Flight Club 502 volunteers logged 19,800 volunteer hours in 2022!
Mark Loring is an exceptional individual who has made a significant impact on the aviation industry, especially in his local community of Louisville. As a Senior Captain at UPS airlines, Mark’s passion for aviation goes beyond his job. He has dedicated countless hours to giving
back to his community by helping to run Flight Club 502, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring young people about aviation.
Mark’s journey in aviation began in high school, where he earned his pilot’s license by collecting and salvaging old computer keyboards to raise the money for his flight training. He continued his training while working full time at a chemical company after graduating from the University of Louisville. Eventually, his passion for aviation led him to co-found Cardinal Wings in 1992, with no airplane, no students, and no money. Despite the challenges, Mark’s exceptional operations skills helped build the largest flight school in the region, with 22 aircraft, the first FAA testing center in the region, and traffic watch in three cities.
Mark’s commitment to helping youth is evident through his generous donations of flights to the young eagle program from 1992 to 2001, believing that one flight could change a young person’s trajectory by integrating the importance of STEM and decision-making. He has continued to give back to the community through Flight Club 502, which he helped found in 2015.
Flight Club 502 started with just 20 youth, no money, and no airplane. Today, it has over 400 members, five owned aircraft, a redbird sim, and the best facility on Bowman Field. Over 200 youth have soloed the plane, and over 100 have obtained their pilots’ licenses. Mark’s exceptional operations skills and ability to find solutions have played a significant role in the growth and success of Flight Club 502.
One of Mark’s most significant contributions to Flight Club 502 has been his idea to partner with the UPS intern program, allowing young interns to mentor the youth while experienced professionals mentor the interns. This program has been successful, with over 30 UPS interns participating in teaching and mentoring the FC502 Youth.
Despite his vast knowledge and experience in aviation, Mark is a humble person who listens to others’ ideas and leads the group as a team. He has a wonderful disposition and is always willing to give everyone an opportunity to contribute. When faced with problems, Mark looks at them from all sides and comes up with options that the rest of the group has not considered.
Mark’s unwavering dedication to Flight Club 502 has not gone unnoticed. He was recently awarded the title of Volunteer of the Year, he logged 1700 of volunteer hours in 2022 and is being recognized for his exceptional contributions to the organization. His selflessness and passion for aviation have inspired many, and his impact will undoubtedly be felt for years to come. He is a true inspiration for anyone who wants to achieve their dreams through dedication and hard work.
In summary, Mark Loring is an outstanding individual who has made a significant impact on the aviation community. He has dedicated his life to giving back and helping young people discover their passion for aviation. He is an inspiration to us all and a role model for anyone who wants to make a positive impact on their community. UPS airlines should be proud to have such an exceptional person wearing the UPS uniform captaining the MD11.
Written by: Laura Jones, Chair Emeritus, Volunteer since 2015