Welcome on board! You will find these PNP flights being the most rewarding flights you can make (with Young Eagles and Angel Flights).
You can read more about logistics on the PNP forum, under the Pilots guidelines.
I have done about 20 missions so far, some without crates with the dogs (up to 4) just being loosely tethered in the back and some with dogs in crates (I had up to 6 dogs in the plane, depending on their sizes, sometimes mid-size dogs can be teamed up by pairs in 1 single crate). For me, the decision factor is based on following points:
- behavior of the dog(s) - older, calmer dogs tend to do fine (most of the dogs - including mine - take a nap a few min after takeoff)
- size of the dog
- do I have a co-pilot/dog handler flying with me to assist if needed (I had a dog trying to come on my laps while in the air
So my rule is that if I fly alone, the dog(s) will be in crate(s).
For a 44lbs, you need a large crate for the dog to be comfortable. The Cardinal is an awesome plane for this type of mission. I remove my rear seat (2 screws) and put a large horse blanket over my carpet and voila, I now can load several crates (small to large), nicely stacked up if needed. Remember to get your A&P/IA to give you a weight and balance without the rear seat (-32lbs) to be legal.
If you need crates, you can email Kathleen the PNP executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org
and she can arrange shipping you some thanks to our awesome sponsor. This means these would become yours. I got some of mine at the PNP Flyway last September.
So the logistics of an average flight with multiple legs goes like this:
- one pilot pick the dogs and fly the 1st leg
- he/she then meets with another pilot at the designated point (usually off the FBO ramp or at the fuel farm)
- I usually take the dogs for a short walk and give them a bit of water so they can take a break too. I also bring treats to make friends prior to the flight and reward them after
- the other pilot carry on with his/her leg
- repeat above until destination
PS: Are you going to Winter Haven for the Cardinal Flyers event in 4 weeks?