Volunteer Dog Pilot Resources

Dog pilots are part of a larger group of pilots who use their skills to assist others. While we fly dogs, other fly people for a wide variety of compassionate reasons. From sick individuals, cancer patients, injured military vets, there are pilots out there willing to help when they can.

Below is a list of resources I have found helpful as a public benefit pilot. If you are considering volunteering to fly for a nonprofit group, maybe these will come in handy for you as well.

The resources on this page are divided into the following sections:

  • Flying Resources
  • Licensing Resources
  • Paperwork Resources

Flying Resources

Volunteer Pilot Online Course

This is an excellent course that will introduce pilots to many features and skills needed to be good dog and people volunteer pilot. You will receive a certificate of completion when you pass the course. You can take the course, here.

Recommended Pilot/Flight Minimums

Click for larger view.
Click for larger view.

Volunteer Pilot Legal Protection

AOPA Pilot Protection ServicesNo matter what group you are flying for as a volunteer pilot, you need to realize you are on your own when something hits the fan. Experienced volunteer pilots seem to all have stories about running into an issue or trouble and turning to the nonprofit for support, only to be told they are on their own. One thing experienced volunteer dog pilots have in common is we all subscribe to the AOPA Pilot Protection Services highest level plan. This service has been very helpful and worth the subscription fee. I personally recommend you NEVER do a dog flight without being a member.

Pilot and Passenger Briefing Material

As dog pilots, a lot of the information below does not apply to our passengers. No matter how much we brief the dogs, without a thumb, they are not going to be able to utilize some of the steps. 🙂

But any inflight companion will be able to benefit from the briefings and training so it’s worth inclusion and a review.

Volunteer Pilots: Balancing Safety & Compassion

Volunteer Pilot Quick Reference Checklist (kneeboard)

Volunteer Pilot Personal Minimums Checklist and Recommendations

Volunteer Pilot First Contact Briefing Checklist

Volunteer Pilot Passenger Briefing Checklist

ASI Flight Risk Evaluator (desktop version)

ASI Flight Risk Evaluator (mobile version)

ASI Passenger Safety Briefing Video

Licensing Resources

A List of State Requirements for Transport

The United States Department of Agriculture has a very helpful list of state requirements for the transport of dogs into the state. You can find this links to each state on this page.

Paperwork Resources

Sample Certificate of Veterinary Expenses

Pilots transporting dogs should have been given a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) prior to flight by the sender. Here is a sample form.

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