When it comes to flying, there are many charitable ways pilots and non-pilots alike can give back to the community. Donating your time and skills to a meaningful cause will let you help those that are in need, while giving you a sense of reward and satisfaction. If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities in general aviation, take a look at these popular organizations.
Help Those that Need Medical Attention through Angel Flight
Angel flight was founded on the idea of helping those needing medical treatment by flying them to specialty hospitals, whether they’re hindered by the cost, inability to drive or severity of their illness. Angel Flight will help those seeking medical attention in another state by arranging free private flights for people in need throughout the heartland. Volunteer pilots have the opportunity to fly those patients that are travelling for surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis and more, along with a medical doctor in some cases.
While Angel flight generally only provides flights throughout the heartland, they will coordinate with other organizations to set up longer flights for patients that need to travel outside of the region. Pilots that volunteer for Angel Flight may also be tasked with flying blood products or other biomedical supplies for the Red Cross, Oklahoma Blood Institute and more during emergency situations.
To fly for Angel Flight, you must currently hold a private pilot certificate and a valid medical certificate along with the appropriate class, ratings and endorsements for the aircraft that’s going to be flown. Additionally, to ensure the safety of all volunteers and passengers, you must have:
- Valid and current private (or higher) certificate
- Instrument rating
- Valid & current class III or higher medical certificate
- 250 hours pilot in command (PIC) experience
- 25 hours make and model in singles, 75 hours make and model in turbines and twins
- 50 hours as PIC in last 12 months (waived with a flight review or completion of a Wings phase in last 3 months)
- Liability insurance policy
Angel Flight volunteers have complete control of the missions that they take on. Under the guidelines of the FAA, the pilot has final authority with respect to each individual flight. It’s their duty to determine how safe a flight is, as well as how capable their plane is.
Those pilots that don’t meet the above requirements, as well as non-pilots, are still encouraged to join Angel Flights to participate in other volunteer activities. It’s free to join and there are no dues or other obligations as a member, beyond using your aviation skills to improve someone’s life.
Helping Rescue Animals Find a Forever Home
Pilots N Paws is a nonprofit that’s dedicated to helping our four-legged friends escape a bad environment and find a loving home. Offering volunteer opportunities to those willing to assist with animal transportation, the organization provides a setting for pilots and animal enthusiasts to come together to schedule and conduct rescue flights, provide overnight foster care or shelter, and other similar activities.
Through the Pilots N Paws discussion forum on their website, volunteers can coordinate and schedule transports, share rescue stories and recruit others to support an important cause. Users can access information specific to pilots and other volunteers involved in the sheltering or rescue process. Those searching for volunteer opportunities can check for new listings daily to help in the effort.
Pilots N Paws is a volunteer group, and as such, there are no scheduled flights or fees – just a group of people with the desire to save the lives of innocent animals.
Enjoy Many Volunteer Opportunities with EAA
With over 200,000 members, the the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is one of the most expansive aviation groups in the country. With a member roster that keeps growing, EAA is becoming an influential organization in today’s aviation industry, offering a large number of different volunteer opportunities.
EAA was founded over 60 years ago by a group of pilots in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who wanted to construct their own airplanes. Today, its EAA’s mission to grow participation in aviation through recreational aircraft flying, building and restoring activities. A membership with EAA will grant you access to a community of some of the most enthusiastic aviators in the country.
The association hosts several events and programs throughout the year that rely on the help of volunteers. Some of the opportunities that you may find through EAA include:
Known as the world’s greatest aviation celebration, AirVenture is an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Anyone that loves aviation can come and help out at the convention.
- Weekend Work Parties
In the several months leading up to the convention’s opening day, a lot of things need to be checked off the list. Volunteer some time on the weekends and help ensure the event goes off without a hitch.
- Collegiate Volunteer Program
If you’re a college student, you can volunteer for AirVenture and experience the world’s greatest aviation celebration firsthand.
- Volunteer at EAA Headquarters
There are many year-round opportunities available at the EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, including maintenance and museum docents.
Working for Women in Aviation
Women in Aviation offers scholarships, mentorship, local chapter activities and an international conference to help women pilots around the country make an impact in the aviation industry. With over $600,000 in scholarships given away to women in the past year, they’re committed to raising the number of female aviators.
Women in Aviation has become an industry leader because of the dedication and volunteerism of its members. Both men and women can join the organization, costing individuals $45, students $32 and international members $55, among other membership options.
Whether you want to join a local chapter where you can find other people who share your love of flying, help out at events around the country or sponsor scholarships and outreach efforts, Women in Aviation provides a number of different volunteer opportunities for the general aviation enthusiast.
What Are You Waiting For? Get Involved Today!
If you’re looking to donate your time and aviation skills to a charitable cause, consider any of the above organizations to give something back to the the community. When you volunteer, you’ll be overcome with the sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others. Don’t wait any longer – get involved today and make a difference!