The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation has announced the ten aviation charities as chosen through online voting to share grants totaling $60,000. The ten Pilot's Choice Award recipients in ascending order of number of votes received for 2013 are:
#10 — Air Race Classic
Air Race Classic encourages and educates current and future women pilots. The annual Air Race Classic increases public awareness and demonstrates women's role in aviation. Racer ranks are growing in numbers with a particular spike in the number of collegiate racers that are able to learn valuable aviation management skills and experience cross-country flying opportunities. Air Race Classic will apply the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant to collegiate outreach.
#9 — JAARS
JAARS provides aviation support, transportation and information services to speed the task of Bible translation around the world. JAARS helps its partners start and run flight programs by training and sending staff, setting standards, equipping aircraft and more. Service to host nations occasionally includes disaster relief flying, search and rescue and environmental survey. The Pilot's Choice Award resources will help fund new aviation projects in Tanzania or Southeast Asia.
#8 — Missionary Flights International
Missionary Flights International meets the air support needs of missionary families in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. More than 330 organizations including medical and work teams rely on cargo, mail service and passenger service to these communities. Missionary Flights and Services transports more than 4,000 mission personnel and about 800,000 pounds of cargo each year. The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant will help fund a turbine DC-3 to assist the organization's mission efforts in Haiti.
#7 — Angel Flight West
Angel Flight West is a volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. A network of 1,600 pilots throughout 13 western states donate their aircraft, piloting skills and all flying costs to help individuals and families receive the treatment or resources they need. The Pilot's Choice Award funds will enable Angel Flight West to engage a professional to make necessary modifications in the Angel Flight IT system.
#6 — Mission Aviation Fellowship
Mission Aviation Fellowship uses aviation, technology and faith to meet the physical and spiritual needs of isolated people in dozens of countries throughout Asia, Africa, Eurasia and Latin America. A fleet of nearly 60 planes fly 2.7 million miles each year to provide essential services to some of the world's most remote and isolated locations. MAF will use the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant to operate ongoing programs, launch new initiatives, and expand services.
#5 — Recreational Aviation Foundation
The Recreational Aviation Foundation is keeping recreational aviation strong by preserving and maintaining backcountry and recreational airstrips throughout the U.S. The RAF has been a positive contributor to the world of aviation giving people a reason to fly, building for the future and preserving and protecting flying access to public and private lands. As membership grows, so does the demand to educate, train and produce results. The Recreational Aviation Foundation will use the Pilot's Choice Award funds to further its mission.
#4 — Ninety-Nines
The 99s has been inspiring women pilots since 1929. Its mission is to promote advancement of aviation through education, scholarships, and mutual support while honoring a unique history and sharing a passion for flight. The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant will be used for increased outreach and a new Solo Scholarship that will be awarded to a high school girl who has not begun her flight training.
#3 — Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is an organization with more than 61,000 adult and youth members nationwide. In its Air Force auxiliary role, volunteers perform 90% of inland search and rescue missions and also perform homeland security and disaster relief support. Donations and grants help fund the K–6 Aerospace Connections in Education program. Along with academics, ACE promotes character education and physical fitness for living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. The 2013 Pilot's Choice Award resources will help fund ACE.
#2 — New Tribes Mission
New Tribes Mission equips and coordinates pilots and technicians to provide safe, efficient and cost-effective missionary aviation support in remote areas in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Giving direct aviation support with fixed wing and helicopter service, New Tribes Mission carries out its mission to support church planting in unreached communities. In the process of overhauling a Robinson R-44 helicopter, New Tribes Mission will apply the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant toward the cost of the project.
#1 — Pilots N Paws
Pilots N Paws provides a forum for pilots and plane owners to share the gift of flight to assist with the transportation of rescue, shelter or foster animals. Pilots who have strayed from the aviation community over the years return in full vigor once they found a way to combine their love for animals and aviation by flying for Pilots N Paws. One of its greatest challenges is spreading the word about the organization to new pilot volunteers. The Pilot's Choice grant will go toward hosting flyway events and for booth space at various pilot functions in order to increase awareness of the organization in the aviation community.
"Since its inception, the Pilot's Choice voting and awards have introduced us all to dozens of worthy charities and amazing people that are making a significant impact around the world." says Allan Schrader, President of Lightspeed Aviation. "With twice as many votes as last year, the awards are having a meaningful impact on expanding awareness and appreciation for aviation."
Nominations and grant applications for the 2014 Pilot's Choice Awards are available at LightspeedAviationFoundation.org. Aviation non-profits committed to growing the pilot community and using their gifts for compassion and service to others are eligible to apply.
The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation was established in 2010 out of the commitment and passion of the Lightspeed Aviation Corporation to serve the aviation community. Since introducing its first product at EAA AirVenture in 1996, Lightspeed Aviation has established a reputation for leading product innovation in aviation headsets with a number of "first to market" advances in comfort, quiet, clarity, and pilot-centric functionality. This has earned Lightspeed a loyal customer following among professional, commercial, and private pilots.