LightHawk is a nonprofit, volunteer pilot-based organization that flies environmental missions in collaboration with a network of more than 200 volunteer pilots and hundreds of partner organizations throughout North and Central America. Our mission is to accelerate conservation success through the powerful perspective of flight.
Named after a mythical bird whose purpose is to shed light, the organization was founded in 1979 on the belief that if you give people a landscape-scale perspective of man's impact on the earth from a small aircraft flying a thousand feet above the land, it can profoundly transform their comprehension of environmental issues and inspire them to take action. Photographic images and evidence taken from these flights can, in turn, positively affect thousands of others. This reality has been demonstrated over and over again throughout LightHawk's history. Overwhelmingly, passengers report their flights as an aha moment, a time when they realized that everything is connected. Since 1979, the organization has grown from a one-man outfit to a respected international environmental aviation organization.
LightHawk's flight support is both free to our partners and highly collaborative, as we work with organizations to design and execute high-impact environmental flight programs to meet a wide variety of needs, both technical and educational. Our administrative headquarters is in Fort Collins, CO. Our primary areas of operation are the United States, Mexico, Central America and parts of Canada.