Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Flight1′s program unique?

> Our Courageous Fliers don’t just ride in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk – they fly it under the guidance of a Certified Flight Instructor!

> The activities and support delivered during our three-year program are designed to build the kind of confidence that can change a child’s life.

> Flight inspires emotion and wonder. The joy and camaraderie the children experience through flight will make positive memories that will last a lifetime.

> The acceptance process is simple. A child may have an opportunity to fly in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

> Remaining in the program for three years creates anticipation, continuing opportunities, and a sense of belonging to the aviation community.

> It’s an exceptional value. The confidence gained, memories created and positive influence of the experience far exceed the average cost per child.

Why focus on building confidence?

It is a profound moment in a child’s life whan a hesitant “Can I?” becomes a confident “I can!” One of our favorite testaments to the power of confidence involves astronaut Susan Kilrain. She once told an interviewer how one remark from her father put her on a course for the stars. Read the story here.

How did Flight1 start?

Flight1 began in 2011 when the founder struggled with health issues and uncertainty about his future.  Learn more…

Who is in charge?

A dedicated Board of Directors and several volunteer committees help keep Flight1 “flying.” Learn more…

How many volunteers work with Flight1?

We currently have 15-20 volunteers around Indianapolis and about 10 more “virtual volunteers” from around the country. Flight1 would not be possible without their time and generosity. Want to volunteer? If you would like to help Flight1 as a volunteer, please send a note to and include your area of interest. One of our volunteers will follow up with you as soon as possible.

How is Flight1 funded?

Program costs are met through fundraising efforts, private and corporate donations and sponsorships, and volunteer contributions of time and/or services. We have structured Flight1 to minimize overhead and our commitment to transparency earned us the Guidestar Exchange Seal.

I want to sponsor a child. How much does it cost?

The average cost for a Courageous Flier is about $500 annually.

Can I refer and/or sponsor a child I know?

Yes! If you know of a child who could benefit from our program, you can refer that child. If you wish, you can also sponsor the child and cover their associated costs for the year.

What do participants say about Flight1?

omments from parents of Courageous Fliers:

“That was one of the best experiences Shawn has ever had. He talks about it all of the time. I can’t thank you enough for letting him experience this. I am even planning on looking into some flight classes for him if they are available for his age so he can pursue this as a possible future. He is looking forward to what comes next.”

“This was a great opportunity for both boys. It gave Aidan something really cool to do and tell his friends about and he got some extra (and much needed) special attention. And it was great for Alec to open up his horizons a little bit and expand his interests (he has autism and very limited interests). They are both really excited to fly.”

“I just wanted to thank you and everyone who helped with Aleasha’s simulator for everything they did. She had an absolute blast and couldn’t stop talking about it all evening! You guys gave her a 17th birthday present she will never forget and I deeply appreciate it. Now she can’t wait for her airplane ride!!”

“Thank you and everyone with the University and Flight One for the event! The kids had a blast! This will truly be an adventure that they will never forget! Thank you!”

As for the kids, their smiles tell the story better than words ever could!

She just flew over Disneyland #avgeek #redbird

How can I help?

There are two ways to help:

Volunteer: We’d love to have you! If you would like to help Flight1 as a volunteer, please send a note to and include your area of interest. One of our volunteers will follow up with you as soon as possible.

Donate: If you prefer to help by donating toward program costs, please click here. We deeply appreciate your generosity.