Angel Flight Central's mission is to serve people in need by arranging charitable flights for health care or other humanitarian purposes.
Every year, Angel Flight Central (AFC) volunteer pilots and supporters provide hundreds of free flights throughout the Midwest for families who need access to specialized health care, camps for special needs, disaster response efforts, and other compassionate reasons.
As we head into the future, it will be the generosity of our volunteer pilots, donors, and supporters that will enable us to Give Hope Wings by providing free flights for people in need.
AFC's story begins in August 1995 with Founder and Chairman Emeritus, James H. Stevens, Jr. and his first passenger:
"His name was John, an eight-year-old Korean boy suffering from a rare heart abnormality preventing his blood from getting enough oxygen. He was going to die without an operation. Beyond having no health insurance and his adoptive parents experiencing financial hardships, the local hospital simply did not have the expertise to perform the surgery John needed to live. A surgeon and hospital in another state agreed to save this child’s life at no cost to the family, if only John could get to their facility.
I offered to fly him. I was shocked to see the blue color of John’s skin. As he was carried to the plane, he looked into my eyes and with the biggest grin you ever saw, gave me a salute and said, 'I’m ready for my first flight, Captain!' During the flight, he was cradled in his mother’s arms as she administered oxygen. After landing he brightened up and asked, 'Can I have my wings now?'
His mother was clearly at a loss for words, and not knowing what to do or to say, simply gave me a long bear hug with tears streaming down her face. Without a word they left and I was hooked. That day I flew over nine hours and not once did I regret my decision."