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  conservation-related tasks and make sure the pilots are in the loop and set up to succeed. We ensure that the pilot is able to fly their part and make a positive impact on conservation efforts,” he expresses.
Aside from the flying portion that is largely planned by LightHawk, pilots can get as heavily or as minimally involved in the actual conversation activities as they like. Alongside the prerequisite of interest in supporting these efforts (no experience neces- sary), the qualifications needed for pilots are explained further on the organization’s website. Prospective pilots must have logged 1,000 hours of PIC time with an excellent flying record, provide two or more refer- ences, complete an orientation call with the group’s staff, provide a copy of their medical or BasicMed-related information, as well as several others.
How to Volunteer
Once accepted as a volunteer pilot, individuals can fly as much or as little
as they wish. Flight opportunities are emailed to volunteers based upon geo- graphic proximity, but pilots are also able to tell their local program coordi- nator if they are interested in flights such as long-range animal transports, supporting local land trusts or f ly- ing into Mexico with announcements for these missions being sent a select group of parties with capable aircraft.
For those curious about the immedi- ate impact that they can provide upon joining the organization, the following are several current missions in need of assistance:
• Two spring f lights into New
Brunswick, Canada, to look at land for consideration of future protection.
• Video flight in Ohio to capture oil and gas infrastructure.
• Surveys for migrating eared grebes (a tiny water bird) in the Salton Sea with Oasis Bird Observatory.
• Surveys to monitor restoration ef- forts in the Colorado River Delta in Mexico with Sonoran Institute.
Whether it be transporting person- nel or animals, overf lying deserts or mountains, LightHawk coordinates ample opportunities for conservation- minded pilots to donate their time and aircraft in pursuit of ensuring nature’s survival. Without aviation, the organization would not be able to provide the impact that they currently have on wildlife, oceans, landscapes and rivers.
   Grant Boyd is a recent MBA gradu- ate of Wichita State University. A private pilot, Boyd is currently work- ing toward his instrument rating, with the ultimate goal of combining his love of business and aviation with a career at a general aviation manufacturer. You can contact Grant at
  12 • TWIN & TURBINE / March 2020
For more information:

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