Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friends hold benefit for injured Mercy Flight pilot

Friends of Joe Knox, the Mercy Flight pilot injured in a tractor accident two months ago, came together Saturday to raise money for Knox by holding a yard sale.

Besides the physical and emotional pain Knox faces, he is also burdened by medical expenses. Friends hoped by holding the yard sale they could help lift some of that burden off his shoulders.

“It’s a long process,” former Mercy Flight nurse Amanda Check said. “He has braces on, and all that costs, and just being out in Seattle, food for his family, lodging, and follow up doctor appointments, it all adds up.”

For a man who has helped save so many lives for more than 15 years, they say a yard sale was the least they could do for him.

“He’s one of the most positive guys I’ve ever met, just very hardworking, just fun to be around, overall just a great, great person,” Mercy Flight nurse Brian Schruth said.

More than 40 friends, co-workers, and others who had known Knox through Mercy Flight and his volunteering in the community, donated hundreds of items to be sold. They hoped to raise at least $1000.

With dozens streaming onto the lawn and the thought of Knox in mind, his friends said they had no doubt they could do it.

“If anybody else was in that situation, he’d be right there for them also,” Check said.

Friends will also hold another benefit Saturday, June 30, at the Sting Sports bar from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.   There will be a raffle, silent and live auctions, and entertainment.

Virgin Galactic gearing up for first space flight


LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Virgin Galactic is gearing up to give people a travel experience that is literally out of this world. 

The company, which is a part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, is preparing to be the first business to provide commercial flights to outer space.

Virgin Galactic just recently opened their new headquarters in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they continue to work on launching their first flight.

“It certainly is a dream, and I dream all the time, and I love to try to make dreams come true,” said Branson.

So far, more than 500 people have put down a deposit to be a part of Branson’s dream.  Most of those individuals have paid the full ticket price of $200,000.

“You can compare them to the first commercial airline passengers, and the first people that bought those huge car phones back in the 80s. You know it was those people that made those businesses possible, and enabled the technology to develop,” said one Virgin Galactic employee.

If all goes well, it won’t be too long before Virgin Galactic launches their first flight. They’re hoping to embark on their inaugural voyage at the end of next year.

IndiGo plane becomes first to land using fuel-saving technology

No-frill carrier IndiGo on Saturday became the first Indian airline to carry out a landing at the Kochi airport using a system that allows an aircraft to be guided by a sophisticated on-board navigation system instead of ground-based radars. 

In carrying out this precision landing, an Airbus A-320 aircraft used the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach, which provides accurate and shorter flight paths and secure trajectories.

RNP, by allowing the use of on board systems and satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), frees the plane from dependence on conventional ground-based navigation installations.

An airline spokesperson said Saturday’s first regular RNP flight was 6E-345 from Bangalore to Kochi. RNP approach would continue to be applied by IndiGo whenever its aircraft land at Kochi, with its entire fleet being equipped with the system.

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