Angel Flights – Helping Transport Those Who Need Help
Angel Flights are flights provided to patients who either cannot afford regular air transportation costs or who need medical transport for special treatment. There are several groups which provide Angel Flights all over the world. These organizations help air transportation for those who need medical treatment, but who cannot afford to pay for either a commercial flight or an air ambulance. Angel Flights are performed by a bevy of volunteer pilots. These pilots will often use their own aircraft to transport their Angel Flight passengers.
History Of Angel Flights
Angel Flights first started in the early 1980’s in California. Today, there are Angel Flight organizations all over the world providing transport for needy patients and their families. All Angel Flights are performed by volunteer pilots. These incredible people volunteer their time, skills, aircraft, and the funds to make the flight. These pilots either use their own personal aircraft or rent aircraft for the flight. Each pilot must meet certain minimum requirements to fly an Angel Flight. They must typically have at least 250 solo hours and undergo specialized training for patient transportation and the Angel Flight mission.
Pilots volunteer for a number of reasons. Some do it because they enjoy flying and like knowing they are helping someone else. Some feel it is a way of giving back and is better than donating to some cause where they never meet the people they help. Additionally, the expenses for operating the aircraft are generally tax deductible as long as the flight is sanctioned by an Angel Flight organization.
Angel Flight organizations are not responsible for actually operating the aircraft. Instead, the request for transportation comes in and the Angel Flight organization connects the volunteer pilots with those who have a compelling need for transportation. These patients generally need some type of specialized medical treatment which is not available near their homes. It may be an experimental treatment for a rare childhood disorder or for a particular type of cancer. At other times, an Angel Flight is approved for a family member who needs to be transported to visit a sick family member. Angel Flights also help during times of disaster or natural emergencies. They are also used to help relocate victims of domestic abuse.
To find an Angel Flight, a patient or family member will work with a doctor or other healthcare professional who will contact the Angel Flight organization on their behalf. Once the flight is approved, Angel Flight ether contacts the pilot or posts the trip on their notification list on their website. Pilots and the medical crew can then volunteer for a trip.