By: Angel MedFlight Contributor
On January 10th, at 1AM, Angel MedFlight entered their Learjet 35 into the Parade of Planes making their way to the Barrett-Jackson Auto Show from the Scottsdale Municipal Airport . The temperature, a chilly 40 degrees with a slight wind was present. Angel MedFlight's technicians, media, and public relations crews were on hand to guide the plane down one of the busiest streets in Scottsdale - Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.
Preparations to get the plane to the starting point of Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. were strategically planned and executed with precision. The danger of pulling a jet with a 39 foot wingspan for a stretch of 2 miles are plentiful: cars, signs, lampposts, vegetation etc. Even with escort provided by the Scottsdale Police Department, the unknown can happen - and did. One renegade driver with a lack of patience found themselves in a bit of trouble with the law when cutting through the Parade.
Albert Miller, Videographer for Angel MedFlight, was filming nearly the entire 2 mile stretch.
"Overall, the transition was pretty smooth. With the exception of some drivers, most of the obstacles have been signs and shrubbery," said Miller. "It was a great team effort, everyone was aware of their surroundings, and everyone worked together to get the Learjet safely down Frank Lloyd Wright and into Westworld."
While the Parade of Planes is not a publicized event, it is an annual occurrence for Barrett-Jackson sponsors who have aircraft that need to get to the event location - Westworld in Scottsdale, AZ. In years past, the parade generally included, single-engine or multi-engine prop planes, but that night, Angel MedFlight's Learjet 35 made an appearance one won't soon forget. This is the largest airplane to ever be displayed at Barrett-Jackson. Additionally, it was, by far, the largest aircraft in the Parade and required the most supervision and caution.
Director of Operations, Brandon Kearns at Aviation West Charters (dba Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance) was in attendance to ensure the safe transfer as well. Moving foliage and ensuring sign clearance as the jet slowly rolled required a keen eye and fast reflexes.
"The local law enforcement did a fantastic job of blocking off the roads for us. We had a great group of people from Angel MedFlight as well as some officials from Barrett-Jackson and the Scottsdale Airport." Kearns was asked if he had ever been involved in a transfer of this kind. He replied, "I have been in aviation for 16 years... this would have to be the first time."
Angel MedFlight is excited to feature their latest member of the medically-configured jet lineup - the Learjet 35.