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Student and New Pilot Support Group

Student and New Pilot Group

Angel Flight West – Making a difference


The Student and New Pilot group held its August meeting at the West Valley San Carlos classroom on Monday August 5th. Over the past 18 months, these meetings have been attracting various pilots from the Bay Area that meet to share information and experiences. The featured topic for the August meeting was a presentation and interactive discussion about the Angel Flight West (AFW) Organization.

Carin Luna-Ostaseki, a recent new pilot and an Angel Flight mission assistant, coordinated and hosted a presentation about Angel Flight West. She was accompanied by Mike Venturino who is an AFW mission pilot.  Mike has had a long career in aviation and in addition to sharing his experience with AFW; he also provided the group with interesting anecdotes from his 29 year flying career with United Airlines. 

Carin and Mike informed the group that AFW conducts several types of missions including transportation for non-emergency medical treatment, compassion flights for family members of a patient, flights to special needs camps, as well as many others. A typical mission might involve flying a patient from a rural area to a hospital in a metropolitan area for regularly schedule treatment. Mike shared how it is a great opportunity to fly to some interesting destinations while at the same time providing necessary transportation to people who really need it.

Carin reviewed the requirements to become a mission pilot which includes a minimum of 250 hours along with some other standard requirements such as insurance and a recent flight review. Interested pilots can assist AFW even if they don’t meet those requirements by serving as a mission assistant. This role involves helping the mission pilot and assisting the passengers. You can tell from both Carin and Mike how passionate they are about this organization and the benefit it provides to others. More information can be found on the AFW website at In addition, both Carin and Mike have offered to entertain questions on this topic. Carin can be reached via email at

A key benefit to this group is the opportunity to share information and meet other pilots.  We invite any interested pilot to attend our next meeting.  The group meets in various locations between the San Carlos and Palo Alto airports so please check the announcement for the location. Be aware that our next meeting will be on Monday, September 9th, at 7:00 PM which is one week later than usual due to the holiday.

We have several great topics lined up for the September meeting, including:

Flight Reviews – what to expect. Come to the meeting to hear first hand about what is involved in a flight review. We have several members that have recently completed their flight review.

Trip reports from Las Vegas and Victoria, BC! We will also have several trip reports from members that have recently completed some interesting trips. They will share with us their experiences including flight planning, details of the trip, and tips for anyone considering a similar trip.

Everyone, whatever and wherever they fly, is welcome. In addition to some tasty pizza and soda, you will have a great chance to meet your fellow pilots in an informal setting.

To subscribe to this group, please email: The presentations from past sessions are posted on this group site.

 Please contact or  if you would like additional information.