My post below was made on the Guidelines section and the Animals Needing a Ride section but I also feel it is a topic of conversation that we should all discuss. Here is what I listed and please feel free to respond with any ideas and suggestions you may have to help out with the longer hauls.
Thanks to all of you for joining the Pilots-N-Paws group. Working together to save these animals and get them to a safe haven is the goal we all want to achieve.
I felt that I needed to point out that some of the distances you are requesting are simply too far for one small plane pilot to accomplish. I have the average distance stated under guidelines but I feel it needs repeating.
When we think of planes and flying, most of us have jets in mind and picture going across the country in four hours. Well, true, in a large jet you can. But most small planes fly at a little over 100mph, have limited fuel capabilities and therefore the distance they can travel is much shorter then a jet. A good rule of thumb is that most planes have approximately a three hour fly out time. This means that from the point of take-off they can fly to a destination 3 hours away. Some planes are a little more, some are a little less. The mileage covered is normally around 200 to 500 miles depending once again upon the plane.
If you are asking for a flight half way across the country, it is likely that no pilot will answer your request. However, if you see by looking at the pilot board that there are pilots listed in various states along the route you are asking for, by all means ask them if they would consider trying to coordinate a multi-leg flight. These are difficult due to varying weather conditions but not impossible. If you do ask, please have temporary fosters available should an unexpected problem arrive with weather conditons or a mechanical issue with the plane. That way, the animal is always assured that someone along the route will be there to care for the animal.
It is our hope that eventually as more pilots join our cause, we will have a pilot in every state who is willing to help. That will ease the burden of these long distance trips giving us more options for doing a rescue flight in stages. Please keep in mind that pilots are totally controlled by the weather of the day and back-up arrangements should always be made "just in case." This holds true for all plane rescue transports.
Please feel free to jump in on this conversation. Maybe the pilots will have some additional ideas and suggestions for these longer transport requests. We are all still learning from each other.