Top Five Tips for Flying with Dogs from Pilots ‘N Paws Volunteer Aaron O’Connell
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Top Five Tips for Flying with Dogs from Pilots ‘N Paws Volunteer Aaron O’Connell

August 24, 2022

Cirrus Aircraft has long supported Pilots ‘N Paws, a non-profit organization providing free flights to animals and wildlife in need. The organization works with 6,000 registered volunteer pilots who donate their planes and flight costs to rescue. Incredibly, Pilots ‘N Paws saves an average of 15,500 animals each year. 

Ahead of National Dog Day this year, Cirrus Aircraft spoke with Pilots ‘N Paws volunteer and SR Series owner Aaron O’Connell about his tips for flying with dogs. With over 900 flight hours and over 50 Pilots ‘N Paws missions, Aaron flies more canines annually than most will in a lifetime. That wealth of experience has provided The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Accidentally movie star with insightful tips for making flying with your furry friends the most comfortable, safe and enjoyable experience possible. 

Tip 1: Avoid Turbulence
Start with a solid flight plan. Check the weather and make sure the bumps will be minimal. Flying in the morning or along a coastline (if available) helps to avoid turbulence. 

Tip 2: Take a Stroll 
Get a little bit of exercise and a potty break before hopping in the plane. 

Tip 3: Bring a Blanket 
A cozy blanket makes everyone more comfortable. 

Tip 4: Reward Good Behavior 
Alleviate in-flight anxiety by rewarding good behavior with your pup’s favorite snacks. 

Tip 5: Low and Slow 
Flying lower than you usually would (between 4,500 and 8,500 feet) will maximize your pup’s comfort. 

For more tips and tricks for flying with your furry family members, connect with Aaron O’Connell and Pilots ‘N Paws on Instagram.