Angel Flight West – Angel in the Cockpit

Posted on

Oct 27, 2015

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A small child, ravaged by cancer, needs specialized treatment at a hospital 300 miles away.

A senior citizen needs to travel to medical treatment not available at home. A father, separated from his

family during a disaster, wants desperately to be reunited. A domestic violence survivor longs to start a new life in another city, but cannot afford to leave. A young burn survivor wants to attend a special camp for other kids who understand her emotions. They can get there when theres an angel in the cockpit.

For those whose lives are in turmoil, the financial, physical, and emotional burdens of travel can make ordinary trips difficult. Thats when they turn to Angel Flight West, a network of 1,200 volunteer pilots who fly their own planes and pay for all costs (which average from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per flight) out of their own pockets. Angel Flight West pilots fly more than 3,500 of those every year.

These pilots who give so much of their time and money to help strangers, come from all walks of life. But as different as these men and women are, they all have two things in common: The love of flying, and the desire to touch peoples lives.

Not only have they earned the gratitude of their passengers, theyve earned the trust and respect of a long list of organizations of all types. Seventy one year old Larry G. needs to travel from his home to a major medical facility for treatment of his cancer. 120 miles away but several hours of driving in traffic, Larry isnt strong enough to make the drive. As pilot Tom Close noted about this particular flight The events around Larry and this flight are indeed emblematic of Angel

Flight West. AFW puts in touch those in need, and those of us with the luxury of giving back, using the opportunities and capabilities in our lives where they can have the biggest impact. The passengers and their families, the healthcare organizations pay nothing at all, ever.

At the Santa Monica, California, headquarters, a dedicated staff manages the complex system of matching pilots with passengers, coordinating the flights, spreading the word among referral agencies, and continually recruiting new volunteers among 13 western states. If you are a caregiver, a patient who needs assistance, or someone who would like to donate, please visit their website or call them at 888-426-2643.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Cheri Cimmarrusti, Associate Executive Director of Angel Flight West. She can be reached at 888-426-2643 or by email at

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