Lindbergh Foundation Partners with the Patty Wagstaff/Kenya Wildlife Service

At the EAA AirVenture Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisc., Lindbergh Foundation President Knox Bridges announced its new partnership with Patty Wagstaff/Kenya Wildlife Service Africa Project.

Another pilot safety and proficiency training program is planned in early 2009 at the request of Mr. Julius Kipng’etich, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service and is supported by Interpol – the International Criminal Police Organization, which has donated a patrol airplane and will provide funding. In addition, John and Martha King, co-chairmen of King Schools, Inc., and Lindbergh Foundation directors, are volunteering to conduct classes in aviation risk management during the training program. Ms. Wagstaff will lead the flight safety and proficiency segments, and the Kings will teach new concepts of risk management. “The Kenya Wildlife Service is struggling against long odds to preserve wildlife species that otherwise might be lost to the wild forever,” said John King. “Martha and I are delighted to support the pilots of Kenya Wildlife Service. Avoiding aircraft accidents is critically important to the continuation of their incredibly valuable program. We hope we can help them install a process and pass along insights that their pilots will find useful in managing the inherent risks of their unique flying environment.”

Charles Lindbergh considered his many visits to Africa, including Kenya, to be among the great experiences of his life. It was while Lindbergh was in Africa that he realized that if he had to choose, he would rather have birds than airplanes.1 “I think Mr. Lindbergh would be very pleased with this partnership because Patty’s work in Africa epitomizes his belief that if we can balance our hunger for technological progress with the wisdom we find in nature, we can have both,” said Bridges.

In 1964, Charles Lindbergh wrote an article for Readers’ Digest entitled, “Is Civilization Progress?” in which he wrote: “In the jungles of Africa, I became more aware of the basic miracle of life. … Lying under an acacia tree with the sounds of dawn around me, I realized more clearly facts that man should never overlook: that the construction of an airplane … is simple when compared to the evolutionary achievement of a bird; that airplanes depend upon an advanced civilization; and that where civilization is most advanced, few birds exist. I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”

Patty Wagstaff flies one of the most thrilling, low-level aerobatic routines in the world. She is a six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team and has won medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competitions. She is the first woman to win the title of US National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times.

The Lindbergh Foundation> is a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, based in Anoka, Minnesota, which supports great innovations that foster the environment for a planet in balance. The Lindbergh Foundation also values individual initiative and accomplishments. Its programs are devoted to supporting, honoring, and educating individuals, through three major programs: the annual honorary Lindbergh Award, presented to individuals for significant contributions toward applying technological solutions to improve our environment in their work; the Lindbergh Grants program, which provides grants in amounts up to $10,580 (the cost of building the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927) for research or education projects that will make important contributions to the technology/environment balance; and a variety of educational events and publications centered on the balance theme.

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