In addition to supporting a great cause, becoming an Angel Flight pilot, can help you underwrite some of your flying and gives you more opportunities to fly.
The FAA has stated that it supports truly humanitarian efforts and will not treat charitable deductions related to humanitarian flights as compensation or hire for the purposes of enforcing FAR 61.113 or Part 135. These deductions however are limited to the direct operating expenses of a donated flight which include fuel, oil, ramp and landing fees, or aircraft rental fees if the aircraft is being rented for the flight. Fixed costs such as insurance, hangar, or maintenance, cannot be included in the deduction.
The IRS limits charitable deductions to out-of-pocket costs such as fuel. However, if structured properly, a company may be able to deduct all costs attributable to the charitable flight.
Additionally, application fees and annual dues may also be partially deductible since many of the Angel Flight organizations are registered as 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.
The FARs include strict rules on how much a pilot may be reimbursed for flights flown under Part 91 but in 2013, Congress passed a law allowing for fuel reimbursement for pilots making flights for Public Benefit Flying organizations such as Angel Flight. However, in order to gain this approval, Angel Flight or other Public Benefit Flying organizations must comply with 10 requirements, including developing a pilot qualification program; requiring a second-class medical certificate; only flying on IFR flight plans; and incorporating IFR weather minimums that exceed those required under the FARs.
There are still relatively few Angel Flight or Public Benefit Flying organizations that have this approval so be sure to inquire with your local or regional organization to see whether they have obtained approval.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, many of the Public Benefit Flying organizations provide their members with access to discount programs for fuel, flight supplies, etc.
These financial benefits coupled with the humanitarian benefits of Angel Flights make it a no-brainer. Flying Angel Flights or doing Public Benefit Flying for one of the many other organizations out there give you the opportunity to spend more time in the air while helping others.