This gentle retired pilot flies his plane helping rescued animals to their new homes

Captain David Tan, a former military pilot, is enjoying his retirement from 40 years of flying taking rescued animals to their new homes. The man still flies his Aermacchi SF-260, a two-person Italian plane, generally used for aerobatics and smaller air forces, but which David puts to better use transporting happy animals to their new lives.

The retired pilot began his work with the animals in 2012, since then he is believed to have flown 360 dogs, 23 cats, goats, pigs and even a bat named Bruce.

Captain Tan uses the same aircraft he trained in at the beginning of his career as a rescue helicopter pilot in the Republic of Singapore Air Force. He now, of course, finds his flying much more fun and enjoyable.

A retired pilot flies helping rescued animals


David says he found a non-profit organization called Pilots N Paws while reading an article in an aviation trade magazine. He was immediately interested in their work and did not think much about joining them.

Pilots N Pawns brings together pilots, volunteers, and aircraft owners who are willing to help transport animals, and organize or schedule rescue, foster, or overnight shelter flights; among other tasks.

“There are some terrible stories out there [about] how cruel people can be to animals, especially in the South; dropouts are horrible. A family would just leave them, discard them like an old piece of furniture or something.”


Although their missions consist mainly of transporting the pets from one place to another, some cases are really sweet, like when these furry ones go to their new forever homes.

David says:

“You kind of say, ‘I hope you have a great rest of your life,’ you know? ‘I hope these people love you forever.'”

On some occasions, the families are so happy and grateful for David’s work that they try to pay for his services in a monetary way, but this pilot is very clear that he does everything for the love of animals. So he donates those monies to shelters or pays the medical bills associated with the animals they help.

The pilot claims:

“They are always short [of money], especially when it comes to medical care for animals. It just costs too much nowadays. The people who really do the work are the rescuers.”


David constantly posts his adventures in the air on Facebook , where he enjoys leaving visitors with beautiful photos of some of his four-legged flying companions.

If you would like to support the work of David and the non-profit organization, you can donate to Pilots N Paws through their website.




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