Alan Rodney Griffin has lived all over the globe, and three of his passions have remained consistent throughout his travels: aviation, Africa and his faith. There were many times over the course of his career where these passions overlapped in his work as a pilot. Air Unlimited is happy to have this seasoned pilot offering flights to the Abaco Islands from the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.
Alan’s passion for flying started when he was just 11 years old. He watched a film strip about missionaries who were killed in Ecuador with Nate Saint as their pilot. Saint’s bravery and commitment inspired Alan at a very young age, and he strived to consistently embody these traits throughout his career. He began his journey to become a pilot in 1968 after leaving his home in the UK to live in South Africa. He began teaching at St. Mary’s School in Nairobi where he taught the current President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. He tirelessly worked and saved up enough money to pursue his dreams.
By 1974 he received his private pilot license in Kenya. Alan, a man of many passions, knew it was time to move on to his next goal. Before he was able to teach in Nairobi, Alan had to go through a teacher training course. He was satisfied with this career, but he had aspirations to attend a university and expand his knowledge of aviation, which would provide more opportunities. One year after earning his private pilot license, Alan moved to Texas to attend Le Tourneau University. This was the start of even greater things for Alan. He received a Bachelor of Science in aviation and bible studies, met his wife Ruth and began working at the Gregg County Airport in Longview, Texas.
His commitment to aviation education led Alan back to Africa once again. He continued his flight training and worked in commercial aviation in Kenya. During his time there, Alan used every flight as a learning experience. This is a method of thought he still practices to this day.
Now, Alan, Ruth and their two oldest children live in Orlando. Alan’s newest venture is working with Air Unlimited piloting flights to the Abaco Islands. As a contract pilot, he has made many flights to the Abaco Islands, but he is looking forward to traveling there for pleasure instead of work. Prior to working with Air Unlimited, Alan had only visited Treasure Cay, Staniel Cay and Exuma for a photoshoot of the EADS Socata TBM 850, a high performance single engine turboprop.
In Alan’s many successful years as a pilot, he has yet to visit one destination that he can call his absolute favorite. He does have one major life goal in mind, though. New Zealand is more than 8,000 miles from Orlando over open ocean, but with dedication, Alan hopes to find a way to pilot a plane there. He has more goals on the horizon like piloting more gliders, amphibian flying, and learning how to fly a helicopter. It’s easy for him to stay motivated and inspired while working with Air Unlimited. He also keeps a healthy work-life balance and spends time gardening, exercising, helping his church, and of course being a couch potato when the opportunity presents itself.
Keep an eye out for Alan on your next flight to the Abaco Islands! If you’re looking for a good story, don’t hesitate to ask him about his many travels abroad.
For most of the country, fall is a magical time when the leaves change colors and temperatures drop. It’s one of the most beautiful times to explore the great outdoors and begin new traditions with the people you love. However, delayed flights and anything-but-friendly fellow travelers can start your vacation off on the wrong foot. An on-demand charter service ensures accurate flight times, no layovers and the privacy of having an Air Unlimited aircraft just for you and your party.
A private plane may seem a bit over-the top, but when you consider the hassle of flying with children or a larger group, the benefits are significant. Floridians dream of seeing the leaves change, instead of another dropping palm frond. Apple picking would be a great family outing, if only they could stand our extreme heat long enough to stay on the branch. Why not fly off to enjoy the true fall season? An on-demand charter service can take you from point A (hot and humid) to point B (cool and crisp) for the perfect fall getaway.
The fall season begins on September 22nd and ends just before the busiest time of the year on December 21st. With the exception of Thanksgiving weekend, fall has some of the most affordable lodging fees of the year. It’s the perfect excuse to get out of town. Because your flight will already be taken care of through Air Unlimited’s on-demand charter service, you’ll just need to keep an eye out for hotel fares. This is easier than ever with tools like Price Watch on Hotels.com and Kayak.com’s Price Alert. Just pick the city and dates you’ll be there, and let them do the rest. They will let you know the right time to book and even send you predictions for when prices are expected to drop.
One very important fall travel tip, especially for those of you who aren’t used to cold weather, is to always wear sunscreen and moisturize as much as you can. The weather might be cool enough to stay outside all day, but those pesky UVA and UVB rays are ever-present. With the lack of humidity, your skin can dry out very quickly. A little dry skin isn’t a huge problem, but once your knuckles become so dry they crack, you’ll have a tough problem on your hands — literally. It’s always smart to keep a travel-sized lotion in your bag when you set out on a fall adventure. Something like this Nivea travel-sized tin can keep you comfortable all day long.
Wherever your destination may be, Air Unlimited is here to show you that flying doesn’t have to be a hassle. With their luxury on-demand charter flights, you can enjoy your trip from take-off to touchdown. Call today for an on-demand charter service quote at 407-585-4300.
Charles “Chick” Gregg is co-owner and captain at Air Unlimited, and anyone who speaks with him can immediately see that he has a true passion for flying. A lover of all things plane-related, Chick knew he wanted to be a pilot as a small boy while flying right seat with his father.
After graduating from UF with a degree in civil engineering, Chick began his flying career at 27 years old piloting a Bonanza, visiting job sites across the southeast US. After many years of owning and running successful businesses in construction and homebuilding, while enjoying his love of recreational flying, retirement came early. It was then that his flying passion turned into a new career.
Having traveled to the Bahamas many times over the last 30 years, Chick had a deep connection with the island life, especially the Bahama’s best kept secret: The Abaco Islands. Knowing the travel industry lacked reliable transportation directly to and from these scenic islands, Chick joined forces with co-founder, Mark Neubauer, to launch Air Unlimited Charter Services. This airline brand is complete with an aircraft fleet that flies guests from the Orlando Sanford International Airport directly to Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay in the Abaco Islands in less than 90 minutes without the “big airport” hassle. Aside from the scheduled island service, Air Unlimited is also known for its customizable and dependable charter service, featuring a private jet where you can often find Chick positioned in the left seat as Captain.
Chick has always loved to travel, so being able to pilot his own private jet to Hope Town, or take his family to one of the nearby famous sights in the Abacos, is just another perk of the job.
On any given day, you can find Chick sitting behind the desk at his airport office working the numbers for the business or solving problems, and always wearing many hats. “Our customers are the reason I continue to work hard to improve Air Unlimited’s service each day,” said Chick. “They often become like family.”
Another favorite “job” he routinely performs is quoting and piloting charter and private jet flights.
Chick is committed to growing new services, such as their Organ Transport Medical Flights. “These flights are making a difference in people’s lives, which we take very seriously,” said Chick. “The responsibility means a lot to our entire team.”
When Chick isn’t flying, he’s usually still thinking about flying – as a true pilot would do. In his spare time, he is building an aircraft with his three sons. Chick is dedicated to his work, but he does know how to relax and often travels to his home in Colorado with his wife, Lisa, and their two yellow labs, who travel in style, thanks to their “pilot dad.” While there, he enjoys relaxing, as well as skiing and entertaining friends. He frequently enjoys spending time with his four children and their spouses, four grandchildren and his amazing mother-in-law. Closer to home, Chick’s other go-to destination is his farm in Georgia, where he flies routinely with his brother and other good friends to hunt or work the land.
Chick and Lisa enjoy traveling nationally and internationally, often with groups of friends to celebrate important milestones. Chick’s list of destinations is quite extensive, but says his favorite trip involves visiting Napa Valley, California.
While Air Unlimited’s focus is on flights to the Abacos, Chick’s dream destination is to pilot his private jet to Europe with his wife. He has the ambition and the tools so it probably won’t be long before it becomes the Gregg’s next big adventure!
The Abaco Islands are made up of one main island and a string of smaller islands surrounding it, which together cover more than 650 square miles. For those looking to get the most out of their trip, this guide provides tips and tricks for traveling on land and over water, allowing you to bask in the beauty of the Abaco Islands in every way possible. One of the quickest and most convenient ways to begin your journey is with a scheduled island flight via Air Unlimited from Sanford, Florida to either Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay, Bahamas. These private flights fit up to nine passengers, eliminate the hassle of traditional airport lines and security revisions and make sure you get to the islands faster than most commercial airlines.
After flying for less than 90 minutes, you will arrive at either the Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay Airport, depending on which you’ve specified beforehand. Once you decide where you want to go, it’s totally up to you how you would like to get there. Both Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay have rental cars, taxis, buses and ferries available, as well as bikes, mopeds and golf carts for easy island travel. Taxis are one of the most common methods for getting from one place to the next, or car rentals allow you to explore additional parts of the island on your own time. You may also want to check with your hotel ahead of time, as many of them offer transportation from the airport, depending on where you’re headed.
Once you arrive in Treasure Cay, you can easily jump on a ferry and head to Green Turtle Cay. This is the easiest route to Green Turtle Cay and you will have plenty of time to explore Treasure Cay once you return. While visiting Green Turtle Cay, you can travel by foot (the island is just three miles long!) or rent a golf cart, if traveling with wheels is more your style. Golf carts are the locals’ transportation of choice, and there are plenty of rental facilities available for visitors to choose from.
For those that are more marine savvy, you can check out the fleet at Sunset Marine & Boat Rentals in Turtle Cay, and tool around the island or schedule a designated island hopping tour. Sunset Marine & Boat Rentals offers ten different kinds of boats, ranging from a versatile 17-foot Aquasport to a luxurious 26-foot Scorpion. On an island hopping tour you’ll have the chance to be guided to the surrounding islands that you may have previously missed, and if you choose to create your own itinerary, make sure to stop at a little island called No Name Cay, and feed the pigs in Piggyville. Yes, Piggyville is a real place with plenty of friendly, free-roaming pigs and piglets! Once you’re back in either Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay, and ready to relax on the beach or indulge in some authentic Bahamian food, you’ll definitely want to rent a golf cart – just remember that Bahamians drive on the left side of the road!
Knowing exactly how to get around in a foreign place can bring you so much peace of mind. Let Air Unlimited be your first choice for round trip scheduled island flights to the Abacos, and we’d be happy to offer further transportation and sightseeing suggestions along the way.