Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

Able Flight, Inc.

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • www.ableflight.org

Mission Statement

Able Flight's mission is to offer people with disabilities a unique way to challenge themselves through flight training, and by doing so, to gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance.

Main Programs

  1. Flight and Aviation Career Training Scholarships For People With Disabilities

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Service Areas

Self-reported

National

National

ruling year

2006

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Charles Stites

Keywords

Self-reported

Scholarships, disability

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EIN

20-5001037

 Number

1090492563

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Able Flight has awarded over sixty flight and aviation career training scholarships to people with a variety of disabilities, including those with spinal cord injuries, congenital birth issues, and disabilities caused by wounds received in military service. 
 
As of July 2015, forty-five scholarship recipients  have completed all ground and flight training and earned FAA-issued pilot licenses. Others have participated in "Flight Training Challenge" Scholarships, and several  licensed pilots have resumed flying after being awarded a "Return To Flight Scholarship".
 
In April of 2011, Able Flight awarded its first career training scholarship to a former NYC firefighter and 9/11 first responder.  He completed his training to earn an FAA-issued aviation repairman license in June, allowing him to seek full time employment in the maintenance and repair of Light Sport Aircraft. In September of 2011, Able Flight awarded its second Career Training Scholarship to a wounded veteran,  who is now employed full time in aircraft repair. By July of 2015, Able Flight had awarded a total of eleven Aviation Career Training Scholarships.

 In November of 2009, Able Flight and Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology  established a joint flight training program at the Purdue University Airport in Indiana  with the first training taking place in June and July of 2010.  Two Able Flight students successfully completed their training and earned their pilot certificates. The success of the program at Purdue led to the expansion of the training program with a doubling of students to four for 2011 who successfully completed training in July of 2011. In 2012, six students attended the program will all six earning their pilot licenses.  In 2013, five additional Able Flight students attended training at Purdue and all five earned pilot licenses. In 2014, five students completed training at Purdue, and in 2015 an additional four completed training and earned their pilot licenses.

Since the Able Flight/Purdue joint training program began in 2010 the success rate is 100%.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Flight and Aviation Career Training Scholarships For People With Disabilities

Able Flight awards 4 types of aviation scholarships for people with disabilities:
 
The "Able Flight Scholarship" covers all flight and ground training, testing fees, books and manuals, and travel and lodging as required for training for the FAA Sport Pilot certificate.
 
The Aviation Career Training Scholarship provides support for technical,  aviation management and other aviation career training  (including air traffic control, flight dispatcher, etc.).
 
The "Flight Training Challenge Scholarship" provides for up to ten hours of dual instruction for those not ready for a full scholarship.
 
The "Return To Flight Scholarship" provides the opportunity  to become a pilot again for those who already licensed and have left aviation due to injury and illness.

Category

Population(s) Served

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Able Flight's purpose is to use the power of accomplishment and success to create a profound change in the way that a person with a disability perceives their abilities, and in how others see them. It also seeks to provide aviation career training that will enable graduates to be self-reliant.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Able Flight provides flight training and aviation career training scholarships, and mentoring by industry professionals. Able Flight has established a long term partnership with Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology to provide flight training, and works with other accredited schools and facilities in support of aviation career training.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Able Flight is the only organization of its kind in the United States, and is uniquely positioned to bring together the necessary resources (training, mentoring, organizational) to fulfill its mission.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Each year Able Flight is easily able to track its progress through the success of its "students" in completing training and gaining certification.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since it was founded in 20096, and since training began in 2007, Able Flight has awarded over 60 scholarships (as of November 2015). Forty five individuals have completed intensive flight training programs and have earned FAA issued pilot certificates. Several have earned more than one certificate or rating, bringing the total of certificates and ratings to more than 50.

    In addition, Able Flight has awarded 11 Aviation Career Training Scholarships (as of November 2015) for training in a variety of aviation professions.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

National

Funding Needs

Able Flight seeks funding  from individuals, corporations and foundations in support of its scholarship program. The average award for a full scholarship is $8000.

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Able Flight, Inc.

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Charles Stites

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Charles is the founder and Executive Director of Able Flight, and previously managed a nonprofit employment transition service. Later, he served as a Senior Project Manager for Verizon (previously GTE), and for 14 years was an aviation writer and photographer for U.S. and European aviation publications. Charles was the national volunteer coordinator for the EAA's "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk" project in conjunction with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of powered flight. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a licensed pilot."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Steve Merritt

Manager, Triangle North Airport

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?