The Madison Scouts are pleased to announce that the corps will travel exclusively via air with the acquisition of “Badger-2”, a used Boeing 747 that has been purchased and reconfigured to transport the entire corps, staff, volunteers, and equipment of the Madison Scouts.
“The travel requirements of the drum corps activity continue to place more and more challenges on the members and staff,” stated Executive Director Chris Komnick. “In order to maximize our rehearsal time and optimize the corps’ sleep schedule, we felt the most economical solution was air travel.”
The Scouts were able to cost-effectively acquire the 747 through Mike Garvin, a Forward Performing Arts board member and alumnus of the Scouts. As President of USA Jets, Mike was able to assist in the negotiation and acquisition of the aircraft. Modifications to the aircraft have been underway since last fall to provide sleeping berths for all passengers and provide maximum cargo capacity for the corps’ equipment trailer and supporting food operations.
“Last year we were highly successful in raising funds in the Cheesehead Challenge,” stated Komnick. “That provided the foundation for the purchase. With the sale of Badger-1, a 1987 MCI-9 bus, were were able to secure the remaining funds required for the purchase.”
Members of the corps will get their first experience flying on the aircraft when they make the trip from Trafalgar, Indiana to Whitewater, Wisconsin in time for their first competition of the season. Key staff members have undergone pilot training and are expected to be fully certified in time for the first flight.
“A corps that travels well will perform well and be more competitive,” says Komnick. “Each hour saved in travel means more time in rehearsal. We view this as a win-win to win.”
Badger-2 is in its final phase of FAA re-certification and is expected to be in full service by the start of the season. The corps members will engage in a new fundraising campaign called the “Jet Fuel-A-Thon” which will help defer the operational costs.
To get a tour of the plane’s modified interior CLICK HERE>>