Angel Flight West to Soon Celebrate Milestone Mission

To commemorate 40 years of volunteer service, Angel Flight West plans to complete its 100,000th flight at the end of October.

For AFW’s 100,000th flight, volunteer pilots will be transporting 11-year-old Luis and his mother, Maria, from KMYF to KSMO, so Luis can access care. [Courtesy: Angel Flight West]

Angel Flight West (AFW), an organization that provides volunteer pilots when people need transportation for medical treatment, is celebrating 40 years in service with a milestone flight—the 100,000th by a volunteer pilot.

On October 30, Rob Ross, who has been an AFW pilot for more than 30 years, will be transporting 11-year-old Luis and his mother, Maria, from Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (KMYF) in San Diego to Santa Monica Airport (KSMO), so Luis can access care at UCLA Health. Luis has been flying with Angel Flight since 2016 after receiving a liver transplant. According to AFW, every few months Luis and his mother fly to his after-care appointments. The journey—which will mark the 100,000th for AFW—is a lot faster by air and, therefore, less stressful.

The return mission flight will be piloted by actor, philanthropist, and pilot Edward Norton, who is a recognized ambassador for AFW. Norton, who just started in his role as an AFW pilot, may be flying his 1999 Cessna 206 that was the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's 1999 sweepstakes airplane. 

Angel Flight West, established in 1983, serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The organization is made up of volunteer pilots and support staff that have provided more than 99,000 free flights to individuals needing medical care. The flights are often to areas not readily accessible by commercial air travel, and travel by car would be too difficult and take too long.

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Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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