Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Able Flight

6,648 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: 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.

Results: Able Flight was founded in June of 2006, and awarded its first flight training scholarships in December of 2006. As of March 2019 it has awarded over 100 scholarships (including flight training and aviation career training), and 70 recipients are now licensed pilots. Beginning in 2010, Able Flight partnered with Purdue University on a annual joint flight training program. To date, every student trained at Purdue and sent for a check ride has passed for a 100% success rate. In 2017, Ohio State University became Able Flight's second training partner, with two students being successfully trained in the first year. In 2011 Able Flight began awarding Aviation Career Training Scholarships, and as of October 2017 has awarded fifteen 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: National

Programs: Flight Training Scholarships Aviation Career Training Scholarships Scholarships for wounded veterans

Community Stories

99 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

An amazing organization that gives people something more than you will ever be able to put a value to! The best part about what they give to people is the ability to leave the tag of “disabled” on the ground. In the air, they are simply PILOTS! We can’t wait to get our Zenith 750 Cruzer done to help out!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have known Charles and Sue Stites for over twenty years, and the dedication and compassion they have put into Able Flight since its inception is overwhelming. We are so inspired by the joy and happiness they bring to so many. A great cause led by great people!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before I broke my back I was in the military and held a flight position on C130's, as well as being a mechaninc maintaing every aspect of the aircraft. After my accident I was sure that I would never fly again or be in a hangar around maintenace. But then I discovered able flight through a disabled veteran organization. I applied and was completely exalted when I received the call that I was accepted. To go through the training at Purdue was a difficult but amazing experience. The instructors are top notch and the flight program is equally rated. Earning my pilots license brought back a sense of accomplishment and independence that I thought I had lost forever. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and experience that Able Flight provided me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer I had the privilege of flight instructing with Able Flight. I met great people and worked with motivated students. I had some of the most fun and personally challenging flights I've done in my aviation career.

Sam M.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Flying had always been a dream of mine and after a fall in 2010 thats all I thought it would ever be until I found Able flight. After getting the call that I was accepted into the program I was ecstatic, taking my first solo was even better. It was a experience that I will never forget and it has opened the doors to many more opportunities for me. I can't say enough about the Able flight and Purdue program they are the best if you have a disability and want to fly.

Leslie I.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Want to fly? Have a disability? Want to train among the best? Able flight is the program for you! Being a 2019 scholarship recipient has been one of the most rewarding achievements of my life thus far. Thanks to Able flight I now have my independence in the air to fly high above the clouds!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've always wanted to get my pilot's license but after breaking my back, I thought that dream was out of reach. Then I found out about Able Flight and how they sponsor people like me to get their pilot's license. When i got that call that I was accept, it felt like I was already sitting on a cloud. Going through flight training and getting my license was an amazing experience. The people that work with Able Flight at Purdue University really know what they are doing and I feel confident in my flying abilities thanks to them. If you have a disability and want to learn how to fly, there is no better place to go than Able Flight.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an Able Flight participant in 2019. This is a great team, and everything was perfect. If you've always wanted to learn to fly, but have a physical disability, these folks are for you!

Rick G.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization and now expanding to The Aerospace Center for Excellence in Lakeland, FL

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

It's been an honor to donate to this great organization. They are doing what no one else has done by providing scholarships to challenged individuals.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife Arleen and I became acquainted with Able Flight about 4 years ago. After attending their annual fundraising dinner in New Orleans and meeting Charles and Sue Stites and the scholarship recipients, we were inspired to become involved in this great cause. Within a couple of months, we met with Charles and Sue and informed them we wanted to sponsor a pilot and commit to a three-year agreement. I am happy that in 2018 we renewed our agreement for another three years. We are proud to offer the Tempest Lloyd Smith Memorial Scholarship in memory of Alreen's late husband who loved aviation.

This is a great cause and we are humbled to be able to play a small role in its success!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I knew about Able Flight before there was an Able Flight.

I have known its founder, Charles Stites for over 35 years and have watched and listened as Able Flight has grown from a passion for flight into helping individuals with physical disabilities to gain the skills and the freedom to soar.

As a bystander and volunteer I have witnessed the growing passion and impact that this program offers to not only the participants but to other volunteers and the sponsors, both corporate and private. Able Flight continues to expand both in services and direction from earning a Sport Pilots license to encouraging careers in aviation. Able Flight and its flight training partners are charting a new course.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Able Flight is one of the best non-profits I have had the good fortune to be involved with. Passionate and committed to the people they serve, they create tangible and real opportunities for very special, hard working and committed people, and the results are measurable. I'm really proud to have followed them from the start and encourage anyone with interest in aviation and helping people with disabilities learn to fly to support this most worth and impressive non profit.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to this organization since it’s inception and have had the pleasure of meeting the beneficiaries of their amazing work. The new pilots that come out of this program defy the odds and persevere to achieve a life changing goal: soloing an aircraft and taking to the air. Many go on to pursue a rewarding career in aviation. All of these aviators inspire those around them to accomplish more in life, without letting barriers stand in the way.

Donor

Rating: 5

We've had the privilege of sponsoring Able Flight for the past few years with scholarship funding and we have joined them in the celebration of each recipient cadet's graduation.

We continue to be inspired by the outstanding achievements of each cadet and especially their dedication and determination to achieve their goals in life and in their careers!

Sponsoring Able Flight cadets is a very rewarding investment in the lives of the most amazing people, including those who have served our country so bravely!

Your life will be forever changed when you get to know Charles and Sue Stites as well as volunteers and the flight instructors who so passionately dedicate their time and talent to their cadets.

Daniel R. Bachmann
Embraer Corporate Communications

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a flight instructor for this program I was able to provide instruction to some of the most motivated and talented pilots in the aviation industry. Able Flight provides an fantastic opportunity to individuals to become more of themselves and take to the skies. Working for this organization as been a pleasure and something I will carry with me throughout my career.

Christina G.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I instructed for Able Flight this past summer and was very happy I chose to stick around Purdue to do so. The experiences and memories made during my time instructing for Able Flight were rewarding and humbling. Everyone in the program is excited and passionate about the work they do. I look forward to seeing the continued growth and progress this nonprofit makes.

Emily Ann H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

On May 16, 2018, I walked into Hangar 6 at Purdue University Airport and I was both terrified and excited. Back home in San Diego, I had left my husband and 7 children, I was 48 years old, and I was going to learn to fly!
From the moment my friend Melissa, who attended the previous year suggested Able Flight and I contacted them, I was hooked. Charles was so wonderful in answering all questions and leading me through the process. When I was called and told I was chosen, I was ecstatic.
Austin Decker my flight instructor and I bonded instantly. He is one of the finest young men I've ever met. He was calm and patient and when I was ready to give up, never gave up on me.
The whole Able Flight family from ground school teacher Mike Gref to all the CFI's, Christina, Andrew, Andrea, and Alyssa I felt fully supported. I wish I could name everyone!
The accommodations were accessible and I felt right at home.
I cannot say enough about how this program has changed my life. It gave me confidence and courage and it allowed my children to see their mom do something amazing! In fact, I’ve inspired my 19 year old son to pursue a career in aviation!
These are priceless gifts.
Thank you Able Flight!

Client Served

Rating: 5

After dreaming of becoming a pilot for years and wishing I could "fly", in 2018, thanks to Charles, AbleFlight, Purdue, and my flight instructors, this became a reality!

Everything from the application process, to arriving, to flying, the lessons- leading up to the big moment you get your wings, was very clear! This program is very well run and some of the best moments of my life were born here!

This isn't a program one can just invest 50% of their time in and think they'll get their license- it takes some time to study both before you arrive and at night after your lessons. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of time to enjoy time with your new classmates, instructors, or call home!

Big thank you for this opportunity and I would highly recommend this program to any and all those who wish to become a pilot! 5 stars indeed!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last May, I got a rare opportunity to learn how to pilot a plane. It was one of my favorite learning experiences of my life. Their determination to make my experience accessible was the key to my success in the program.

Everybody involved with the organization has incredibly positive attitude, and they are determined to see their students succeed.

I am forever grateful for this experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Extremely well put together. The family atmosphere provided me with friends for life, and was a foundation to build extraordinary skills as an instructor. Students and instructors alike can all agree that expectations were more than exceeded!