Jet Aviation Business Jets, Inc. (JBJI) has been a supporter of Able Flight since shortly after its founding. As General Manager of JBJI I am approached by numerous charities and non-profits for donations. To me donating to Able Flight is a no-brainer. Charles Stites operates the organization very efficiently. I have seen first hand how its work has literally changed the lives of individuals, brought families closer together and given the freedom and confidence which comes from piloting an aircraft to those whose need these things most - the disabled.
Able Flight has to be the best non-profit organization I have ever come across. I received a scholarship from able flight to learn to fly an airplane with hand control due to the fact that I am paralyzed from the chest down. The experience changed my life in amazing ways. I can never thank able flight enough for what they have done for me and I wish everyone could experience what They have to offer.
My family has been involved in Able Flight since its inception. It is a wonderful way for us to give back to the aviation community and make a difference in the lives of people who might otherwise not get a chance to enjoy the freedom of flight. Our company imports and sells aircraft with adaptive hand controls that allow people to pilot the aircraft without the use of their legs. We donate as much aircraft time and support as we can afford and it has enriched our lives tremendously. We’ve made new friends all across the country. And since any body involved in Able Flight (donor, sponsor, student, or volunteer) has demonstrated a love of aviation and the belief that it can change lives, they automatically qualify as an honorary Hansen and are considered part of our extended family. As a flight instructor, I teach regulations, basic aerodynamics, weather and aeronautical decision making. Flight instructors also try to instill a sense of confidence and self reliance that is unique to aviators. That is at the heart of what Able Flight is all about. They believe becoming an aviator can breed confidence and inspire people with disabilities to do whatever they can dream. I’ve been a professional aviator for 22 years. I’ve instructed in the military and general aviation and can say that the volunteer flight and ground instructor hours I’ve performed for Able Flight have been the most rewarding of my career. There is nothing more satisfying than turning loose a solo student who once thought piloting an airplane was out of their reach because of a disability. Working with Able Flight can present some unique challenges to flight instructors, but that means rewards are even greater. The sense of pride from working with the Wounded Warriors and the "Return to flight" students is hard to put into words. Any aviator can imagine the wonderful feeling you get when you help a fellow aviator or veteran who’s been dealt a tough hand, get to be pilot in command. There is nothing better than seeing the joy, confidence, and sense of accomplishment light up the face of an Able Flight student. Another great aspect of Able Flight is how they encourage their new aviators to give back. When you see Sean O’Donnell start his own flight school, Jessica Scharle tutor new students or watch Brad Jones barnstorm a 1000 miles to meet and inspire others in wheelchairs, you realize Able Flight touches many more people than just their scholarship recipients. In summary, you won’t find a more dedicated, hard working, and inspiring group of people than those at Able Flight. And if you’re lucky enough to be one of the flight instructors, it’s a whole lot of fun!! Mitch Hansen Hansen Air Group Volunteer Flight Instructor
My name is Brad Jones, I am a paraplegic, and I was awarded a scholarship through Ableflight. It provided me the most rewarding experience of my life by awrading me a flight training schlarship which yeilded me a sport pilot license. I'm currently a pilot and fly as often as I can. The organization gave me a renewed sense of self-confidence through my experince with them over the past 2 years. During this time I have had the privilege to fly and obtain my pilots license, I also participated in a barnstorming tour where we raised awarness of the organization. Ableflight contains a group of people that are truly dedicated to providing a community of people with disabilities with an opportunity of a life time with the gift of flight.
Able Flight is a tremendous organization that assists physically challeneged individuals to realize a life long dream to fly. I have wanted to fly for as long as I can remember (50+ years). Able Flight made that dream come true and gave me a new purpose and direction in life that will allow me to share the wonders of aviation with family and friends. As a recipient of the Challenege Scholarship I was able to experience flight training without the expense, which was truly important to someone on disability. Funds cannot be wasted. I now know that my dream since childhood will eventually be realized thanks to Able Flight. The Able Flight organization and personnel truly care about their purpose and scholarship awardees. I will be forever grateful to Able Flight for the opportunity they gave me. Even if I never fly again, Able Flight has changed my life in ways I guess that only pilots can relate too, and that I hope to share.
I became a paraplegic 24 years ago. I've lived my journey in an able bodied world and have always sought out to do things that enable me to be out of my chair. To feel the freedom that we all are looking for. Able Flight has allowed me to make a dream come true by becoming a pilot. My relationship with the organization has been one of the best encounters I have experienced in my life. They have allowed me to fulfill a dream of obtaining that freedom and also giving me the greatest challenge of my life. So many different levels of who I am have been involved with becoming a sports pilot and the support of all involved with Able Flight have been there to help me through each step. As a little girl I dreamed of being a Flight Attendant....BUT...being the PILOT is so much better!! I can't say THANK YOU enough for all that Able Flight has given to me through my experience!
This is a small but amazing organization that tasks itself with some of the most challenging tasks it can. In this way it leads its scholarship winners by not only saying, but showing by example, that if you put your mind to something, almost anything is achievable.
Able Flight has given so many deserving individuals one of the greatest opportunities of a lifetime.....the oportunity to FLY. Flying, in itself, is a great and wonderful experience, but when you have a disability, and you could never imagine being able to have that dream fulfilled, well, just imagine how that would make you feel. Able Flight has given that dream of a lifetime to so many wonderful people, and I so am proud to be a part of it. Thanks Able Flight for a lot of special memories shared with a lot of special people. Martha K.