WorldFlight USA takes to the skies to raise funds for ORBIS
NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2007 – WorldFlight, a “virtual” round the world flight, takes off on Nov. 4th to raise money for charity. For the second year, WorldFlight
USA will crew a Boeing 737 flight simulator for 24 hours a day over the course of seven days to support the sight-saving programs of ORBIS International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to blindness prevention and treatment in developing countries, where 90 percent of the blind reside.
WorldFlight is an annual charity event, first started by a team in the
United Kingdom seven years ago. This year, WorldFlight
USA will join eight other teams from
Canada and the
UK to raise money for various worthy causes. WorldFlight teams "fly" flight simulators that range in sophistication from partial airliner replicas in a home basement to fully enclosed, full-motion platforms.
“WorldFlight is an incredibly sophisticated technology endeavor," explained Greg Coyle, WorldFlight
USA team leader. "It requires thousands of man hours of preparation and coordination across globally disparate teams each year. Our volunteer crew of eight men and women give their time freely so that we might help ORBIS help those less fortunate than us to see the sights we'll encounter on our virtual voyage.”
ORBIS operates the world’s only
Hospital, a DC-10 aircraft that contains a state-of-the-art ophthalmic surgical center and training facilities. Since 1982, local doctors, nurses and technicians have been working on board the aircraft alongside ORBIS’s multinational medical team to exchange knowledge, improve skills and restore sight. The mobile teaching hospital is a unique tool in the fight against avoidable blindness in developing countries.
“For 25 years, ORBIS and the aviation community have worked together to restore sight and prevent blindness. We deeply appreciate the efforts of the WorldFlight team and wish them safe travels as they embark on their great virtual adventure, which will help us continue to bring eye care to the places where it is needed the most,” said
Geoffrey Holland, executive director, ORBIS International.
ORBIS has also been selected by WorldFlight’s Scottish team as the beneficiary of their virtual flight.
Flying more than 39,000 nautical miles and visiting 45 cities en-route, including
Bangkok, the WorldFlight crews will have to deal with real-time weather, dangerous approaches and numerous “red-eyes,” or late night flights. All legs will be flown online on the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network (VATSIM) using real-world procedures and live air traffic control.
Follow the virtual journey of the WorldFlight USA team at www.wfusa2007.org, and support their sight-saving crew members by making an online contribution to ORBIS at www.orbis.org/wfusa2007.
About ORBIS International
ORBIS International is a nonprofit global development organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Since 1982, ORBIS programs have enhanced the skills of over 154,000 eye care professionals in 85 countries and have provided direct eye care treatment to more than 4.4 million people. To learn more about ORBIS, visit www.orbis.org.
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