Public Benefit Flying
Public Benefit Flying involves pilots donating their time, and often their airplanes, to make flights to help other people. There are a large number of organizations that exist to match pilots with people needing flights. The majority of the flights involve free transportation of people who need to travel for medical care but cannot afford the expense. Other Public Benefit flying includes flights in support of the environment, carrying scientists, media personnel, decision makers and local residents over threatened lands or waters; search and rescue, transport of military veterans to special events and locations honoring veterans and even transport of pets.
For over 20 years I have been a volunteer pilot for LightHawk, the largest of the environmental Public Benefit Flying organizations and have made flights in support of conservation in numerous locations in the U.S. and Central America.
The photos on this page were made by Tony Rath, professional photographer extraordinaire, who is based in Dangriga, Belize. They were taken from the right rear seat of a Cessna 206 with the cargo door off on a series of flights I made over four days in April 2012 to support scientists in Belize doing a survey of the population of manatees, dolphins and whales along the entire coastline and all of the islands and atolls off shore.