New collaboration makes being a volunteer pilot just a bit easier

Angel Flight of New England, a non-profit that coordinates free air transportation for patients traveling for medical treatment, has partnered with Above The Clouds Kids, a Norwood, Massachusetts-based youth aviation non-profit.

This is the first time a medical patient transport organization has partnered with a youth aviation non-profit to offer flights to children, according to officials with both organizations.

“Collaborating with Above the Clouds Kids provides our volunteer pilots, many of whom are extremely passionate about supporting and inspiring children, easy access to additional missions on weekends. We are excited to be the catalyst for this nationwide collaborative program,” said Larry Camerlin, president and founder of Angel Flight NE.

Pilots who fly for Angel Flight NE will be automatically qualified to fly Above The Clouds Kids’ missions, pending state mandated background checks, officials said.

This will make it easy for volunteer pilots to participate in both Angel Flight NE and Above the Clouds Kids’ aviation initiatives and flight operations with one pilot application, they explained.

“Having Angel Flight NE experienced volunteer pilots fly for us is truly a blessing,” said Greg Bongiorno, president of Above the Clouds Kids. “Our weekend oriented Dream Flyer Day and Discovery Flyer activities will now be able to serve more children thanks to Angel Flight NE.”

“The collaboration initiative started by Angel Flight NE and Above the Clouds is impressive. There is an obvious synergy between like-minded public benefit flying organizations. We look forward to leveraging this first in the nation example to foster similar collaborations across the country,” said Mark Hanson, vice president of the Air Care Alliance and a volunteer pilot for both Angel Flight NE and Above the Clouds Kids.

Founded in 1996, Angel Flight of New England has coordinated more than 108,000 free flights for patients who have traveled more than 15 million miles to more than 750 medical facilities throughout the United States.

Founded in 2014, Above the Clouds “has delivered inspiration, joy, and hope to more than 800 children facing adversity by providing once in a lifetime flight experiences,” officials said.

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