Miracle from Heaven, Part I
In early October 2015, we received an email from a gentleman in the Denver area stating he was seriously thinking about donating his C182 (which he was in the process of selling) to BWP Foundation. Within a few days he made the decision to do so. We were dumbfounded, amazed and very grateful that because of looking at Brianna's website, an airplane owner was touched to donate his C182 to our foundation. Come to find out, his daughter had many similarities to Brianna.
In January 2016, Chuck Topalain, Brianna's Flight Instructor and I flew back to ferry the 182 to CA. Everything seemed to fall into place, include a smooth flight back. Many people were praying for good flying weather, especially in the middle of Winter over the Rocky Mountains. The Lord heard those prayers. We are also thankful to Tom Hagler, Oroville Airport Manager, who has allowed us to park the plane for a few weeks until the tail wing receives the decal of BWP. Thanks to Gonzalo Curiel at www.signspeeweedesigns.com,
who is putting Brianna's logo on the tail wing, the 182 will "literally" testify to her legacy in the mission field.
Here are some interesting professional facts from Chuck's career:
> Chuck's first training flight was in August 1964 out of Van Nuys airport. Six months later he passed his Private pilot Check-ride.
> Joining the Army in 1966, he became an Army Helicopter Pilot, learning to fly the tandern rotor CH-47.
> During 1968was in Viet Nam with the 1st Calvary Division.
> After his tour of duty, he was sent back to Ft. Rucker Alabama to be a CH-47 flight instructor.
> After the Army, the FAA hired him in May 1971 to be an Air Traffic Controller at Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center. He worked there until he retired in May 1996.
> Over the next 13 years, Chuck lived in Colorado and worked at the US Air Force Academy's Aero Club in Colorado Springs and then as air traffic control at the Tower at Buckley Air Force Base in Denver.
> In May of 2009, Chuck retired and moved to Northern California where he has worked as a Flight instructor since 2010 to the present.
> In the last 50 years Chuck logged 4,100 hours. In addition to his Private pilots license he has ratings in these areas-- Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine, ATP, Lear Jet rating, Flight Instructor, Radar & Tower Certification. In Summary, he has enjoyed the last 50 years being involved in aviation and aviation related fields.
After spending the afternoon and evening with the donor, Brad Grant, he stated to us that he felt very comfortable with Chuck flying the plane over the Rockies, not only due to his many years as a pilot, but since he had lived in Denver and understood mountain flying in the Rockies.
These are some pictures from our trip back.
More on this Miracle from Heaven in Part II....