Does Doug Decker Fly?

March 25, 2016


The A-36 Bonanza is the first plane Decker has owned outright in 50 years of flying.           Charles Swenson/Coastal Observer


Here’s an update from Doug Decker who continues to enjoy life in Pawleys Island SC and is making a difference along the way.


A few weeks ago the FAA awarded me the Wright Brothers Master Pilots Award for 50 years of safe flying. My flying experience started in Salt Lake City, Utah as a sales engineer at JCI and has continued today. Here is a link that might be of interest to aviation enthusiasts:


“Pawleys Island Man Receives FAA’s Highest Honor” South Strand News Feb 17, 2016

“Master of the Air”, Coastal Observer March 3, 2016

Now, there is a bit more to the story. Checkout the South Strand News article to find that …


Photo from South Strand News

(Doug is) … an Angel Flight and Mercy Flight pilot that, he said, has become a passion. 

Angel Flight and Mercy Flight are non-profit organizations that arrange for volunteer pilots to fly individuals to distant health-care facilities for medical needs. The pilot, Decker said, provides the airplane and all costs associated with the flight. 

Both organizations, Decker said, post flight requests on their websites, and pilots are able to select the flights they would like to take. “I usually fly 12 volunteer flights a year,” Decker said, “but I am (a pilot) on the organ-transplant flight list so I am ready to go in a moment’s notice should either group need my service in an emergency situation.” 

Most of his trips are one-way, 300-mile flights. Often, Decker said, he tag teams with other volunteer pilots to deliver passengers to facilities further up or down the East Coast. “If we have a patient that needs to go to Johns Hopkins in Maryland, for example,” he said, “I might take the patient half way and another volunteer pilot will step in and take them the remainder of the distance. … 

“It’s nice to know I can use my expertise and my plane to help people receive the medical treatment they might not obtain otherwise. … Plus, the people we take to different places are so appreciative.”

Isn’t it great to see someone enjoying his ‘work’?

Good to hear from you again Doug. We’re looking forward to seeing you again on one of your stops in Milwaukee.