Press - August 27, 2012

Ministry Wings Aviation Announces “Empty Flight Plan” Partnership with U-Haul International

AMARILLO, Tex. – August 27, 2012 – Ministry Wings Aviation, a local organization connecting corporate aircraft with ministries and humanitarian causes, announced a new partnership with U-Haul International, Inc., based in Phoenix, Arizona. The do-it-yourself moving and storage industry leader will make its corporate fleet — which includes two Eclipse jets and a Pilatus PC12 turboprop aircraft — available for Empty Flight Plan, a Ministry Wings service that utilizes empty seats on corporate flights to meet the transportation needs of humanitarian/relief organizations, nonprofits and ministries, and families needing medical care.

“We are thrilled that U-Haul is partnering with us on Empty Flight Plan,” says Justin Miller, the founder of Ministry Wings Aviation and a former corporate pilot. “They were one of the first corporations to offer us empty seats on a corporate flight, and they saw the value of this program almost immediately.”

According to Miller, U-Haul Company’s first contact with his organization occurred when the Company’s Pilatus aircraft was returning to Dallas from Amarillo. Aware of a local need, Miller connected U-Haul with the Taylor family of Amarillo, who were
attempting to travel to Dallas to receive treatment for their young son’s brain aneurysms. U-Haul donated the seats on their aircraft, flying little William Taylor and his mother to Dallas. (William has since responded favorably to his treatment.)

“We were honored to be able to help the Taylor family,” stated Dante Edwards, pilot, U-Haul International, Inc. “Knowing as a pilot that you may have an opportunity to make a life-saving difference for a family in need is an unforgettable experience. Seeing the impact providing seats on our flight had on the Taylor family shows how important the Empty Flight Plan can make a difference for many families and humanitarian efforts in the future.”

While Ministry Wings has been connecting corporate flights with organizations and needy families for nearly two years, the partnership with U-Haul marks the official launch of its Empty Flight Plan service. Miller says he is looking to secure partnerships with other corporations as well. “Donating seats on flights in these types of situations not only makes these corporate aircraft more efficient, it also increases the visibility of the companies involved,” he said. “And as a pilot, I know that the presence of passengers on-board improves my own discipline. It makes me a better pilot. That’s good for the corporation.”

Empty Flight Plan works by connecting corporate pilots to a secure website, where they post flight schedules according to their normal course of business. These schedules are then compared to posted needs from organizations and individuals with specific medical or humanitarian travel needs, and matched up where appropriate.

Ministry Wings will officially introduce Empty Flight Plan with its “Air Fair and Car-nival” — a local air and car show — on Saturday, September 8, at River Falls Airport north of Palo Duro Canyon.

This free event, open to the public from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., features a variety of flying performances, including pilot Ron Cain and his de Havilland Chipmunk (a post World War II military training aircraft), Scott Lain and his Pitts aircraft, a World War II-era Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft, a T-34 Mentor military training aircraft, and a large-scale remote-control (RC) aircraft display by Johnny and Mark Cavitt. Texas Department of Public Service and LifeStar helicopters also will make appearances. General admission to the show is free, but donations will be accepted.

About Ministry Wings Aviation:
Ministry Wings Aviation is an Amarillo-based ministry that provides private air transportation to churches, ministries, missionaries, families needing medical care, and Christ-based humanitarian and/or disaster relief organizations.

For more information about Ministry Wings Aviation
, contact Justin Miller, executive director, at mwa@ministryaviation.org or visit ministryaviation.org.