PHOENIX — Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is giving back on his birthday this year.
The gubernatorial hopeful turns 58 on Friday and to celebrate, he is taking his plane for a whirl to Yuma.
Smith said many don’t realize it, but he’s been a pilot for the better part of a decade.
“I’m sure it’s probably a surprise to many people that I fly a plane, but I love it,” he said. “It’s one of my great passions.”
But this year, Smith won’t be taking just any ordinary trip. Instead, he will leave Falcon Field in Mesa, before sunrise, to transport a special payload of blood.
“United Blood Services delivers the blood platelets to Falcon Field, I put it in my plane, takeoff and in my plane it’s a short 57- or 58-minute flight from Mesa to Yuma,” he said.
From there, the Yuma Regional Medical Center will use the blood for patient care.
Smith noted the flight is part of a group called Flights for Life.
“It’s a group of several dozen pilots that donate their time and their planes to fly blood and blood products around the state for United Blood Services,” he said.
He added that he is glad to help out the organization.
“We get to give service, we get to do something that really has an impact on people’s lives and we get to fly around this great state,” Smith said. “It’s so beautiful from the air and especially early in the morning.”
Smith should land in Yuma around 8:30 a.m. Friday.
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night