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Relief flying

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Africa Pilot

May 18, 2002
Hi. I'd like to spend a good part of my flying career doing relief work in Africa. I've looked at a couple organizations, such as AirServ, but I find that most of these programs seem to be Christian-based. Does anyone know of a list of aviation humanitarian relief organizations, preferably secular ones? Thanks.
I saw that World Food Program for UNICEF was looking for a worldwide flight co-ordinator. If you don't like flying for a Christian organization then you really need a wakeup call. You are not aware of what the "professionals" are like that you will be working with. You will fly with our Russian brethren that all drink a good shot of Vodka just before takeoff. Or the captain who drinks all nights comes home showers and its off to work we go. No procedures, no maintenance, etc. You get to sleep in tents and no one really gives a living flip about you, there are plenty of others where you came from. I hope you are tough but by the sound of your thread you would last about 6 weeks or less.
I have an ex gf working for AirServ in Africa. She's been there for about a year and was told that they lost funding and she was going to be let go, but the money came through at the last moment, so she get's to stay. The point being that things can change in a hurry.

The pay is lousy. She get's $1000/mo stipend, and they provide the room. Food is about double what it is here in the states. There is no retirement or pension that I know of. So if you spent 20 years there your 401K would be $0.00. Not good.

It's also not the safest job in the sky. There is a constant political unrest in most of the areas that they operate in. Especially during election time. Locals going down the street shooting off AK-47's and throwing rocks and bricks through windows.

She's also had the local police/military point guns in her face demanding her passport, and won't give thm back till you pay em enough. Not my idea of a good time.

The flying is surely not boring. There are still lots of people wanting to fill vacant positions there. The best way to get hired, as with any flying job, is to know someone.

If it still something you're still interested in, I wish you good luck. You won't be short of "And there I was..." stories for sure.

I hope all of my info is accurate.


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