EcoFlight is a non-profit with a mission 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 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, have been flying for a combined 50 years and together have over 17,000 flying hours. EcoFlight uses only pilots and airplanes that 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 bush and mountainous conditions, and flying controversial 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.
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.
- 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 or a cost will be levied for a no-show.
- Flight organizers, please ensure you have shared your cell number with your EcoFlight pilot.
- 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.
- EcoFlight can provide your organization with go-pro footage from the plane if requested ahead.
Remember to tag EcoFlight in your social media posts!
And please become an EcoFlight member with a donation. Airplanes fly not just because of the forces of lift and drag, but because members like each one of you give $$$ to fill the gas tank.