Hope Air celebrates 10 years of Canadian pilots giving back

April 23, 2009
Photo by Jerry Abramowicz
Hope Air celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Volunteer Pilot Program (VPP). Since its inception VPP has helped countless Canadians across the country. This program allows general aviation pilots to combine their love of flying with their desire to help people in need – it is the merging of these two passions that make the program such a success. Hope Air is the national charity that helps Canadians get to the medical treatment they require when they cannot afford the flight costs.

Over the last 10 years, Volunteer Pilots have completed nearly 2000 Flights for Hope Air. These flights resulted in Clients getting to medical care that they may have had to forgo without the generosity of these pilots donation their time to transport them to their appointment.

The Volunteer Pilot Program is a key component to Hope Air’s ability to provide travel to Clients across Canada especially in rural and remote areas not served by commercial carriers. Over the last decade, the commitment of our Volunteer Pilots has stood out time and time again. Thank you calls from Clients expressing their gratitude for a pilot’s care and compassion occur regularly at the office.

Lucas, a newcomer to flying for Hope Air, has experienced this first hand:

“The main reason that I became a volunteer pilot was to help someone in need of potentially life saving treatment - treatment that without Hope Air, they would not have received. One of the nicest things I received, next to all the wonderful flying, was a card from a client on the north side of Georgian Bay. That’s a thank you I will never forget.”

The pilot really makes a connection with the Client and adds that extra personal touch from the initial call before the flight right through to the end of the Flight. Mike, Volunteer Pilot since 1999, states it best:

“Not many people really have an opportunity to help someone first-hand and that’s what we do. You really feel like they’re part of your family. It’s more than just getting them from A to B. It gets their mind off of the medical things and it gives them another focus.”

The Volunteer Pilot Program continues to grow and we are in full recruitment mode during the 10th year anniversary. Please visit www.hopeair.org for more information on how to register as a Volunteer Pilot and join us for our next 10 years of Getting Canadians to getting better!

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