Pilot Guidelines

The pilot requirements are basic, but must be followed.

  • Appropriate Airmen's Certificate (Sport Pilot or higher)
  • Current Medical Certificate (if applicable)
  • Current Flight Review
  • 500 hours as PIC
  • 90-day currency in aircraft used
  • Aircraft Passenger Liability Insurance for aircraft used (owned, rental or borrowed).
  • Must be current to carry passengers in the aircraft used.
  • The aircraft used for the flight must be in airworthy condition.

Guidelines for Conducting a Dreams & Wings Flight

Before the Flight:

Read all the guidelines carefully. In addition to a memorable flight experience, the kids you fly will also remember their pilot. If appropriate, provide your name and telephone number to your young passengers for any questions their parents or guardians may have.

Each child should already have a registration form. This includes important pre-flight information. Photocopies are acceptable. Prior to the flight, you must receive a signed registration from the legal guardian of the participant.

Discuss what you will do and see on your flight. Stress ramp safety, emphasizing caution around propellers and moving aircraft.

Conduct a pre-flight inspection accompanied by your young passenger(s). Help them into their seat. Buckle their seat belt and shoulder harness. Explain the operation of the aircraft door. Describe the interior of the airplane. Allow time to answer any questions they may have before you start your engine.

During the Flight:

The experience you provide your young passengers will be cherished for a lifetime. Someday, some of them may share a flight experience with another generation of aviation enthusiasts.

Maintain a common-sense approach to the flight. You may take more than one young person at a time, but consider the experience from the participant’s perspective. Allow the participant’s parent(s) to observe or take part as circumstances allow, but remember the child is the focus of the event.

Plan your flight to be as smooth as possible. VFR weather is required--at least a 3000 foot ceiling and 5 miles visibility. You may let passengers follow through on the controls, but you must be in command of the aircraft at all times. No aerobatic maneuvers, unusual attitudes or formation flights are permitted in the Program. However, you may want to demonstrate how the airplane is controlled through demonstration of simple climbs, turns and descents. Apply see-and-avoid techniques at all times.

After the Flight:

Congratulate your young passengers! Share the excitement and encourage questions. Take as much time as possible with them. They have just completed an experience they will long remember. Consider having a camera available for pictures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fly in my licensed "Experimental" aircraft? Yes. All aircraft are eligible provided they are properly licensed and flown in accordance with appropriate FARs (or the country's equivalent).

I'm not a pilot. How can participate? Volunteers are needed to assist in finding young people, flightline safety, registration and coordinating pre- and post-flight activities.

Can I deduct expenses incurred while flying for Dreams & Wings? Yes. The IRS has ruled that volunteer pilots can deduct direct, out-of-pocket expenses incurred in direct connection with and solely attributed to the Program. If these conditions are met, volunteers can deduct direct out-of-pocket expenses such as

  • (1) fuel and oil directly consumed by the aircraft in the demonstration flight, not to exceed 200 miles;
  • (2) fuel and oil to another airport within 50 miles to meet a young person;
  • (3) transportation, not to exceed 30 miles one way, to and from the airport;
  • (4) the rental charge for a bus or van to bring a group of young people to the airport;
  • (5) the rental expense of an airplane used only for the Program;
  • (6) extra liability insurance purchased solely for flights for the program;
  • (7) landing and tie down fees at a non-home-based airport;
  • (8) aeronautical education materials;
  • (9) meals for the young person (but not the volunteer); and
  • (10) film and development of pictures for the young person.

Indirect expenses, such as hangar fees and annuals, are not considered deductible.

Please maintain reliable records (receipts or written log) of out-of-pocket expenses. For the purposes of computing the expense of transporting the volunteer and/or young person to and from the airport in a passenger automobile, a standard mileage rate can be used instead of operating expenses. Please consult a tax professional with any specific questions related to your finances.

What if the child does not meet the age criteria? The program guidelines are that children should be between the ages of 8 and 18. We understand that there are times when younger children may benefit from the Dreams & Wings experience. You should carefully assess the individual child and their ability to learn from the experience. We will enroll children younger than the minimum age criteria (but not younger than 5 years old). In all cases, consideration must be given to maturity and physical size to ensure safety and maximum benefit from the flight.

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