EcoFlight’s mission is to educate and advocate for the protection of remaining wild lands and wildlife habitat using small aircraft. The aerial perspective and our educational programs encourage an environmental stewardship ethic among citizens of all ages. Flight has proven to be a catalyst that spurs action, creates advocacy, and instills commitment. EcoFlight is a non-profit that works with over 300 partner organizations to bring the aerial perspective to conservation and public lands issues throughout the West.
EcoFlight uses a single-engine Cessna 210 because of its ability to fly relatively low and slow, allowing passengers to get a unique perspective of the land. This five-passenger airplane is a great platform for photography and videography, as it is high wing with no struts, and offers an objective platform for dynamic in-cockpit conversations, which smaller capacity planes cannot provide. Our professional pilots, Bruce Gordon and Gary Kraft, are both certified flight instructors, and have been flying for a combined 55 years. Together they have over 20,000 flying hours. EcoFlight’s pilots and airplanes meet or exceed rigorous maintenance and safety standards. Bruce Gordon is one of the original founders of conservation aviation.
What To Expect
Flight provides an honest and engaging perspective of the landscape and offers passengers a better understanding of the issues at hand. Pilots Bruce and Gary have years of experience in flying conservation issues in the West and are familiar with most of the landscapes. Either your pilot or another passenger will act as the “tour guide” to point out key landmarks, boundaries or issues, and explain the landscapes you are flying over. Expect to be in the plane flying for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
Whether it’s your first time in a small airplane or your first time flying with EcoFlight, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your aerial educational tour:
- EcoFlight will coordinate with the person or group organizing the flight, and alert them of any change in plans due to weather or other factors. Be sure to work with the flight organizer (usually the person who invited you on the flight) to ensure you have the information of exactly when and where to meet before the flight so you can be punctual for your flight. Be sure the flight organizer has your cell number, and you have theirs in case any last-minute communications are necessary.
- Flight organizers, please ensure you have shared your cell number with your EcoFlight pilot.
- EcoFlight asks that passengers make firm commitments to join flights. It takes environmental and economic resources and planning to relocate the airplane for each set of flights, so we need to ensure passengers show up. Pilots diligently monitor weather conditions to maximize the comfort and safety of our overflights. As professionals, they are the ultimate judge of safe flying weather conditions, and will make the final call if flight plans need to be adjusted or rescheduled.
- Each flight will include up to five passengers, plus the pilot. On a full flight, space might be tight so backpacks, purses, extra camera lenses, etc. may need to stay on the ground.
- Communicate with the pilot – Are you comfortable? Is your headset working properly? Is it too hot or cold? Are you feeling airsick? Let the pilot know and they will do their best to accommodate. Headsets work best if worn without a hat, and putting the mouth-piece right up against your lips.
- Wearing dark/solid colored clothes can help reduce glare reflection on the windows.
- Familiarize yourself with the landscape beforehand – landmarks come and go quickly.
- (up to nearly 200 mph!) so be ready to shoot, you may only get one chance.
- A smallish camera with a wide-angle lens will be easier to keep steady in the airplane.
- Passengers will be provided with the edited photos EcoFlight shoots during your flight. EcoFlight can also provide your organization with go-pro footage from the plane if requested ahead.
Remember to tag EcoFlight in your social media posts!
Please consider making a donation to fuel our aerial conservation efforts.