Flying|January - February 2020
Dan Pimentel
For so many reading this profile, “giving back” through some form of philanthropic flying is a big part of why we fly. To see the smile on a child’s face when a rescued puppy is delivered to its forever family, or taking a person up for their first taste of what our world of flight is like is one of the most rewarding experiences a pilot can enjoy.

While some of us have dreamed of filling our dream hangar with the proceeds from a winning Powerball ticket, that is not reality. Sometimes, though, people are very successful in business and can fill their dream hangar by manufacturing products people purchase in large quantities for a respectable profit. One of those people is Dianna Stanger—based in Texas and California—a very active pilot who has indeed filled her hangar(s) with ​an assortment of airplanes and rotorcraft.

If you’ve ever been to one of the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide events and watched a helicopter filled with girls and young women flying endless sorties out and back all day, that was Stanger in her Eurocopter EC135. She’s flown a total of 3,816 women at iWOAW events over seven years, and in 2018, she flew 716 girls and women at the rate of about 20 an hour. That marathon mission earned her the 2018 iWOAW title of “Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide.”

When you run the numbers on that 2018 effort, she spent a total of $101,042 on that one event, and like all philanthropic pilots, she picked up all personal expenses, including fuel costs. Stanger was more than happy to pay about $141 per passenger, just so those girls and young women could get up in the air for a few glorious minutes.

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