Air Capital Insider

Executive AirShare flies charity mission to the North Pole — sort of

Executive AirShare chief pilot Alex Franz and assistant chief pilot Ben Petersen, left, greet 6-year-old Caroline, volunteers and family members before their flight Thursday from Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Kansas City Airport.
Executive AirShare chief pilot Alex Franz and assistant chief pilot Ben Petersen, left, greet 6-year-old Caroline, volunteers and family members before their flight Thursday from Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Kansas City Airport. Courtesy photo

Executive AirShare provided one of its Embraer Phenom 300 business jets and a flight crew to transport a 6-year-old girl with a brain tumor and her family to a North Pole outpost on Thursday.

The outpost was actually a 100-foot-by-100-foot hangar at Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe. Through the help of hundreds of volunteers and the nonprofit Elves of Christmas Present, the KCAC Aviation hangar was transformed into the North Pole, complete with elves, Santa and his sleigh, and live reindeer.

Jill Plumb, Executive AirShare’s director of marketing and corporate communications, said the company was contacted by the Elves of Christmas Present about donating the aircraft and crew for a 20- to 25-minute flight around noon Thursday from Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Kansas City Airport — where Executive AirShare is based — to Johnson County Executive.

To simulate a longer flight, the crew pulled down the shades in the jet’s cabin after liftoff and didn’t open them until after the jet had landed at Johnson County Executive and was towed inside the hangar.

“It’s just an amazing story,” Plumb said of the event and the girl, Caroline. “It makes you feel so good to be a part of it.”

After the festivities ended at Johnson County Executive, Plumb said, Executive AirShare flew Caroline and her family back to the downtown airport.

“With an airplane involved, we were willing to do anything we can to help,” she said. “And our pilots were happy to volunteer.”

Executive AirShare was founded in Wichita, where it continues to operate a maintenance facility at Eisenhower National Airport and serve fractional owners who live in the area.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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