A local man is providing much needed transportation to those who need it most, through an organization called Angel Flight Central.
Fergus Falls resident Andrew Yaggie, an avid pilot who started flying when he was just 16, and earned his private pilots license in 2005, has since earned his commercial pilots license and instrument rating.
Fast forward to 2015 when Yaggie joined an organization called Angel Flight Central, which allows pilot to donate their time and resources to provide free flights to people in need.
Yaggie added, “Despite the best of intentions, it never really worked out for me to actually fly an Angel Flight until this past Thursday.”
His first flight representing the organization took place with a local wife and mother of two boys, 18 and 16, who has Stage 4 cancer. The treatment she is receiving requires her to drive eight hours round trip in addition to receiving immunotherapy for four hours. — an exhausting process.
Angel Flight turns eight hours of travel into a two-hour round-trip flight, saving time, energy and allowing more time home with her family.
Yaggie says meeting the mother of two and having the ability to share in her journey was one of the most transformative experiences he has ever had.
Yaggie said he is sharing the story for two reasons, “First, I want to let people know that there are wonderful organizations like Angel Flight out there for those in need. If you or someone you know is battling a medical issue and traveling for treatment is difficult, please look into this as a resource! Second, because organizations like Angel Flight are driven completely by volunteers and donations, consider including Angel Flight in your giving plans throughout the year.”
Yaggie is also a local chapter member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, where volunteer pilots routinely provide nearly 650 young eagle flights to area kids age 8-17, most often seen during Summerfest and the annual Fly-in Drive-in at the Fergus Falls Municipal airport.
According to their website, Angel Flight Central is a volunteer nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve people in need by arranging charitable flights for health care or other humanitarian purposes. Angel Flight Central volunteers and supporters throughout the Midwest have made nearly 30,000 flights “free of charge” covering just under 10 million nautical miles. They help thousands of families access specialized health care, special needs camps, and other destinations for disaster response efforts and humanitarian reasons.