Flying to Help Those in Need

Ray Roberts, an education professor on the Melbourne Campus, uses his skills as a pilot to help fly people in need to often distant medical facilities. Here's more on his work with Angel Flight in his own words.

"It has been my distinct privilege to be a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight Southeast (AFSE) for many years.

Ray Roberts

I have been very fortunate to have many role models that taught me the value and responsibility of helping others in need, starting with my parents who were Peace Corps volunteers to Ethiopia in the early 70’s. This attitude is also reflected in our Center for Service Learning at the college, which I wholeheartedly endorse and support.

AFSE is a non-profit volunteer pilot organization involved in “public benefit flying.” It provides a variety of services to the community, but mostly arranges free air transportation by private aircraft to distant medical facilities when other forms of transportation are not available or simply not affordable.

AFSE primarily serves the state of Florida and is a member of the nationwide Air Charity Network. Its pilots are not paid and absorb the expense of flying their passengers.

So often, those being transported are suffering from grave medical conditions and being able to travel to otherwise unreachable treatment facilities gives them hope for the future. Being with them in flight and listening to them as they share their circumstances makes me feel very humble and most appreciative of all the blessings I enjoy every day.

It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I am glad that I can use my aviation skills to help them during this difficult time in their lives."