Featured Pilots of the SJ Aviation Museum: Vicki Thalacker and the San Juan Eagles

Posted April 20, 2018 at 10:44 am by

Pilot Vicky Thalacker - Contributed photo

On Sun­day, the San Juan Avi­a­tion Muse­um will rec­og­nize and pay trib­ute to Vic­ki Tha­lack­er and a group of San Juan Eagles vol­un­teer pilots for their ser­vice of fly­ing can­cer patients to the main­land for treat­ment. Islanders are invit­ed to cel­e­brate this occa­sion at a recep­tion held at Brick­works, 150 Nichols Street, on Sun­day, April 22nd at 2:00 p.m.

The San Juan Eagles pro­vide per­son­al­ized air trans­porta­tion to can­cer patients in gain­ing access to main­land med­ical facil­i­ties. Round trip flights are made year round, sub­ject to weath­er restric­tions, between San Juan Island and the main­land. All of this is done on a vol­un­tary basis with­out charge. The goal is to help patients with can­cer deal with the bur­dens of treat­ment and improve their qual­i­ty of life over the course of treatment.

Vic­ki start­ed the group in 2003 and flew the first patient. She con­tin­ued to fly active­ly until 2008, and has since coor­di­nat­ed the con­tin­u­a­tion of flights, pilots and patients. To date the group has com­plet­ed over 1,500 flights pri­mar­i­ly for can­cer treat­ment in Mt. Ver­non or Bellingham.

What would oth­er­wise be all day trav­el by car and fer­ry, (usu­al­ly 5 days a week for up to six weeks) is often con­vert­ed to just three hours by flying.

As the founder of the San Juan Eagles and by virtue of her being a leader and a pos­i­tive force in the com­mu­ni­ty over a 15-year peri­od, Vicky, and all of the par­tic­i­pat­ing pilots of the San Juan Eagles, are well deserv­ing of being hon­ored on the Hon­or Wall selec­tion in 2018 at the San Juan Avi­a­tion Museum.

About the San Juan Avi­a­tion Museum:

The San Juan Avi­a­tion Muse­um records the his­to­ry of avi­a­tion in the San Juan Islands since the ear­ly years after World War II when Roy Franklin first estab­lished sched­uled air ser­vice link­ing San Juan Island with our neigh­bor­ing islands and the main­land. As a liv­ing muse­um, dis­plays are added each year to hon­or fea­tured pilots who have made major con­tri­bu­tions to this com­mu­ni­ty and to avi­a­tion. This project, start­ed in 2008, is joint­ly spon­sored by the San Juan Pilots Asso­ci­a­tion and the Port of Fri­day Harbor.

We hope that Islanders will join us at Brick­works on Sun­day at 2:00 p.m. in this cel­e­bra­tion of our his­to­ry. Light refresh­ments will be served.

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