humanitarian flying jobs

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
hey guys/gals...

looking for whats out there as far as humanitarian work... NOT missionary work, as that doesnt really jive with my views/values.... but stuff along the lines of airserv that is not affiliated with any church/religion, just out there flying doing good things for people who need it.

anyone know any good places to start? airserv looks like the big one, but alas, im a bit off from 1500PIC at this point....

any ideas?
 

bLizZuE

Working the high speed buffet to happy hour.
I've always heard of Doctors without Borders, but I can never find where they have information on their pilots or if they're hiring.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
I would start with looking into NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). Do some grunt work, and find out which of them have flight departments, or if their contract their flying needs to another company (most likely AirServ, or someone similar).

Might take a few weeks or a month to compile enough data to give you a good idea - but you have to start somewhere. Plus, with 175TT, it's going to be a while. So just keep flying, stay current, and start the search.

Good luck
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
k i found the pactec website, looks cool.... their openings for pilots jobs arent very descriptive though. anyone know inside info?
 

ProudPilot

Aeronautics Geek
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for making this thread as I've looked into a few relief aid pilot jobs before in the past, but almost all of them were volunteer, aka free. Well I'm just getting out of college now with a LOT of debt, so although I'd love to do humanitarian aid, I'll have to make those monthly payments too.

I just sent a request for information to PACTEC. As for the AirServ, the pay won't be much, if you want to volunteer, they'll take it. I wouldn't expect more than around 30K US a year. Read this. Also consider languages. I'm really no good with foreign languages but a little french, and spanish would come in handy. Also, I hate to mention this, but consider weapons. There are some unfriendly tribes in regions that may hostile, and warlords that would love to make you into a ransom tool in others. Search the internet and you'll realize that a lot of aid pilots won't spend more than 5 minutes on the ground and change times to avoid such instances. If you do fly hostile areas, consider the AK-47, parts and ammo are easy to come by, and it's reliable. If you have to overnight at a remote airstrip, lions or cheetahs may come by. If you find elephants... please don't pet, and that is reason to cancel the flight. If they charge, the C208 is toast... and the AK47 will just piss them off.

So consider where you want to be. Some places it will be thrilling to meet new people and change the world one flight at a time. On the other hand, I do have no fly list already (Sudan, Congo, Zaire), as I'm about 80% Irish, and really, I know the areas where I won't be welcome due to the color of my skin. I'm also an American, which doesn't bode well for waring zones.

I'll let you know the response from PACTEC as to requirements, options, and pay if available. They both do offer medical benefits, which is nice considering the complexities of international health care and HUGE costs involved. Tokyo was pricy for insurance for 1 week. I can only image what pennicilin costs in Kenya.

Also, for an idea of Darfur, read this Darfur.
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
Buying a used .45-70 lever action will take down about anything in the world :D. Though it'll take one or two times for the elephant :).
 

woutlaw

Well-Known Member
If you haven't already, there are a few blogs out there by current/former AirServ pilots that are worth checking out.

http://chadtochadbroadcasting.blogspot.com/

http://nomadicpilotgeek.blogspot.com/

You'll need to work back a bit, as they've both moved on but their posts about their times in Africa are good reading. Obviously there's relief flying to be had elsewhere as well but my uneducated guess is that the basics are pretty much the same regardless of the continent.

"Acts of Faith", by Philip Caputo, is a book worth reading. Not strictly about flying, but relief flying plays a big part. It's fiction, but the guy spent time in Africa so it's probably pretty close to the truth.

Finally, if you do nothing else read "Long Way Gone" by Ishmael Beah. There's no flying, but it's an amazing story that'll either convince you to stay the hell out of Africa or go there to help. http://www.alongwaygone.com/

As for getting on, bush experience and Caravan experience are good. The AirServ pilots I've talked to have all been really encouraging. I'd be prepared to wait a while. I dropped an application a while ago, followed up with some phone calls and haven't heard, although I'm a little below their minimums.

One guy who flew with them said it took 7 years before he got on, so stick with it. Sadly, I'm sure the need will be there for a long time to come.

And network as best you can. The word from the AirServ guys was that if you really wanted to be there you'd get there eventually.

There are some faith-based outfits that take lower-time pilots, but they're usually sponsored (ie, you raise your salary then you get to go) and of course there's the faith aspect, which may or may not work for you. I know it doesn't work for me.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
well fortunately i was pretty good at french at one time, so brushing up shouldnt be a problem.... and im learning spanish (correctly, not the texas crap i picked up)....

im not sure if i would tote an AK, but my cousins Smith & Wesson might come along for the ride....

over at pprune they have a good african aviation forum with lots of leads... sounds like theyll take any low time pilot who genuinely wants to be there and understands whats going on (ie - not some goober, but a real mans man who can handle the craziness of africa)....

definitely a thought ill be chewing on. sounds like a hell of a ride!!
 

woutlaw

Well-Known Member
snip...

im not sure if i would tote an AK, but my cousins Smith & Wesson might come along for the ride....
Seriously man, I don't know much about it other than what I've gleaned over time for my own desires to do that sort of work, but I'd probably bag any gun thoughts/talk if you're serious about doing humanitarian work.

I may be totally wrong, and if so it wouldn't even be the first time today, but I don't think that's the type of thinking NGOs and their support organizations are looking for.

I'm not harshing on you, far from it, mine is just another uninformed internet opinion.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
Seriously man, I don't know much about it other than what I've gleaned over time for my own desires to do that sort of work, but I'd probably bag any gun thoughts/talk if you're serious about doing humanitarian work.

I may be totally wrong, and if so it wouldn't even be the first time today, but I don't think that's the type of thinking NGOs and their support organizations are looking for.

I'm not harshing on you, far from it, mine is just another uninformed internet opinion.

no no i understand. im not saying id be taking a gun (i dont own one, nor plan to buy one!)... it was more a general comment about my apprehensions about a very dangerous part of the world.

no offense taken :-D
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
txaviator said:
no no i understand. im not saying id be taking a gun (i dont own one, nor plan to buy one!)
I own a few, and while I wouldn't take one with me, and I certainly wouldn't walk around like some big swingin yang with a kalishnakov, I wouldn't put out of the realm of possibility a nice little light-framed .357 in a concealed holster for those extremely unlikely but nevertheless possible times you wish you weren't so damn naked. I certainly wouldn't tell anyone about it, though, and I'd hope and expect that no one would ever find out it was there.

I think the upshot is if you're going to go to the third world strapped, you'd be well advised to remember that your little hogleg is a true object of last resort, rather than a conversation piece to prove how rugged you are. It sounds like you already know all this, though. Keep on truckin.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
I own a few, and while I wouldn't take one with me, and I certainly wouldn't walk around like some big swingin yang with a kalishnakov, I wouldn't put out of the realm of possibility a nice little light-framed .357 in a concealed holster for those extremely unlikely but nevertheless possible times you wish you weren't so damn naked. I certainly wouldn't tell anyone about it, though, and I'd hope and expect that no one would ever find out it was there.

I think the upshot is if you're going to go to the third world strapped, you'd be well advised to remember that your little hogleg is a true object of last resort, rather than a conversation piece to prove how rugged you are. It sounds like you already know all this, though. Keep on truckin.
yeah totally. along the same lines of when i went to the virgin islands... i am NOT a fighting guy, nor a tough guy, nor would i pose much of a problem for a determined attacker... but i did carry a blade with me as a true LAST resort if things got ugly... which fortunately they never did.
 
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