Union Corps San Lazare International organizes its 7th Annual Flying Day in Austria(September 2013)
For the 7th time the LAZARUS UNION CSLI organized its hugely successful air day for people with special needs, which was held in Stockerau airfield. This professionally organized event took place in the best of weather on Saturday, Sept. 7th, 2013.
About 250 participants of all ages from kid to senior citizen took the chance to experience this event, among them many long-time guests from the Austrian aiding association for the blind and deaf, the homeless place "Vinzi Rast", Special Homes Stockerau, the Odilien residential community, and may other organizations. They had a chance to fly in helicopters and airplanes and participate also in our supporting program. Many showed great anticipation prior to the event. They were also supported by more than 100 voluntary assistants.
Job priority list at day startup: 1. Get the planes out, 2. Clean the hangar, 3. Set up benches, 4. Prepare barriers. The tasks are executed swiftly and so our president could have his favourite drink (hot chocolate) at the airfield cafeteria at 9:45 already.
At the start there is always an ample amount of confusion, also because our information desk was understaffed this year. Stand-by flights have to be assigned or are rebooked, lists have to be filled out, questions need to be answered. The most asked question was "Is there another helicopter flight available?"
The biggest challenge this time was the dear wish of a person in a wheel-chair to get a helicopter flight. While this sounds like an easy wish for the LAZARUS UNION the problem was that the person weighed 190kg! So the challenge was a little bit tougher but our flight assistants managed without problems. The flight took place and the joy in the face of the passenger was a big reward.
At 10:00 there were big engine noises and the first squad took off. The flights are executed in squadron form, which means that all planes are loaded at the same time and take off in rapid succession, also arriving back home almost the same time. The helicopter pilots had their own routes, flying to the Danube power plant or to other places.
This year we had at our disposal four planes (one PA-28 and three Cessna 172) from FSV 2000 and two planes from the Fliegergruppe Wien (Cessna 172 and 182). Two helicopters came from ARIAL HELICOPTER (B206 and HU30). At the same time RADIO LAZARUS went on air. Our comrade and protocol officer LtCol. Rudolf Murth was a perfect radio host, providing a varied music program and also playing songs on public demand. Interviews describe our jobs and important event information for our guests are announced.
11:00: Deep engine sounds. Our friends from the Harley Davidson Club arrived, led by comrade Hans-Rudolf Gries. What an impressive picture. The audience gazes in wonder, as always, and lines up for pictures.
At the same time the lunch catering for our guests begins, as always organized by the FSV 2000. The supporting program commences with old-timer car tours, which are much in demand, and also airfield tours. The Spillern fire department displayed their fire engine Mercedes 408 D from 1968. Langenlois fire department displayed their extension mast platform TMB 32: MAN 1830, 350 PS, Bronto Skylift , built in 2010. This is a special vehicle providing altitude rescue and fire services up to an altitude of 32m. This of course provided for some nice views of the airfield and the actual events. To our great pleasure also Mr. Manfred Klahofer came with his 1927 fire engine AUSTRO FIAT AFNL. This car was resting at a playground for 50 years before he restored it to its old state, taking 5 years of tedious work. Other vintage cars graced the event and were very much appreciated by the spectators.
The finish was once again a successful concert from the Big Band of the LAZARUS UNION inside the hangar: A tribute to Glenn Miller and his contemporaries, directed by CSLI BrigGen. Friedrich Lentner.
After an intermission the president awarded some distinctions: the Officer's Merits Cross to LtCol. Rudi Murth, the President's Cross of Honour to Staff Sgt. Vzlt Werner Winkelhofer, the Knight's Cross of Merits to Ing. Peter Steinbach, to Monika and Hans-Rudolf Gries the Merit's Cross, and to Lukas Valenta the Service Distinction of the LAZARUS UNION.