Taking Flight for Hope: Volunteering as a Pilot for Medical Missions

Several of us have flown for these Volunteer Pilot Organizations (VPOs) Have you ever dreamed of using your piloting skills to make a real difference? Consider volunteering for medical flight organizations that transport patients in need to critical medical care. These organizations offer a unique opportunity to combine your passion for aviation with helping those facing serious health challenges.

The direct operating costs (fuel and oil) are tax deductible if you own your aircraft. If you are leasing or renting, then the entire cost of the flight is tax deductible.

I find flying these folks brings a great deal of joy and helps keep your skills sharp. There’s nothing like flying a family in need somewhere that’s difficult for them to get to. All patient legs are flown IFR, frequently to larger class bravo airports that I would never pay the landing fees to go in. I can say I am much more comfortable going in an out of Logan than I used to be.

We few PPE to rural areas during COVID

Giving Wings to Hope

Several volunteer pilot organizations operate in our area, including Angel Flight East, Patient Airlift Services (PALS), and Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic. These groups coordinate free air transportation for patients who require specialized treatment often unavailable in their local area. The reasons for needing medical flights can vary, from follow-up appointments for chronic conditions to critical surgeries. They are all high-quality, well run organizations.

I was privileged to fly Liam and his mom up North

More Than Just Flying

While pilot qualifications are essential, these organizations also welcome volunteers with various skills. You can assist with mission coordination, patient screening, fundraising, or even public outreach to spread awareness about these vital services.

Becoming Part of the Solution

If you’re a pilot with the necessary certifications and a desire to help others, volunteering for medical flights can be incredibly rewarding. These organizations provide comprehensive training and support for their volunteer pilots.

Taking the Next Step

To learn more about becoming a volunteer pilot or exploring other ways to contribute, visit the websites of Angel Flight East (https://angelflighteast.org/), Patient Airlift Services (https://palservices.org/), or Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic (https://www.mercymedical.org/angel-flight-mid-atlantic).

Your skills and compassion can make a life-changing difference for someone in need.