Volunteer pilots rally during pandemic

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When the coronavirus pandemic shell shocked the American health system, volunteer pilots did what they do best — they climbed in their airplanes and set out to make a difference.

Charitable aviation organizations all across the country have stepped up to help communities in need, according to a recent impact survey conducted by the Air Care Alliance. The survey shows that volunteer pilots in their network had flown nearly 2,800 flights in support of pandemic relief as of September 2020.

“There is a spirit of compassion and service that lives in the heart of every volunteer pilot,” says, Kristinia Luke, executive director of the Air Care Alliance.

“And our member organizations are nimble. They know the needs of the areas they serve and they know what an asset general aviation can be. Those pieces together create incredible impact.”

Volunteer pilots have stepped up during the pandemic.

On the east coast, groups like Angel Flight East are delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) to rural health systems and frontline workers cut off from traditional distribution chains. Further south, Angel Flight Soars and Pilots for Patients have teamed up to speed up the results of coronavirus testing.

Angel Flight Central, Angel Flight South Central, and Aerobridge also are meeting PPE needs.

On the west coast, pilots for Angel Flight West are delivering critically needed supplies to the greatly impacted Navajo, Hopi, and Hualapai Nations, while CalDART has delivered ventilators to overwhelmed hospitals near the Mexico border. 

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