The Wanda Whitsitt Founder’s Award is presented to a pilot who has embodied Wanda’s vision of flying with purpose. In doing so, they have been instrumental in the growth and maintenance of LifeLine Pilots.
LifeLine Pilots is proud to present this year’s Founder’s Award to Carson Greene. Carson joined LifeLine Pilots in 2004. He flew many flights as both a Command Pilot and, when his health began to decline, as a Co-Pilot, generously sharing his aircraft with other pilots in service of the passengers.
Carson became a pilot at the young age of 17. He practiced by flying his fellow college students to and from SIU in Carbondale, IL, to their northern Illinois homes. A large span of his career was spent working and flying for Piper, covering an eight-state region, and accumulating 2,500 hours as well as his Commercial and Multi-Engine ratings.
In 2012 Carson joined the LifeLine Pilots’ board of directors. His experience, leadership, and financial generosity helped plot a course for continued enterprise. Through his Woodland Foundation, Carson was one of our most lavish donors, providing the capital necessary for continued and expansive operations. He stepped down from the board earlier this year, needing to focus on his health. He still planned to fly missions. He was an easy choice for this legacy award.
Carson passed away on August 17, 2022, before LifeLine Pilots could present him with this award. Instead, it was presented to his wife at a special ceremony in November 2022.
His last mission for LifeLine Pilots was flying a family from Michigan to Mayo Clinic so that their young daughter could be evaluated for treatment of a debilitating condition. Both parents wanted to fly along, making the mission very heavy. Carson stepped in at the last minute and made sure they were all able to go to that first appointment, flying the whole thing in one leg in his comfortable Pilatus.
Mellissa described their experience. “Your pilots are angels of the sky to us – saviors of bodies and minds from stress and painful travel. They have allowed us to get our daughter to this treatment we otherwise could not afford.”
Thank you, Carson.