Textron launches eighth Special Olympics Airlift

Textron Aviation has launched its Special Olympics Airlift (SOA), putting out a call for Cessna Citation, Beechcraft King Air, Beechcraft Premier, Beechjet, and Hawker owners to help transport more than 4,000 athletes and coaches from across the nation to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida.

“Textron Aviation, along with our many generous customers and supporters, is extremely excited to kick off the eighth Special Olympics Airlift in support of providing athletes and coaches transportation to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO. “This signature event is a unique opportunity that enables everyone, from our employees to our customers, to ignite our shared passion for lifting others up and supporting our communities by giving the athletes the joy of a once-in-a-lifetime aviation experience.”

Textron Aviation President & CEO Ron Draper (pictured third from left) with Special Olympics Kansas athletes.

Since the first Special Olympics Airlift in 1987, nearly 10,000 athletes and coaches from across the United States have been transported to Special Olympics World Games and USA Games. With this eighth SOA, Textron Aviation aims to recruit 228 aircraft owners by Feb. 28, 2022, to help transport a portion of the more than 4,000 athletes and coaches invited to Orlando on June 4, 2022, and then return them to their home bases on June 12, 2022.

In addition to aircraft, pilots, fuel, and in-kind support are requested for the airlift efforts, company officials said. While the 2022 USA Games are located in the Southeast, thousands of athletes and coaches will travel from all over the U.S., as well as the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.

“Traveling to Orlando for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games may be the first time some of our athletes ever leave their hometown, let alone fly on an airplane,” said Tony Wyllie, regional president, Special Olympics North America. “The travel experience provided by Textron Aviation and its customers will be the ultimate bookends for one unforgettable week.”

For more information and to register to be a part of this

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