Local

November 21, 2012

Pet, plane lovers come to Mojave

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Rebecca Amber
staff writer


Since its start, Mojave Airportís Plane Crazy Saturday has had a wide array of featured aircraft and pilots.

On Nov. 17, the event took a unique turn in featuring one of the ways that general aviation can ìimprove our quality of life. Bonny Schumaker, Ph.D., president and founder of the non-profit organization On Wings of Care, shared just how she uses her Cessna 172 Skyhawk, for good.

Schumaker began her presentation with this confession, ìMy name is Bonnie and Iím addicted to flying and Iím totally addicted to animals. Throughout her talk, she shared photographs and stories about the various animals that she and her team of dedicated volunteers have rescued.

I love what I do because I absolutely love animals and I love flying,î said Shumaker,ìthe value is not just to the animals, but to the wildlife, to the natural habitats that we save.

On Wings of Care exists to transport and rescue animals. They search, rescue and track wildlife on land and at sea and aid in scientific studies of natural habitats. But, itís not only animals that the group seeks to aid. They also perform humanitarian flights to remote areas bringing necessary supplies to people who have suffered from natural disasters.

Schumaker grew up in the forests of Wisconsin which is where she developed her love of all animals. After graduating from college, she pursued a career at NASAís Jet Propulsion. Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. She has cared for cats, dogs and even raccoons in her home. She is also the author of ìThe Story of Pellie Lou,î a book about a pelican who survived a Gulf of Mexico oil spill. ìIíve flown about 600 hours over the Gulf since April of 2010 finding wildlife, whales, sharks, dolphins and birds and helping scientists find them and tag them,î said Schumaker. She also added that she has gotten to know some of the pelicans on ìan almost personal basis.

The real rescue is not just finding a dog and pulling them off the street,î said Schumaker, [it's] finding them a home and getting them there.î For more information about On Wings of Care visit www.onwingsofcare.org.

Plane Crazy Saturday is a monthly event at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Admission is free and the gates open at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of every month, sponsored by the Mojave Transportation Museum.




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