Don’t Let Anything Stand in the Way of Your Dreams

First Officer Ryan M. recently shared his story of resilience and determination that led him to fulfill his dream of flying.

“Flying to me is the greatest freedom that one could ask for, and I cherish every second I get to spend in the sky.”

Just six days into Ryan’s senior year of high school, his entire world came to a sudden stop. Prior to this day, Ryan was a competitive golfer, multinational champion equestrian, musician, and a 4.2 GPA student who had his sights set on attending a highly ranked four-year university.  

Starting in September of 2015, Ryan began running a low-grade fever. For three days, his mother took him to see the doctor, each time being told, “it’s just a virus, it will pass.” During the time he was sick, he became lethargic, had a high fever, and by the fourth day, his high fever still wouldn’t break, and he threw up to the point that the blood vessels in his eyes burst, leaving the whites of his eyes completely red. His mother rushed him back to the doctor’s office, where a new doctor took immediate action, which assisted in saving his life. 

He was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego by ambulance and put into the Intensive Care Unit. While in the trauma room, about 15 doctors and nurses worked frantically, trying to save Ryan’s life. With his blood pressure so low, his body went into septic shock, causing his organs to begin to shut down. His family was told there was a high chance Ryan would not survive the night. The following day, he remained in critical condition in the ICU.

It was during this time while in the hospital that Ryan made a decision that would alter his future. While lying in the ICU, he looked up at his dad and said, “I want to become a pilot.” Ryan’s dad was a pilot (private pilot) himself, and he immediately rushed to the nearby airport, which was only five minutes from the hospital, and picked up an assortment of books and Ryan’s first log book. That was the moment Ryan truly started to focus on reaching a new goal in his life, and he was determined to fight against whatever was going to stand in his way so he could fly!

On Sept. 10, 2015, the bone marrow test returned and Ryan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and began intensive chemotherapy. The first month of treatment was extremely difficult for Ryan and his family.

Despite being given a life-altering diagnosis, Ryan was determined to not let cancer define him. In November, just over two months since being diagnosed, he went up for his first flight! Flying was the one place Ryan felt he had total control over his life and was his way to escape the hardships of chemotherapy. It was also during that first flight that his oncology doctor called and left a message saying Ryan had reached remission.

However, that was not the end of his treatment. Ryan endured almost 3.5 years of chemotherapy while also continuing his flight lessons. Since he was undergoing treatment, he could not qualify for a medical. Ryan had supportive instructors to help him continue to pursue his dreams of flying. Ryan was then told that he could obtain a Sport License, and his instructor, Bob (who is commonly known as the Taildragger Guru of Southern California), introduced Ryan to tail draggers, which led to his decision to buy his first airplane in April of 2018.

Ryan got his first airplane, a 1946 Aeronca Chief named “Snoopy” and soon after became a certified pilot with a Sport License. He never altered his end goal and persevered through his drive, determination, and passion for flying. Upon finishing treatment, Ryan set out to get his medical and was granted a Class 1 by the FAA.

Ryan continued his flying journey by obtaining his Private Certificate and then shortly after getting his Commercial Certificate. All his tailwheel time led to him getting to tow banners for a company called “FlySkyAds Aerial Advertisement” based out of New Jersey. After his first summer flying the Jersey Shore and the New York City skyline, Ryan convinced his boss to let him fly 2 Super Cubs across the country to start a Southern California banner operation. Ryan successfully built the new operation from the ground up, training and hiring pilots, scheduling banners, and getting permission from airports to be able to operate the business out of them. The once two-airplane operation based solely out of New Jersey now has six airplanes in its fleet spread between the east and west coast, thanks to the work done between Ryan and his old boss. During this time, Ryan was also attending The University of Southern California, where he graduated with honors with a major in Political Science and a Minor in Music on May 15, 2021.

The moment finally came in August of this year when Ryan hit 1500 hours in his airplane, submitted his applications, and decided he wanted to join the Air Wisconsin family. Almost 6 years after Ryan told his dad he wanted to become a pilot, Ryan never let cancer define what his future could be.

Ryan’s plane, “Snoopy,” was renovated to have its current red and white color scheme.

Ryan’s dream became a reality this year when he piloted his first commercial airline flight as a First Officer with Air Wisconsin Airlines while his parents sat happily on board in the back!

He noted, “My favorite thing about Air Wisconsin is the culture the company has been able to create. To me, it truly feels like a family, as I get to see familiar faces of pilots and flight attendants every time I’m walking down the halls at the airports. Everyone has an outstanding personality and is truly fun to be around after a long day’s work.”

When asked what encouragement Ryan has for aspiring pilots, he remarks, “I hope my story shows that “even in extreme cases of adversity (whether or not it’s one’s goal to be a pilot), it is truly possible to follow and achieve any dream you have. Before my Illness, I was set on my plan of graduating high school at the top of my class, attending a 4-year university to play D1 golf, and then going on to law school to become a lawyer. What my journey showed me was that sometimes life can alter the course you had planned, and even though at the time it may seem as though your life is ruined, the reality is you have total control of the life you chose to live after that adversity. You can either choose to dwell on the negatives or find the positives hidden in the situation, which just might lead you to the life you never thought you could have. Flying to me is the greatest freedom that one could ask for, and I cherish every second I get to spend in the sky.”

Air Wisconsin is excited to have Ryan as a part of our family, and we thank him for sharing his story of never giving up while chasing his dreams.

Nature versus Nature: Two Generations Share a Passion for Aviation at Air Wisconsin

Psychologists often debate the influence of nature versus nurture and how each may impact our actions and choices as humans. Although we don’t have the answer to one of Psychology’s oldest questions, we can say, when it comes to these three sets of fathers and sons, the desire to work in aviation got passed on to the next generation.

First, meet Paul and Max Gill. Paul started as a Bae146 First Officer at Air Wisconsin in 1998. He is currently a Captain and our Lead Ground School Instructor. Paul’s son Max had the opportunity to fly as a passenger with his dad flying in left seat from Appleton (ATW) to Chicago (ORD) while growing up. Max recently started at Air Wisconsin himself and successfully finished his Initial Operating Experience (IOE) in May. They are pictured together at the Appleton International Airport when Max had an overnight in Appleton, WI during his IOE.

Next up, we have Don and son Jeff Sievert. Don started at Air Wisconsin in 1969 after serving four years in the United States Marine Corps as an F-4 engine test cell mechanic. After 37 years holding various positions at Air Wisconsin, Don retired in 2006 as the Maintenance Planning and Programs Manager. His son, Jeff, started at Air Wisconsin in 2003 after serving four years in the United States Air Force and has been with Air Wisconsin for over 18 years and currently holds our Director of Maintenance position. Jeff had the privilege to work with his dad in the maintenance department for three years and even had a desk located near his father’s for a brief period. Combining their years of service; the Sieverts have provided Air Wisconsin with over 55 years of maintenance experience!

The last duo we would like to introduce is Andy Lundt and his father, Bob Lundt. Andy started as a Ramp Agent with us while he was in college. After school, Andy returned to Air Wisconsin and held various management positions over his 18 years at the Company and is currently our Director of Procurement. Early in Andy’s career, his father, Bob, was also working at Air Wisconsin, managing the Crew Scheduling department. In fact, Bob was the first Crew Scheduler Air Wisconsin employed; he started and grew the department over his 33 years of tenure. Even after Bob retired in 2003, he was instrumental in sharing the stories and artifacts to commemorate our Company’s 50th anniversary in 2015. We hope that Andy continues in his father’s footsteps, collecting mementos and serving as a company historian for many years to come. We would also like to thank these two for their 50 years of combined experience!

Don Sievert and Bob Lundt kindly returned to Air Wisconsin for photos and got an opportunity to reconnect. They toured the new maintenance hanger and reminisced about the early days of our Company, and Fort Wayne was definitely brought up as a key location in our Company’s early years. Don and Bob worked together for many years, and now their sons, Jeff and Andy, interact daily.

We want to thank all six men for sharing their stories and love for aviation running through the generations with a little help from nature and a nudge from nurture.

The Joint Responsibility of Flight: A Closer Look at the Role of a Dispatcher

The dispatcher and the crew share the responsibility of keeping our passengers safe during all phases of flight. Commercial flights in the United States need two people, the pilot in command and the dispatcher, to jointly share responsibility for deeming a flight airworthy. This process begins long before the aircraft takes off to the friendly skies, and all begins with the dispatcher.

Wanting to know more about this critical role in the airline industry, we sat down with several Air Wisconsin Dispatchers to learn a little more about a day in the life of a dispatcher.

A dispatcher’s day starts at 3:30 AM, working at our headquarters in Appleton, WI, in our Systems Operations Center (SOC). Their workspace is situated on the second floor of Appleton International Airport; it’s only pure coincidence they work close to the airport and air traffic control tower. A dispatcher can actually do their job most anywhere as long as they have access to all the necessary software and tools.

A typical Air Wisconsin dispatcher desk has four monitors and an iPad. This configuration allows each  team member to keep an eye on the weather on one screen, utilize our flight release software on a second, and see a plot of all our aircraft on the third. The fourth screen displays an intricate phone system that can assist them in quickly communicating with pilots, outstations, and our maintenance team.

Our dispatchers start by carefully reviewing the weather at departing and arrival cities, designing the flight plan, and identifying alternate routes to land to ensure safe travels for our passengers and our crew members. All of this planning is then merged into a flight release.

A flight release can be defined as the formal authorization for the pilot in command to proceed with a flight with both the dispatcher and the pilot in command in control. Additionally, a flight release must contain certain information such as the company name, make, model, and airplane registration. It must include the date of flight, departure, and arrival cities, any alternate airports, weather information, minimum fuel needed to complete the flight, and state the type of operation (instrument flight rules IFR or visual flight rules VFR). Flight releases contain critical detail and must be carefully reviewed every flight.                           

Planning safe flights and building flight releases are the core of a dispatcher’s work.

While the dispatcher is looking over the route and planning needed fuel, the pilot walks around the plane and reviews the logbook, a running description of all the repairs and maintenance performed on a particular aircraft. If the pilot detects a needed repair on an airplane during his pre-flight inspection, he contacts our Dispatch team. The Dispatcher will then start a conference call with our Maintenance team to discuss how to resolve the problem.

They will determine if the aircraft should be taken out of service for immediate repair or if the plane can still safely and legally fly on its scheduled flights, and the item will be repaired at a later time. This determination is made by using the aircraft’s Minimum Equipment List (MEL). The dispatcher must then note the items to be repaired later on the flight release.

After any MELs are addressed, the dispatcher sends the flight release to the crew, and the pilot agrees the aircraft is airworthy. The pilot prints and signs the release and brings it on the flight for reference.

Next, the dispatcher monitors the flight en route, ensuring no unexpected weather or mechanical issues negatively impact the flight’s progress. In fact, the dispatcher and the pilots can communicate with one another throughout the flight using a system called ACARS. If the pilot in command or dispatcher is of the opinion that a flight cannot operate safely as planned or released, the dispatcher may have the pilot land the plane at a listed alternate or nearest airport. 

For example, say a flight was released to fly from Appleton, WI (ATW) to Chicago, IL (ORD). Along the way, snow and ice suddenly covered the airport at ORD. The dispatcher, who is monitoring the flight and weather, would contact the pilot in command and advise them to fly to an alternate airport to land the aircraft safely on a clear runway in Milwaukee (MKE).

Another example of communication between dispatch and the pilots could relate to our passengers. If someone falls ill mid-flight, the pilots can notify the dispatcher, and they can contact the local emergency medical service to assist the passenger as soon as the plane lands.

Our Flight and Dispatch team’s continuous communication between the air and land ensures safe flying for our passengers and crew.

Being a dispatcher takes focus and dedication. We require an FAA Dispatcher License, and once hired, our Dispatchers receive paid training to learn about the specifics of our fleet. After initial training, our dispatchers continue their training, staying current with all regulations and flying at least five hours in the jumpseat of the cockpit annually to observe our pilots in the air.

We appreciate our dispatch team and could not fly without them!

If you think a career in dispatch might be the right choice for you, apply online today.

Celebrating Mother’s Day 2021

The pandemic may complicate Mother’s Day this year, but know the only thing your mom really wants is to hear from you. Don’t feel guilty if any special days are low-key. The most important thing is being safe.

If you are looking for ideas on creating a socially distanced and unique experience for a mom or caregiver in your life, this blog is for you. You’ll find ideas below and two different aviation-themed color pages for Mother’s Day. 

If YOU LIVE LOCALLY

  • Turn mom’s front door or porch into a burst of colorful celebration. Use streamers, make a custom sign, or even place a wreath she’ll adore on the door. What does she love? How can you incorporate that into the details?
  • Yard signs are a big trend in the South and a fun project for any occasion. Unleash your inner artist or enlist the help of the Monet in your life. 
  • Practical gifts are always helpful. Make mom a coupon to mow the lawn, plant the shrub she just bought, or complete any task you know she isn’t looking forward to doing. You can always skip the coupon and make it a surprise. 

IF YOU’RE NOT LOCAL/OTHER IDEAS

  • Virtually travel together. The hottest tourism spots worldwide have created video tours that let you explore museums, art galleries, and other attractions at home. Has mom always wanted to see Paris? Visit the Louvre and plan your European vacation for the future.  
  • If you have time, creating a slideshow is an option you’ll both enjoy. Who doesn’t love laughing and cherishing old family photos? 
  • Practice self-care by taking a virtual yoga class, completing a soothing craft, or having a virtual spa day together. 
  • Pick out an e-card that shows your mom or caregiver how much you love and appreciate them. 

Other classics include:

  • Delivering flowers
  • Giving a gift card
  • Coordinating a video call
  • Calling for a long chat

To all the mothers and caregivers, Happy Mother’s Day!

Highlighting the Women of Air Wisconsin: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of our series, start HERE.

We continue to share insight from women throughout Air Wisconsin Airlines on our social media channels and in this blog series to acknowledge their contributions and to inspire. These women all have different stories, which gives them a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed, what’s truly important, and how to live your best life.

Like the women featured in this series, we also hope that educating girls and women on the types of jobs available will encourage them to explore the exciting world of aviation. The industry is male-dominated now, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Whether you dream of the sky, love numbers, always tinker with mechanical objects or just have a general interest in aviation, there’s a path waiting for you.

A photo of Nidhi at her desk taken in 2020.

Every time you face a challenge, it could be a defining moment. Nidhi finds success in uncomfortable situations by pushing herself to learn and grow. In school, she was terrified of public speaking and realized no one could solve her problem for her. Nidhi committed to sharing something valuable in every presentation, meeting, or conversation and slowly got over her fear. 

Get out of your comfort zone. Go out there and start learning. No one ever shared this advice with Nidhi. She had to figure it out herself, but she credits this advice with getting her where she is today.

As a Financial Analyst, Nidhi performs multifaceted financial analysis related to operating costs, new business initiatives, labor negotiations with our various unions, etc. She also provides benchmark data to support decision-making, among other things. Nidhi knew she wanted to work in aviation, but one last challenge was in the way.

“I graduated last year in May with my Master’s degree in Aviation Finance. Due to the pandemic, being a new graduate was even tougher than usual… The only thing that did NOT change is the fact that I kept learning no matter what. I’d wake up every day, reach out to my mentors for guidance, keep looking for jobs, enroll in online classes that I found beneficial, and just kept going. Stopping was not an option I wanted to pursue, so I didn’t…

In the past, I have been told ‘Fake it ’till you make it’ or ‘Just suck it up’ when I was seeking advice from others. Now that I am living my life, those phrases hardly mean anything. Personally, I think you have to just be authentic and most importantly, kind to yourself. Just like everyone in this world, I have problems. Pretending like they do not exist does no good to me or anyone. So, my advice is to wake up, dress up, show up, have great coffee, and do such an incredible job that you feel self-motivated every single day without the need for external validation. Become the person you wish to seek advice from.”

— Nidhi Trambadia
Photo taken pre-pandemic.

Like pilots and aviation mechanics, Aircraft Dispatchers are predominately male but have more female representation. Fewer than 5,000 female dispatchers work in the U.S. Aviation industry. According to the FAA, they account for 19.4% of the group as of 2019. Jen joined the ranks after she decided to pursue a career as an Aircraft Dispatcher while working as a Ramp Agent.

Since joining Air Wisconsin, Jen’s career has evolved so much because she took the initiative and seized every opportunity that came her way. Say yes and get involved—that’s what we learn from Jen. Carpe diem!

“I am very proud of being a part of the Air Wisconsin Airlines Dispatch team. I started about 14 years ago as a Dispatcher after leaving the ramp in Minneapolis. I cross-trained as a Dispatch Coordinator and teach Recurrent Training. I also got Air Transportation Supervisor qualified, so I could conduct Competency Checks for Dispatchers. I am a member of the company’s Dispatch-Aviation Safety Action Program committee, working with the FAA to identify significant safety concerns and other unusual events. Finally, I ended up as a Dispatch Trainer. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given as part of the Dispatch team. It’s challenging, and I get to work with an amazing group of people.”

— Jen Sloper
Photo taken pre-pandemic.

Since joining our company, Emily continues to let herself shine. Her contributions were noticed, and about a year after becoming a Flight Attendant, she was promoted to Inflight Domicile Manager. In this role, Emily oversaw the entire Inflight team based at her location. Not letting the expectations of others limit her goals, Emily earned another promotion to Hub Performance Manager.

In this role, Emily liaisons between Air Wisconsin and United’s hubs and outstations. Her keen eye is always focused on our operation and improving our performance. Emily reminds us to shoot for the stars.

“Don’t let norms dictate your goals; create goals to break the norms.”

— Emily Chaudhry
Photo taken pre-pandemic.

Some people have aviation in their blood. Bonnie was always going to work in the industry. First, she joined the Air Force for Air Traffic Control, and while waiting to hear back from the FAA on a position, she became a Flight Attendant. Later, a female First Officer suggested Bonnie take an observation flight to see if she wanted to be a pilot. Bonnie fell in love.

That female pilot became Bonnie’s mentor and still is to this day. That experience changed Bonnie’s life, and she believes in paying it forward by helping others who want to follow in her footsteps. Bonnie’s advice to future pilots is to always do the right thing and surround yourself with people who strive to be better every day. She proves that your path may not be easy or clear, but if you stay focused and invest in yourself, you’ll find a way.

“… She told me to take an observation flight, and I’d know in 5 minutes if it was the thing for me. I instantly fell in love with flying. After that, I bit the bullet, took out a loan, and took a chance on myself. I earned my ratings at ATP. I was given a chance to fly C208 caravans at 252 hours and still kept my job as a Flight Attendant to cover my bills. I would take the train to the Philadelphia airport after my 4 days of flying, sleep in the Minute Suites, and pick up my trip as a Flight Attendant and then commute home for 1 day off. I did that for 2 years to build my hours. Finally, I reached that magic number and went to chat with airlines at Sun and Fun, and that’s where I was introduced to Air Wisconsin. I haven’t looked back since.

The road may be tough and arduous at times, and some people will want to see you fail, but with true passion for the industry and drive in your heart, you will be unstoppable. I am so thankful I took a chance on myself and for having strong support from family, my mentor, and friends. I hope to see more women aviators in the sky.”

– Bonnie Rostad
Photo taken pre-pandemic.

Julia first joined our team as an Avionics Technician. In this role, Julie repaired various parts of the aircraft and performed maintenance like an A&P Mechanic, but additional certification allowed her to work on aircraft electrical systems. After completing our in-house training, she was promoted to her current role as an Inspector.

This vital position provides a check and balance inside of the hangar. Inspectors like Julia observe the mechanics, offer assistance, and double-check work before completing the sign-off. Julia also has the responsibility to inspect parts to determine if they can be refurbished or reused. Knowledge, excellent problem-solving skills, and critical thinking are instrumental in this career path.

Working with great people is one reason why Julia loves her job. Working for a smaller company has its perks and allows her to keep learning every day.

“I like the experience I get while working at Air Wisconsin. It’s a smaller company, so I have been able to learn about all parts of the airplane. Every day brings new challenges that need to be solved by troubleshooting.”

– Julia Darnick

Air Wisconsin is thankful to have such talented and inspiring people on our team. It’s a pleasure to play a developmental role in our employees’ careers and watch them grow.

If you only take one thing with you, let it be this: seize every opportunity to better yourself. And don’t be afraid to create those opportunities yourself. Every person experiences challenges in their life. How will you let those moments define you?


Explore all of our career opportunities HERE, and stay in touch by following us!

Virtual Aviation-Themed Tours

We’ve all been searching for fun things to do during the pandemic, especially this winter. If you haven’t checked out virtual tours, it’s time. You can virtually visit The Louvre, The Great Wall, zoos, aquariums, rain forests, and countless places. Forbes put together their list of the 15 best virtual tours HERE. Of course, if your heart is set on aviation and aerospace, look no further.

There are many free aviation virtual tours out there and even some paid ones. Here are some of the free options options we enjoyed.

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash taken at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

You can take a virtual tour of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Hover your mouse over the screen, and white arrows will appear on the ground telling you where you can go. You’ll see many different types of aircraft and spacecraft in the hangar.

You can also tour the National Mall Building, but unfortunately, this experience doesn’t include detailed information on the exhibits, and the displays are difficult to read.

It’s also worth noting that the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum frequently hosts events on Facebook and goes live to show off artifacts or discuss various topics.

Naval Aviation Museum

You can “walk the museum” and information icons (i) pull up detailed information on the exhibit and featured items. White arrows show you where you can go as you move throughout the museum.

Photo by Nicholas Vassios on Unsplash at the EAA Museum.

EAA

As you would expect, EAA has many, many virtual tours featuring historic aircraft including a replica of the Wright Brothers 1911 Flyer Model B. You can enjoy the scenic trip through the Eagle Hangar or jump to popular aircraft. Scroll down the landing page to see your options.

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Take a self-guided 360-degree tour of the museum. Blue arrows let you know which directions you can go. You’ll also see suggested areas of the museum across the bottom of the screen, allowing you to jump to a certain section. You can also zoom in and get a better look at displays or read the text. We wish all virtual museum experiences had this capability!

Museum of Flight

Take 360-degree tours of well-known aircraft from the comfort of your home, hotel, or wherever you might be. You can also “walk” inside a NASA Full Fuselage Trainer.

Photo by Simon Fitall on Unsplash.

Cockpit 360 App

Want to check out cockpits? This app is free and worth trying. It’s available on iOS and Android.

Have a favorite virtual aviation-themed tour that isn’t on our list? Add it in the comments. We’d love to hear about it. Happy exploring!

Ways You Can Give Back Right Now

2020 continues to be a surprising and difficult year, and 2021 won’t be without challenges. With so much out of our control, it feels good to be able to take action and make a positive impact. There are many ways you can give back to others and your community this holiday season and throughout the pandemic. Here are some ideas to get you started.  

Air Wisconsin Airlines is not associated with any of the organizations listed below, and we recommend that you research any organization yourself before getting involved.

Check in with the people you care about.

Traditionally, the holidays mean large indoor gatherings, something the CDC suggests we avoid for the foreseeable future. Following CDC guidance is important to protect yourself and your loved ones, but unfortunately, it can be lonely. Maintaining vital connections creates a support system, which is especially beneficial when things get rocky, like during a pandemic. Talk and share a laugh with family and friends, just do it virtually or while social distancing. If you don’t have FaceTime, anyone can sign up for Zoom and use it for free; just know that the free version limits meetings to 40 minutes.

Graphic from CDC

Donate items to nonprofit organizations. 

If you discover that you have clothes your kids grew out of last year or household items you don’t use anymore, consider donating them. Remember that the needs of nonprofits may continue to change during the pandemic. Be sure to check their website to see what items they are accepting and what they really need right now.

Volunteer while following CDC preventive guidance.  

Many nonprofits need volunteers year-round, like local food banks or Meals on Wheels. Contact nonprofits in your area and ask how you can help. Also, during the pandemic, it’s best to avoid unexpectedly showing up to volunteer as new guidelines or capacity limits may be in place.

Another idea is to volunteer virtually. For example, you could help blind and low vision people complete tasks through BeMyEyes.com. This service is free to blind and low vision people and relies on volunteers. All you need is a mobile device to sign up.

Photo by Alex Mecl on Unsplash

Help community members in need.

Want to help someone, but not sure who needs it? Check Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center to see who needs help in your area or outright offer help. Picking up groceries for a housebound neighbor and leaving them at the front door is an easy way to make a difference. 

You can also check out the Nextdoor app to stay connected to what is going on in your area.

Thank health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers.  

No one has seen how ugly and devastating this virus can be more than health care workers and first responders. These and other groups of essential workers keep our communities functioning despite the pandemic. Express your gratitude by:

  • Recording a voice message of encouragement on the Health Hero Hotline by calling 877-226-4376.
  • Recording a video with an uplifting message for someone who deserves it on your cell phone and uploading it to www.6ftcloser.com, a site encouraging recognition of everyday heroes.
  • Visiting your local hospital’s Facebook page and website. See if they are requesting certain items to help support frontline workers or if they have a program in place for the public to send messages.
  • Reaching out to essential workers you know and offering to drop off a meal, pick up groceries, or ask how to help them.
  • Making a yard sign or sign for your window. Turn this into a fun activity for the kids.
  • Being kind. Tensions can run high during times of stress. Remember, we’re all doing the best we can. Common courtesy goes a long way.

The biggest way you can help essential workers and the general public is by properly wearing a mask, social distancing, and following CDC COVID-19 preventive guidance. In doing so, you can alleviate the burden on hospitals by not unknowingly spreading the virus and not getting sick yourself. If fewer people became ill with the COVID-19 virus, health care professionals could better care for patients.

Photo by Nicholas Bartos on Unsplash

Helping COVID-19 patients.

As pointed out by the CDC, most people who become ill with COVID-19 can recover at home. Picking up medications or groceries and leaving them at the door are easy ways to help someone recovering at home. You could offer to watch a pet, allowing the person to focus more on themselves. Or, depending on where you live, winter weather means there are walkways to be shoveled.

You’ll also find many worthy charities on the web who help cover hospital costs for COVID-19 patients or help them in another way, but there are some scams too. Before donating money to any organization, read the FTC’s guide on how to verify a charity is legitimate at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity#.

Think about how you can use your passion for good. 

Do you love reading? Start a virtual book club. Are you a yoga fan? Host a weekly yoga session on Zoom for friends who want to participate. Miss talking with your neighbors or colleagues? Start a weekly social hour and connect on Zoom or FaceTime.

How will you give back? 

Every holiday season Air Wisconsin participates in the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program in Appleton, Wisconsin, where our headquarters is based. Throughout the year, we match employee charitable donations, allowing us to positively impact many of the different communities we serve across the country and support the causes that matter most to our employees. We host blood drives and encourage employees to get involved in their communities. During a normal year, our company also participates in charity runs and events as a team.

All photos of employees were taken pre-pandemic.

Giving back can be done on a larger scale, but it can also be done within your social circle or your community. It’s all about connecting and making a difference. Right now, we could all use more positivity and support. If you choose to give of yourself, you’ll create moments of joy for yourself and others.

Fall Coloring Pages

Break out the crayons or markers and bring all of the warm, inviting colors of fall to life on our new coloring pages. Print each design separately, or print the page featuring all four of our fall-themed designs.

Aviator Bear

Fall Travel

My Gourdness, It’s Fall

Soaring Over the Trees

Know someone who would enjoy these? Share the fun!

Break out the crayons or markers! Check out the new fall-themed coloring pages from @airwisconsin. #avgeek #aviation

Adults Love Coloring Too

Last month we created aviation inspired coloring pages with you in mind. We’re happy to help keep your little future pilot or mechanic busy for a while, so you can finish that conference call. They were a hit!

Now, we invite you relax and indulge in some coloring of your own.

Have an idea for another coloring page? We’d love to hear it! Let us know in the comments below.

Enjoy Our Coloring Pages

Spending more time at home can be challenging during the pandemic, especially if you have younger children. We wanted to help! If you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids (or for yourself), check out our coloring pages.

We have four different designs below and a one page .pdf that combines all of the art to conserve paper. These were designed to fill an entire 8.5” x 11” page. You can select “fit to page” or “fill page” when printing for optimum results.

Be sure to share the masterpieces on social media and tag us @AirWisconsin or #AirWisconsin.

Happy Coloring!