It’s not every day that your Regional Vice President is also a license pilot and rescue animals outside of work! Well that’s our Brad Childs, the RVP of Eyetique! Learn how Brad got started with flying and how that segued into the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team’s founding. The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team is a unique non-profit organization that rescues animals by a plane that are in danger of being euthanized at shelters. Through this interview, you also see his passion for rescuing animals.
Why did you become a pilot?
“I was terrified to fly. It actually takes me weeks to mentally prepare myself to fly for business trips. One day, I got lost while driving and came across a sign at a local airport that offered flying lessons. I decided to reach out to Jonathan, my friend, to see if he would be interested in taking flying lessons together. After 30 days, we were both certified pilots. Even though I am a certified pilot, I am still scared to fly to this day. I do prefer to be the one flying the plane though.”
After completing your pilot’s license, how were you originally planning to use your pilot’s license?
“I didn’t have any plans once I completed my flying classes and received my pilot’s license. My hobby for flying turned into buying a plane and flying randomly.”
How did you start the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team?
“Jonathan and I started taking small missions to rescue dogs because animals were a passion of ours. It also gave us a reason to fly after getting our pilot’s license. This turned into small flights, picking up dogs and later we decided we could turn this into something bigger, knowing the business side of operations. This is how PAART started its journey.”
What inspires you to rescue animals?
“It’s the experience. Taking animals from hard situations such as overcrowded shelters, dog fighting rings, and abused homes and helping them find their “furever” home is so rewarding. Seeing where the animals come from and where they are now is inspiring to me. Also, the human impact rescuing animals have on people. A few of the animals become therapy animals for veterans that have PTSD or help children cope with conditions such as autism. Sometimes the animals go to a loving home with their new family to start a new life.”
In the fall we will share Brad’s first rescue mission and how he felt during the endeavor. Stay tuned…