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ES Does LightHawk require passengers to sign a liability release?

Yes, LightHawk requires that all U.S. and Canadian citizens on flights flown by LightHawk VPs sign a liability release before taking a flight. The LightHawk program manager will usually handle this in advance of the flight. If there are last-minute passenger changes or additions, pilots will be informed by the program manager if they need to take additional action to obtain signed forms. Liability release forms are not currently required for non-U.S. citizens on LightHawk flights in Latin America.


ES What are the requirements to fly LightHawk's aircraft?

You must be a current LightHawk volunteer pilot, have 25 hours in the make/model, and have an instrument rating.  Note that these are minimums for insurance purposes. LightHawk generally seeks pilots with significantly greater time and similar flight profile experience to fly these aircraft. See Latin America experience guidelines ("Can I fly for LightHawk in Latin America?") below.  LightHawk flights typically are conducted in VFR conditions, as they are intended to provide an aerial view for passengers, though PIC decisions to maintain a safe flight environment may dictate IFR flight in some circumstances.  


ES Can I fly my certificated seaplane or ski-equipped plane for LightHawk?

Pilots with a minimum of 1,000 hours PIC time, a seaplane rating, and at least 100 water landings may fly LightHawk flights involving a water takeoff or landing. Similarly, pilots with a minimum of 1,000 hours PIC time and at least 100 ski landings may fly LightHawk flights involving a takeoff or landing with a ski-equipped aircraft. Naturally, the aircraft will have to have FAA-approved float or ski installations, and it will still be up to the pilot in command whether to land on water, snow or ice based upon the current conditions.


ES What are the requirements to become a volunteer pilot?

  • Have an interest in environmental issues.
  • Have logged at least 1,000 hours as Pilot in Command (PIC) with an excellent safety record.
  • Own a suitable aircraft.
  • Maintain at least $1 million / $100K liability coverage, with LightHawk named as an Additional Insured and provide a Certificate of Insurance with a 10-day notice of cancellation clause to LightHawk upon annual renewal of your policy. (See more about insurance below.)
  • Provide a copy of your private, commercial or ATP certificate, and a copy of your current third class (or higher) medical certificate, a requirement when conducting LightHawk flights.
  • Provide us with the names of two or more references that we may contact, at least one of which is a pilot who has flown with you recently. 
  • Complete an orientation interview with LightHawk staff.
  • Provide photographs of the inside and outside of your aircraft and a photograph of yourself.
  • Agree to complete and keep current all necessary paperwork associated with being a LightHawk pilot. This includes updating your pilot file annually and completing trip reports promptly after all flights.
  • Agree to maintain all FAA currency, flight, and medical standards required under FAR’s and any additional currency standards as required by LightHawk, including but not limited to Annual recurrent ground and flight training as described in the most current revision of LightHawk Pilot Standards.  LightHawk volunteer pilots will attest to their compliance with all required standards by signing the most current revision of the LightHawk Volunteer Pilot Agreement, which additionally states that the pilot is not an employee or agent of LightHawk and is acting on his/her own behalf.   


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