Are other Rescues assigning a Pilots N Paws Coordinator?

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Are other Rescues assigning a Pilots N Paws Coordinator?

Postby kekolber on Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:57 pm

As a newcomer to the site and a foster parent for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Rescue, I'm wondering do other rescues assign a volunteer to act as a liasion of sorts to Pilots N Paws? I'm awed by the site and wonder if you've found it helps to put someone in charge of building relationships with the pilots, learning the lingo, etc.

Any pitfalls to avoid or suggestions on collaborating?

Thanks all!

Best, Karen
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Re: Are other Rescues assigning a Pilots N Paws Coordinator?

Postby Jon on Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:26 pm

We have been having discussions amongst a number of us off line recently and while others may have different opinions let me give my spin on this. Remember, this is only my opinion based on my experiences and others may vary.

I have done this for such a while now that on the sending or receiving ends we all know one another, not necessarily because we all have a relationship outside of PNP, but because we have all played parts in many transports. I guess I could be considered the coordinator because when the request for a transport comes, if the number of pups doesn't fill the plane, I either look for posts going the same direction that I can do to fill the plane, or I emal my regular rescues and ask if they have any more pups to fill the plane. A full plane can be two Dobies, or a Dobie and 3 or four other medium dogs, or like today 15 other small to medium dogs that socialize well together and can share crates.

The coordination involved is filling the plane and coming up with an agreeable date. We swap a few emails and we generally have the transport set up. All that is left is to actually fly the transport.

But, I have seen when NOBODY has done this before and the group involved needs hand holding or coordinating every step of the way. Add legs, pilots new to transports, and rescues new to aviation and someone needs to steer the ship. My advice is for rescues to take a breath and read the guidlines. Start out with short legs or at least leg lengths that only require a single pilot. Find a rescue of foster at the end of the leg and treat the next leg, if there needs to be a second leg as a new transport. For pilots I urge them to clearly define their limitations such as range and weather and spend a lot of time emailing the involved rescues so they understand your schedule, what airports you prefer, and then learn how many animals or crates you want to carry. Avoid relays. All pilots in a relay are going to feel some self imposed pressure and avoid that. Get comfortable. Ask questions of other pilots. Get into the groove as a transport pilot and learn which rescues you work best with.

The outcome as a result of doing a half dozen transports as a team will be that they become very routine and can be arranged with minimal fuss.

There can be a benefit to having coordinators, but those folks need to be very good at pulling rescues together to form pairs, one sending and one receiving, and matching them with pilots who will fit the needed profile and then helping with the communications. By profile I mean a pilot willing to fly the distance required, who can carry the average number of animals likely, whose preferred flying days match the days the rescues can get to the airports, and who is willing to deal with the weather likely found at the sending or receiving end. That coordinator however needs to understand a pilot can cancel at any moment due to weather, flight restrictions, mechanical issues and any of a myriad of reasons. Then the coordinator has to determine if a back up pilot can be used or if the flight just needs to be rescheduled. That starts getting into pilot territory, and one of our underlying principles when PNP was established was that the pilots would have the sole responsibility for setting up flights and deciding if and when they wanted to do them. We wanted safety to be paramount.

Re: Are other Rescues assigning a Pilots N Paws Coordinator?

Postby bearlady on Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:35 am

When rescues need help setting up a rescue flight..who can we go to...especially when there are multiple legs...the "map your request board" has so many on it you cannot see the map with the line...I have a rescue going from Ok to NH and we are flexible on starting point and ending point, but I cant get any response at all to even begin...what do I do next
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Re: Are other Rescues assigning a Pilots N Paws Coordinator?

Postby jlspence on Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:00 pm

If I may, let me give a PnP pilot's perspective here. I am more comfortable working with rescues that have PnP coordinators because they typically know that an average volunteer pilot will be in a single engine plane that cruises 120 - 140 mph. Accordingly, they know that any request that's more than 300 miles or so will more than likely have to be broken up into multiple legs. Rescues that put up these long 800-1000 mile flights 99 times out of 100 aren't going to get any pilot responses because it's just too far and too expensive to fly those trips.

PnP coordinators would also know that they are more likely to get a pilot(s) to fly a mission where there are more animals to rescue. So, for example, instead of posting up a flight of a single animal that's from Arizona to New York, they'll break the flight up into suggested manageable pieces and look on the board for other flights that may lie roughly along the same route.
Jeff S.
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