veterinarian by training, I’m especially proud that our EVS technology will be used to help stop illegal poaching of these precious animals, as well as to keep the KWS pilots safe in doing their jobs.”
The Husky is expected to arrive in Kenya in early February 2010, in time for the next session of training.
The Lindbergh Foundation is grateful to these additional sponsors for their kind support in getting this donated Husky to its new home in Kenya:
A formal donation ceremony was held January 29, 2010, at the KWS Hangar at Wilson Airport in Kenya.
Read the full press release:
Read articles from KWS:
How You Can Help:
You can help the Lindbergh Foundation support the activities of Patty Wagstaff and the Kenya Wildlife Service by making contributions through the Foundation's Aviation Green Investment ProgramTM, which supports this special project and other aviation-environmental forums and programs.
Click Here to make a contribution.