Punta Gorda Airport growing with help of non airline businesses

Luxury Private Air Travel

Air Trek Serves Up Luxury Private Air Travel

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Air Trek, Inc. has been a Carr family business since 1978 and built from a shared passion for flying. Brothers Wayne, Dana and Lester have grown one of the nation’s premier air ambulance and private aircraft charter services with a special touch in helping people travel for business or pleasure with ease. Continue Reading…

Soaring to Success on a Passion for Flying

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Luckily for the Carr family business – Air Trek Inc. – when Wayne Carr’s father warned him many years ago, “You’re going to get killed in those airplanes,” Wayne chose to ignore the warning, he told us, chuckling at the memory. This ominous forecast from his father took place one Saturday morning when Wayne announced that he was going to learn how to fly. His father was not a pilot and never flew a plane; obviously he was worried about his son. Despite his father’s words, the 18-year-old, who worked for his father’s mechanics business in Langhorne, Pa., went to a local airport near Philadelphia International and took his very first flying lesson. And he’s never looked back or regretted his decision. “But I keep in mind what my dad said, and every time I get into a plane I say, ‘Not today, Dad,’” Wayne related. Continue Reading…

Air Trek: Saving lives at the speed of flight

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A child in Miami needs a life saving operation only available at Boston Children’s Hospital.

This is a real life event and a life saved at the speed of flight.

This case involves a child who was born with an undeveloped heart valve. Inoperative due to the small size and frail condition of the child, this child was unable to play or thrive. However, thanks to modern medicine there is hope: A specialist at Boston Children’s can perform micro surgery. Continue Reading…

NBAA Wayne Carr Pilot Safety Award

Air Trekÿs President/CEO and Chief Pilot, Wayne A. Carr, ReceiveDownload “NBAA Wayne Carr Pilot Safety Award”

Air Trek’s President/CEO and Chief Pilot, Wayne A. Carr, Receives the National Business Aviation Association’s Pilot Safety Award

Air Trek, one of the Nation’s oldest Air Ambulance services, is pleased to announce that its President/CEO and Chief Pilot, Wayne A. Carr, has received the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Pilot Safety Award for the year of 2012. Wayne received the award for operating business aircraft for a total of 19,000 or more consecutive hours without an accident involving damage to property or injury to persons. Continue Reading…

Farmer’s final flight plants lasting memory

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One beautiful spring Saturday, a social worker called requesting a STAT patient transport to Iowa. The patient was an elderly farmer suffering from end-stage cancer who wanted to go home to be with family and friends during his final days. Within two hours, we were boarding the patient, his wife and son into our Cessna Citation Jet. The patient was alert, oriented and very talkative.

After the patient asked many questions about the Citation Jet, we soon learned he was a pilot and enthusiastic member of the Flying Farmers Association. He told us of his many years flying his single-engine Beechcraft and how he often enjoyed flying over his Iowa farm to survey the progress of his corn from planting to harvest. Continue Reading…

Air Trek: Providing air ambulance and charter service for 36 years

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At 36 years old, Air Trek is the oldest business at Punta Gorda Airport. But, oh, how it has grown.

“When we started, it was just my brother Wayne and me,” said Dana Carr, co-owner and director of operations, who spoke with us for this report. Continue Reading…

When a kiss becomes more than just a kiss

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All of us in health care are often touched by our patients, and we appreciate when a patient expresses sincere gratitude for our services. In providing air ambulance services, Air Trek flight teams are often shown sincere appreciation from patients and families, which is often the best reward for the job.

I recall a particular “grandmotherly” patient whom we flew from Florida. She had completed an extended hospital stay and was finally going home for continued home health care. During the flight, she spoke of how she missed her family and friends and just wanted to be home. In Michigan, we arrived to a welcoming party of family and friends, all lined up to greet her as though she were a hero returning home. Continue Reading…

Family reunion a happy ending to most memorable mission

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At Air Trek, we have many fond memories of special patients and air ambulance flights that stand out in our 36-year history. One flight in particular demonstrates the unique benefits of our dual-stretcher/double-patient capabilities.

Tragically, a husband and wife were involved in an auto accident in south Central Florida. With their car a total wreck, the wife was transported to the local hospital in Sebring while the husband was airlifted via helicopter to the trauma center at Tampa General Hospital. Continue Reading…

Nice and easy does it, especially with elderly fliers

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When planning travel for the elderly, keep the old adage “nice and easy does it” in mind. I learned this from experience when traveling with my dad on his occasional pilgrimages to Las Vegas.

Dad loved playing slot machines, and to him, Vegas was the ultimate vacation destination. The problem was that as Dad aged, 60 years of smoking and a nasty bout with TB (a souvenir of the Korean War) had given him poorly functioning lungs and COPD. Continue Reading…

Flying: It's a family affair at Air Trek

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As Air Trek Inc. celebrates its 35th year of providing air ambulance and private jet aircraft charter service, brothers Dana, Lester and Wayne Carr reminisce over 31⁄2 decades in aviation. The word “trek” is defined as a long and never-ending journey. Our journey officially began, Oct. 16, 1978, with the incorporation of Air Trek Inc.

This is our story. Some kids dream of flying. For some it is the fantasy of flight, but for a special few, flying becomes a passion. My brother, Wayne Carr, happens to be one of the latter. As a kid, Wayne dreamed of becoming a pilot. As a teen, flying became his passion. Continue Reading…

Air Trek, Incorporated - One of the nation's most successful private jet fleets is right here at PGD.

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When you consider all the extreme inconveniences of commercial air travel today, it makes you wonder, is there an alternative? The answer is yes, there is.

Right here in Charlotte County is one of the nation’s most accomplished and successful private aviation businesses. For almost 36 years, one local aviation-bred family has provided private aviation services to clients of all types in and around the Charlotte Harbor area as well as from around the world. Continue Reading…

Flying High

UP, UP AND AWAY Prior to DBS, Parkinson's had Don Wohlers grounded. Now his life has taken off again.Sarasota MagazineDownload “Flying High”

How deep brain stimulation rescued one Parkinson’s patient. By Su Byron

Dan Wohlers, 57, loves to fly. Before he obtained his pilot’s license, he took up parachuting, clocking in about 260 skydives over the years. By the mid-1970s, he was piloting his own small planes, including a 1949 two-seater Aeronca Champ.

As the years flew by, he owned a series of planes, including a Cessna 172 and a Piper PA-11.

After graduating from Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, Ohio, with an associate degree in respiratory therapy, Wohlers met and fell in love with Sue, a fellow pilot. She shared something else with Dan; she was also involved in the medical field, as a nurse. They married in 1977 and moved to Punta Gorda in 1979, where they both found work at an area hospital, They settled into a happy family life, bringing up two children, John and Sarah, and flying around the country whenever they could. Continue Reading…

To the Heights and Back Again

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The first time I heard about Dan Wohlers was when I inquired about the ice chest full of snow sitting in front of the church school in Port Charlotte, Florida.

“Oh, yes,” a teacher assured me, “it is snow. This guy in our church flies an air ambulance, and he brought the snow from somewhere up north for our kids to ploy with. Some have never even seen snow before. He also brings colorful fall leaves for the kids to see. Don’s always doing something neat like that.” Continue Reading…



Air Trek, Inc. overcomes hurricanes, rides changing demographics to success

PUNTA GORDA, FL — Ground zero, you might call it. On Friday the 13th of August, at the peak of Hurricane Charley, one of two to hit this region this past summer, the airport anemometer broke. The last recorded wind speed: 180 mph. Most of the Punta Gorda Airport was destroyed, including much of the hangar/facility complex that houses Air Trek Air Ambulance. Within months, Air Trek was looking good as new, a reflection of how the Carr brothers and their 100 or so employees approach the marketplace — keep moving forward while making sure the day to day is on track. After a 9/11 setback to their growth plan, the Carr brothers are back on an aggressive growth curve and are looking for new bases to expand. Continue Reading…