We all probably know someone, or at
least know of someone who passed away, and his (or her)
family was left with the job of disposing his aviation related
equipment and materials. Using myself as an
example, I probably have close to $30k worth of airplane
parts, tools, equipment,
instrumentation, literature, etc. Should
something happen to me, my wife would be left with the chore
of getting rid of this stuff, and hopefully she can recoup
most if not all of my familyís money I spent over the years with my
But we all
know this is not a realistic expectation. We know that at
best, my wife might be able to get pennies on the dollar as
she tries to sell the stuff. Additionally, how
would she even know where to begin?
there are the ghouls?nbsp; those who would be willing to take
advantage of her situation for their own personal gain. How
would my wife know that my yellow tagged King KX-155 with the 208
indicator is worth $2500, when it looks like a $150 car
stereo? So when sheís offered $500 for the unit,
she might think itís a good deal. Iíve see this happen too
many times, So Iíve started a charity to help the
families of deceased aviators.
We vow to
assist the families of deceased aviators in their time of
need, by performing the following services.
receiving a request for assistance from the family of a deceased
We will inventory, catalog and appraise all aviation related
materials, including (but not limited to) aircraft,
hangar, parts, kits, plans,
hardware, instruments, books and
magazines, tools, equipment, and any
other aviation related property.
We will offer a cash settlement at a fair market value, based
on an honest appraisal of the property and itís current condition,
while keeping in mind the families best interest.
Upon acceptance of the offer, either in whole or in
part, payment will be rendered, and we will (in a
timely manner) remove all property that will now belong to
At our expense, we will then market the property and recoup
WILL WE MAKE THIS WORK?
probably figured by now that thereís no way a company can stay in
business under this plan. We couldnít possibly pay ďa fair
market value?for a product, and then expect to sell it at a
profit. But thatís the key?nbsp; we are a NOT FOR PROFIT
business! At all times, the familyís best interest will be
kept in mind, not the bottom line of the charity.
We rely on
the generosity of the aviation community to keep us afloat.
The property purchased from the families will be sold to recoup the
capital outlay, but operating costs will need to come by way
of donations. These donations can be in the form of cash
contributions, or even aviation related property We
can even utilize volunteer help to keep labor expenses low.
seen the ads in various aviation magazines, asking us to
donate our planes. Years ago, while interested in
buying my first plane, I checked the website of one of these
companies. Sure enough, they had projects and
planes for sale, at reasonable prices. I decided to check
into the background of this particular company, by reading
their mission statement. It seems that they were interested
in feeding starving children in a foreign country; a good
work, no doubt, but how can I as an aviator get behind this
cause? How is this aviation related? Why would we
as aviators be interested in donating to this cause?
We now have
a tax deductible charity that we as aviators can support, one
which will do a good work within our own community. What better charity
for us aviators to support, than one that assists the families of our
fellow aviators? Some day, each of us might be in need of
this type of help ourselves.
WILL BE DONE WITH THE INVENTORY?
As we begin
to receive property, either donated by supporters, or
purchased from families, each piece will be
evaluated. If itís an instrument or radio, it will
be yellow tagged. If itís new in the box, it will
be sold ďas is? If itís in need of some repair to get full
market value, itíll be refurbished.
that are ready to be marketed will be listed on our website.
Advertising will be placed with all the popular magazines and
websites. Hopefully we can get support from the
EAA, AOPA, SAA and other related aviation organizations.
property such as incomplete kits or dissembled certified aircraft or
engines, will have far more value as a completed,
flying aircraft or operational engine, than it would as a
pile of parts. There are future plans to handle this in
house, either by volunteers or persons on payroll.
owned by a 501(c)3 charity and will be the vehicle for this new work.
By subscribing to the magazine, youíll be helping me with the
seed money to get the whole thing off the ground, while at
the same time, receiving value for your contribution.
the money generated from CONTACT!, we will be able to have
booths at both Sun N Fun and Oshkosh. CONTACT! has had booths
at both of these fly-ins (as well as a few others) for probably a
decade, and usually hosts the engine forum at SNF.
We will continue with this tradition, and already have space
paid for at SNF and OSH for 2003.
THIS MEANS TO YOU
We need your
help to get the word out. We need your help to get the magazine
subscription numbers up. Itís only through increased subscriptions that
we can get the ball rolling properly.
your current issue of CONTACT! To your next EAA
meeting. Show it around and see if you canít get some of your
fellow members to start a subscription with us. If youíd like
a few free sample copies to distribute, contact me and Iíll
get them right out to you. If you belong to an internet
group, let them know about CONTACT!, and our website:
I plan to
start visiting local chapters and presenting CONTACT! as well as the charity. Iíll
need to start in my local area (central California), but plan
to expand from there. If your EAA chapter would like to hear
more, from me personally, please let me know.
If this is
something you feel is worth your support, I ask that you help spread
the word. Encourage all your friends (and fellow EAA members)
to subscribe to CONTACT! If you have something to donate (plane, parts,
time, etc.), please by all means let me know as soon as
know of a family that is in need of our help, have them
contact us. One thing we will not do is contact
families, as we donít want a reputation of being ďambulance
chasers? The family will have to contact us. However, since
the charity is in itís infancy, we probably wonít be able to
do all that our mission statement claims, but with the
network we have in place, we might be able to help see that
the family is not taken advantage of. As donations start to
materialize, as our reputation grows, hopefully
then weíll be able to realize our goal as described in the mission