Volunteer opportunities

If you are a pilot looking for a good reason to fly, you’ve come to the right place!

The Air Care Alliance helps you find all known volunteer pilot organizations flying for the public benefit. Use our automated referral system, or view our entire Directory of Groups to find one that’s right for you.

Volunteer pilots all around the world donate their time, talent and aircraft in many impactful ways, including:

Access to Medical Care
Many volunteer pilot groups arrange free air transportation for patients in need of distant medical care. Those groups act as matchmakers between passengers in need and pilots who wish to help them.

Typically, flights are for a patient (and usually one accompanying caregiver) who is in need of specialized medical care far from home. They may live in rural areas with limited treatment options or far from commercial air hubs. Most passengers will have a financial need or medical need that qualifies them for the service.

Each group sets their own criteria for pilots and patient eligibility. Pilot requirements vary between organizations and regions.

Environmental/Conservation
Volunteer pilots across the country donate their time, talent and airplanes to greatly enhance environmental causes and conservation work. Environmental flying gives pilots an opportunity to experience a different kind of adventurous flying while making a difference for environmental causes they believe in.

Pilots who volunteer for environmental organizations provide survey flights to collect scientific data of local eco-systems, assess environmental damage, and participate in scientific studies and wildlife counts. The information gathered on these flights is instrumental in educating policy makers, community leaders, and the media on all sorts of environmental issues. It also helps to foster a dialog and promote informed decision making among conservation partners.

Flights are often conducted at lower altitudes, making repeated low passes over a specific area.

As such, requirements for these organizations are typically higher than other organizations.

Animal Transport/Precious Cargo
The services of volunteer pilots are often needed for the delivery of precious cargo. This includes critical supplies and transportation of blood and tissue. 

Additionally, all across the United States volunteer pilots assist with the rescue of animals that have narrowly escaped euthanasia at high-kill shelters by flying them to new homes or no-kill shelters where they have a much higher chance of adoption. Volunteer pilots are also needed in cases where injured wildlife need to be moved for treatment, or to assist our veterans with transport of service animals. 

Because precious cargo flights generally do not involve transportation of people, pilot requirements are often lower than patient-carrying organizations and are a great way to get started with volunteer flying.

Emergency Response
General aviation can be a lifeline in times of natural or national disaster. Volunteer pilots can help with search & rescue efforts or aerial assessment of damage. They may transport medical and emergency relief staff, deliver critical medical and relief supplies to affected areas, or relocate survivors or evacuees.

While some organizations solely focus on disaster relief, most PBF organizations will mobilize in times of need.

Civil Service/Veterans Transport
Many volunteer pilots and organizations are committed to serving our nation’s heroes. They provide free transportation to military personnel/veterans to and from medical treatment; they reunite veterans and families; fly families to visit patients recovering at medical centers; and provide lift for morale-boosting experiences for veterans.
Education & Experience Flights
Volunteer pilots can introduce others to the wonders of flight in various unique ways. There are organizations that provide introduction flights for children, flights for grief support, or experiential flights for kids with disabilities.

These flights are generally short, local flights on VFR days and are a great way to get started with volunteer flying.

 

Whether your passion is people or animals, disaster relief or the environment, you can find a way to get involved today!