Philanthropic Pilots: 6 Ways to Use Flying to Give Back

In the aviation field we hear a lot about the shortage of pilots, career opportunities or favorite places to fly for lunch. However, your pilot license can be used for more than just making money and a good time. You can also use it to give back to your community or inspire a passion for flying in the next generation.

There are several organizations that allow you to donate your time as a pilot or your airplane to help others. Here are six organizations you can get involved with to become a philanthropic pilot.

  1. Challenge Air
    Challenge Air was created to build confidence and self-esteem in youth with special needs, through flight. Pilots can donate their time to help these children experience the thrill of flying or work with their local FBO to host a “Fly Day” community event.
  2. Angel Flights
    Use your general aviation skills to help Angel Flights offer free transportation for medical treatment, organ transplant, domestic abuse relocation, disaster relief and more. Chapters of this organization exist all over the U.S., servicing different areas. Pilots can apply to volunteer their time or donate to the cause.
  3. Pilots N Paws
    Pilots N Paws is a self-run, animal rescue forum. As a pilot you can join the community and respond to flight transport requests as you wish. The intent of Pilots N Paws is to provide an environment in which volunteers can come together and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and all other related activities.
  4. LightHawk
    Focusing on conservation, LightHawk pilots fly missions across the U.S., Canada and Mexico to collect data and imagery, fly journalists, educate decision makers or transport endangered animals. Their mission is to accelerate conservation success through the perspective of flight.
  5. Wings for Children
    The Angel Wings program of Wings for Children provides free air transportation to and from various counties and states for child victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation and trafficking. Volunteer pilots respond to requests from social services, agencies, family courts and institutions to make a difference in these children’s lives.
  6. Air Care Alliance
    Air Care Alliance is a public service organization that connects pilots who wish to volunteer their time or aircraft to charitable organizations that use flight to impact others. By using a referral system and organization directory, they can help you find a cause that speaks to you.

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