Those of us with the skills as a pilot and access to an aircraft represent a unique potential in this world. A potential to move quickly to locations of need and deliver transportation that is only possible via private aircraft. This ability creates a unique potential for pilots to impact their world and “give back”. We have found that many of our clients enjoy this special opportunity to give using their special skills and equipment and they tell us it enhances significantly their enjoyment of life and their flying.
We have been blessed to be involved with a few very special organizations that leverage the potential pilots represent to make the world a better place. Specifically, in 2007 our founder was involved in starting a christian based charity flying organization called Bahamas Habitat. The organization provides training opportunities for pilots to learn international mission flying by flying to the Bahamas to the organizations 60-bed camp on Eleuthera to deliver supplies and support building projects there. It all started when a friend invited him along on an adhoc lark of a flight to the Bahamas to help out with the camp. After having a special experience of flying and helping out they believed that many pilots would also enjoy the opportunity to experience the same and serve in that unique way so they decided to form the organization Bahamas Habitat. They began conducting regular “Fly-In and Help Out Events” inviting pilots to come and join in. They discovered that many pilots wanted to participate and serve and that it would be their first time flying internationally, over water and carrying supplies. The goal was to prepare a group of trained and willing voluteeer pilots that could respond quickly after Hurricanes or other natural disasters. They tailored the events to provide training and instructions on the flying aspects and immersed the pilots and volunteers in the work projects being done on the island to better the housing conditions there.
The entire process was a big success and hundreds of pilots got involved and made a huge difference…then Haiti happened. The organization was “invited” by our Bahamian partners to join in and help and Bahamas Habitat became one of the first flying organizations with planes landing in Haiti after the earthquake. The organization went into “overdrive” and created overnight a sophisticated depot and hub system and plugged hundreds of volunteer pilots into the process of delivering lifesaving supplies to Haiti in the months following the earthquake. Virtually no volunteer pilot that was involved in the airlift was “ever the same” after that special experience. Many of them are still connected even today to Haiti helping to provide support to that troubled nation and the organization supports numerous projects and relationships there. The organization continues its ongoing support of special projects in the Bahamas and pilots can join in on the Fly-In & Help Out Events in October and February.
We encourage our clients to get involved and contribute. Find an organization and volunteer to fly and donate. From experience we’ve seen this enrich the experience our owners and pilots enjoy being able to “give back” in a unique and special way.
LifeStyle Aviation is a proud sponsor of Bahamas Habitat and encourage our pilots to consider all the organizations below.
Bahamas Habitat represents a very unique flying opportunity that is open to a wide range of pilots levels and can provide a very powerful pilot experience building opportunity that covers many aspects of flying. We encourage our early stage pilots to use this opportunity with an instructor to build experience quickly.
Bahamas Habitat is an international service organization that partners with volunteer pilots, aircraft owners and aviation industry professionals to fly their own aircraft to provide dignified humanitarian outreach to the people of The Bahamas, Haiti and Mexico. We serve by delivering disaster relief and basic medical, economic, housing and other services. We encourage you to learn more at BahamasHabitat.org. We highly recommend pilots participate in a Fly-In & Help Out Event Many flying skills are acquired in the process of providing tax deductible assistance to this charity.
For those seeking a Domestic flying opportunity possibly closer to home that has minimal pilot requirements we recommend you consider volunteering for
Pilots N Paws is a 501c3 non-profit organization. This site is intended to be a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals. It is not the intent of Pilots N Paws to coordinate or arrange those providing these valuable services, but to provide the environment in which those involved can come together in a common place and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter and all other related activities. .
For those seeking a way to directly benefit individuals and families consider a medical transport related charity. These organizations typically have higher pilot qualification requirements.
Patient AirLift Services (PALS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that arranges free air transportation for individuals requiring medical diagnosis, treatment or follow-up who cannot afford or are unable to fly commercially.
PALS also arranges volunteer flights for family members of patients as compassionate missions, to ensure patients have support when they are away home for long periods. PALS is proud to assist military personnel and their families with free flights to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation processes for our wounded veterans.
Finally, PALS has a history of supporting humanitarian efforts in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
There are many other fine organizations that pilots can consider and we encourage you to search and find the one that best suits your values and interests. Pick one, get involved and start flying!