"Important Guidelines for Pilots"

This Forum contains guidelines and helpful tips contributed by Pilots N Paws members to help with the rescue transport process.

"Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby admin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:16 pm

Flying with pets will require the pilot to consider some things not typically considered. The size and weight of the pets needs to be determined and the carriers they will fit in must be able to fit in the plane and be secured. It is a good idea to have available various sized carriers. Often a combination of sizes will maximize the number of animals that can potentially be carried. Use some type of bedding for the carriers. Use bedding that is clean, and that can be washed before re-use.

For larger animals a pet harness that can be secured to seat belts or seat belt attachment points can also be considered. It should be an approved car safety transport harness.

It may be possible and even desired to put more than one animal in a carrier. This allows more animals to be transported but the animals need sufficient room to be comfortable and the animals must be accustomed to sharing a crate with each other. It is not a good idea to make animals share a crate for the first time during a flight. It is also important to ask your rescue contact when transporting if any of the animals are in season. You may need to consider this when transporting animals of opposite genders. If you have any questions regarding anything relative to the animals during transport please contact the sending or receiving rescue.

Allow the animals to relieve themselves before being loaded. Even if this is done some animals will relieve themselves in the plane and some will vomit. Expect this to happen. It may help if the animals have a limited intake of food or water prior to the flight. However, as soon as the trip is complete provide water and some nutrition for the animals. ** If the outside temperatures are hot or cold, please be considerate of the animals you are transporting. Smaller animals and puppies dehydrate easily in hot weather or in an enclosed crate. Please have water on hand and even an icepack if possible to keep the dogs cool. Good ventilation and flowing air for them is important, just as it is for us. Even if the flight is of short duration accidents can and will happen. Carry plastic bags to put the bedding in for the return flight to minimize odors in the cabin as a result of accidents.

Sedating animals is a decision best left to the veterinarians. Almost all animals that are vocal when loaded quiet down and sleep once the plane is running or airborne. Occasionally an animal will bark or yelp or make noises. It is probably not necessary to sedate an animal unless it has some type of behaviour problems or is easily scared. Often talking in a soothing voice to the animal relaxes the animal.

Ask the sending rescue/agent for the proper paperwork showing that the animal has a current rabies tag and health certificate. For your convenience we have included a link on the Pilots-N-Paws site which shares information under the USDA section for pets. It is under our Important Links section:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export ... ates.shtml

IMPORTANT!! ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR CRATES AND PLANE SEATS AFTER EACH TRANSPORT. Puppies are very susceptible to parvo virus. Please take the time to read about Parvo virus and the steps needed to protect the animals you transport and your own animals. Talk with your personal vet and investigate other possible transmittable diseases and how to prevent them.

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/dognz/a/parvodog.htm


Be sensitive to the fact that unlike humans who swallow and yawn when they feel the altitude changes in their ears, the animals being transported don't know things like that and they may feel discomfort during climbs and descents. Minimize the rate of those climbs or descents to minimize the discomfort to animals. If possible protect them from noise. There are products on the market to protect the ears of dogs from loud noise such as the engine of the plane.

Pilots beginning to fly with animals may wish to have some assistance on initial flights. A person comfortable with general aviation flying and animals will prove to not only be good company, but can help with the various chores related to a flight. That person can also monitor the animals during the flight. Loading an animal into the carrier is sometimes difficult and is is especially beneficial if there is help available. Ultimately, the final reward of getting these animals to safety is a feeling of great accomplishment. If you are an animal lover, you will understand the great gift you are giving.

Don't forget to do a weight and balance
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby cnclmark on Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:58 am

The admnistrators advice is right on. I saw this sight the first time. It wasn't a surprise. Pilots are always volunteering themselves and resources for others. I am a long time animal rescuer, pilot who is not current ,shelter volunteer, retired City Councilman and School Board Member, non practiciing attorney involved in helping to abolish Breed Specifc Legislation in Denver as our groups first stop. You can see the heartbreaking actions of the Denver City Council by looking at our websites. www.roverlution.org, denverkillsdogs.com, and my personal site, www.markschoenfeld.com. Our group has been successful in removing numerous dogs from the City of Denver before they could be summarily executed. I am in Southern California and will attempt to assist where I can. I am at HHR during the week and Tehachapi Muncipal and Western Mountain on the weekends. Thanks to all of you. Mark
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby cmgolden on Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:40 pm

Has anyone compiled a list of regulatory requirements for transporting various animals interstate? (e.g. Health Certificate from vet within x days, Rabies certificate, etc.) I know the Feds/USDA has rules, as do the states--at least mine and my neighboring states do. It might be useful to have a collection of the requirements posted on the website to help people assure themselves they are complying with all the rules.
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby richclover on Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:09 pm

cmgolden wrote:Has anyone compiled a list of regulatory requirements for transporting various animals interstate? (e.g. Health Certificate from vet within x days, Rabies certificate, etc.) I know the Feds/USDA has rules, as do the states--at least mine and my neighboring states do. It might be useful to have a collection of the requirements posted on the website to help people assure themselves they are complying with all the rules.


This issue needs to be addressed. During my first and only rescue flight (so far), which was not inter-state, the sending party provided "papers" which I sent on with the dog.

I'm thinking I'll "require" a vaccination certificate (shot record), as part of the deal. Seems reasonable. When we fly inter-state with our dog, his vaccination certificate is in his "luggage" and his current rabies tag is on his collar.
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby admin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:30 am

This issue needs to be addressed. During my first and only rescue flight (so far), which was not inter-state, the sending party provided "papers" which I sent on with the dog.

I'm thinking I'll "require" a vaccination certificate (shot record), as part of the deal. Seems reasonable. When we fly inter-state with our dog, his vaccination certificate is in his "luggage" and his current rabies tag is on his collar.[/quote]

Chris and Rich, there is a link on our homepage under "Important Links" to use as a guideline. I will post it here for easy access. It is referred to in the first message under this topic.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export ... ates.shtml

Because Pilots N Paws is a bulletin board and each transport is scheduled between the pilot, sending and receiving parties, it is up to each individual to ask for the information they feel they need in order to do the transport. It is the responsibility of each party to communicate and provide the necessary paperwork that meet your requirements. I know what I would ask for, but others may not agree. Ground transport coordinators have their list of requirements as well. It is a good idea to read over the quidelines and the gov. site to find out what is needed and go from there.

Thanks for asking Chris and to Rich for following up......

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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby richclover on Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:43 am

Thanks, Debi, good link. I'll research the "border" states. Current rabies vaccination for sure :) Here are the requirements for importing a dog into Wyoming:

Section 22. Requirements for the importation of Canine.
(a) A Certificate of Veterinary Health Inspection is required on all Canine
entering Wyoming.
(b) Rabies requirements for the importation of Canine:
(i) All Canine three (3) months of age and over shall be vaccinated by a
Licensed Veterinarian for Rabies and be accompanied by a current Rabies vaccination
certificate documenting the vaccination.
----------------------------------------------------------
Best we have our "papers in order", yes?
Rich
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby cnclmark on Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:08 am

I want to thank all of you for your comments and additions. As GA pilots, things have become much more complicated since Sept 11, 2001. We need to make sure we comply with everything required of us both in terms of adminstrative requirements, and also all safety issues. That can encompass a myriad of issues. Every state has different requirements for Health Standards which include Veterinary standards. It was all of your comments that brings me to this next issue which is a major one. I believe pilots put themselves into rescue situations, whether it be for children through delivery of food, clothing, medicine, or actual transport of surgery candidates through Angel's Flight, or other humanitarian groups. The reasons pilots in so many instances do this is because the cost of flying has greatly increased as well as the fact that most pilots who go for a ride from HHR, SMO, Fullertion, LGB, go to San Diego, have a cheeseburger and say to themselves, I just spent $300.00 and all I did was have a cheeseburger. It is my belief that pilots want to share not only their experiences, but share the utility of traversing vast spaces of real estate in short periods of time to address emergencies that require that. For me at least, it makes flying worth doing. My point though are some biological, veterinary lessons I have learned over the past four years. There are some very prominent Veterinarians who also practice Holistic veterinary medicine. I have had the privilege of meeting two of the best. Dr. Paula Terifaj of Brea California is one, and Dr. Richard Palmquist of Inglewood CA is the other. One of the lessons that both have driven home to me is the danger caused by over vaccinating a canine for certain things like rabies. The vaccines currently used are required legally to be repeated at different intervals depending upon what state you reside in with your canine pet. Interestingly, the puppy shot version, requires a repeat injection which is many times the SAME EXACT VACCINE which has either been relabeled or is stated on the label to be suitable for either. Over vaccination can result in major organ failures, and many other undesirable side effects. Dr. Palmquist is working with one of the researchers of the rabies vaccines and is currently lobbying the State to reduce the required vaccination period from every three years to every seven years as the scientific community has shown reliable support that the vaccine is effective for seven year periods. The State of California, given it's financial problems, likely will never allow this and for several reasons. California is considering a sales tax on Veterinary services. Reducing rabies vaccines from three years to seven would create a significant cut in current and potential revenues for the state. However, each state is different and so if you are taking an animal, a canine to another state, you are not doing that animal a favor by vaccinating him if he or she doesn't need it. If you don't know, then you have to take that risk. Research your delivery state and see if your animal is covered. When you land on that dirt runway, or at that City's Municipal Airport to deliver your precious cargo to a rescue person, even 6 months left on a previous rabies certificate is sufficient to legally enter the jurisidiction. If you have more questions about over vaccinations and the dangers associated with doing that because there are no records, or your cargo has a year left., please consult Dr. Paula Terifaj, at Founders Veterinary Clinic in Brea, CA or go to www.roverlution.org to obtain contact information, or contact any qualified Vet to properly assess the dangers of vaccinating without the last known medical records. Sometimes we have no choice and must do so to complly with numerous State and Federal Transportation requirements. Remember that Vaccinations are most Veterninarians major sources of income. Additionally, before you vaccinate, you can engage the canine in a titer test of his or her blood which will tell exactly how much protection that animal has against the various threats that could be encountered where you are delivering this canine. The titer test generally costs $65.00 to $75.00 dollars and is a much preferred method of checking risks as opposed to over vaccinations. We live in world now where DNA and science are everything. They are in fact more important than risking over vaccination and it's inherent side effects for fear of violating a states arbitrary requirement when engaging in Interstate Commerce to deliver a rescue canine. MAKE SURE you do the test and bring the results with you when you land. If your titer test provides the scientific proof that your precious delivery is protected, it is likely more important than their arbitrary schedule of required vaccninations. These are my thoughts, I am not a scientist. This is not intended to be legal advice, although this is what I would do as a non practicing lawyer by profession and GA Pilot. Thank you all for what you do. You have no idea how many people love you for what you offer from your hearts. Thanks, Mark.
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby richclover on Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:33 am

Thanks, Mark, for your insight.

However, I have recent experience in a dog bite incident. My wife has scars for life on her forearm. Short story, the dog owners are friends, no lawsuit, no charges, but... The local ER was required by law to report the bite, like a gunshot wound. Animal control authorities honored our wishes that no action be taken but they needed proof of rabies vaccination. The owners were able to provide it.

Bottom line, I'm concerned about "legal" and "safe", which translates to my "liability" when I'm transporting an animal I don't own through public airport facilities.

As I said, best our papers are in order.
Rich
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby cnclmark on Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:02 am

I wasn't suggesting that any pilot enter a facility with an animal not properly documented. I was suggesting that pilots and rescuers do not overvaccinte any animal based on the science we now have. I was also suggesting that just as a prudent pilot files a flight plan, a prudent rescuer does everything humanly possible to avoid doing anything to injure an animal by over vaccinating. That means that whatever information you can get before your flight, you want to be certain you are taking your rescued fuzzy friend to a place where you will be in compliance under State and Federal law. I can't stress enough the importance of restraining the rescue recipient so as not to interfere with your flight control surfaces and always keeping yourself in a position to being the pilot in command. I enjoyed your dog bit comments. You are right on and the implications of a negative finding can be devastating. I recently defended a Pug in a "Vicious Dog" case that snapped at a mail delivery carrier. The USPS was the complaintant. In the hallway outside the hearing during the break, I was able to convince the Postmaster General to abondon his plan to put the mailbox on the parkway. I proved that this dog was not a vicious dog or a potentialy dangerous dog. After receiving a copy of the judgment from the administrative body, I filed an appeal. The wording was such that the owners may have been subjected to losing their homeowner insurance which would have been devastating. I was asked to come into the office and discuss the merits of my appeal. I refused to back down knowing the effect this judgment could have on Scoobies owners. In violation of their own Municipal ordiinance, the City agreed without any further hearings in public to adopt my recommendations. I would never appeal that since I won but the lesson to be learned is that when you lose in violation of the City's codes, you need to seek judicial redress. That sword is and can be lunged at you from either side and we all have to know what we may be subjected to. Just as you wouldn't fly in IFR conditions without being current and confident, if you are transporting rescued animals, you as the PIC need to be aware that the state of destination may have requirements, and also some ancillary federal requirements but you need to be aware and in receipt of everything you can be for your protection as well as your canine passenger. There are only two insurance companies that do not discriminate by breed with respect to homeowner insurance. They are State Farm and Famers's Insurance. Both companies had booths at our Luv a Bully Rally in Brea California recently. Dog bite defense cases are so important to defend. The permanent damages to a dog owner can be a lifelong punishment. All I am trying to say is that we need to make sure as best we can that what we do is safe, prudent, smart as a pilot, and that the requirements are different in every state. We need to recognize where we are transporting to and be in compliance upon landing. I hope this clarifies my position a little bit better. We can't risk losing our licenses over something stupid while doing something totally worthwhile. We have to remember that the FAA despite their express representations is not always our friend. So cover your ass and protect your passenger while engaging in reasonable compliance without needlessly vaccinating your passenger. I appreciate your comments and would love to fly with you sometime. I have also assisted attorneys in other jurisdictions with dog bite cases and seizures, as well as being an expert witness in other dog cases in Southern California on behalf of the SPCA. Be safe, be prudent, be smart, make your own decisions, and continue helping our canine friends escpape from the stupidity of some of our human legislators. Mark.
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Re: "Important Guidelines for Pilots"

Postby tommuller2000 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:48 pm

Are there guidelines for the selection of pilots? I am not eligible to be an Angel Flight pilot, for example, because my airplane is an Experimental Amateur Homebuilt and both the plane and I are VFR only. We can fly at night if needed and have a long range (600 nm). This is a two-place plus baggage limited to 100 pounds and for safety reasons I would not consider an animal in the passenger seat (up to 200 pounds) unless it were in a carrier.
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