Kansas special needs athletes travel in style for 2014 Special Olympics

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WICHITA, Kan. -- It was the seventh time that the Cessna Airlift happened in Wichita, taking 13 adult athletes with special needs and four coaches in private jets to the 2014 Special Olympics in Trenton, New Jersey.

The Kansas team was taken on three privately owned jets Saturday morning. Many on the team have never been on an airplane before. The cost of the plane ride was zero for the athletes; the use of the planes were donated by the owners.

"No words can describe the excitement on these athlete's faces as they get ready for their lifetime experience," said Senior VP of Human Resources and Communication of Textron Jim Walters, who has been helping out with the airlift for years.

The airlift program started in Wichita in 1985; since then, there have been seven more, one every four years.

There was a large send off for the Wichita athletes, as 200 volunteers, family and friends cheered on the team members while they boarded the planes.

KAKE News has received confirmation that the team safely landed in New Jersey. We will have updates on their progress through the week-long games.

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