How is Helimission funded? We are supported financially by private donations from a large number of supporters. Some give a one-off donation, and others have been supporting us on a regular basis for many years. We do not receive any government funding.
Without these faithful supporters, who have stood behind Ernie and Hedi from the very beginning, this organization with its current fleet of nine fully paid helicopters would never have been established. In order to use the funds as efficiently as possible, all pilots and mechanics are funded by their own private group of supporters.
To help the poorest, those who use the helicopters usually only pay for the cost of the fuel. Flights in disaster relief operations and for medical emergencies are generally undertaken for free. The real costs of the flights, which are much higher than just the price of the fuel, are borne by the Helimission foundation.
Often, the people living in the countries we fly for cannot pay the price of the fuel and we receive natural produce as payment. In the 1970s Ernie Tanner reported that he received gifts of chickens, fruit, goats, a cross made from flowers, and even two live crocodiles.