St. George pilot urges support of charity flights for rural patients

As of March 24, 634 people in Southwest Utah have died from COVID-19 and thankfully in recent weeks both deaths and cases have dropped off quickly. But for the people who knew any of the 634 people that died, they know those deaths aren’t just a statistic and are still impacted by the disease.

That’s the case for one St. George resident, Nathan Parnham, who had his best friend die from the disease in October of 2021.

“COVID didn’t discriminate, especially that Delta variant,” Parnham said.

His friend, Brian Almazan, was just 32 when he passed away. Both Almazan and Parnham shared a passion for aviation, Almazan was the CEO of Endeavor Jet International — which facilitates charter flights and airplane part sales — while Parnham is a certified ground instructor and a contract pilot with his own plane.

Nathan Parnham's late best friend, Brian Almazan, standing outside an airpalne.

Parnham says that losing his friend was a tough experience but one that a lot of people have gone through during the past two years of the pandemic. Even though COVID-19 has taken hundreds of southern Utahns and millions worldwide, it wasn’t the only disease to affect people over the last two years and he wanted to do something to help people.

“I was trying to think of what can I do to use this airplane to improve someone else’s life,” Parnham said.

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