Aug. 11, 2022

A Switzerland-based nonprofit organization is taking to the skies to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Manos Radisoglou, operations manager of Humanitarian Pilots Initiative (HPI), recounted a recent mission in which the HPI aviation network was used to save the life of a young girl in Ukraine. “Together with a PC-12 owner, we got a request to fly an 11-year-old girl suffering from cancer. She needed urgent treatment in a special hospital,” he said.

Humanitarian Pilots Initiative (HPI)

According to Radisoglou, the child was brought by a partner voluntary ambulance from Ukraine into Romania, where she could be picked up by general aviation aircraft and flown to a special cancer clinic in Rome, Italy. The flight took more than two hours – much faster than the four days it would take to travel by land.

Radisoglou spoke to the girl’s doctor after the mission, and said he was told she would have only lived another two weeks without treatment.

“That was one of the examples where the aircraft actually made a huge difference, and we probably saved that girl’s life, thanks to the owner who flew her completely on his cost,” said Radisoglou.

HPI was founded In 2015, when a small team of pilots and friends embarked on a mission to save lives in response to the Mediterranean migration crisis. Since its founding, HPI has attracted many skilled business aircraft pilots and other professionals to help people in need. The organization has more than 25 individuals working on a voluntary basis to fulfill critical roles in humanitarian relief efforts through aerial monitoring and its innovative Super Versatile Airdrop System. In addition to a network of volunteer pilots and aircraft owners, HPI has two of its own Beechcraft Baron 58 aircraft flying these critical missions.

“Everyone has useful skills that could be used for humanitarian purposes. For us, it happens to be our passion for flying,” said Damien van Oost, operations manager of SVAS at HPI. “The satisfaction from being able to help people in need is priceless.”

Learn more about HPI.