Resources to Prepare Your Child for Flight on a Small Plane

Kid and Plane 1

Once your Angel Flight West Flight request is vetted with a healthcare professional and approved by an AFW coordinator, we will start preparations to connect you with one of our volunteer pilots, and you’ll be ready to take the next steps on the wings of “angels”. If the flight includes a small child, here are some materials to help prepare your child for their very first flight, or their first flight on a small plane.

Flying in a 4 to 6 seat airplane is a different experience from commercial air travel. The planes are not necessarily pressurized and do not have climate control the way our commercial airline partners’ planes do. There will be new noises and you may feel the rolls and bumps as the aircraft works with wind and weather patterns. At the same time, you will have the most amazing views you’ve ever seen. We love it up above the clouds, and want you and your kids to feel the same wonder on your “angel flight”.

Here are a few books and videos you can share with your young children to help prepare them for their very first flight with Angel Flight West. We hope to make your flight(s) a highlight in your healing process.

Books
Airplane Flight!: A Lift-the-Flap Adventure by Susanna Leonard Hill, with illustrations by Ana Martin Larranga. This airplane shaped board book recommended for ages 2 to 5 tells the story of a commercial flight in rhyme, illustrated with beautifully simple drawings. Your child can “lift the flaps” within the book to emphasize and interact with parts of the story, such as opening the wing flaps.

Away in My Airplane by Margaret Wise Brown. A lovely story of a solo pilot in a prop plane, this book has you flying through a lovely dreamscape of animals and beautiful sights. Written by the author of Goodnight Moon, this book is recommended for ages 2 to 5, and is suitable for very young children.

My First Airplane Ride by Patricia Hubbell, illustrations by Nancy Speir.  This book tells the story of a young boy’s first flight with his family. It gives excellent descriptions from a child’s perspective of the airport and security (good if you’re on a commercial flight) and what to expect in terms of noises and sensations on the plane. Recommended for ages 4 to 7.

Ask your local library about these and other books about flying and riding in airplanes. These books are also available on Amazon.

Videos
This video is of a dad taking his 9 year old daughter and toddler son for their first flight. The view is inside the plane, focused on the pilot and the kids, and includes two takeoff and landings. Dad chats with his daughter very informally about what they see outside.

As with any material, we recommend you preview these books and videos before sharing them with your child, so you are prepared to answer questions or address your child’s specific concerns.

We hope these materials will help you prepare your child for journey with Angel Flight West. To help you prepare, here is a good article that discusses the practical aspects of flying with a small child.

Angel Flight West and its volunteer pilots and commercial airline partners are part of your road to recovery. If the medical treatment that’s best for you or your child is in another city or state,  and you meet our qualifications, you can request a free flight and we’ll do our best to help you. A 400 mile trip may seem out of reach, but for a passionate pilot with a private plane, it gives them an opportunity to do what they love, to help someone else in need. We will do our best to make the flight an exciting and interesting experience; hopefully a break and an opportunity to get up and away from the daily grind of illness and treatment. We want to take you above the clouds and make the impossible distances shrink into possibility.

For more information about making a flight request and the types of missions we fly, please click here.

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