Murfreesboro Aviation flies supplies to Veteran Families in path of Hurricane Irma

Jim Gardner, Gulf War veteran and owner of Murfreesboro Aviation has supplied an aircraft and pilot to fly supplies to two veteran families in the path of hurricane Irma.

At 8:32 am this morning an aircraft owned by Murfreesboro Aviation departed for Jacksonville, FL carrying cases of bottled water and 600 sand bags. The supplies will be delivered to two veterans who have requested assistance from comrades to protect their families from hurricane Irma.
Military pilot Tim Mathisen (coordinator of the project) and Murfreesboro Aviation flight instructor Tanner Quigley are flying the supplies. Mathisen and Quigley plan on re-fueling in South Georgia on the way down although the aircraft can fly direct to Jacksonville. The concern is that there may be no fuel remaining in Jacksonville once they arrive.

Mathisen received a call from an Iraq war veteran Chris Matheson (no relation) on Thursday (September 7) asking if he knew of anyone who has sand bags available since all stores in the state of Florida are sold out. Matheson lives with his family in Jacksonville where he is going through the Wounded Warrior College Program. Navy pilot Nathan Lewis and his wife and baby are also in the area and cannot find bottled water. Lewis’ wife asked if there was a way to get water to them. The supplies will be split between the two families.

After hearing from both families, pilot Mathisen contacted the owner of Murfreesboro Aviation, Jim Gardner (also a veteran) who offered use of his aircraft and pilot for the mission. “These families need help so we were eager to do what we could for them. We wish we could do more, but are focused on helping the Matheson and Lewis families weather this potentially catastrophic event,” said Gardner.

Navy pilot Lewis will meet the aircraft in Jacksonville and help offload the supplies so that the plane can get back in the air toward Murfreesboro before the winds become too strong for safe flight. The plane is scheduled to arrive at 1:30 pm local time but the flight briefing indicates strong wind gusts around 2 pm.

As all of this is occurring, another friend of Mathisen’s, stationed in Miami and a Captain in the Air Force, is driving to Jacksonville in hopes of flying back to her home town of Murfreesboro with Quigley and Mathisen. The traffic on the highway is said to be terrible between the two cities as many in the state evacuate. The plane must leave before the weather turns ugly so she’s doing what she can to arrive in Jacksonville in time.

Murfreesboro Aviation is the busiest privately-owned flight school in the state of Tennessee and owned by Jim Gardner. In the past 4 years Murfreesboro Aviation has grown from a flight school to a maintenance and repair center, Cessna Authorized Service Center, avionics repair and installation facility, aircraft brokerage and acquisition services company, and FAA certificated part 135 charter operator.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please contact
Jim Gardner, Owner of Murfreesboro Aviation at (615) 604-9292 or
Blake Tumbleson, General Manager of Murfreesboro Aviation
615.494.1900/Office * 615.948.0008/Mobile

Murfreesboro Aviation
1936 Memorial Boulevard
Murfreesboro Municipal Airport
Murfreesboro, TN 37129