In June of 2016, I began the pursuit of a lifelong dream of mine – Flying. Since I was a baby, aviation has been a huge passion of mine. Between you and me, it’s been more of an obsession – posters on my walls, model airplanes on my dresser, a bed in the shape of an airplane, and countless trips to LAX with my father Sunday morning to watch planes land since the age of two – but let’s just stick with calling it a passion.
Since starting flight training I earned my private pilot’s certificate, my instrument rating and my commercial pilot’s certificate in both single and multi-engine aircraft. However, what was I to do with a commercial license when flying has always been meant to be a hobby rather than a profession. What could I do to bring more gravitas and meaning to my hobby?
I stumbled upon Pilots n Paws, an organization that focuses on bringing together willing pilots with animals in need. I was elated when I found this organization because I knew they would provide me the opportunity to marry my love of animals with my love for aviation.
To date, I have rescued 17 animals. My rescue flights have ranged from transporting a broken cat to a special needs vet in Santa Rosa, to bringing a mutt from a kill shelter in Phoenix to a loving foster home in Carlsbad just hours before the dog would have been euthanized.
Pilots n Paws has brought so much purpose to my life in aviation. Prior to working with Pilots n Paws, flyingwas very self-serving. I was incredibly happy to be ableto fly, fulfill a lifelong dream of mine, and to continue to explore new destinations and find new challenges in the skies; however, there is something inherently dissatisfying about something when it is entirely self-serving. Now, when I start my engine with an innocent animal in the back seat, I feel like I am doing something purely good. Learn more at PilotsnPaws.org.