Courageous Fliers Parade of Pilots

It is hard to imagine the art and science of flight being even more exciting than it innately is, but the Red Bull Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway manages to do just that! Last year, we had three kids from our Courageous Fliers program take part in the pre-race “Parade of Pilots” and ride in a pace car …

Flight1’s Touch-A-Plane and Movie Night at the Airport! Come one! Come all! It is our annual Family Movie Night, this year with an added Touch-a-Plane activity. Starting at 3:30pm at the Indianapolis Executive Airport in Zionsville, you can take your picture in and around airplanes of all kinds! Get up close and personal with some of the coolest technology around, …

Help Fund a Family

Being a Courageous Flier means so many things to local families. It means having a life-changing experience of overcoming nerves, fears, and gravity itself, as a child takes flight sitting in the pilot-in-command seat. For the parents, it means watching their child be excited about something for weeks, and a grin of accomplishment on their son or daughter’s face as …

Flight1 Accommodates Needs of Courageous Fliers

Families of potential Courageous Fliers are sometimes concerned about whether their child will be up to taking a flight or participating in an activity on a given day. At a stressful and unpredictable time, they’re understandably reluctant to take on more commitments. But if anyone understands that some delays are unavoidable, it’s a pilot. In aviation, patience and flexibility are a way …

Say Hello to Sandy!

We are so excited to formally introduce you to our brand-new program director, Sandy Strawhorn! Flight1 has been growing exponentially since it began over five years ago. This year, it became apparent that we have so many Courageous Fliers to schedule each month, that coordinating with families, flight instructors, and airports was a job within itself! Sandy started helping with …

Leilani and Miles

Leilani had her first simulator night with us, and enjoyed herself immensely. Her family had moved to Indiana suddenly after a family crisis, and she and her mom were staying with her aunt and younger cousin, Miles.   Leilani and her mother were so grateful to have found the Courageous Fliers program. Leilani went home and told the rest of …

A Courageous Flier Parent’s Story

Recently, I went to a flight simulator night for a Courageous Flier I had not yet met before. I instantly recognized him from the photos of previous events because of his bright, multicolored hair. His dad later informed me that he has to wear a uniform to school, and the rainbow haircolor is the only way the students can really …

Seeing “Flight1 Families” Everywhere

We all see stories of difficulties on the news that surprise us. A family whose child becomes ill from toxins in their home. Another family who loses a parent in a freak accident on vacation. Sometimes it is a statistically nearly impossible medical complication. Most of the time, we see these news stories and subconsciously shrug them off as something …

Deklan’s Story

Many of the children in our Courageous Fliers program have touching stories. That is the nature of working with families who have been impacted by a serious health challenge. Deklan’s story stuck with me for quite some time after I first met him at his Courageous Flier event.   Deklan arrived alone, with his mother, no siblings. He was excited …

A Little Bit of Confidence

Can you help a child join the Victor Squad? We are so excited to offer this opportunity to build the confidence of kids whose health does not allow them to take part in our flight programming. When you sponsor a Victor Squad stuffed animal, it will travel the country with pilots from our partner, Jet Linx. We will take photos …

As “Simple” as Taking Flight

Our mission is pretty clear. We strive to build confidence in kids, specifically kids who have had a health challenge somewhere in their family. We use aviation to do that. Simple, right?   What often surprises me as I get to know the families in our program, is how not simple their lives are. First of all, there are the …

Evan and Claire

I was struggling to schedule busy siblings Evan and Claire together for the same flight day. Claire (pictured) didn’t want to do her flight without her big brother around. He wasn’t nervous at all, but had a scheduling complication. You see, Evan is a 23 year-old pharmacy student at Butler, and Claire was 20 years old and working a summer …

Raistlin’s Unexpected Inspiration

  It was a beautiful evening, smooth air, sparkling taxiway and runway lights, quiet. Raistlin and his parents, two sisters, and a friend all arrived for their second year Bravo night flight. Everyone was excited. It had been a few years since their last flight, the time punctuated by cancer treatment and hospital stays, and the whole family was happy …

Choosing Wisely as Executive Director

One of the biggest challenges I have encountered as an executive director of a small nonprofit is trying to predict what will be the best use of my time. Because I am the only employee, I try to prioritize what fundraising endeavors will be the most impactful.   If I have five hours to devote to fundraising, should I work …