We all probably know someone (or at least know of someone) who passed away and his (or her) family was left with the job of disposing his aviation related equipment and materials. Using myself as an example, I probably have close to $30k worth of airplane parts, tools, equipment, instrumentation, literature, etc. Should something happen to me, my wife would be left with the chore of getting rid of this stuff, and hopefully she can recoup most if not all of my familyís money I spent over the years with my hobby. 

But we all know this is not a realistic expectation. We know that at best, my wife might be able to get pennies on the dollar as she tries to sell the stuff. Additionally, how would she even know where to begin? 

And then there are the ghoulsÖ those who would be willing to take advantage of her situation for their own personal gain. How would my wife know that my yellow tagged King KX-155 with the 208 indicator is worth $2500, when it looks like a $150 car stereo? So when sheís offered $500 for the unit, she might think itís a good deal. Iíve see this happen too many times, So Iíve started a charity to help the families of deceased aviators.

We vow to assist the families of deceased aviators in their time of need, by performing the following services. 

Upon receiving a request for assistance from the family of a deceased aviator:

1) We will inventory, catalog and appraise all aviation related materials, including (but not limited to) aircraft, hangar, parts, kits, plans, hardware, instruments, books and magazines, tools, equipment, and any other aviation related property. 

2) We will offer a cash settlement at a fair market value, based on an honest appraisal of the property and itís current condition, while keeping in mind the families best interest. 

3) Upon acceptance of the offer, either in whole or in part, payment will be rendered, and we will (in a timely manner) remove all property that will now belong to the charity. 

4) At our expense, we will then market the property and recoup our expenditures.

You have probably figured by now that thereís no way a company can stay in business under this plan. We couldnít possibly pay ďa fair market valueĒ for a product, and then expect to sell it at a profit. But thatís the keyÖ we are a NOT FOR PROFIT organization! At all times, the familyís best interest will be kept in mind, not the bottom line of the corporation. 

We rely on the generosity of the aviation community to keep us afloat. The property purchased from the families will be sold to recoup the capital outlay, but operating costs will need to come by way of donations. These donations can be in the form of cash contributions or even aviation related property. We can even utilize volunteer help to keep labor expenses low. 

Weíve all seen the ads in various aviation magazines, asking us to donate our planes. Years ago, while interested in buying my first plane, I checked the website of one of these companies. Sure enough, they had projects and planes for sale, at reasonable prices. I decided to check into the background of this particular company, by reading their mission statement. It seems that they were interested in feeding starving children in a foreign country; a good work, no doubt, but how can I as an aviator get behind this cause? How is this aviation related? Why would we as aviators be interested in donating to this cause? 

We now have a tax deductible charity which we as aviators can support, one which will do a good work within our own community. What better charity for us aviators to support, than one that assists the families of our fellow aviators? Some day, each of us might be in need of this type of help ourselves. So consider donating your plane or other aviation related materials to this cause.

As we begin to receive property, either donated by supporters or purchased from families, each piece will be evaluated. If itís an instrument or radio, it will be yellow tagged. If itís new in the box, it will be sold ďas isĒ. If itís in need of some repair to get full market value, itíll be refurbished. 

All products that are ready to be marketed will be listed on our website. Advertising will be placed with all the popular magazines and websites. Hopefully we can get support from the EAA, AOPA, SAA and other related aviation organizations. 

Some property such as incomplete kits or dissembled certified aircraft or engines will have far more value as a completed, flying aircraft or operational engine, than it would as a pile of parts. There are future plans to handle this in house, either by volunteers or persons on payroll. 

CONTACT! Magazine is owned by a 501(c)3 charity (Aeronautics Education Enterprises) and will be the vehicle for this new work. By subscribing to the magazine, youíll be helping us with the seed money to get the whole thing off the ground, while at the same time, receiving value for your contribution.

With the money generated from CONTACT!, we will be able to have booths at both Sun n' Fun and Oshkosh. CONTACT! has had booths at both of these fly-ins (as well as a few others) for over a decade, and usually hosts the engine forum at SNF and COPPERSTATE. We will continue with this tradition.

We need your help to get the word out. We need your help to get the magazine subscription numbers up. Itís only through increased subscriptions that we can get the ball rolling properly. 

Please take your issue of CONTACT! To your next EAA meeting. Show it around and see if you canít get some of your fellow members to start a subscription with us. If youíd like a few free sample copies to distribute, contact me and Iíll get them right out to you. If you belong to an internet group, let them know about CONTACT!, and our website: www.ContactMagazine.com 

I have a history of visiting local EAA chapters and presenting CONTACT! as well as the charity. I started in my local area (central California) but have branched out to all over the USA. If your EAA chapter would like to hear more, from me personally, please let me know. We are also offering free sample copies of CONTACT! Magazine to any EAA chapter that makes a request.

If this is something you feel is worth your support, I ask that you help spread the word. Encourage all your friends (and fellow EAA members) to subscribe to CONTACT! If you have something to donate (plane, parts, time, etc.), please by all means let me know as soon as possible. 

Should you know of a family that is in need of our help, have them contact us. One thing we will not do is contact families first, as we donít want a reputation of being ďambulance chasersĒ. The family will have to contact us. However, since the charity is in itís infancy, we probably wonít be able to do all that our mission statement claims, but with the network we have in place, we might be able to help see that the family is not taken advantage of. As donations start to materialize, as our reputation grows, hopefully then weíll be able to realize our goal as described in the mission statement. 

Thank you! 

Patrick Panzera, Editor