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Aviation Blog

Elevated Access seeks volunteer pilots — General Aviation News – General Aviation News

General Aviation News
Because flying is cool
By · October 27, 2022 · 44 Comments
Three days before the draft opinion that ultimately struck down Roe v. Wade was leaked, a new volunteer pilot organization launched called Elevated Access, which uses a network of general aviation pilots to transport patients to what officials call “stigmatized healthcare,” such as abortions and gender-affirming medical care.
“For whatever reason, the government has decided private decisions about these two sectors of healthcare are their business, so we support those sectors of healthcare. Hopefully there won’t be any more stigmatized healthcare sectors, but we’re here to help people make the right decisions for their own bodies,” explains Fiona, director of kindness for the new non-profit group.
Elevated Access is the brainchild of a pilot, Mike, who saw a desperate need for healthcare transportation as more and more states enacted strict abortion laws, some outlawing abortions at as little as six weeks — when most women don’t even know they are pregnant. Many of the laws don’t provide exceptions for pregnancies that result from incest or rape or pregnancies that threaten a mother’s life.
As the new laws went into effect, people were faced with traveling sometimes very long distances to states where the procedure is still legal.
Using volunteer general aviation pilots takes some of the stress — and expense — out of seeking care.
“We can fly them from where they are to where they can get medical care, then be home that evening,” Fiona explains.
And as the volunteer pilots pick up the costs of the flight, the patient doesn’t have to worry about paying for a bus ticket, or gas for her car, a hotel, and other expenses related to a long trip.
Patients are referred to Elevated Access by healthcare providers and other organizations. It then matches a volunteer pilot with a patient, with only the barest of information exchanged between the two.
The only information a pilot will ask a patient is their weight to calculate weight and balance.
Pilots often go by their middle name or a nickname to protect them from vigilante laws that criminalize any behavior that leads to this kind of healthcare.
In fact, a pilot has no information as to the reason why a person is traveling. It could be a volunteer for Elevated Access or another group or a staffer in a clinic.
Fiona notes it’s just the same as if the person traveled by airliner.
“When you go on a flight on American Airlines, the pilot doesn’t ask you why you are traveling,” she says. “The chances are there’s somebody on a commercial flight right now going somewhere for abortion.”
Since its launch in April 2022, about 870 pilots have expressed interest in volunteering for Elevated Access.
Those are the pilots who filled out an initial contact form. Once that is reviewed, pilots are sent a more in-depth application that asks about number of hours, plane, and other pertinent information.
They also want to know why you want to volunteer to assess “mission compatibility,” according to Fiona. That’s supplemented by references and background checks “to make sure that this person really understands our mission and wants to help with this kind of care.”
Pilot requirements include:
So far, about 250 pilots have been accepted as volunteers for Elevated Access, but a whole lot more are needed, Fiona says, in all 50 states.
Pilots fly a variety of aircraft, from single-pilot jets to homebuilts, but most are the typical four-seater Cessnas and Pipers, according to Fiona.
Want to volunteer but only fly a single-seater? You can by transporting equipment or helping in some other way.
In fact, the organization is looking for people who understand general aviation to help out in a myriad of other ways, such as administration, vetting pilots, and more.
Don’t have 200 hours PIC yet? She encourages you to fill out the paperwork so when you do you can jump right in and volunteer as a pilot.
Meanwhile, you can help in other ways, including as a second pilot on some flights.
That’s especially important in these kinds of flights, Fiona says, noting many of these flights are long and the patients are, understandably, nervous.
“Single pilot flying is hard, especially if you’re trying to fly the plane and you have one or two passengers with you. And if they’ve never flown before, you’ve got to help them a little bit with their anxiety, so there’s a lot going on. So if you have someone in the right seat, that’s always helpful.”
Want to help but can’t right now?
The best thing you can do is spread the word, she says.
She acknowledges that it is a topic some people are nervous talking about, but it’s critical for the aviation community to spread the word to increase the number of volunteer pilots.
She encourages pilots and other general aviation enthusiasts to have the courage to start the conversation, suggesting something like, “Have you heard of Elevated Access? This is what they are doing.”
“And if the person seems mildly interested, ask them to go to the website as there’s lots of information there,” she continues.
It’s important to talk about access to this kind of healthcare, she adds.
“As a society we’ve steered away from talking about this,” she said. “And frankly, that’s why we’re in the situation we are because too many of us remained silent as a lot of things were changing around us.”
The organization is also accepting donations.
“Up until two weeks ago, we were completely volunteer staff. We didn’t have a paid staffer. And then, our executive director who had a 20-year career decided to give it all up so that he could do this full time, so we have our first full-time staffer. And then, of course, we have costs related to information systems and administration. Eventually, we’ll get to the point where we can reimburse for gas, so we will have expenses, so yes, absolutely donations are welcome.”
If you are interested in donating, there is a donate button at the top of the Elevated Access website at
Janice Wood is editor of General Aviation News.
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John C says
December 11, 2022 at 8:16 am
So glad my birth mother didn’t kill me, but instead placed me for adoption. I’m grateful to be alive, and so is my daughter. I’m sure her children, when they arrive, will likewise be happy I wasn’t killed. I don’t condone murder and I won’t support anyone who is OK with that. Canceling my subscription.
Dale L. says
November 20, 2022 at 9:11 pm
After reading your informative article about Elevated Access, you know the people who help birthing people obtain healthcare and people suffering from gender dysphoria obtain gender affirming care, I was amazed how it all seemed so normal, especially since it is all legal. Helping women who need assistance killing their unborn children and confused boys and girls to get surgical mutilation is certainly just like flying people to health care facilities for illness treatment. Soon there may be a group of pilots, maybe even Elevated Access, that will help people who are MAPs travel to jurisdictions that are more tolerant of their behavior, especially since it will be legal with the new legislation that was recently passed. By the way MAP stands for minor attracted people (old term pedophiles). You can then publish an informative article about that.
PS: Shame on you. Is this really what you want your magazine to be about?
Jim Deuvall says
November 8, 2022 at 9:58 am
I’m simultaneously angry and saddened that GAN would devote an entire page to the promotion of Elevated Access, an immoral and satanic cult disguised as an altruistic non-profit. General aviation has a reputation for responding sacrificially and generously to SAVE lives. We spend countless hours trying to build up and support the younger generation, particularly women, to embrace aviation. Now this publication, that purports to advocate for us, is shilling for those who wish to destroy that very generation.
It is abdominal to equate abortion with life-saving healthcare. It’s not even healthcare, certainly not for the unborn baby; its sole (or should I say soul) purpose is to destroy life. These organizations who parade around as “defenders” of women actually hate women. They don’t care about the woman’s life-long tortured existence over having killed their own child. As a chaplain, I run into this all the time, sometimes 40-50 years after the fact. The baby is not the only life destroyed after abortion.
It’s time for our traditional moral compass to be re-introduced back into our culture before we lose it, and the next generation, entirely.
As for GAN, shame on you, I expected better.
Jim Deuvall
NY State Chaplain
Joe Reid says
November 7, 2022 at 6:53 am
I’m not too sure you are not violating an FAA reg. I would make VERY sure this could not be construed as skirting around Part 135 regs.. just my 2 cents. cover your ass it would be up to 11,000$ to you per incidence(flight) and 1,000$ to the pilot. You may be perfectly legal, but I would have an aviation lawyer confirm it. Remember the FAA makes rules, not sense
Douglas Myers says
October 30, 2022 at 7:10 pm
I am exiting also. Aviation content was interesting, helpful and entertaining. The left leaning, woke political stories … not so much. These issues are polarizing at their core. I believe abortion is murder. I believe all this fad focus on transgender and LGBTQ issues is immoral and perverted. Sorry.
You’re entitled to your views but I am to mine as well. You’re not more “open minded” nor am I “intolerant”.
There’s a difference between right and wrong. We’re crossing over it now as a society. I’m sorry to see aviation caught up in it too.
Dan says
October 30, 2022 at 3:18 pm
I will guess that less than 1% of abortions are to save the life of the mother. The rest are done because people do not make a tiny effort to prevent pregnancy. Why do you call me full of hate because I DO NOT want to see a human murdered. Also they are done by doctors that love money more than human life. Especially the after 15 week crowd. As to trans let’s let them grown to at least 18 then they can do as they want to themselves. Mostly they are mentally I’ll and need special counseling.
Patricia, GA enthusiast in the south says
October 29, 2022 at 1:54 pm
Thank you GAN and Janice Wood for reporting on this new non profit volunteer pilot network.
I am highly appreciative of all the pilots who are flying for volunteer pilot networks, from Angel Flight organizations to Elevated Access.
You use your skills, expertise, time and planes to help Americans live better lives. For those of you who fly around in search of the “$100 hamburger”, I encourage you to use your talents more effectively.
One way to do that is to help people who lack access to healthcare. I read about the patients that Elevated Access helps. They face multiple barriers to getting the care they need. They lack the money to pay for healthcare, they lack a car to drive multiple states over for healthcare, they lack child care resources to look after their children while they travel, and they often don’t have a supportive partner to help them through the huge undertaking to raise a child.
Do we really need more unwanted children in our country? For those who don’t support abortion, please step up and foster or adopt a child, before commenting thoughtlessly about topics you have no experience with.
Thanks to all the Elevated Access pilots and other volunteer pilots who are a force for good in our Nation.
Future volunteer says
October 29, 2022 at 8:06 am
Reading these hateful comments helps validate why this service is needed in the first place. I’m going to volunteer as soon as I meet minimum qualifications.
To those spewing hate on here — shame on you. Shame on you for not understanding the science & facts behind some of these situations and repeating verbatim what you here on entertainment opinion shows dubbed as news.
I hope you never end up in a position of needing medical attention and not getting it, not because I don’t want you to go through it, in fact, I think you should very much experience it but I’d hate for your loved ones to have to bear watching you suffer.
ET says
October 29, 2022 at 7:35 am
Not in a million years! It’s disappointing this “publication” would promote any organization causing death or mutilation. general Aviation News and Janice Wood should be ashamed.
There are so many honorable pilot organizations helping people travel for cancer treatments or helping with supplies in times of disaster, I volunteer my piloting skills to help lives, not end them. I’m very disappointed to se this trash on here.
Thomas says
October 31, 2022 at 6:11 am
Not all have what it takes to fill the need in this vital role. It’s not for everyone, and that’s ok. It’s also why I find it so important that I do it. I respect your position feeling uncomfortable not to fly for Elevated Access. Hope you can respect the fact that I feel privileged to the opportunity to meet the call.
Tim D. says
October 29, 2022 at 5:56 am
As a volunteer pilot, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to support women in their times of need. GA is on the whole a giving group of people. Curiously, some of these commenters with ridiculous and grotesque depictions likely aren’t even pilots themselves, let alone women who have to face such agonizing choices, and as such should just shut their pie hole and put their keyboard warrior fingers back at their sides. But, that’s my opinion, and like their opinions, they do not carry any weight in this debate because it is the decision of the woman and her doctor and NO ONE ELSE. We volunteer pilots will do our best to put GA to work, easing their pain and proving our worth in doing so.
Frank Humbles says
October 28, 2022 at 6:47 pm
Just unsubscribed. Too bad you had to inject your politics into GAN. Gender affirming procedures on children should be criminalized.
Tim D. says
October 29, 2022 at 5:58 am
And if it’s YOUR child?
Thomas says
October 31, 2022 at 6:13 am
Sad that reporting news from all fronts set you off enough to want to leave. I guess we’ll equalize here since I just subscribed. You’re losing your voice and acting like a Karen. All it does is take discussion out of the conversation.
B Robinett says
October 28, 2022 at 6:06 pm
GAN I’m done. Bye.
Paul B says
October 28, 2022 at 5:49 pm
A cross section of society to be sure.
“Government by man will endure for a better future.”
“Government by law will crawl to its own end.”
I did not think people needed reason to fly a willing sole from A to B. It should not be, of course. Fly for the sake of flying and forget the petty drivel that accompanies the mission.
Jamestown says
October 28, 2022 at 10:08 pm
Petty drivel?
Amy says
October 28, 2022 at 1:51 pm
General Aviation News, thank you for sharing another example of public-benefit aviation. This is no different from organizations like Lighthawk, Pilots and Paws, etc., where pilots can use their time and aircraft to support causes they believe in. Unfortunately, some commenters have taken their political beliefs out on GAN for covering a use of aviation they don’t like.
JimH in CA says
October 28, 2022 at 3:51 pm
This another group of pilots serving people needing medical procedures, and possibly those who cannot afford travel to where the service is available.
I, however do not approve of the medical procedures indicated. There are other options available to the persons affected [ can I say women ? ].
Jamestown says
October 28, 2022 at 10:51 pm
Hey, nice job showing the world that you both hate women and are trans people. Well done.
Gordon W Lester says
October 28, 2022 at 12:17 pm
Nope. Adios…
Bibocas says
October 28, 2022 at 3:20 pm
Quite right, Mr. Gordon Lester
Kira says
October 28, 2022 at 11:58 am
Firstly, I hate to see the comments on this informational article flooded by men- who will never have to go through the trauma of needing an abortion- with their opinions on women’s bodies. As that is why this organization was created in the first place.
As a woman living in a state that has strict abortion laws in place, and is apart of the aviation community, I love to see there is an organization in place trying to help women AND men with reproductive healthcare and gender affirmation healthcare access. Not only are the pilots able to share their love of general aviation with others who likely have never seen a glimpse of our world, But also get to help those patients during a terrifying and stressful time in their lives without judgement.
Human bodies should not be politicized. Healthcare should not be politicized. Aviation should not be politicized. Elevated Access- I think you and the pilots behind you are doing a wonderful thing, and I will happily share your story.
Brent F says
October 28, 2022 at 11:23 am
Great article! Thanks for shedding light on such an important need. Body autonomy is the last bastion of freedom, and I’m glad that someone is out there protecting those in need. I understand that some may not be on board with the work that Elevated Access is doing, but I am of the mindset that when a state restricts a person’s freedom, that a stand needs to be taken. I support them, and hope they keep up the good work! This is an absolutely perfect use of general aviation!
Kate, a pilot from the south says
October 28, 2022 at 10:31 am
Wow! What a fantastic, compassionate organization! This is a great idea, and these pilots are heroes! Thank you for publishing this article!! It is SO important that we all start having these conversations. Everyone in this country loves someone who has either had an abortion or considered it but made the CHOICE not to. The US loves to boast about how we are the land of the free, but we are stripping away those freedoms one by one lately. It’s a terrifying time to be anything other than a straight, white male in this country. Good for you, GAN for bringing attention to this organization. I will donate today!
Dale says
October 28, 2022 at 10:03 am
I will get my avaition news elsewhere. I have unsubscribed. I wonder how the sponsors that popped up while this article was being read feel about this publication.
Devin says
October 28, 2022 at 9:39 am
Elevated Access is a great thing. I’m proud of these pilots, and I look forward to being a part of their group. Thank you for bringing this group to my attention once again. To all the folks spewing out their political opinions about strangers’ healthcare needs – if you don’t want the procedures, don’t get them. If you don’t want to fly for Elevated Access, don’t fly for them.
All these grown men in the thread here, who would never get within a mile of these healthcare needs anyways, are getting hysterical and need to keep their political rants to themselves. Frankly, the level of uncontrolled outbursts from these guys makes me worried about them. These Elevated Access folks are private individuals engaging in likely totally legal behavior – and if it’s going to turn out to be some legal issue – you’re not the ones that’ll figure that out. You’d afford the same hands-off no-big-government attitude to any other behavior you’d coincidentally ideologically agree with – why is it different here? Leave it alone, and let these folks live their lives.
Sammie says
October 28, 2022 at 12:01 pm
Exactly! Great points! Thank you for speaking up!
DA says
October 28, 2022 at 9:18 am
Words escape me to describe this terrible promotion for GAN. Stick to aviation.
Bibocas says
October 28, 2022 at 3:22 pm
William L Campbell says
October 28, 2022 at 9:03 am
I agree with every comment posted so far. Killing babies is evil and wrong let alone the likely pain the aborting mother will experience the rest of her life for her decision. This posting and use of GA pilots and aircraft to carry an out abortion decision tarnishes the great aviation community.
M.D. Pilot who did their research in medical school, not on the internet says
October 28, 2022 at 7:50 am
Just hope your wife, mother, sister, daughter never has an ectopic pregnancy – women die from that, and since terminating the pregnancy is illegal, well, the law is upheld at the cost of their life.
Just hope your wife, mother, sister, daughter never becomes pregnant because she was sexually assaulted, and sexual assault happens a LOT, often unreported out of shame (as in “blame the victim”). Then she and maybe you have to support the child for decades.
Just hope your wife, mother, sister, daughter never have a pregnancy involving a non-viable fetus. Not terminating that situation is often fatal for the mother.
Just hope your wife, mother, sister, daughter never has a child they simply do not want – or simply can’t afford – would make them drop out of school, stop working, there are a lot of single mothers out there who are really struggling.
Just hope your wife, mother, sister, daughter never have a contraceptive failure – that happens too.
If the men who make these laws could get pregnant, your head would spin at how fast they would be repealed. These laws don’t affect them, they only affect women, who they seem to regard as an inferior species needing paternalistic supervision or even as possessions.
As to gender issues, humans are not one or the other with no middle ground at all. Sexuality is a continuum, most humans are pretty much either female or male, but a certain proportion (around 2%, same as the percentage of redheads in the population) of us are intersexual or sexually indeterminate. This is a matter of biology, and passing laws against biology is like passing laws against gravity.
Adolescence is a time of questioning norms, raging hormones and identity crises anyway, yet some of these laws prohibit anyone from even discussing, let alone counseling, some of these issues with exactly the people who need it most, teenagers unsure of or insecure about their sexual identity. They are 100% on their own in this, it is any wonder they may self-harm or even kill themselves?
Trying to run a 21st century society basing the laws on 16th century theology is something they do in Iran, and you see how well that is working out for them. We can, and we should, do better.
Cory Truitt says
October 30, 2022 at 5:11 pm
Very well said, Doc. Thanks for piping in. And good on GAN and Elevated Access for the information and the mission. One must sometimes suffer the headwinds to get to the destination.
Jim Deuvall says
November 8, 2022 at 9:14 am
I doubt seriously that you are an MD, perhaps your initials are M.D.
To say its biological fact there are more than two sexes or genders is the dead give-away. There is certainly a plethora of mental disorders and delusions that result in people believing they are everything from Napoleon to redwood trees. You do not help these poor people by affirming their delusion.
Life of the mother has never been withheld by any anti-abortion bill. There are no conditions that an abortion ban would threaten the mother. There are conditions, such as ectopic pregnancies (as you specifically mention) that threaten the mother but are not considered abortions (a doctor would have known that).
Its nothing less than child abuse to advocate “gender affirming” procedures for minors. The only therapeutic that is banned is counseling to get children to align their feelings with the reality of how God made them. You don’t care one bit for these disturbed kids. You care only about your agenda. Its appalling that genital mutilation is actually advocated by people like you.
So no, you are not a doctor, you’re an activist. I would debate you any day on the biology, medical care or morality of the issue.
Carl Miller says
October 28, 2022 at 7:37 am
Very disappointed in General Aviation News. I will spend my money on having my airplane save lives! This is a political issue STAY OUT!
Rick Lipary says
October 28, 2022 at 10:19 am
My skills are reserved for life savers, not MURDERERS of the innocent and helpless preborn! GTFO and STFO!
Ms Roe says
October 28, 2022 at 12:25 pm
If you don’t have a uterus you don’t get to have an opinion on abortion. So, in your own words… GTFO AND STFO
Bennett Sloan says
October 28, 2022 at 7:28 am
So disappointed to see “General Aviation News” wade into this political fray by supporting such an abomination. Transporting blood great, saving puppies fine, emergency patient transport also great, but not for abortions and mutilations under the guise of “healthcare”!! What a false euphemism that is!!
Stay out!
Bibocas says
October 28, 2022 at 3:24 pm
Bob H. says
October 28, 2022 at 7:13 am
The two “procedures” mentioned in this article are individual personal decisions, not healthcare, and this subject has no place in General Aviation News. In the future please leave the personal political views out of you publication.
BJS says
October 28, 2022 at 7:33 am
I agree with Bob H. 100%, this absolutely has no place in General Aviation News and is likely leaving these pilots exposed to lawsuits for illegal activities. Also these pilots better have some heavy insurance to cover their a– when on one of these clandestine flights the “patient” suffers a post-abortion hemorrhage in mid-flight. I’ve seen some ridiculous stuff printed in General Aviation News but this takes the cake!!
IA in OH says
October 28, 2022 at 6:51 am
Can human beings get anymore f++ked up? Being a part of this clandestine operation shows how little respect for life (any life) the participant has. Go ahead and slam me.
Doug says
October 28, 2022 at 1:30 pm
Posted on a public website, asking the entire world for… volunteers.
Where’s the clandestine part? Also, it’s voluntary, dude. If you don’t like the cause, then politely go be angry about other people’s individual choices somewhere else.
Kent Misegades says
October 28, 2022 at 5:53 am
“For whatever reason, the government has decided private decisions about these two sectors of healthcare are their business, so we support those sectors of healthcare”
Infanticide and self-mutilation have nothing to do with health care. Restrictions of these abhorrent, non-medical practices should always have been a decision at the state level. Thankfully, SCOTUS came to its senses and reversed Roe, which has been responsible for the death of 62 million helpless babies since originally decided.
For those sad, confused people who still feel the need to end the lives of their children or have important, God-given parts of their bodies surgically removed, they can easily drive to states where these things are still done, the states rapidly losing their population as a reaction to far-left policies destroying their economies and safety.
Not surprisingly, the organization behind this effort is based in far-left Champaign, Illinois, one of the parts, along with Chicago, that the heartland of Illinois wants to secede from.
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