Our Volunteer Pilots are essential to operations here at AFW, the spinner to our propellers if you will. We simply could not provide compassionate air travel to hundreds of people and families in the West each year without our dedicated and compassionate group of volunteer pilots. We can give you dozens of reasons to volunteer as a pilot and fly with AFW, (actually more than dozens, there are about a hundred missions waiting to be assigned in our region right now), but we know that our Members’ reasons for joining and sticking with AFW are the best reasons. So today we’d like to let some of our volunteer pilots speak for themselves.
Volunteer Pilot Dwight joined Angel Flight West nearly 10 years ago as a way to combine his passion for flying with the joy he feels helping others. Dwight has fond memories of all his AFW Missions, but one in particular came to mind when we asked him. Dwight said, “I remember a patient named Cynthia whom I was flying from Salt Lake City to Modesto. She commented to me almost in passing as we were saying our goodbyes that she would literally “not be alive if it were not for the repeated generosity of Angel Flight West and their pilots” who were routinely flying her to much needed treatment for a rare illness called pulmonary arteriovenous malformation. When I called my wife to tell her I was about to fly home I was too choked up emotionally to speak. I was so humbled.”
Volunteer Pilot Rayvon said, “Like many pilots who have worked hard to earn their certificates I’ve found after a while it becomes clear that flying for training, the occasional pleasure trip with the family or just the proverbial $100 hamburger just does not provide a sense of satisfaction they once did. Angel Flight affords an opportunity to upgrade my passion for flying to compassion for others. I can use my skills and equipment to assist others who might not be able to help themselves. The sense of accomplishment after each mission is what keeps me coming back.”
Oregon Wing Volunteer Pilot Derrick’s answer to our question sums it up nicely: “Flying Angel Flight missions allows me to help people in their time of need, while allowing me the pleasure of flying across this great country.”
And Kevin, who flies with the Northern California Wing, said, “Flying for Angel Flight West has not been just something that I do, it’s become part of who I am.”
To become an AFW Volunteer Pilot you need to have you need to have 250 hours as PIC and complete a short ground orientation. After orientation, where and when you fly is up to you. When you have some free time coming up, just browse our Available Missions and choose where you want to go and whom you want to help. All flights are at your discretion, even after they are scheduled and confirmed. We understand personal minimums, and our passengers all know that since you are responsible for a safe flight, we have systems in place should you need to cancel or delay.