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Able Flight

Rating: 5 stars   58 reviews 5,181


91 Oak Leaf Lane Chapel Hill NC 27514 USA


Able Flight's mission is to offer people with disabilities a unique way to challenge themselves through flight and aviation career training, and by doing so, to gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance.


Able Flight was founded in June of 2006, and awarded its first flight training scholarships in December of 2006. Since then it has awarded over 60 scholarships, and forty seven recipients are now licensed pilots. Beginning in 2010, Able Flight partnered with Purdue University on a annual joint flight training program. To date, 27 students have attended with all seventeen earning their pilot licenses, a 100% success rate! In 2011 Able Flight began awarding Aviation Career Training Scholarships, and as of August 2015 has awarded eleven career training scholarships..

Target demographics:

Able Flight serves a diverse population of people with disabilities, including, but not limited to, those with spinal cord injuries, wounded and disabled veterans, and those with Cerebral Palsy, MS, and loss of limb(s).

Geographic areas served:



Flight Training Scholarships Aviation Career Training Scholarships Scholarships for wounded veterans

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Able Flight

Rating: 5 stars  

In the worls of aviation, especially of flight instructing, every where we go to teach has its ups and downs as well as their "rewards" for each studdnet you work with and watch them grow and develop into the pilot you have trained them to be! At Able Flight, the reward of working with all kinds of people with different stories and backgrounds is unlike any other teaching experience. To see a group of ladies/gentlemen so eager to learn how to fly--despite their physical challenges, as well as such a dedicated staff in Mr. Stites and Purdue's liason Mr. Wesley Major made every second with Able flight fun and enjoyable!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Working as a flight instructor for Able Flight was an incredible opportunity. The students and other instructors were fantastic to work with. I would also like to thank Mr. Stites for being so devoted to the program ensuring that it was running smoothly every day. Working with the able flight pilots was amazing. The students showed up every day ready to work. They would fly multiple times each day and every flight you could see much improvement. It was really fun watching the students progress every day. As a flight instructor it was a very rewarding experience. Thank you so much to everyone involved with Able Flight for giving me the opportunity to work with you. I think what you guys do is amazing and really shows how capable people with disabilities are.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I can easily say that my two years spent instructing for the Able Flight program have been my most rewarding experience in aviation. The work Able Flight does for people with disabilities, including Veterans, is awe -inspiring. I have never worked with people who were so determined to achieve their goals, both in regards to the students and staff. The dedication from Mr. Stites, the students, and the rest of the Able Flight staff is what really sets this program apart from the rest.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As an instructor for Able Flight, I have been given an incredible opportunity. Getting to meet the students that go through this program truly is a great experience. Despite the challenges presented to them, the students have more motivation than any I have worked with before. It made instructing them easy. The support given by the organization was extremely helpful as well.

Able Flight has been doing great things for many years now, and I look forward to being a part of this organization again in the future.

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Rating: 5 stars  

From the beginning of the interview process to the end of the program, you were treated like an adult. Everybody especially the instructors are very professional both in and out of the classroom. Everybody was very tentative to those with disabilities regardless of the severity of your disability .

The satisfaction of knowing that there is an organization such as Able Flight out there shows that there are no limitations for those with disabilities.

I love talking to people pertaining to the experience that I had and now continuing to fly on my own, words cannot express. Even the fact of being away from the family setting, those involved in Able Flight made it very comfortable and provided a family setting. The relationships that I made with the instructors especially the other students that went through the program with me , I will never forget and as of today we all still talk. Being up in the plane by yourself is freedom, and with that alone you forget your disabilities and your limitations.

A huge thank you to Mr. Stites and all those involved is an understatement of what I wish I can give back to them for what they have given me.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a recipient of this scholarship, it's hard to find the exact words to describe this incredible program. I would have never imagine the impact this program had on my life. Something in me changed during the process. In a world set around the needs of other, deceiving my people with limits and constraints, AbleFlight is one of those programs that stand apart helping breaking through the shackles that a disability seems to bring. My time learning to fly was one of the most exciting experience that life has offered. I can't say thank you enough for that opportunity. I always told to reach for the stars. AbleFlight put me in the clouds (figuratively). I'm not allowed to fly in the clouds but you understand what I mean!!

Stephen Carrier

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Rating: 5 stars  

This company goes above and beyond all expectations! They have helped my husband have an opportunity to fulfill his dream of being a corporate pilot. He has been an instructor for many years and shared his passion for flying. But has dreamed of moving it further and becoming a corporate pilot for a company. With the help of Ableflight, he has been able to move one step closer to that goal. My husband now can fulfill a life long dream. Words cannot express how gratefull I am that we found this company. Charles and all of the sponsors: THANK YOU! We will forever be in your debt!

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Rating: 5 stars  

There are no words that can describe what an amazing group Able Flight is!!!
I am truly blessed, honored and thankful for their help in continuing my aviation career. I can only hope, moving forward, I can have a continuous role with this truly outstanding organization!!

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Rating: 5 stars  

There aren't enough stars to give to this organization! Able Flight gives so much and only expects that you work hard and share your love of flying with others. That isn't a problem, because after you receive your wings you want everyone to know about your accomplishment!
For me, it rekindled a love for aviation that's always been in me. After my accident, 19 years ago, I thought for sure my dreams of flying were gone, like many other plans I had. I can't thank Mr. Stites -he insists I call him Charles but to me, that doesn't convey the respect I have for him- and Able Flight enough. Not many people see a need in a population that is not served, or underserved, and says, 'I need to do something about this,' and acts.
Please donate to Able Flight, every single cent is put to use thoughtfully and strategically to maximize benefit to its clients.

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Before I heard about Able Flight, it was difficult for me to start my flight training because I'm Deaf with no flight experience that local Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) were not willing to train me to become a pilot. It was a struggle, because I want to be a professional pilot that I tried to get closer to a pilot job. After earning a sport pilot certificate with the help of Able Flight, it is easier to find a CFI to start my flight training for higher pilot certificates and ratings because CFIs now see that I am ABLE to fly even I'm Deaf.

Able Flight had provided a lot for me that they and Purdue University found a CFI to train me to become a sport pilot as well as provided an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting service where I can understand instruction at pilot ground school better. My Able Flight classmates, instructors, and coordinators were so nice and helpful and can communicate with each other other ways when the interpreter wasn't around. Able Flight provided everything I needed to finally become a pilot, which was very nice. Around the end of six weeks of intense sport pilot flight training at Purdue University to ensure Able Flight student pilots become a confident, competent, and safe pilot, I do feel confident to get on the airplane and fly without my CFI.

Able Flight is a great organization that changes people's life as well as it had with mine seeing that I can really be a pilot and looking forward to advancing my pilot certificates and ratings. I'm currently training to be a private pilot, getting closer to be an airline transport pilot. I still remember the first take off during my flight training with my CFI that I smiled for finally to start the flight training as well as I smiled after my last landing during my first solo flight realizing that I did it!

Raymart Tinio
Able Flight Pilot

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