Business Aviation provides free air transportation to treatment facilities for sick and injured children called Children’s Flight of Hope.
Children’s Flight of Hope (CFOH), which provides free air transportation to and from treatment facilities for seriously ill and injured children, increased the number of children it could assist when it added business aircraft to its operations in 2013.
“Many of our clients are unable to travel commercially,” said Chase McBride, CFOH’s communications and development manager, adding that serious medical conditions, large quantities of liquid medications or specialized equipment often make commercial travel impractical, if not impossible.
Without business aircraft – either a charter flight or donation from a company’s flight department – “many of these children would simply not get the medical care they need to save their lives,” McBride said.
Located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, CFOH reached out to area companies, and one of the first to participate was LORD Corporation. LORD Chief Pilot Doug Hiegel learned of CFOH’s need, thought it was a good idea, and after consulting with others in the office, pitched it to management in 2015. LORD has donated three flights a year since then, and several more companies have joined LORD in supporting CFOH with donated flights.
Flying a Cessna Citation Excel, NBAA member company LORD has operated business aircraft for more than 40 years, and employing them for humanitarian missions is a long-established company tradition. “We’ve been flying for the Special Olympics for at least 15 years and the Veterans Airlift for the last three or four years, and LORD donates a flight to Make-a-Wish every other year,” he said.
“Working with corporate flight departments is a wonderful part of our business, as their high standards and professionalism ensure that we are still able to deliver the safest and easiest transportation solutions to our clients,” said McBride.
In 2015, CFOH provided 333 missions, 23 of them employing 16 business aircraft, three of them donated by corporate flight partners, said McBride. With 510 total missions in 2016, CFOH provided 23 business aircraft flights, 12 of them donated by corporate partners, which carried 32 children to and from their treatment destinations.
Demand for CFOH’s services has increased dramatically in the past few years, added McBride, and the organization welcomes new corporate partners to help fulfill its mission.