MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The Lindbergh Foundation announces the premier of its new film, Over Africa! Low and Slow with the Kenya Wildlife Service, at the Sun 'n Fun Airshow in Lakeland, FL, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, at the AOPA Pavilion.
The film documents the training of 12 Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) pilots by Lindbergh Foundation volunteers, Patty Wagstaff, Rich Sugden, and Lindbergh Board members John and Martha King and Knox Bridges. Accompanying the Foundation on this trip was author and wildlife biologist, Mark Ross. Foundation Board member Miles O' Brien documented the adventure.
Funded this year by the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, with additional support provided by the David Clark Company, Wagstaff's expedition was the most ambitious and successful ever. Joining Wagstaff in the flight training was air-show performer and vintage airplane owner Rich Sugden. Their air work was complemented with intensive ground-school classes from John and Martha King.
"We were happy to be a part of the rigorous training that Patty Wagstaff brings to the KWS pilots, says John King. "It was exciting to see how eagerly they listened and absorbed this new information. Clearly they knew this training would make them better and safer pilots."
Professionally, KWS felt there was a need to enhance the recurrent training of their pilots. For Wagstaff, her passion for the environment is second only to the safety of the pilots. Acting on an invitation from KWS advisor and supporter Bill Clark, she took her sixth trip to Kenya this year to train the KWS pilots and make them safer.
"Pilots aren’t always taught how to fly low and slow," says Wagstaff. "The KWS pilots, however, commonly fly under 200 feet, so receiving aerobatic and maneuvering training is extremely valuable to them. Working with these pilots is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life."
"Charles Lindbergh made several trips to Africa in the 1960s and it was there that he came to realize that 'all the achievements of mankind have value only to the extent that they preserve and improve the quality of life'– all life, not human life, alone," says King. "We believe the work of the KWS pilots who use the technology of airplanes to protect the animals from poachers is a perfect example of Charles Lindbergh's 'balanced' approach to environmentalism, which is the Lindbergh Foundation’s mission."
For more information visit www.lindberghfoundation.org.