Building Confidence in Children and Youth with Special Needs


We are rounding out our last few events of the year and are fresh on the heels of the Denver Aviation Day and Atlanta Fly Day.

When the Denver runway shut down for repairs this month, we made a quick shift from a Fly Day to an Aviation Day!

We had two pilots who normally fly for us bring their planes so the kids could still get in and take photos, we got to look (and sit!) inside an airplane, we had a communications area where the kids could listen to the Tower “chatter”, Canine Companions had several puppies there, a face painter, several aviation stations – the kids built paper airplanes and flew them down some “runways” that volunteers and kids created earlier in the day, and we even had some demonstrations on how thrust/lift worked with the use of a leaf blower and some toilet paper. The Centennial Lion Club cooked burgers and hot dogs for all the families and volunteers.

It was a great day had by all. Watch the recap below and be on the lookout for a peek at the Atlanta Fly Day from this past weekend coming soon!

Best Wishes
April Culver
CEO/ Executive Director
Watch the recap from the Denver Aviation Day!
Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors!

A BIG thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers for believing in the Challenge Air mission and partnering with us at the Denver Aviation Day!

We wouldn't be able to build confidence and self esteem in children and youth with special needs without you!
2022 Fly Day Schedule

We are still in need of volunteers to help at the Tulsa Fly Day on Saturday, October 22nd. 

👉Pilots and volunteers can register via the link below.

The event is hosted by Riverside Tulsa Tech at RL Jones Airport.

A Pilot briefing will take place at 8:00 am and the first flights will take off about 9:30. ✈️ We hope to see you there! 

Tulsa, OK- Oct 22
*Conroe, TX- Nov 12 (*at capacity for kids) volunteers/pilots welcome to register

When You Shop, Amazon Gives!

If you are shopping on Amazon this holiday season, consider choosing Challenge Air for Kids and Friends as your Amazon Smile charity.

A percentage of your purchase will support the Challenge Air mission in building confidence and self esteem in children and youth through the gift of flight.

Start your shopping at or through the Amazon app. Click the 3 stacked lines and scroll to the bottom "settings", then look for Amazon Smile. Be sure to turn the mobile app "ON" to start generating donations with each purchase.

Thank you for your help in lifting up a child with special needs.

Find Your Passion.
Give with Purpose.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Together we raised over $18k to help build confidence and self esteem in children with special needs through the gift of flight.
We are grateful to those who donated with purpose on North Texas Giving Day!

Your generous support helps make a meaningful difference in the lives of our Co-Pilots and their families. There is still time to give. Big or small- every little bit helps!
"Challenge Air exists to reduce obstacles, level the playing field, and enables our kids the ability to swing for the fences—and know they are supported by their communities."- Mike W
Spotlight on Mike Wilonsky

"I have been involved with Challenge Air since its inception in 1993. I was influenced by Rick Amber my entire life and while I was a student at the University of Oklahoma—I choose to major in Aviation. I was working towards my commercial instrument flight instructor certificate when Rick told me about his desire to get his private pilots’ certificate. In a short period of time, Rick was taking his check rides and shopping for airplanes. As with most things Rick did—he went big and never took his foot off the gas. In a matter of months, we were meeting at local airfields to go flying together and showing me, he was a way-better pilot…and he was.

Shortly after, I remember Rick talking about this idea of flying challenged kids around in his Cessna. I thought the idea was really cool and I visited a fly-day at McKinney Airport during one of visits to my folk’s home. Rick was doing most of the flying, my Mom was selling t-shirts, my Dad and Sonny were loading kids into Rick’s airplane. It was amazing. It was such a small lash-up running on a shoestring budget—and everyone was just having the best time. It was an amazing experience—and one I will never forget it.
I have only served on this board for eight months. I recently retired from the US Marine Corps after 27 years of service and we returned by to the DFW area. My entire life has been shaped by Rick Amber and my desire to serve my country and community were influenced by him. He taught me at a young age to serve others before myself—and I’ve accepted his challenge every day since. When I was asked to join Challenge Air, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. 

Rick is with me forever and I am eager to pay it back to the man who gave me a purpose."
Share Your Challenge Air Story!

If you love our work then tell the world! Stories about us from people like you will help us make an even bigger impact in our community. ❤️⁠
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Girls in Aviation Day Success!

What an amazing weekend Challenge Air had at the local #GirlsinAviationDay event.
Thank you to the North Texas Chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI) for hosting!
Aviator Showcase

Join Challenge Air For Kids and Friends at the upcoming Aviator Showcase in Fort Worth, TX on November 17th and 18th.

Grab a T-shirt, check out the virtual reality fly experience, sign up for several giveaways.

If you are curious or have questions about the Challenge Air Fly Day events, here is your chance to speak to the staff directly and watch recaps from our previous events. Tickets can be purchased here.
Building Confidence One Flight at a Time!

"Jacob was extra cool in my Ground School training. [A little] apprehensive.

Notice the difference in his face after his flight. "- Sonny Friedman
(Photo taken at the Atlanta Fly Day)
Co-Pilot Sarah Takes Flight in Atlanta

"Sarah Whitney’s favorite day came after a long hiatus. I even got to go up with her this time! Thank you all at Challenge Air for Kids & Friends and all the amazing volunteer pilots and others! You guys are awesome and a true blessing to all these kids and adults! Our wonderful pilot was Aron McClellan from Sharpsburg!"- Lori Whitney
"Challenge Air is the nation’s best kept philanthropic secret—and the secret needs to spread."- Mike W
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