bmctschmidt wrote:Need help to get a Boykin Spaniel Pup to his forever home in Vermont.
Hi Beth, and welcome!
I hope I can lend you a hand with your transport request by sharing with you what many pilots say they need to know before considering whether they can fly a leg for us rescues and shelters. I've compiled the following at the request of a number of pilots, and from Rescue organizations that are not accustomed to arranging transports for their animals. I hope it helps. You've already done several things right but there's more...
Pilots want to see both the departure city and state and the destination city and state in the subject line. This allows them to see at a glance whether or not they might be able to help. Many states share identically-named cities so be sure to include both city and state.
Your dog is facing a very long (and probably very slow) trip. Most pilots can contribute around 300 nautical miles to a transport request, so you need to know the distance between your start city and the destination, and then break that distance down into 300- to 350-mile legs to determine how many pilots the trip might require. It can take a couple weeks to put all the transport legs together for such long distances, and another two weeks or longer to complete the journey since many pilots are only available for weekend flying.
Most General Aviation pilots use public municipal/regional airports rather than the major commercial airports where landing fees are higher and the airspace not as friendly to small planes as the muni airports.
To plan your route, begin by determining what muni or regional airports serve your cities. One place you can look up airports in every state is http://skyvector.com/airport/search
. Click in the right hand column (public airports) that corresponds to the state in which you want to search, and in the new window that opens, you'll be able to locate airports and their IDs. Airports are listed in city-alphabetical order.
Next, with the PnP Pilot Map as a reference for where pilots are located, use one of the aviation websites (airnav or skyvector) to preview the route as well as the mileage between airport legs. Aviation websites are better suited for this than a general purpose map that you can draw a straight line on because you're looking for exact airport-to-airport mileage. I can email you some jpg samples of airport search results and nav charts if you'd like.
Now that you have a prospective route and a list of pilots to contact, switch to the PnP Volunteer Map as a reference to locate and arrange ground support (fosters, boarding kennel, etc.) at each of the handover points along that route in case of bad weather or other delays. Multi-leg transports generally require several overnight fosters along the way since most pilots fly during the daytime. Rescues are also responsible for arranging the dog's delivery and pickup to and from all airports. Don't automatically assume that blue skies and a seemingly short transport means ground support won't be necessary; it is critical that you prepare a plan that safeguards your dog all along the route so pilots can concentrate on flying and taking care of their planes during delays or emergencies.
When you have the above information, edit your post to include some or all of it. Include a description of the dog or its breed, and don't forget to include your name, email address, and rescue organization.
In addition to posting requests, Rescues can directly contact pilots along the route via email addresses found in their profiles. But before you do: know your route, which airports are available, which prospective legs you're requesting help for, the precise measurements of the crate you'll be providing, and the combined weight of crate and dog. This will make a pilot's decision much easier. Large, XL, and giant vari-kennels don't fit in these planes; select folding wire crates instead. Stay flexible in your plans because the final routing decision is always up to the pilots, but give them as much of the required information as possible in your first contact.
Scan the titles of other posts to see if there is a dog needing to travel part-way or all of the same route as your dog, as there may be opportunities to combine trips. Finally, be sure to track all activity on your post.
Best wishes, and please let me know if you have any questions.